Heya – Updated version of this list for 2014 can be found here.
Despite the pervasiveness of the festive season, not everybody gives a damn about turkey and stuffing and sitting around with the family listening to some pop singer butcher the holiday favourites, for a whole variety of reasons. Some folks might want a more low-key celebration (one in which they don’t have to do the washing up) and for others, it’s just, well, Tuesday.
I’ve been putting together a “Christmas Day dining for heathens” list since the first year we ran TasteTO, and it was very popular last year when I was writing for Toronto.com. So here it is again, modified and updated and fact-checked for your dining pleasure. (Parkdalers – the Beaver is closed on Christmas Day this year, so check the list below before heading out!)
As usual, I’ve not included a lot of Chinese restaurants because they are usually open on Christmas Day as a default. However, because Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, and many Chinese-owned businesses are closed on Tuesdays, do yourself a favour and call ahead if you’ve got a favourite spot in mind.
Also, reservations are required for all of the options offered at hotels.
7 West (7 Charles Street West) stays open 24/7/365 and will be serving their regular menu on Christmas Day.
The Bagel House (1722 Avenue Road) is open from 7am to 9pm.
Caplansky’s Delicatessen (356 College Street) is open on all statutory holidays (including, or especially, Christmas) from 10am – 8pm, offering their menu of traditional Jewish deli food such as smoked meat sandwiches, latkes, gefilte fish and more.
Dhaba (309 King Street West) is open for dinner, serving flavourful Indian cuisine, starting at 5pm.
Fran’s has two locations (20 College Street and 200 Victoria Street) that are open 24/7/365, and the business district location (33 Yonge Street) will be open from 6am – 10pm. All three Fran’s will be serving their regular menu of diner fare.
The Lakeview (1132 Dundas Street West) is cooking up deep-fried turkey with all the fixings for $18. Comes with a slice of pumpkin pie and hey, they have Tofurky version as well. Open 24/7.
Marché in Brookfield Place (181 Bay Street) is open from 7:30am to 11pm offering their regular menu, plus probably lots of tasty holiday baking.
The Thompson Diner (550 Wellington Street West) is also open 24/7 and will be serving their usual upscale diner grub on Christmas day.
What A Bagel has three locations open on Christmas Day: 973 Eglinton Avenue West, 421 Spadina Road, and 2275 Yonge Street. All open at 7am, with closing hours that vary.
Hotels/ Hotel Restaurants
Azure, Intercontinental Toronto Centre (225 Front Street West), offers a Christmas brunch buffet with the best of brunch and Christmas dinner combined (pancakes AND turkey!) for $55 from 10am – 2pm, and a four-course dinner on Christmas day (choice of turkey or venison as a main) for $59.
Café Boulud (Four Seasons Hotel, 60 Yorkville Avenue) will be preparing a three-course prix fixe menu (with menu items such as lobster salad, fois gras, turkey with stuffing and roasted venison) for $85 per person.
Epic at the Royal York Hotel (100 Front Street West) offers a five-course Christmas Day dinner for $105. Or check out the buffet in the Imperial Room (seatings at 2pm or 6pm), for $115.
Hemispheres at the Metropolitan Hotel Toronto (110 Chestnut Street) is serving a three-course Christmas lunch for $45 per person and a four-course Christmas dinner for $65 per person.
Lai Wah Heen at the Metropolitan Hotel (110 Chestnut Street), will offer prix fixe dim sum menus at $36 or $48 per person, and a Winter Festival Prix Fixe dinner menu for $88 per person.
Toca at the Ritz Carlton (181 Wellington Street West) will be offering Christmas Day brunch from 11am – 4pm for $89 per person, and Christmas dinner (seatings start at 5pm) for $90 per person.