Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Looking for Christmas Eve and Day dinner? Here is what’s open in 2023

Indochine on Wayne Drive and Indochine Express on Oleander Drive will open on Christmas Day. (Port City Daily/File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — You’ve spent weeks baking cookies, cakes and candies, preparing appetizers for parties you’ve been invited to, not to mention sweating over the stove for your own get-togethers.

Now, who’s cooking for Christmas? 

Plenty of restaurants are doing to-go options or are open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to make the actual holiday a more relaxing experience for you and your family.

Though not an exhaustive list, below are multiple places across the Cape Fear ready to serve you and yours come Dec. 24 and 25. It’s best to call ahead to place a takeaway order or make a reservation; restaurants with an asterisk are open Christmas Day — Monday, Dec. 25.

Happiest of holidays!

[Ed. note: To add to the list, email info@portcitydaily.com.]

Aromas of Peru

417 S. College Road • (910) 769-1939 

The restaurant will serve from its regular menu on Christmas Eve until 5 p.m. Call 910-769-1939 for details and more information.

Big Thai

Landfall Shopping Center, 1319 Military Cutoff Rd.

The Landfall Shopping Center restaurant will be open Christmas Eve, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., serving from its normal menu. It will close on Christmas Day.

Bluewater Waterfront Grill

4 Marina St. • (910) 256-8500 • bluewaterdining.com

Open Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., dining along the Intracoastal Waterway will make Christmas sparkle a little more. Bluewater is offering special chef features like cashew-crusted grouper ($42) and pan-seared flounder ($35), along with its regular menu.

The restaurant is closed Christmas Day.

Cafe Chinois

3710 S. College Road, #123 • (910) 769-3193 • cafe-chinois.com

From the Indochine group, Cafe Chinois will be open Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., offering a full menu of French-inspired Asian cuisine. No reservations are required.

Cafe Chinois will be closed Christmas Day.

Caprice Bistro

10 Market St. •  (910) 815-0810 • capricebistro.com

Downtown Wilmington’s premier French restaurant will be serving a prix-fixe menu on Christmas Eve. It’s $60 for a three-course meal. 

Diners can choose an appetizer — petit charcuterie, salad “Noel,” escargot, lobster bisque, or frog legs Provencal — followed by one of five entrees. Waterzooi, beef bourguignon, lamb, salmon en croute or duck duet is offered. The meal will be topped off with a trio of desserts.


5559 Oleander Drive • (910) 798-2913 • caseysbuffet.com

Casey’s Buffet will be open Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be closed Christmas Day. Buffet prices run $9 to $17.

The restaurant also offers catering for $10.99 a person for pickup or drop-off. Folks can choose from a vast offering of country cookin’, as each plate comes with two meats, two vegetables or sides, plus bread. Meats include turkey and dressing, ham, pot roast, oxtail, stew beef, beef ribs, hamburger steak, baked chicken, BBQ, and others. Sides run the gamut from baked to string to lima beans, turnip to collard greens, mac-and-cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potato soufflé, squash casserole, cornbread dressing, and more.

Adding vegetables or sides is $1 more, while dessert is an additional 75 cents per order. 

Casey’s offers drop-off service for $20 extra, which includes the food being delivered in disposable aluminum platters 20 minutes ahead of any event. Casey’s will provide disposable serving products, tea (sweet or unsweetened), sauces, butters and condiments. Drop-off catering must be booked 48 hours ahead to ensure availability.  

Ciana Ristorante Italian 

4724 New Centre Drive, Ste. 3 • (910) 399-5584

Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American tradition hosted every Dec. 24. Its roots come from southern Italy, a meal known as “La Vigilia” — or in vigil of fasting from meat until Christmas Day. How it evolved into the Feast of the Seven Fishes is up for debate, but its mostly credited to immigrant families that made their way to the United States and brought some of their homeland’s customs with them. 

New Centre Drive’s Italian restaurant is doing a seven-course meal celebrating the time-honored tradition for $95 a person. It includes crab arancini, salmon over mixed greens, cioppino, linguine with white clam sauce, baked branzino, lemon sorbetto, and an assortment of pastries. The meal is also served with a glass of red or white wine. Call 910-399-5620 for seating.

