One of the best scenes of A Christmas Story is when Ralphie's holiday feast is ruined by a pack of dogs. The family turns to their local Chinese restaurant for a not-so-average Christmas dinner.
The tradition of celebrating Christmas at a Chinese restaurant was started in New York City at the turn of the last century. Jewish people, wanting to do something on Christmas, found Chinese restaurants one of the few options open. According to The Atlantic, Jews and Chinese were also the two largest non-Christian immigrant groups in the city.
Today, the custom is embraced by everyone who wants to celebrate Christmas in a nontraditional way. After all, who needs a turkey or ham when you can have a soul-soothing bowl of wonton soup?
Check our Christmas dining guide for other restaurants taking reservations for the holiday night.
Beaker & Gray
Maybe not your traditional Chinese restaurant, but Beaker & Gray is definitely embracing this tradition. Switch it up this holiday season with a Jewish-and-Chinese-inspired menu from executive chef Brian Nasajon. Guests will be treated to alternative holiday à la carte offerings such as General Tso’s chicken with pineapple and sweet 'n' sour sauce, potato latkes with charred scallion and horseradish cream, lo mein with juicy pork rib and stir-fry, and shakshuka with feta cheese and sourdough bread. Visit beakerandgray.com.
For $45 per person, the modern Chinese cuisine at the casual Midtown location will be offering diners a set menu including items such as lamb ribs, Singapore noodles, duck fried rice, and more. The dining room will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. Visit www.midtownchinese.com for reservations.
Da Tang Unique
The Brickell spot is serving up a three-course family-style dinner on Christmas. Menu items include a dumpling sample, chicken satay, steamed sea bass, vegetable fried rice and more. Menu is $55 per person for 8 delicious plates. Call 786-747-4686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Korean barbecue hot spot will be open on both Christmas Eve (6 p.m. to 1 a.m.) and Christmas Day (6 p.m. to midnight) featuring their regular menu. Expect some additional menu specials, but don't overlook menu favorites like the shared plates, noodles and tropical cocktails.
The three-story Southeast Asian inspired urban oasis restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve featuring their regular menu items. Enjoy the festive lighting and decor in Komodo's indoor/outdoor seating and feel like you are dining within a lush tropical garden. For reservations visit komodomiami.com.
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SHOW ME HOW
The neighborhood Chinese restaurant that all of Miami knows about (dim sum, anyone?) is a must if you are celebrating the eat-Chinese-on-Christmas tradition. Don't expect a set menu or per person pricing. The restaurant will be serving their regular menu and will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Keep in mind, other Chinese food spots will also be crushing take-out orders and offering regular menus for those interested in some sesame chicken. Check out Dragon One (10162 W. Flagler St., Miami), Dynasty Buffet (1656 NE Miami Gardens Dr., Miami), and King Palace (330 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach) — all open on Christmas Day.