The Yuletide Food Guide
If you can’t have a home-cooked dinner on December 24th, these restaurants can help out
photography by Paul Swanson
For most folks, Christmas dinner looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting: the perfectly roasted turkey, glistening and golden brown, filled to the brim with stuffing and accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and more salads than you even knew existed.
However, for some, dinner on Dec. 25 looks a lot different. Maybe their jobs — like firefighter, police officer, transit operator or emergency doctor — don’t allow them to take the day off. Maybe they have only a small family, or the rest of their family is on the other side of the country (or even the world) and they don’t have the means to be with them over the holidays. Maybe they hate to cook. Or maybe they just don’t celebrate Christmas — an Abacus poll from 2012 found this is the case for six per cent of Albertans.
Those folks either have to plan ahead and have something to cook at home on Christmas Day, or they have to turn to a restaurant. Unfortunately, most of them are closed on Dec. 25, meaning options are limited. However, in case you find yourself in a pinch, we’ve compiled a list of the eateries we could find that are open on Christmas Day:
Buffet Royale Carvery
Four locations in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, buffetroyale.com
If you’re someone who doesn’t like making choices, then Buffet Royale is the place for you on Christmas Day. At any one of its four locations in the Edmonton area, you can pile your plate high with all the traditional Christmas dinner staples, along with Indian food, hamburgers, hot dogs and perogies, among other items. And you can cap it all off by dunking fresh fruit in a Callebaut chocolate fountain.
10111 Bellamy Hill Rd., 780-428-6611, chateaulacombe.com
What could be better than Christmas dinner with a view? La Ronde has a three-course dinner including free-run turkey and traditional Christmas pudding, which you can enjoy with your 360-degree view of the city.
Chop Steakhouse Bar
10235 101 St., 780-441-3075, chop.ca
If you find yourself hungry for a steak on Dec. 25, Chop in the Sutton Place Hotel downtown is your best bet. Follow it up with a raspberry crème brûlée for a sweet end to a distinctly Albertan Christmas dinner.
Columbus Pizza & Donair
8230 175 St., 780-484-4556, columbuspizza.ca
Can’t stand turkey, eggnog, or any of the typical holiday treats? Well, luckily you can order a hot pepperoni pizza or juicy donair, even on Christmas Day. Columbus Pizza also offers steaks, sandwiches, barbecue, seafood and dessert for delivery.
16049 97 St., 780-457-8833, eastedmonton.ca
Chinese with a Malaysian twist is East’s modus operandi, and the fusion gives rise to some seriously delicious meals. Try the nyona fried chicken in kapitan sauce if you’re not averse to a bit of spice: It’s served with a chili sauce, coconut cream and crushed peanuts.
10638 100 St., 780-757-2288
In the heart of the McCauley neighbourhood, just north of downtown Edmonton, the folks at Emperor’s Palace will treat you like royalty on Christmas Day. This restaurant topped the dim sum category in Avenue’s 2014 Best Restaurants issue, but it serves up delicious dinner items as well.
Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
10065 100 St., 780-424-5181, fairmont.com/macdonald-edmonton
The Harvest Room’s six-course table d’hôte Christmas Day dinner will please diners looking for a true Christmas feast. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, the Empire Ballroom offers both brunch and dinner buffets on Christmas Day.
Golden Rice Bowl
5365 Gateway Blvd., 780-435-3388, goldenricebowl.ca
If you’d rather have chicken chow mein than turkey and stuffing on Christmas Day, then the Golden Rice Bowl on Gateway Boulevard is here to help. The Chinese restaurant proudly boasts on its website that it is open 365 days a year, serving up favourites like egg rolls, sweet-and-sour pork and sizzling hot plates.
Jumbo Dim Sum & Dining
10451 170 St., 780-481-3838, jumbodimsum.ca
Chinese food lovers on the west end can get their Christmas Day fix at Jumbo Dim Sum & Dining on 170th Street. The menu not only includes house famous dishes like crispy chicken with garlic and soya sauce or diced beef tenderloin with honey and black peppercorn sauce, but also dim sum delicacies like steamed barbecue pork buns and minced pork and shrimp dumplings.
Madison’s Grill and Vintage Room at Union Bank Inn
10053 Jasper Ave., 780-401-2222, unionbankinn.com
Downtown dwellers who want to stay out of the kitchen for the holidays can enjoy Madison’s five-course Christmas dinner, which incorporates seasonal favorites into dishes, such as candy cane beet salad, and eggnog and white chocolate soufflé.
Sabzy Persian Grill
9314 34 Ave., 780-758-1005, sabzy.net
Sabzy’s selection of kabobs and stews are a far cry from a conventional Christmas dinner, but they’ll fill you up all the same. Turkey’s a classic, but Sabzy’s lamb might be good enough to make you rethink tradition.
10807 Castle Downs Rd., 780-371-1113, saharaedmonton.com
Mediterranean cuisine evokes thoughts of warm weather and crashing waves, two elements that are entirely absent from Edmonton’s Decembers. Sahara’s menu won’t stop the snow from falling, but it’s filled with enough warm comfort food to make it seem not so oppressive.
6004 104 St., 780-439-6699 or
14921 Stony Plain Rd., 780-487-6688, tropikagroup.com
Tropika serves up Malaysian and Thai cuisine, with dishes ranging from roti canai and stir-fried radish cakes to Indonesian roasted pork and Tropika’s own homestyle fried chicken.
10604 101 St., 780-758-1888, urbanchina.ca
Dim sum is served every day at this Chinese institution downtown, but that’s not all that’s offered there. Diners can also dig into hot pots, fried noodles and a wide array of seafood dishes.
The Westin Edmonton
10135 100 St., 780-426-3636, thewestinedmonton.com
Traditionalists will love the Westin’s five-course plated chef’s table d’hôte Christmas dinner, which includes dishes such as roast free-range turkey with apricot stuffing and pumpkin pie panna cotta. For those who still want Christmas at home, you can pick up a fully cooked turkey with all the fixings and take your feast to go.
Know any more restaurants that are open on Christmas Day? Got a particular favourite? Let us know on social media and we’ll keep our list updated.