Double Happiness

4403 Wrightsville Ave. • (910) 313-1088 

7122 Market St., Ste. 150 • (910) 686-1988


With two locations serving Wilmington its tasty homemade Chinese cuisine, diners will be able to patronize at least one this Christmas.

The Wrightsville Avenue location will be open Christmas Eve, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and serve from its normal menu. The Ogden location is closed Christmas Eve due to a private party; however, it will offer to-go orders also from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Both locations are closed Christmas Day.

Dram Yard 

101 South 2nd St. • (910) 782-2400 • dramyard.com

The downtown restaurant is accepting reservations for Christmas Eve brunch, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu can be accessed here.

The restaurant closes Christmas Day.

The Epicurean Bistro

1978 Eastwood Road • (910) 465-6010 • epicureanbistro.com

Wilmington’s French restaurant from the Sweet n Savory group will open Christmas Eve, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., but will close on Christmas Day.

Reservations are being accepted at (910) 465-6010.

Front Street Brewery

9 N. Front St.  • (910) 251-1935frontstreetbrewery.com

Downtown Wilmington’s oldest brewery will be open Christmas Eve, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will serve from its regular menu. 

FSB will close Christmas Day.

* The Harp Irish Restaurant and Pub 

1423 S. Third St. • harpwilmington.com

The Harp will open normal hours on Christmas Eve, starting at 11 a.m.

On Christmas Day, it will serve a traditional buffet, featuring ham, turkey, roast beef and sides, for $35. The hours are noon to 7 p.m., and to make a reservation, call 910-763-1607. 

Hiro Japanese Steakhouse

222 Old Eastwood Road • (910) 794-1570 • hirojapanesesteakhouse.com

Serving hibachi and teriyaki dishes, Hiro will be open on Christmas Eve from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Reservations are filling up, so text (910) 470-1234 to secure a spot.

* Indochine 

7 Wayne Drive • (910) 251-9229 • indochinewilmington.com 

Open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Indochine will have a full menu for diners to order from — sushi, curries, fried rice and noodles. It’s only offering dine-in orders; takeout can be ordered from the Indochine Expresses (see below).

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for Christmas Eve and dinner only on Christmas Day, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

* Indochine Express

Various locations • indochineexpress.com

If you’re looking for a quick pick-up of Thai and other Asian cuisine, Indochine’s multiple express locations will be operating as well. The Monkey Junction, Southport, Leland and Oleander Drive stores will all be open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Only the Oleander store in New Hanover County will be open on Christmas Day from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Italian Bistro

Porters Neck, 8211 Market St.

201 Alston Blvd., Hampstead


This Italian restaurant has two locations open on Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., in both Porters Neck and the Hampstead and Surf City location that opened in August

Both locations close on Christmas Day.

JohnnyLuke’s Kitchen and Bar

5500 Market St. • (910) 769-1798 • johnnylukeskb.com

JohnnyLuke’s will serve brunch on Christmas Eve from 10:30 a.m. to 3  p.m. Reservations are open now. Larger parties should call ahead: 910-769-1798. 

The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day.

Kornerstone Bistro

8262 Market St. • (910) 686-2296 • kornerstonebistro.com

Open Christmas Eve, Kornerstone Bistro is serving lunch and dinner, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Porter’s Neck restaurant focuses on rustic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Reservations are heavily suggested, as they’re filling up quickly, according to staff.

The restaurant closes Christmas Day.

Little Dipper Fondue

138 South Front St. • (910) 251-0433 • littledipperfondue.com

Downtown’s fondue restaurant is accepting reservations starting at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It will be closed Dec. 25.

The menu, featuring holiday sauces, desserts and cocktails, can be accessed here.

Michael’s Seafood

1206 N. Lake Park Blvd. • (910) 458-7761 • mikescfood.com 

Open Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Michael’s Seafood will serve its full menu and brunch and dinner specials. 

The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day.

