Royal Nepal in Alexandria, which serves momo filled with grass-fed buffalo meat, is open on Dec. 25. (Dixie D. Vereen/for The Washington Post)

The holidays are hard. Don’t make them any harder by stressing over a laborious homemade Christmas meal or feeling like you have to entertain your guests after doing the dishes. Take them out instead. 

These destinations are open for business on Dec. 25 with dinner, drinks or live music giving you one less thing to worry about. (And remember, if you want to get out during the day, the U.S. Botanic Garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., while major attractions, such as the Smithsonian museums and National Gallery of Art, are closed.)


Royal Nepal Restaurant: Don’t let its strip mall location fool you: Royal Nepal has a team of gourmands running the kitchen, which rolls out classic Nepalese dishes with elevated ingredients. The Post’s Tim Carman is particularly fond of the lamb chops. 3807 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria.

Shanghai Taste: Stick to the chef’s specials and Shanghai-style plates, and you’ll get everything you ask for Christmas. And don’t forget the soup dumplings, which are better than any stocking stuffer. 1121 Nelson St., Rockville.

Cafe Berlin: For $49, you’ll be treated to a three-course feast of such German dishes as Christmas goose with potato dumplings, veal with bacon-wrapped green beans and braised wild boar leg. 322 Massachusetts Ave. NE.

The St. Regis Restaurant: A prix fixe, four-course menu ($79) includes haute dishes such as rockfish with aioli foam, scallops with parsnip parmentier and beef confit with orange peels and olive oil gratin. 923 16th St. NW.

Kith and Kin: At this new Afro-Caribbean hot spot at the Wharf, chef Kwame Onwuachi is offering a three-course menu ($95 plus a $55 wine pairing option) that includes such dishes as cod fritters with avocado jam, tree nut soup with plantains and berbere roast steak. Family-style sides will also be served. 801 Wharf St. SE.

Hay-Adams: For a meal with a view, graze on a luxe buffet within this restaurant’s upper level ($120 per adult, $60 for children ages 4 to 12) while gazing upon the White House. Seatings are available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the menu includes such dishes as herb-crusted black angus prime rib with truffle popovers and Maine lobster salad with baby greens and blood orange. A glass of champagne is included. 800 16th St. NW.

Lyman's Tavern: Every Christmas Day, the staff at Lyman's Tavern opens their doors to friends and regulars and serves a free buffet of Chinese takeout. Doors open at 3 p.m. for pinball, beer and whiskey, and the food arrives at 6 p.m. 3720 14th St. NW.


Cafe Saint-Ex: The 14th Street fixture opens its French-inspired upstairs bar at 8 p.m. for after-dinner beers and cocktails. (The kitchen will be closed all night.) 1847 14th St. NW.

Radiator: You can guarantee a white Christmas at Radiator: From Dec. 18 to 25, fake snow will fall on the bar's patio as part of “Radiator's Christmas Vacation,” a festive holiday event with a menu of cocktails and snacks inspired by “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.” 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

Showtime: If you're sick of Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey by the time Dec. 25 rolls around, you'll find a safe haven at Showtime. The best jukebox in D.C., packed with soul, funk and R&B, is blessedly free of “All I Want For Christmas is You.” Put on some Motown classics and order $5 beer-and-a-shot combos, beginning at 8 p.m. 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

Trade: A comfortable, dive-like gay bar with a no-frills back patio, Trade opens at 5 p.m. The Huge Happy Hour, which features drinks served in extra-large glasses, runs until 10 p.m. 1410 14th St. NW.

Live music

JV's Restaurant: Jeff Watson and Downtown Band specialize in classic rock and R&B covers — Van Morrison, Eric Clapton and the Neville Brothers all show up in their sets. JV's, which recently celebrated 70 years in business, opens at 4 p.m., leaving plenty of time to grab dinner before the music starts at 8:30 p.m. There's a $5 cover during the band's performance. 6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church.

Kennedy Center: For the 19th year in a row, local jazz fixture Chuck Redd is hosting a free all-star jazz concert and jam session on the Millennium Stage, beginning at 6 p.m. Have a drink on the terrace before or after the show. 2700 F St. NW.

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