With the flurry of gift buying, decking the halls, and baking cookies for the annual exchange, Christmas dinner can add unnecessary stress. It’s enough to make anyone say, “bah humbug!” Luckily, these 10 San Antonio restaurants still have slots open for the big day. Skip the cleanup and the prep work and put the wonder back into the most wonderful time of the year.
Boudro’s Texas Bistro
This longtime bulwark against the touristy River Walk puts a Hill Country spin on the Dickensian holiday feast with its prix fixe offering, featuring herb-crusted prime rib and sticky toffee pudding. Those wanting something a little less Victorian can order from the regular menu — a treasury of Southwestern hits like pollo asado, blue crab tostadas, and tableside guacamole. $45. 11 am-10:30 pm.
This Alamo City staple spreads holiday cheer with a festive menu available both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Go classic with a walnut Roquefort salad, glazed ham, and a mango creme brulee or break the Yuletide rules with Vietnamese dumplings and Norwegian salmon with a Champagne artichoke velouté. Either way, don’t forget to sample the impressive wine menu for some extra cheer. A la carte. 4-9 pm.
Roll into Christmas Day with this upscale chain’s sushi selection, ranging from crowd-pleasers like the spider to originals like the artsy Picasso. Featured dishes — available for eat-in or take-out service — include a filet with lobster cream and miso asparagus, honey-glazed ham, and macadamia-nut-crusted turkey breast. Kids’ meals are also available for the tikes. A la carte. 10 am-midnight.
Ostra — Mokara Hotel & Spa
The Italian-American Feast of the Seven Fishes traditionally occurs on Christmas Eve, but who’s to say it can’t be celebrated on the big day? This elegant eatery at the Mokara Hotel & Spa reels in holiday revelers with catches like ahi tuna carpaccio, fruits de mer pasta, and applewood-roasted salmon with smoked duck succotash. The eggnog cheesecake will have the sugar plum fairies doing the Woah. A la carte. 5-10 pm.
The Palm Restaurant
Those who appreciate a good holiday pun will no doubt want to flock to the Mrs. Clausmopolitan, this downtown steakhouse’s holiday take on the 1990s’ most iconic drink. Follow that with a hearty prix fixe featuring a 26-ounce prime rib and choice of salad or soup, or opt for a take-home dinner for two with lobster and chateaubriand. What’s better than feasting in jammies? $99-$175. 11:30 am-11 pm.
Supper American Eatery
This contemporary American eatery in the stunning Hotel Emma has decked the halls for a memorable Christmas feast. Indulge in seasonal treats like salt-and-vinegar Brussels sprouts, roasted chicken breast with a spinach crepe, and wood-grilled sirloin sauced with tomato chimichurri. For drinks, one can’t go wrong with the Creation menu, a selection of original cocktails pleasurable to any palate. A la carte. 5-11 pm.
SweetFire Kitchen — La Cantera Resort & Spa
Instead of suffering on the in-laws’ air mattress, book a luxe retreat at the La Cantera Resort & Spa. After opening gifts and taking the requisite wintertime selfies, head over to the in-house restaurant. The prix fixe meal includes choices like rosemary and citrus turkey, rosemary and garlic roasted prime rib, and porchetta with fig and walnut chutney. $70 for adults and $32 for children. 10 am-10 pm.
Texas de Brazil
Have yourself a meaty little Christmas at this downtown churrascaria, which offers all the bread, salads, sides, and desserts one can handle. Of course, the slow-roasted cuts are the main attraction. Devour filet mignon, lamb chops, pork ribs, chicken breast, or Brazilian sausage, then waddle over to nearby Travis Park to take in the light display, glide on the ice rink, or take part in the holiday lotería hunt. A la carte. 4-9:30 pm.
Tributary — Marriott Rivercenter
Christmas dining often comes at a premium, so it’s refreshing to see this Marriott Rivercenter restaurant’s nod to taxed holiday budgets. Save some cash for New Year’s Eve by enjoying a festive trio of Christmas favorites, including a shaved root vegetable salad, sorghum glazed ham, and Texas pecan pie served a la mode. $35. Noon-10 pm.
Zocca Cuisine d’Italia — Westin Riverwalk
Say “Buon Natale” at this River Walk favorite, known for its modern takes on Italian cuisine. Pasta is, of course, a mainstay here, whether it’s a luscious tagliatelle in Bolognese or more kid-friendly spaghetti with meatballs. For a more casual dinner, opt for a pizza or panini or create an appetizer spread. Mozzarella sticks bring joy to the world any time of year. A la carte. 7 am-11 pm.