By Janelle Sheetz

For many, Christmas is a holiday spent with loved ones around a dinner table enjoying a home-cooked meal. But what if you have a “Christmas Story”-type dinner catastrophe or would just prefer the convenience of dining out rather than cooking? Although many establishments close for Christmas, some restaurants remain open–and you might have more Christmas dining options than you think, should you choose to go that route. From restaurants in hotels and casinos that always stay open to Chinese restaurants, Pittsburgh has a lot to choose from, and here are five of the best.

Bigelow Grille
1 Bigelow Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 281-5013
www.bigelowgrille.com

Downtown Pittsburgh itself has a couple of Christmas dining options, particularly in its hotels — including the award-winning Bigelow Grille in the DoubleTree by Hilton. The hotel restaurant often hosts a Christmas dinner, complete with locally sourced seasonal foods. The casual and comfortable atmosphere is an ideal way to kick back and enjoy the holiday with your loved ones without the formal obligations.

Ember & Vine
910 Sheraton Drive
Mars, PA 16046
(724) 778-4177
www.emberandvinecranberry.com

Located in Cranberry’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Ember & Vine offers a variety of locally sourced foods on their menu, plus wine and local craft beers. They have something to offer for every time of day, and their location in a hotel means they’re even open on Christmas Day, when they’ll hold two meals. The first is a jazz brunch buffet from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., followed by a dinner buffet from 4 – 8 p.m. with the choice of a three-course prime rib or shrimp gnocchi dinner for $36, in addition to their regular menu. Save yourself the holiday stress, beat the crowds and reserve your table now.

Terrace Room
530 William Penn Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 281-7100
www.omnihotels.com

Hotel restaurants seem to understand the desire for an authentic holiday meal. The Terrace Room is located in downtown Pittsburgh’s Omni William Penn Hotel and serves meals all day long. They also hold a dinner series, as well as meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas featuring seasonal flavors and ingredients. This year’s Christmas menu features butternut squash soup, cream of blue crab soup, aveline salad, smoked salmon, maple-glazed roasted ham, and more. Adult meals will cost $59, while children ages 6-12 can eat for $27.

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Photo Credit: KDKA

Rivers Casino
777 Casino Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-7777
www.riverscasino.com/pittsburgh

Much like hotels, casinos are open 24 hours, seven days a week meaning their restaurants are open for the holidays. That includes Rivers Casino and its restaurants with a little something for everyone, from the steakhouse to the buffet. And of course, try your luck at the games before or after your filling holiday meal.

China Palace
5440 Walnut St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(412) 687-7423
www.pittsburghchinapalace.com

Who doesn’t love Chinese food? Chinese restaurants are a staple for those that aren’t interested in a traditional holiday meal. Although it might be a little different from a typical Christmas dinner, many area China Palace restaurants remain open for the holiday, including Shadyside, Sewickley, McCandless, and Monroeville–and they say it’s actually their busiest day of the year.

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