6 Travel-Worthy Christmas Feasts

The Charlotte Inn

Sometimes there’s no place just like home on our vocations. But other times you really need to release the stress of planning a holiday meal at home. For those occasions, take note of these six restaurants that will allow you to simply enjoy the company around you—while providing a memorable repast to boot.


The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

The Breakers

The Breakers may be located on a Florida beach, but that doesn’t prevent it from going all out for the holidays, including Christmas Day brunch and dinner options. At $150 a person, brunch is held in The Circle, an architecturally arresting dome with Renaissance-worthy murals and the ocean just beyond. The elaborate buffet is the same as The Circle’s weekly Sunday brunch, except for a harpist strumming Christmas carols. Go gaga over the raw bar with everything from caviar to Alaskan king crab legs, or load up on Belgian waffles before hitting the make-your-own omelette and Bloody Mary stations. The best part may be dessert, an endless supply (ok, 30) of festively decorated cakes, pies and cookies that need to be shared on Instagram. The buffet dinner is the same price but held in the opulent Ponce de Leon ballroom. Expect more holiday-specific offerings, including hand-carved roast tenderloin and rack of lamb. As with brunch, desserts are a show-stopper that you’ll want to consume en masse.


The Terrace at The Charlotte Inn, Martha’s Vineyard

The Charlotte Inn

Enjoy a low-key New England Christmas at The Terrace, an upscale American-centric restaurant in a Relais & Chateaux property. The Terrace is serving both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, and offers the same four-course menu for both. At $109 a person, the meal starts with roasted chestnut soup, moves along to appetizer options such as duck confit or scallop ceviche, and leads to entrées ranging from NY strip steak to stuffed acorn squash. Try to leave room for eggnog ice cream or a chocolate caramel tart. Make a weekend of it by staying at The Charlotte Inn, a posh throwback to an earlier era.


Café Spiaggia, Chicago


Chicago’s Spiaggia is an old-guard, Michelin-starred Italian heavyweight helmed by Tony Mantuano, a James Beard Award winner. Head to its sibling Café Spiaggia on Dec. 18 for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a Southern Italian tradition typically observed on Christmas Eve after fasting. Influenced in part by Chef Mantuano’s grandmother, the six-course spread incorporates seven different kinds of fish, from raw scallops and fried smelt to braised octopus and whole sea bass. The evening concludes with Italian Christmas cookies, a holiday must. The two seatings at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. cost $75 a person, and wine pairings are only $25 more.


The Plaza Hotel, NYC

The Plaza, NYC
The Plaza Hotel represents the epitome of the holiday spirit with ceiling-skimming Christmas trees, wreaths aplenty, and the chance to visit Santa. So it makes sense that The Plaza holds a grand buffet on Christmas. For $145 a person, slow-roasted turkey, smoked-pit ham, seared salmon and chestnut and mushroom soup are among the offerings. For dessert, mince pies, Christmas bread pudding with pantone, Bûche de Noël and Three Kings Cake all vie for your attention. At first it might seem out of place to enjoy this spread in The Palm Court, a sun-drenched dome dotted with palm trees, but it lends a magical quality to the annual tradition.


Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

Commander's Palace

New Orleans is one of the only spots in the country to celebrate réveillon (awakening), a French tradition observed by the Creole community since the 1800s. Traditionally,réveillon is a huge feast following midnight mass to mark the end of Christmas Eve fasting. Luckily you don’t have to wait until the wee hours of the morning to partake in this extravagant meal. Instead head to dinner at Commander’s Palace, a long-time destination for high-end Creole fare. Its multicourse réveillon menu might include rabbit confit with buttermilk dumplings, wild boar (pictured), a croque madame with escargot, or a shellfish broth with shrimp, blue crab and oysters. Save room for dessert, a variation of the beloved hubig’s pie, a local institution that burned down in 2012. The menu costs $110 person and wine pairings are extra, but what price gluttony?


The Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado

The Little Nell is one of Aspen’s most enviable five-star ski resorts, and that includes its restaurant Element 47. Whether or not you’re staying at the resort, book Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner in advance for its four-course feast. Although it starts at $247 a person, the decadent menu encompasses Kaluga caviar, Périgord black truffles, foie gras torchon, lobster tagliatelle, ribeye and so much more. Indulgent dark chocolate Black Forest cake rounds out dessert.