Cooking up a large feast for the holidays is a great way to spend time with loved ones. But sometimes, all of that chopping, dicing, slicing and stirring just feels like way too much work.
If you've already spent time wrapping presents, dealing with squealing kids and playing host to extended family, why not take a break from kitchen duty?
Here is a list of popular restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with extra details on a few special deals and holiday dishes.
Restaurants open on Christmas Eve
- Buffalo Wild Wings: Open
Buffalo Wild Wings will stay open with regular hours from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve (so technically you can ring in Christmas Day if you stay there late enough). The wing chain's website says "most" stores close on Christmas Day, but it's always worth a phone call if you have a hankering for wings and "shareables."
- Chick-fil-A: Open
This chicken chain always closes its doors on Sunday, but that doesn't mean it's closed on every holiday. Yes, Chick-fil-A will be closed on Wednesday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day), but most locations will be open on Christmas Eve, so if you want to leave Santa some nuggets and waffle fries to help fuel his midnight sleigh ride, you can definitely pick up a few boxes.
- Cracker Barrel: Limited hours
Cracker Barrel locations will remain open until 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve; however, the restaurant will be closed on Christmas Day.
- Olive Garden: Varies by location
Olive Garden closes on Christmas to allow staff time off to be with their friends and families. But if you're craving unlimited breadsticks (we're looking at you, Jimmy Fallon) on Christmas Eve, most locations will be open on Tuesday, Dec. 24. The chain's website says to call your favorite location ahead of time, as some restaurants may close earlier than usual.
Restaurants open on Christmas Day
- Applebee's: Varies by location
Many Applebee's restaurants will stay open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but that decision is up to store managers' discretion. So call ahead to see if the hours have been changed before you head out to your local neighborhood grill and bar.
- Boston Market: Open
If you're craving the fixings of a regular holiday feast, Boston Market is offering a Christmas Day meal to take out or eat in. It includes individual meals or feasts for multiple diners with options like hand-carved ham, sliced turkey breast or rotisserie chicken, plus two sides, dinner rolls and pie.
- Buca di Beppo: Open
Enjoy a family-style spread at this Italian restaurant, which will open at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Buca di Beppo will also cater your event if you want a Christmas party at home without the fuss.
- Burger King: Limited hours
Most Burger King locations are typically open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. But on Christmas Day, many locations will have limited hours this year. Just call your nearest restaurant before popping in.
- Denny's: Open
Does anyone else think of "The Santa Clause" with Tim Allen when they think of Christmas Eve dinner? Maybe that's just us, but this diner-style chain does stay open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The opening hours will be the same as usual, but there will be new festive flavors on the menu to enjoy, like pumpkin spice pancakes, roasted turkey and dressing.
- McDonald's: Varies by location
Many McDonald's locations will stay open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but the hours are at the discretion of franchise owners. The chain recommends calling ahead before swinging through for a Big Mac. If you're lucky, you might even be able to find its elusive, custard-filled holiday pie.
- Waffle House: Open
Waffle House prides itself on being open 24 hours, 365 days a year and usually closes only for a major catastrophic event, like a hurricane. If the whole family is craving breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, this Southern-style chain is a great option.