Photo by Candace West
The Key lime baked Alaska dessert from Shooter's Waterfront in Fort Lauderdale.

Best Restaurants to Celebrate Christmas 2016 in Broward and Palm Beach

Although businesses everywhere shutter their doors on Christmas Day, plenty of South Florida restaurants will stay open and serve throughout the day on Saturday, December 24, and Sunday, December 25.

Want a classic South Florida water view? Looking to experiment with some antelope steaks? Maybe you'd like to tuck into some pasta, then wander upstairs to a movie — drink in hand. Whether it's full-service dinner or a buffet brunch, look no further than this list of restaurants serving this holiday.

(Just remember to tip generously; after all, these hardworking hospitality folk are missing Christmas with their families to spend it with you.) 

Photo courtesy of Waterston Resort & Marina

Waterstone Resort & Marina

999 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton. Call 561-368-9500, or visit waterstoneboca.com.

On Christmas Day, hotel guests and South Florida locals can enjoy a holiday menu inspired by the coastal flavors of Florida prepared by chef Matthew Mixon — with a special seasonal twist, of course. Dishes for the evening include a squid and octopus salad, fig and prosciutto flatbread with honey ricotta and spicy arugula; wild crusted dover sole with crab and asparagus risotto; and roasted duck with sweet potato hash. The culinary celebration includes a three-course Christmas dinner prix-fixe menu served from 3 to 9 p.m., priced at $65 per person, with an extra $20 per person for an added wine pairing. A children's menu is available at $20 per person.

Photo courtesy of Pistache French Bistro

Pistache French Bistro

101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-5090, or visit pistachewpb.com.

West Palm Beach's Pistache French Bistro will be serving a Christmas Day three-course, prix-fixe menu for $65 per person ($25 for children). The restaurant will open from 3 to 9 p.m., offering an extensive holiday menu of both classic French and American fare, a meal fit for a memorable Christmas celebration. Appetizers include roasted veal sweetbreads, escargots, and salmon tartare. Entrées feature beef Bourguignon, Florida pompano, filet au poivre, and slow-roasted duck. End it all on a sweet note with a choice of six desserts including Buche de Noel, a chocolate Genoise cake with vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache.

Photo courtesy of Dada

Dada

52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561-330-3232; sub-culture.org.

On Friday, December 23, Dada in Delray Beach will be throwing a Christmas Spectacular party from 10 p.m., to 2 a.m. on December 24. The party will include live music by local acts Cog Nomen & Pans Permia; staff dressed in crazy Christmas-themed costumes; a snowmaking machine; and Christmas themed cocktails. The best part: an open bar from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant is also open regular hours on Christmas Eve.

Photo courtesy of Avocado Grill

Avocado Grill

125 Datura St., West Palm Beach; 561-623-0822; avocadogrillwpb.com.

Traditional holiday fare will get a festive face lift on Sunday, December 25 at Avocado Grill in West Palm Beach. Forget doing your own dishes and instead enjoy a three-course Christmas dinner served from 1 to 9 p.m. for $49.50 per person (children $25). Multi-course options include Maine lobster bisque, roasted asparagus and poached egg with Parmesan crumbles and truffle vinaigrette; grilled hangar steak with chimichurri; butternut squash risotto with roasted mushrooms, kale, zucchini, and lemon emulsion; and cinnamon white chocolate bread pudding with piña colada sauce. Reservations are available through OpenTable.com.

Photo courtesy of 3800 Ocean

3800 Ocean

3800 N. Ocean Drive, Singer Island; 561-340-1795; marriott.com.

For those looking to embrace the holiday season — minus the decorating, hosting, cooking, and cleaning — Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is gladly stepping in to provide all of the holiday cheer. From 8 to 10:30 a.m., and priced at $28 per person ($14 for children), a hot buffet of  breakfast dishes will include everything from steak and eggs or ricotta cheese blintzes to Belgian waffles and Nutella and banana French toast. A seafood station, bagels, parfaits, smoothies, pastries, omelets and more will also be available. Looking for lunch? The hotel's Grand Christmas buffet served from noon until 3 p.m., priced at $65 per person and $18 for children, will include a carving station featuring turkey with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce; herb-crusted prime rib; and Atlantic salmon with creamed spinach and wild mushrooms. There will also be a raw bar, ceviche bar, cheese and charcuterie station, pasta and salad stations, and a selection of small plates. Then, at 5 p.m., the Christmas Dinner four-course prix-fixe dinner begins with everything from roasted pumpkin bisque to duck (two ways). The pastry chef will also display seasonal pastries and desserts. The meal is $65 per person, with the addition of a special a la carte children's menu.

Photo courtesy of Deck 84
Find a special menu at Deck 84 in Delray Beach.

Deck 84

840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-665-8484; deck84.com.

