Christmas, like Thanksgiving, is a holiday that's closely associated with food, specifically the unbridled consumption of it. But if you'd rather spend the holiday sharing quality time with loved ones instead of stuck in the kitchen cooking a feast (and doing all the resulting dishes), we've tracked down 25 major chain restaurants - from fast-food joints to high-end steakhouses - that will be open on Christmas Day.
The vast majority of restaurants (and businesses in general) are closed on Christmas in order to allow their staff to celebrate the holiday, and we're not certain that a restaurant making its employees come into work on such a major holiday is the best decision. Regardless, a surprising number of chain restaurants are open on Christmas, serving full menus and usually some Holiday specials.
We present this list with a couple caveats. One, many restaurants that are open on Christmas are only open for lunch, in order to let their employees go home early. Two, only a handful of chains are open across the board, at every location, on Christmas Day (Red Lobster, for example, will be closing all locations except for the one in Times Square), so before loading the family into the station wagon make sure you call to double-check that your destination will indeed be open. And if you're planning on having your Christmas meal at a higher-end restaurant like Legal Sea Foods or Morton's, we suggest you call to make a reservation as far in advance as possible.
Many Applebee's locations will be open on Christmas, but as the decision is left to individual franchisees, we suggest you call ahead to see if your local Applebee's is open. Dreamstime
Christmas Eve Baker's Square locations will be open until 6pm. On Christmas Day Baker's Square will be open until 8pm. Baker's Square/Yelp
Boston Market locations will be open on Christmas to serve traditional plated meals for $12.99 as well as select sides. Boston Market is also selling family meals on Christmas Day. Boston Market
Buca di Beppo
All locations of Buca di Beppo will be open for both Christmas lunch and dinner, if you're in the mood for pasta. Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
Buffalo Wild Wings
Some locations of B-Dubs will be open on Christmas. Dreamstime
All locations of Chart House, except for the ones in Cincinnati and San Francisco, will be open on Christmas and serving some special dishes. Chart House/
Christmas is Denny's busiest day of the year - 1.6 million people ate there on Christmas in 2015, according to the company - and all locations will be open on Christmas again this year.
Fogo de Chao
All locations of this Brazilian steakhouse will be open from noon until 9 p.m. on Christmas Day. Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Most locations of Golden Corral will be open on Christmas. Dreamstime
The Hard Rock Café
Most Hard Rock Café locations will be open on Christmas day, so you can have a rockin' holiday dinner.
Many HomeTown Buffet locations will be open on Christmas from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. HomeTown Buffet
Huddle House is open 24/7, 365 days a year, including Christmas, and will be serving all menus. As their slogan says "Any Meal. Any Time." Terry T./Yelp
Just about every IHOP will be open on Christmas. Plus, the brand just opened its first restaurant with a bar. Courtesy of IHOP
Legal Sea Foods
Legal Sea Foods will be open on Christmas, with hours varying by location. They will be serving their regular menu, plus some holiday features. Legal Sea Foods
Most Marie Callender's locations will be open on Christmas, serving six special entrées including ham or turkey with all the trimmings, beef stroganoff, and shrimp and chicken carbonara. Chris N./Yelp
McCormick and Schmick's
All locations of McCormick and Schmick's will be open and serving their usual menu on Christmas. Lissette C./Yelp
Morton's The Steakhouse
All locations of Morton's will be open on Christmas, serving their full menu.
Old Country Buffet
Most locations of Old Country Buffet, like its sister chain HomeTown Buffet, will be open on Christmas from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Priscilla R./Yelp
If you're craving Chinese food on Christmas, your local Panda Express will most likely be open. We advise calling ahead to make sure. Dreamstime
All locations of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse will be open on Christmas (many from noon to 8, but hours will vary), serving their usual menu along with specials including surf and turf.
Most Perkins locations will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Shoney's has been open for Christmas for the past 70 years, and this year they'll be offering a Christmas Day buffet of roast turkey, ham, fried chicken, cornbread dressing, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, collard greens, and plenty of other sides. You can also order turkey and trimmings to go. Nancee M./Yelp
Smith & Wollensky
All locations of Smith & Wollensky will be open on Christmas Day, serving their winter menu. Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group
Starbucks locations will be open on Christmas, but check with your Starbucks location for its specific hours. Shutterstock
Waffle House is open 24/7, 365 days a year, including on Christmas. Or you could always call ahead and have the Waffle House truck come cook your Christmas feast in front of you. Planning on cooking for the first time this Christmas and don't know where to start? These are the most popular holiday recipes in every state, according to Google.
More From The Daily Meal:
25 Secrets To Becoming The Best Holiday Party Guest Ever
12 Tips For Surviving The Holidays On Your Own
Secrets Shopping Malls Don't Want You To Know
The World's Most Popular Santa Clauses
The Most Hated Christmas Candies in America Dreamstime