* Nikki’s Hibachi Steak House and Sushi Bar

1055 Military Cutoff Road, Ste 100 • (910) 509-8998 • nikkissushibar.com

Serving Japanese-style hibachi, teriyaki dishes and a menu of sushi, Nikki’s Hibachi Steak House near Wrightsville Beach will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 25.

See the full menu here.

* Nori Asian Fusion and Sushi

1412 Barclay Pointe Blvd. Unit 1006 • Norisushinc.com

Serving Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisines, Nori will open Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Christmas Day, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Located at The Pointe at Barclay, Nori will serve from its full menu of sushi, sashimi, and rolls, as well as a poke, noodle dishes and curries.


703 S. Lumina Ave., (910) 256-5551 • oceanicrestaurant.com

Open Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Oceanic will have special chef features, including seared sea scallops or cornmeal-crusted oysters, filet Mignon or lobster risotto, and tuxedo chocolate-covered strawberries to finish. Prices range from $10 to $46.

The restaurant is closed for Christmas Day.

Panacea Brewing Co. 

4107 Oleander Drive, Ste. H • panaceabrewingcompany.com

The hot vegan spot will be open for Christmas Eve brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving from its regular menu. It’s closed on Christmas Day.

Pinpoint Restaurant

114 Market St. • (910) 769-2972 pinpointrestaurant.com

The downtown fine-dining establishment will serve a special menu on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve. It wasn’t posted by press, but readers can keep up to date here.

It will be closed Christmas Day.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

301 N. Water St. • ruthschris-wilmington.com

Ruth’s Chris will be open Christmas Eve, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and closed Christmas Day. The regular menu will be served.

The steak house is also offering take-home meal packages, featuring 28 ounces of beef tenderloin, choice of salad, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, sweet potato casserole, and green beans, plus chocolate sin cake. It feeds four and costs $199.

Holiday sides can also be purchased for $39 to $44 each, featuring creamed spinach, sweet potato casserole, au gratin potatoes, green beans, Caesar salad and steak house salad.

The restaurant asks for a 48-hour notice for to-go orders.


1 S Front St. • (910) 769-5996 • seabirdnc.com

Seabird will open Christmas Eve, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for brunch, and again for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended, though walk-sin may be available for bar seating.

The fine-dining establishment will have its regular menu offered and is continuing its Feast of the Seven Fishes, which it did last year as well.

Seabird will be closed Christmas Day.


9 Estell Lee Pl. • (910) 726-9226 • steamrestaurantilm.com

Located in the Embassy Suites in downtown Wilmington, Steam will open Christmas Eve with a four-course meal from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

It starts with black mussels in basil cream, fried fresno and shaved caciocavallo to share, followed by a second course of she crab soup or bitter greens. The entree comes with a choice of braised lamb shank or pan-seared duck breast. 

There will be a dessert to share, consisting of rose and cardamom creme brulee, served with spiced pecan brittle and sugared cranberry.

It’s $119 per couple and reservations are open here.

Sweet n Savory

1611 Pavilion Pl. • (910) 256-0115sweetnsavorycafe.com

Sweet n Savory near Wrightsville Beach will be serving from its regular menu on Christmas Eve, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It opens from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The restaurant will not operate on Christmas Day.


102 S. 2nd St. • tarantellis.com

Tarantelli’s will open Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. It will serve from its menu of Italian delicacies, including antipastos, homemade pastas, pizzas, and chef’s signature dishes.

The restaurant will close by 10 p.m. on Dec. 24 and will remain closed through Dec. 28.

* Uncle Lims

3905 Independence Blvd. • 910-313-6858 

The takeout Chinese restaurant will open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., serving its full menu.


33 S. Front St. • (910) 763-3172 • yosake.com

Downtown’s sushi and Asian fusion restaurant will be operating on Christmas Eve from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be a variety of offerings, from poke bowls to curries, noodles to fried rice, and sushi rolls aplenty, with wine, beer and specialty cocktails; prices range from $6 to $20.

The restaurant is located on the third floor of the historic Roudabush building and is closed Christmas Day.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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