No-dishes noel

Christmas Day options for dining out

By Paula Johnson

Photo: Deluxe Fried Rice at Tik’s Thai Grille

Restive not festive?

As the days fly by in this frenzied holiday season, you might find yourself overwhelmed and thinking something’s gotta give. Between shopping, parties, wrapping, parties, baking and parties, you might be left with the nagging feeling that something might have been overlooked, that there’s something important you are forgetting. Like what to do about Christmas dinner, the jewel on the crown of the big day itself.

Or perhaps you haven’t been able to forget, and the specter of Christmas dinner is looming large in your consciousness like Marley’s ghost, haunting your sleepless nights. Except in your dreams, the ghost isn’t rattling chains, it’s pots and pans – reminding you that your Christmas toils are not over yet. There’s still Christmas dinner to be dealt with. That thing you’d rather do almost anything else than have to face: preparing a huge meal for the family after weeks of frenzied activity.

Then there’s the “Christmas Story” movie scenario, where you’ve lovingly prepared the Christmas turkey, smells wafting all day from kitchen, and your perfect family is gathered around your perfect table in breathless anticipation of the most delicious Christmas feast they’ve ever had. That is, until the neighbor’s marauding pack of pooches bursts through the back door and absconds with the bird, leaving you with nothing to serve.

So if you either A: forget (or do not wish) to prepare a Dickensian Christmas Carol-worthy feast, or B: find said feast you’ve lovingly prepared scavenged by your neighbor’s mongrels, you can relax. There are Christmas dinner options, people.


In “A Christmas Story,” Ralphie’s family goes to a local Chinese restaurant, and you can too. Shen’s Szechuan and Sushi on Poe Avenue in Dayton will be serving all day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Since they are open early, you can stop for lunch before your mother in law’s disastrous dinner. That way, you’ll have lunch leftovers for a midnight snack when you get back home. No word on whether Shen’s staff will sing Christmas carols. Also open on Christmas is Tik’s Thai Grille, located in the Bellbrook Community Shopping Center.

How about Indian? Amar India is easy to find located near the Dayton Mall. Since your car has probably driven to the Dayton Mall numerous times in past weeks, it will probably head in that direction automatically anyway. They will be serving all day from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (off the menu only – no buffet). It’s not just for the British anymore – Curry for Christmas can become your new holiday tradition!

Pa Ra Pa Pum RUM

If The Greene is the direction your car usually heads, you can sample Mediterranean fare for dinner at Pasha Grill. Afterwards stroll over to Bar Louie to get that warm holiday glow. They will open at 4 and serve till closing at 2 a.m. Their bartenders will mix you up a Christmas toddy that will wipe away the holiday tension and get you singing “Frosty The Snowman” in no time.

If your tastes run toward the more typical Christmas fare, Neil’s Heritage House is the place to go. Turkey, prime rib – all the standards, with all the trimmings. (And vegetarian lasagna for those who want a different option.) “We’ve been serving Christmas dinner for years now,” Chef Eric Leventhal said. “We get great people Christmas day. It’s really popular. We served about 150 people last year. As a matter of fact we got our first reservation for Christmas nine months ago!”

Downtown’s Crowne Plaza will feature a traditional plate of ham, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, as well as regular menu offerings. If you are in the mood for more casual dining, try Starlight Diner on Smithville Road. They will be serving comfort food all day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Finally, McCormick and Schmick’s will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. if a Christmas surf and turf is what you want Santa to bring you. Nothing like the crusty charred goodness of a well-prepared steak to celebrate the end of holiday madness. ’Til next year, anyway!

Whatever your holiday hankerings are, these Dayton restaurants have you covered!

Open Christmas Day:

Bar Louie

The Greene, 4492 Glengarry Drive, Beavercreek


Open 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Amar India

Mad River Station Shopping Center, 2751 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd.


Open 1 p.m.-7 p.m.

Pasha Grill

The Greene, 72 Plum Street, Dayton


Open 12 p.m.-9 p.m.

Crowne Plaza Dayton

33 E. Fifth St.


Starlight Diner

2627 South Smithville Road, Dayton


Open 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks

4429 Cedar Park Dr., Beavercreek


Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Neil’s Heritage House

2323 W. Schantz Ave., Kettering


Open 3-7 p.m.

Shen’s Szechuan and Sushi

7580 Poe Ave.


Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Tik’s Thai Grille

4459 West Franklin Street, Bellbrook


Open: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 4:30 – 9 p.m.

Reach Paula Johnson at

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Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at

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