Eight places to get out of the house and have dinner on Christmas Day

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WILMINGTON — For many celebrating Christmas, the build up to the holiday lasts weeks – even months – and then explodes all at once on Christmas morning.

Parents exhausted, children wired and wrapping paper everywhere, it is not uncommon for families to want to get out of the house. And, especially for those families that have already cooked a large Christmas Eve dinner, it can often be a tricky search for a restaurant that is open on Christmas Day.

This year, Port City Daily called all over the area see which restaurants were open. Many family-run businesses planned on staying closed to give their employees time with family. However, a few local restaurants will be open – most with limited hours, and some with limited menus – on Sunday, Dec. 25.

From the classic Chinese food enjoyed by Ralphie and his family in “A Christmas Story,” to places grab a beer and a burger and catch Christmas Day games to more sophisticated fare, we have you covered. Note: while all these restaurants confirmed they would be open, it is advisable to call ahead, especially if you are traveling with larger parties (more than 4).

China Garden – A holiday tradition in many families, Chinese Food on Christmas day just feels right. Located in Lumina Commons, 1988 Eastwood Road, China Garden is open from noon to 10 p.m. and can be reached at (910) 509-4288.

Szechuan Buffet – For a wider variety of Asian food, including sushi and other seafood, check out this buffet at the intersection of Gordon Rd. and Military Cutoff. Located at 6932 Market St., Szechuan Buffet is open from 11 a.m – 9:30 p.m. and can be reached at (910) 452-2788.

Indochine – Consistently voted one of Wilmington’s best Thai and Asian food restaurants, Indochine is serving Christmas Day dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Located at 7 Wayne Drive, off Market Street, Indochine can be reached at (910) 251-9229.

The Harp – This traditional Irish pub opens its doors at 6 pm. The Harp recommends calling ahead if you plan on eating early (between 6 – 7:30 p.m.). Located at 1423 South 3rd St., The Harp can be reached at (910) 763-1607.

Fox & Hound – If you are looking to get out of the house, and get a beer and catch the game, the Fox & Hound is a good bet. Located next to the movie theater in Mayfaire, they open at 4 p.m. and can be reached at (910) 509-0805.

HopLite Pub and Beer Garden – With forecasts calling for clear skies and temperatures in the high 60’s on Christmas Day, the outside space at HopLite seems like an ideal – if unseasonable – place to spend Christmas Day in Carolina Beach. Located at 720 N. Lake Park Blvd., HopLite can be reached at  (910) 458-4745.

The Melting Pot – A good choice for larger parties – and also for those looking for something closer to a hearty snack than a full meal – the Melting Pot in Mayfaire will be open on Christmas Day from noon – 6 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended. Located at 885 Town Center Drive, the Melting Pot can be reached at (910) 256-1187.

Sweet n Savory Cafe – Serving family-style meals all day, Sweet n Savory is a good place to recreate the convivial atmosphere of home, with someone else doing the cooking. Located at 1611 Pavilion Pl., between Eastwood Dr. and Wrightsville Ave., Sweet n’ Savory is open from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Reservations are encouraged; reach the cafe for availability and menu information at (910) 256-0115.