For most American families, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners are a time for family to gather and exchange stories from the past year over home-cooked food and wine. But for others, Christmas is not a part of their religious practice, a long workday much like any other or simply a time to relax and get out of the kitchen. While many eateries across the U.S. are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there are also a surprising number that will be open all day on both or either days.
Below is a breakdown of which national or regional chain restaurants will be serving food through the holidays, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. No specific locations of any of the following is guaranteed to be open or closed.
Panda Express: Many of these Chinese food locations will be open on Christmas Day, though not all of them.
McDonald’s: Many McDonald’s locations will be slinging Big Macs on both days, but not all of them, so be sure to check the company’s website or call your local Golden Arches to confirm before heading over.
Sonic: Some Sonic drive-ins will be open, at the discretion of individual franchise managers.
TGI Fridays: Some TGI Fridays locations will be open. Be sure to check before planning to have Christmas dinner here.
Subway: Some of these sandwich shops will be open, but it will vary by franchise.
Jack In The Box: Almost all Jack In The Box locations should be open on Christmas.
Arby’s: Most or all Arby’s locations will be closed on Christmas.
Red Lobster: Get your lobster fix elsewhere, as most or all Red Lobsters will be shuttered come Christmas Day.
Dominos: Nearly all of these popular pizza shops will be closed on Christmas Day.
Wendy’s: Most of these fast-food burger joints will be closed on Christmas, though ones located in tollways and airports may be required to stay open.
Applebee’s: Given that all Applebee’s locations are franchises, the hours will vary, but most will be closed on Christmas Day.
Boston Market: Fewer than half of these chicken houses will be open on Christmas Day, so check with your local market.
Starbucks Coffee: Many of these ubiquitous cafes will be open both days.
Olive Garden: Most if not all Olive Gardens will be closed on Christmas Day.
Pizza Hut: Nearly all of these pizza shops will be closed on Christmas Day.
Taco Bell: Company-operated Taco Bell locations are typically closed on Christmas Day, but licensed and franchised ones may be open at their owners’ discretion.
Chili’s: This company has long closed all of its stores for Christmas Day.
Waffle House: Most of these iconic breakfast houses will be open on Christmas and Christmas Eve.
Denny’s: Pretty much every Denny’s outpost in the nation will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, making this a pretty safe bet for eggs and bacon -- even for dinner.
Cheesecake Factory: Nearly all locations will be closed Christmas Day.
7-Eleven: Though not exactly a restaurant, this is one chain that claims it will keep all of its locations open straight through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, meaning that you’ll be able to grab a taquito on the go even on Dec. 25.
IHOP: Many International House Of Pancake locations are open both days, though not all of them.