If you're looking for a relaxing, casual spot to celebrate the holidays try Deck 85 in Delray Beach. The restaurant will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from noon to 7 p.m. Although the regular menu will be available, you'll also find a short list of specials from starters to dessert. Start with New England clam chowder or P.E.I. mussels, continue with whole roasted snapper or an 18-ounce rib-eye, and finish with sticky toffee pudding. 

Photo courtesy of Tanzy
Try dinner and a movie on Christmas.

Tanzy

301 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Call 561-922-6699, or visit TanzyRestaurant.com.

This year, start a new holiday tradition at Tanzy Restaurant in Boca Raton: dinner and a movie on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Tanzy will feature a three-course, prix-fixe menu with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Finish your meal with a crazy cocktail or the decadent dark chocolate "Buche de Noel," which arrives with a special gift from the chef. The Tanzy  Christmas feast is $49 per person ($22 for children 12 years and younger). Tanzy will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo courtesy of The Little Chalet
Fancy fondue for Christmas?

The Little Chalet 

485 S. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Call 561-325-8000, or visit thelittlechalet.com.

Here's something different for Christmas Eve dinner: fondue. If that's your type of thing, the new Little Chalet Steak and Fondue Haus in Boca Raton is the spot for you. Since 1979, the Little Chalet has been serving a menu of Swiss fondues, steaks, and traditional European cuisine — now with a South Florida location. This holiday season, the restaurant is offering an extra-special treat, served all month long: a holiday dessert fondue accompanied by a basket of assorted Bauducco panettones, a traditional Italian Christmas cake. Visit the restaurant on Christmas Eve and you'll get this, as well as the option of ordering from a four-course, prix-fixe menu featuring the restaurant's favorite fondues, both sweet and savory. Begin the meal with a choice of a salad, and move on to a starter cheese fondue like the crème de la crème (aged Gouda, grand cru, and Emmental) or the Quattro Formaggi (Emmental, grand cru, Parmesan, and blue cheese). Next, select from a variety of entrées like the filet mignon, stuffed chicken with catipury cheese, gouda, bacon, and caramelized onions; honey-glazed ham; or the Little Chalet salmon served with a sweet honey glaze over a bed of roasted fennel.

Photo courtesy of Vibe Las Olas
The annual single Jewish event comes to Fort Lauderdale's Vibe Las Olas this year.

Vibe Las Olas

301 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-713-7313; vibelasolas.com.

If you're not celebrating Christmas, celebrate the 30th Annual Matzoball at Vibe Las Olas instead. If you're single and Jewish, this is the place to be come Christmas Eve. Maztzoball stands as the nation's top holiday party (and leading Jewish single’s event), now celebrating three decades worth parties being hosted in over a dozen major U.S. cities, Fort Lauderdale being one of them. And what better venue than Fort Lauderdale’s hottest nightclub to serve as host? Grab your fellow single friends and come out for a night of mixing and mingling, hosted by Uptown Dale of the Miami Heat with music by Y-100’s Frankie P. Tickets are $30 per person; must be 30 years or older to attend. For tickets call 212-389-9922, or visit matzoball.org.

Photo by Candace West
Christmas with a water view.

Shooters Waterfront

3033 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-566-2855; shooterswaterfront.com.

Shooters Waterfront will offer complimentary pictures with Santa every Saturday in December from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The Fort Lauderdale staple will serve an all-you-can-eat Christmas Eve brunch alongside its al a carte menu and featured chef specials from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shooters’ Christmas Eve dinner will include al a carte menu options from 4 pm to 10 pm. The restaurant will be closed on Christmas Day.

Photo courtesy of Beauty & The Feast

Beauty & the Feast

601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-567-8070, or visit Society8.com.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Atlantic Hotel & Spa's Beauty & the Feast in Fort Lauderdale will be open. Come together the night before Christmas and share this Italian Christmas Eve tradition with the chef's “Feast of the Seven Fishes” menu, which offers more than a dozen seafood dishes, from small plates to feast-style a la carte items (or eat from the regular menu), with seatings beginning at 5 p.m. On Sunday, the restaurant will serve a special holiday feast via à la carte offerings, in addition to its regular menu. The "feast" will be exactly that: carving stations, dozens of appetizers, and a full display of decadent desserts. The restaurant will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. on December 25, and dinner is $49.95 per person and $19.95 for children under 12. 

Photo courtesy of NYY Steak

NYY Steak 

5550 N.W. 40th Street, Coconut Creek. Call 954-935-6699 6699, or visit seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com.

Celebrate Christmas with NYY Steak at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek during both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The restaurant is holding regular business hours and serving a number of specialty dishes, as well as its regular menu. Come Christmas Day, a Sunday Brunch takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at $75 per person. It's followed by a four-course, prix-fixe menu priced at $90 per person (also available a la carte). That makes Christmas the perfect time to sample some of NYY Steak's favorite menu items, like signature thick-cut bacon, jumbo lump blue crab cakes, bacon-wrapped shrimp, pan-seared scallops, and a steak tartare. 

