Looking forward to spending time with loved ones over a delicious holiday meal without all the fuss? Well, look no further. We’ve contacted some of Wilmington’s favorite restaurants to see who will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Note that some recommend or require reservations. We’ve included options for meals to go as well. If you know of an option that should be added, please leave a comment with the restaurant name and as many details as you can provide.
Note: Listings updated for 2019 are marked.
1. Carolina Ale House (Updated for 2019)
317-C College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28403
Carolina Ale House will be open and serving their regular menu from 11 AM to 9 PM on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day.
2. Carolina BBQ
1602 S. College Rd., Wilmington, 28403
Reservations accepted for parties of 8 or more only: 910-799-3464.
Carolina BBQ will have their buffet tables filled with their authentic, country buffet-style foods from shrimp and grits to chicken pastry and fried chicken on Christmas Eve (11 AM – 4 PM). Prices are $8.49 (adult), $7.49 (seniors over 60 years old), $4.99 (children ages 3 – 9).
3. Cracker Barrel (Updated for 2019)
21 Van Campen Blvd., Wilmington, NC 28403
There’s no need to spend days in the kitchen. Cracker Barrel will be open until 2 PM on Christmas Eve and reopen on December 26 for regular business hours. You may also pick up your Christmas dinner ahead of time and prepare a traditional feast with all the trimmings at home in 3 hours or less. Their Heat N’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go ($124.99) includes spiral sliced ham, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry relish, choice of 3 sides, sweet yeast rolls, a gallon of ice tea (sweet or unsweetened), apple pecan streusel pie, and pecan pie. It serves up to 10 people and comes with easy-to-follow heating instructions. Meals are available for pick-up 12/23 – 12/24/18 (until noon). They recommend you place an order no less than 24 hours before pick up.
4. Denny’s (Updated for 2019)
Denny’s has several holiday meal and dessert options, including the Turkey & Dressing Dinner, a traditional favorite served with carved turkey breast, savory stuffing, turkey gravy, a sweet cranberry sauce, and a choice of two sides and dinner bread.
2 Ann St., Wilmington, NC 28401
Dine on the Riverwalk in historic Chandler’s Wharf in Downtown Wilmington at Elijah’s from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM on Christmas Eve. Their extensive, daily menu includes starters, soups, salads, lunch specialties, sandwiches, pasta, and entrees. They are known for their seafood entrees and oyster bars (raw, cold, hot). Other entrees include New York Strip, prime rib, filet mignon, surf and turf, vegetable linguine, grilled chicken over risotto, and cider pork chop.
6. Freddie’s Restaurant
111 K Ave., Kure Beach, NC 28449
Reservations required and limited: 910-458-5979
The traditional American and Italian eatery is accepting reservations for the following seating times on Christmas Eve: 3 PM, 4:30 PM, and 6 PM. They will be serving their regular menu options.
7. Front Street Brewery
9 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC
Wilmington’s “Original Restaurant & Brewery” will be serving their traditional menu and micro brews 11:30 AM to midnight on Sunday, December 23 and 11:30 AM to 4 PM on Christmas Eve.
8. Golden Corral Buffet and Grill
5130 New Center Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403
Golden Corral will be open from 10 AM to 6 PM on Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day. The holiday dining menu is offered on Sundays after 11 AM and after 4 PM every other day. It includes savory slow-roasted beef, carved turkey, carved ham, homestyle cornbread stuffing, sweet potato, casserole, and coconut cake in addition to their normal buffet! You may also place “On the Go” orders through their website holiday meals, a la carte menu items, party platters, and meals to go for 1, 4 or 6 people choosing from beef, chicken, pork , and seafood entrees, as well as an array of sides, desserts, and beverages. Their yeast rolls are included with every order.
9. The Harp
1423 S. Third St., Wilmington, NC 28401
Reservations recommended: 910-763-1607
The Irish pub is open from 6 AM to 2 AM 365 days of the year including Christmas Day when they will serve a traditional buffet-style dinner very similar to their Thanksgiving dinner. The buffet will feature turkey, ham, roast beef, sides, and dessert from noon – 8 PM for $15.95.
10. Hell’s Kitchen
118 Princess St., Wilmington, NC 28401
Hell’s Kitchen will be open until 8 PM on Christmas Eve and reopen from 6 PM to midnight on Christmas Day.
11. Henry’s Restaurant & Bar (Updated for 2019)
2508 Independence Blvd., Wilmington, NC 28412
Reservations recommended: 910-793-2929
Henry’s will be closed Christmas Day, but open Christmas Eve (11 AM – 9 PM) serving several specials.
