Christmas Eve/Day in New York

Old Feb 27th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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Christmas Eve/Day in New York

What do you think would be the best experiences for a tourist on Christmas Eve and Day? Where are some special places to eat Christmas Brunch/Dinner?
Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Christmas Eve/Day are one of the very few times when New York substantially shuts down. I'm not sure which restaurants will be open - but it will be quite limited. I would check out the NYTimes in the fall - whoever will be open will advertise on special dinner events. Or , for something modest, Chinese and Indian restaurants are usually open. For something to do I would focus on walking Fifth Avenue to look at store windows, visiting Rockefeller Center to see the tree, doing Central Park etc. Movies are always an optin and are usually easy to get into - perhaps check out some of the non-first run places for film a little more interesting.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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On Christmas day, some restaurants like Tavern on the Green offer special dinners, fairly expensive from what I hear for mediocre food. Downtown in the Wall Street area is Fraunces Tavern for Christmas dinner which is a Revolutionary War-era restaurant and tavern (George Washington ate there) with very good food. I think it would be a great choice for a traditional/colonial Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. Take a look at their website at Another good choice would be the River Café on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, fantastic city views and great food. This is one of the best restaurants in NYC, in my opinion and most others. According to their website, they are open every day, take a look at Finally, you might want to consider one of the restaurants in Rockefeller Center, either the Rock Café or the Sea Grill (can't find website, you might run your own search. The menu at the Sea Grill is virtually all seafood.). Both have good views of the tree and the skating rink. These may be totally mobbed on Christmas day.

If you are Christian and can take the crowds, midnight mass at St Patrick's Cathedral (Catholic) is quite spectacular. You would need to get there quite early to get good seats (or any seats) I would say by 10 pm at the latest, but others may have a different view. The Cathedral of St John the Divine (Episcopal) also has a great sort of "alternative" midnight service, take a look at The cathedral is on Amsterdam Ave, quite a way uptown, nearest cross street is 112th Street, but it is on the 1&9 subway line which will take you right back downtown. There is also a beautiful little church in the Wall Street area, Trinity Church (Episcopal), which may offer midnight masses. Their graveyard is worth a visit, as many famous people are buried here. Take a look at
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 07:58 PM
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It's not true that the city shuts down - there will be many more restaurants open in NYC on Christmas/Christmas Eve than anyplace else in the US. For one thing, there are the tourists to serve. Then there are New Yorkers who prefer to go out to a fancy meal than cook (as mentioned, many restaurants will have special prix fixe dinners then). Plus, with the largest Jewish population in the US (and many other religions other than Christianity), the chinese restaurants and movie theaters are packed on Christmas Eve.
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Old Feb 27th, 2004, 08:08 PM
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We used to enjoy going to Soho on Christmas eve, having dinner and just walking and looking in windows. It is quiet & peaceful.
Walk down Fifth Avenue, Rock the skaters. Lunch would be fun in Chinatown..
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