Photo by Candace West
The signature bolognese from Casa D'Angelo.

Casa D'Angelo

1201 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-564-1234; casa-d-angelo.com.

Celebrate Christmas Eve in true Italian style with a Feast of the Seven Fishes at Casa D’Angelo. Chef Angelo Elia, owner and operator of Casa D’Angelo, will bring this Italian Christmas Eve tradition to both the Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton locations. Chef Angelo’s Feast of the Seven Fishes will feature a platter of seafood simply seasoned and marinated with fresh herbs and spices. The feast will include baccala, octopus, cuttlefish, lobster, jumbo prawns, scallops, and white anchovies. Casa D’Angelo’s regular menu will also be available. The feast can be served as a single entrée or as a group platter. Prices vary per order. 

Photo courtesy of S3
Enjoy an evening by the fire pit at S3 in Fort Lauderdale.

S3

505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-7873; s3restaurant.com.

S3 will be open on Christmas Day, serving a special menu filled with both traditional and non-traditional holiday favorite dishes served with S3’s signature culinary spin. Hours for Christmas at S3 are 2 to 10 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Ocean's 234

Oceans 234

234 N. Ocean Blvd., Deerfield Beach; 954-428-2539, oceans234.com.

End 2016 on a good note (and a full belly) at Oceans 234 in Deerfield Beach, which will be serving its full menu — along with a boatload of specials — on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Executive chef Brian Cantrell has given the menu a complete overhaul, but you can still order all the signature Oceans favorites, including the Sex on the Beach sushi roll or lobster mac and cheese topped with an entire Florida lobster tail. Behind the bar, beverage director Drew Shane is slinging drinks like his Deep Eddy Moscow Mule with bright peach undertones; an Exotico blood orange Margarita; a peach-infused Sapphire Collins; Ketel One Citroen Arnold Palmer; two different kinds of adult lemonades (one with Jack Daniels, one with Tito’s vodka); and housemade white, red, and rose sangrias. Oceans 234 holiday hours on Christmas Eve are from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photo by Candace West
Market 17 executive chef Lauren DeShields.

Market 17

1850 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-835-5507, or visit market17.net.

Would you eat antelope for Christmas dinner? You can at Market 17. The Fort Lauderdale restaurant will offer a three-course, prix-fixe menu available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for $65 per person, and it includes some pretty inventive, festive fare. Start with a turkey and taleggio sausage served with butternut squash and barley risotto, red-veined sorrel, and a sour-cherry chutney. Or maybe a grassed beef tartare is more your thing, served with a caper parsnip coulis. Pumpkin soup harnesses the flavors of the season with crushed almonds and a spicy crème fraîche. Entrées continue with a grilled filet mignon, cobia, Maine lobster, or free-range turkey breast. Of course, that cast-iron roasted antelope might be more fun, prepared beside a red-beet gratin with roasted pickled grapes and sautéed Swiss chard. Then end it all with a slice of chocolate pecan pie or a homemade eggnog with bourbon and dark rum. The full holiday menu is available online. Restaurant hours will be 4 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Photo by Candace West
3030 Ocean executive chef Adrienne Grenier.

3030 Ocean

3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-765-3030, or visit 3030ocean.com.

Fort Lauderdale's oceanfront restaurant 3030 Ocean will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. The restaurant will be offering a special prix-fixe holiday menu to celebrate, priced at $65 per person, and designed by executive chef Adrienne Grenier. Diners can also enjoy wine pairings with their Christmas dinner for an additional $20 per person, featuring a Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, Pinot Noir, and a late harvest Mád Cuvée. An à la carte menu will also be available, as well as the regular dinner menu.

Photo by Candace West
Try the Hot & Soul staple, gumbo.

Hot & Soul

3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 754-206-2155, or call hotandsoul.com.

Looking for a small laid-back place with inventive food, great beer, and friendly service? Now you're limiting your options. Luckily, you don't have to look further than Hot & Soul in Fort Lauderdale, the modern mom-and-pop shop with craft beer, boutique wine, and innovative menu. Since opening in 2013, people have flocked to this husband-and-wife-team eatery. Come Christmas Eve, the Fort Lauderdale establishment is the place to be if you're planning on dining out when chef-owners Christy Samoy and Michael Hampton will be hosting a special Reveillon Dinner, available December 22-24. Why so long? The four-course dinner is a New Orleans tradition for Christmas Eve, says Samoy, when all the restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus for several days leading up to the holiday, allowing everyone to get a piece of the action. At Hot & Soul, they'll be showcasing their own globally inspired version, starting with an amuse bouche and followed by courses that include a duck and andouille gumbo, pan-fried snapper alongside green beans almandine, and eggnog bread pudding.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.