12. Hops Supply Co.
5400 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403
Reservations recommended: 910-833-8867
Get a head start on enjoying some Christmas cheer at Brunch Unplugged on Sunday, December 23. Drink specials for mimosas and champagne cocktails begin at 10 AM, Enjoy the acoustic musical stylings of Jared Michael Cline starting at 11 AM. Dine in or take out the usual Hops fare from 11 AM to 9 PM on Christmas Eve. They will be closed on Christmas Day.
13. IHOP (Updated for 2019)
5355 Market St. and 5628 Carolina Beach Rd.
IHOP will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (hours vary) serving their standard menu, including some limited time offers for the holidays that area inspired by The Elf on the Shelf®.
14. Indochine Restaurant (Updated for 2019)
7 Wayne Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403
Indochine, “Wilmington’s most acclaimed Thai and Vietnamese Asian restaurant” per their website, will be open on Christmas Eve (5 – 9 PM) and Christmas Day (5 – 10 PM). They do not accept reservations, but you may call ahead for seating parties of 8 or more.
15. K&W Cafeteria (Updated for 2019)
3501 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403
On Christmas Eve (6:30 AM – 4 PM) at K&W, you may dine in or order to-go (in store or via phone) the Family Feast (serves 6 people for $65.99) or the Family Gathering (serves 20 people for $139.99). Choose between the sliced roast turkey meal with white meat, gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce or the sliced baked ham meal with baked ham and potato salad. Both options come with soft rolls. You may choose 3 of the following: mashed potatoes, yam soufflé, macaroni and cheese, greens, or green beans. They will be closed on Christmas Day.
16. Niche Kitchen and Bar
5954 Carolina Beach Rd., Ste. 170, Wilmington, NC 28412
Reservations recommended: 910-399-4701
Located near Carolina Beach, Niche will be open Christmas Eve from 11 AM – 6 PM serving their eclectic menu with a selection of cooked-to-order dishes from steak to fish. They also have a large wine list and a heated, covered patio perfect for large parties anytime of the year.
17. Ogden Tap Room
7324 Market St., Wilmington, NC 28411
Ogden Tap Room will offer their standard menu starting at 11 AM on Christmas Eve and will close between 9 and 10 PM pending management’s choice that evening.
18. Ruby Tuesday
1138 Military Cutoff Road and 5218 South College Rd, Wilmington, NC
Both locations open at 11 AM on Christmas Eve. The Mayfaire location closes at 9 PM and the Monkey Junction location closes at 6 PM.
19. Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Updated for 2019)
301 N. Water St. in the Hotel Ballast, Wilmington, NC 28401
Reservations recommended: 910-343-1818
Located in the Hotel Ballast in Downtown Wilmington, Ruth’s Chris Steak House offers their signature 500° sizzling plates and award-winning wine list among other menu items from 11:30 AM to 9 PM.
20. Steam Restaurant
9 Estell Lee Place, Wilmington, NC 28401
Reservations required: 910-726-9226
Steam Restaurant located at Embassy Suites by Hilton® Riverfront will be open for breakfast on Christmas Eve (6:30 – 9:30 AM) and closed on Christmas Day.
21. Sweet N Savory Café (Updated for 2019)
1611 Pavilion Place, Wilmington, NC 28403
Reservations required: 910-256-0115
Not far from Wrightsville Beach, this local favorite, will serve their regular menu on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, you have the option to dine in or pick up a to go package. Christmas Day seating is from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and reservations are required. Pricing is $36/adult, $29/age 75+, $24/kids 9-12, $16/ kids 5-8, and kids under 5 eat free.
If you choose to dine in, expect all-you-can-eat family-style platters of master carver ham with bourbon brown sugar glaze, roasted turkey breast with turkey gravy, roasted beef tenderloin with mushroom demi-glace, pork tenderloin with warm cinnamon apple chutney, lobster mac-n-cheese, roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes with cinnamon and sugar, macaroni ‘n’ cheese, honey glazed carrots, green beans almandine, succotash, pasta primavera (upon request), flourless chocolate torte with assorted mousse, key lime pie, cherry cobbler ala mode, and italian bread with whipped garlic butter. Soft drinks, coffee and iced tea included.
There are three Christmas Day to-go packages: The Intimate Christmas Dinner (for 4-8 people at $125), The Classic Christmas Dinner (for 9-14 people at $200), The Ultimate Christmas Dinner (for 15-25 people at $275). You can download the menu here. Pick up times (reservation required) are from noon until 6 PM on Christmas Day.
22. Waffle House (Updated for 2019)
Waffle House is famous for being open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So, you can enjoy their signature Alice’s Iced Tea™, Bert’s Chili™, Waffle House Classic Blend coffee, and other favorites whenever you like even during the Christmas holidays.
Did we miss one? Leave it in the comments!
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