Where to Dine In (or Take Out) for Christmas and Hanukkah

From latkes and braised short ribs to truffle mac-and-cheese, find it all at these local restaurants.
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If you’d rather lean on a restaurant for your holiday meal than cook, you’re in luck—there are plenty of places in and around Arlington with special offerings for Christmas and Hanukkah. (Photo by Sion Parsamian/2941 Restaurant)

Preparing for the winter holidays is almost like a part-time job: figure out if you’re hosting or traveling, make a list of all the gifts you’ve got to buy, stay on top of work deadlines so you can rest easy over the break. It’s a lot—and we haven’t even got to who’s making all the food. If the thought of spending hours in the kitchen has you cringing, don’t despair; there are scores of restaurants in the area offering sensational dine-in and takeout spreads for your holiday (as well as sweet shops offering seasonal treats). Here is a sampling:



Dine-in or takeout

Dine-in hours: 4-9 p.m., Dec. 24

Place takeout order by: 48 hours in advance

Take your pick of dining in or feasting at home with special menus from this elegant Falls Church restaurant. On Christmas Eve, reserve a table for a three-course meal ($125), including options such as duck and foie gras galantine (hazelnut, quince gelée), grilled veal chop (polenta foam, Pierre Poivre panisse, portobello) and a yule log served with tangerine-vanilla gelato. Alternately, order a feast in advance to enjoy at home, available Dec. 20-31: The meal for two ($140-$190) comes with a protein, soup, salad, sides and desserts, and features dishes like cabernet-braised short ribs, mushroom velouté and roasted beet salad. // 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church


Dine-in or takeout

Dine-in hours: 4-11 p.m., Dec. 24 | 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Dec. 25

Place takeout order by: 3 p.m., Dec. 23

Make Christmas Eve an all-you-can-eat affair with Balkan delights at Ambar. The regular menu will be sprinkled with seasonal additions ($79.99 per person for unlimited plates), including hunter beef schnitzel (dry porcini mushrooms, mashed potatoes, white wine, root vegetables), black sea bass with lentil stew (moravska salsa, red pepper and tomato), and white urnebes (smashed feta cheese, roasted red pepper, spicy red pepper, garlic, olive oil). Prefer to enjoy a spread at home? The takeout meal for two ($99) includes five pre-selected dishes, as well as baklava with walnuts and sweet lemon syrup. // 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)

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In addition to an eight-course meal, Bar Ivy is also offering wine pairings. (Photo courtesy of Bar Ivy)

Bar Ivy

Takeout only

Place takeout order by: 3 p.m., Dec. 21

Dive into an eight-course takeout experience from this newish Clarendon restaurant with West Coast flair. The meal serves four to six ($225) and features sassafras and maple-glazed ham, truffle mac-and-cheese, braised kale with smoked pork belly, pineapple and spiced rum upside-down cake and more. Wine pairings start at $25.// 3033 Wilson Blvd., Suite 115R, Arlington (Clarendon)

Buena Vida Gastrolounge

Dine-in only

Dine-in hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Dec. 23 & Dec. 24

Grab holiday selections for lunch or dinner at this destination for Mexican cuisine. The assortment of small plates available ($69.99 per person) include crab queso fundido, trout a la Natal (brown butter, spiced pecans, red grapes, green beans), Huitlacoche truffle rice (bomba rice, Mexican corn truffles, queso Cotija) and Christmas salad (ancho pepper-balsamic, chopped kale, apple, broccoli, dried cranberries and apricots). // 2900 Wilson Blvd., #103, Arlington (Clarendon)


Dine-in only

Dine-in hours: 3-10 p.m., Dec. 24

Spend Christmas Eve at this Falls Church eatery with strong “community vibes.” On tap for the evening are a la carte appetizers, pastas and entrees, including deviled eggs (pimiento cheese, candied bacon, chicharrones), fusilli Bolognese (housemade ricotta, parmesan parsley), and braised Seven Hills Farm short rib (beef short rib, garlic scallion whipped potatoes, porter jus). Menu items range in price from $9-$48. // 513 W. Broad St., Falls Church City

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Why limit a big Christmas meal to dinnertime when you can also have brunch? Palette 22 is offering a bottomless spread Dec. 25. (Photo courtesy of ARP)

Palette 22

Dine-in only

Dine-in hours: 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Dec. 24 | 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Dec. 25

Wondering what to do and what to eat after wrapping up all the gifting Christmas morning? Shirlington tapas spot Palette 22 is offering a bottomless brunch ($32.22 per person), including repeated visits to its taco and waffle bar. If you’d like to stick around for dinner, or pop in the night before, the eatery is also offering its regular dinner menu, with a few additional specials: tiradito Nikkei (black grouper, aji escabeche, almond leche de tigre, Japanese sweet potato) and duck Vindaloo (malt vinegar, potatoes, garlic). Pair your meal with a glass ($13) or bottle ($50) of Viña Esmeralda brut cava, a limited offering for the holiday. // 4053 Campbell Ave., Arlington (Shirlington)


Takeout only

Place takeout order by: Noon, Dec. 20

Bring the smoky flavors of this Clarendon barbecue joint home for the holidays with its holiday a la carte menu. Highlights include smoked leg of lamb (herb-rubbed, smoked over cherry wood), duck-fat roasted potatoes (rosemary, garlic, smoked sea salt), and bourbon sweet mashed potatoes (topped with marshmallows or candied pecans), and eggnog bread pudding (rum-soaked cranberries, white chocolate ganache). Items range in price from $8-$250. // 1051 N. Highland St., Arlington (Clarendon)

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Find matzo ball soup, latkes and other Hanukkah menu items at Neighborhood Provisions. (Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Restaurant Group)


Celebrity Delly

Takeout only

Place takeout order by: Day of

Hosting a Hanukkah gathering, or just wanting to enjoy a few staples with the family? Celebrity Delly has what you need, from latkes ($35, served with apple sauce and sour cream) to four-hour braised brisket ($50, with pan gravy) to kugel ($50) to New York-style cheesecake ($60). Each menu portion serves five. // 7263A Arlington Blvd., Falls Church

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Celebrity Delly has been in the catering business for nearly five decades and offers a full Hanukkah spread. (Photo by William Thompson)

Neighborhood Provisions

Takeout only

Place takeout order by: Dec. 17

Be ready for the holiday with everything you need for a full meal, as well as some extra treats for afterwards. Neighborhood Provisions’ Hanukkah menu includes matzo ball soup ($16), harissa-roasted carrots ($16), chopped chicken liver ($10), smoked beef brisket ($38, 1 pound), Nutella babka ($30) and more. Want some beverages to go with? They’ve got those, too.  // Pickup locations vary

Bethesda Bagels

Takeout only

Place takeout order by: Dec. 18

Bagels are truly an all-day food, especially when they’re accompanied with smoked salmon, schmear, tomatoes, onions, capers, cucumbers, matzo ball soup, latkes, cookies and gelt … need we go on? If you’re looking for a Hanukkah spread in a box, consider the Rosslyn location of Bethesda Bagels. Its all-in-one boxes are packaged for four to eight people and range in price from $100-$200. And if you’d like add-ons, they also sell fruit platters ($5.50 per person) and more than a dozen sides, such as tuna salad ($13.99 per pound) and mini kugel ($15). // 1851 N. Moore St., Arlington (Rosslyn)

Categories: Food & Drink