Chinese restaurants open on Christmas and Christmas Eve

Chinese restaurants are a holiday tradition for many. Below are the hours of some of Austin’s most popular spots.

Barbecue pork at Ho Ho Chinese B.B.Q.

A+A Sichuan. 13376 Research Blvd. 512-258-5445, Open in the evening on Christmas Eve starting at 5 p.m. and regular Monday hours on Christmas.

Chinatown West. 2712 Bee Cave Road. 512-328-6588, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Chinatown MoPac. 3407 Greystone Drive. 512-343-9307, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Din Ho Chinese BBQ. 8557 Research Blvd. 512-832-8788, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve, check with restaurant for Christmas Day hours.

First Chinese Barbecue. 10901 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-835-8889, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Ho Ho Chinese BBQ. 13000 N. Interstate 35. 512-339-9088, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Szechuan House. 11005 Burnet Road. 512-832-8989, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Sichuan River. 4534 West Gate Blvd. 512-892-6699, Open regular hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Wu Chow. 500 W. Fifth St. 512-476-2469, On Christmas Eve the downtown restaurant will serve dim sum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. and will serve dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Where to eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Have yourself a merry little Christmas that doesn’t include working in the kitchen. While many restaurants around town will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (check websites of your favorites), below is a list of restaurants that have a little something special up their red velvet sleeves for the occasion.

Trace is one of the hotel restaurants in Austin that will be serving a special Christmas dinner.

Apis. 23526 Texas 71. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant. The wonderful restaurant on the edge of the Texas Hill Country in Spicewood will serve early dinner on Christmas Eve from 3 to 7 p.m. The prix fixe meal, which includes canapé service and mignardise, costs $120 and $30 for children.

Bonneville. 202 W. Cesar Chavez St. 512-428-4643, The husband-and-wife-owned restaurant downtown will celebrate Christmas Eve with a French-Canadian menu that pays tribute to co-owner Jennifer Costello’s heritage. The regular menu will also be on offer.

Cannon + Belle. 500 E. Fourth St. 512-493-4900, The restaurant at the Hilton downtown is offering a three and four-course meal on Christmas Day from 2 to 8 p.m. Menus include chicken and dumplings, masa biscuits served with pumpkin butter and pineapple jam. ribeye and more. The three-course meal costs $59 per person and the four-course dinner is $67.

Driskill Grill. 604 Brazos St. 512-391-7128, Austin’s grand dame will serve its five-course prix fixe dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 2 to 7:30 p.m. The menu includes roasted butternut squash soup, bacon-wrapped scallops, halibut and more. Cost is $130 for adults and $65 for children.

Estancia Churrascaria. 10000 Research Blvd. 512-345-5600, The Brazilian steakhouse will serve its splendor of grilled meats (and salad) at lunch ($41.95) and dinner ($51.95) on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and all day on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fonda San Miguel. 2330 W. N. Loop Blvd. 512-459-4121, The venerable Mexican restaurant hosts a special edition of their Sunday Hacienda Brunch on Christmas Eve from a 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The brunch buffet, which includes an array of Mexican dishes, costs $38.95. The restaurant will also be open with its regular menu for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.

Hightower. 1209 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1448, The East Austin spot will serve Christmas Eve brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Le Politique. 110 San Antonio St. 512-580-7651, The new downtown French restaurant opens at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve with a five-course menu that includes foie gras mousse, oysters and roasted capon. Cost is $90, with wine pairings for an additional $60.

LeRoy & Lewis. 121 Pickle Road. 512-775-3392, The inventive barbecue trailer is selling meats by the pound, such as pit ham and brisket, along with sides for like mashed potatoes and gravy and mac and cheese and cake and pie for advance pick-up.  Email with questions or to place your order. Final orders due by December 17th.

L’Oca d’Oro. 1900 Simond Ave. 737-212-1876, Chef Fiore Tedesco will celebrate an Italian tradition on Christmas Eve, with the Feast  of Seven Fishes, a family-style four-course dinner featuring an array of fish dishes. Cost is $75 for adults with $25 unlimited house wine and $25 for children ages 3-12. Call or email for reservations.

Mattie’s at Green Pastures. 811 W. Live Oak St. 512-444-1888, The renovated classic offers two seatings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.). The buffet featuring Southern classics costs $85 for adults and $40 for children ages 6-12. Those under six eat free.

Second Bar & Kitchen at Domain Northside. 3121 Palm Way. 737-300-4800, Chef David Bull’s restaurant will serve a Christmas Day meal from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that includes herb-roasted prime rib, maple-glazed ham and more. Cost is $48 and $24 for children.

Threadgill’s. 6416 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-451-5440;  301 W. Riverside Drive. 512-472-9304; Pork chops, roast turkey and, of course, chicken fried steak are on the special Christmas menu at both locations.

Trace. 200 Lavaca St. 512-542-3660, The restaurant at the W Hotel will serve a four-course Christmas dinner with options like prime rib, duck breast, eggnog rice pudding and more. The cost is $60 per person.

Trio at the Four Seasons. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685-8300, The restaurant at the hotel on Lady Bird Lake will serve its famous brunch all day (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on Christmas Day. The spread include lobster Benedict, a colorful Christmas salad, tuna crudo, rack of lamb and much more. Cost is $88 for adult and $35 for children.

The Yard at Waller Creek. 701 E. 11th St. 512-478-1111, The restaurant at the Sheraton will serve from 4 to 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The three-course menu includes New York Strip, peppermint cheesecake and  more. Cost is $42 ($70 with wine pairings).


Komé has new home on Airport Boulevard; adds ramen and Japanese whiskey

Komé Sushi Kitchen spent the last six years luring diners to its low-slung space on Airport Boulevard with a slew of izakaya dishes and sushi. Now, the restaurant opened by husband-and-wife team of Kayo and Také Asazu in 2011, has a bigger, brighter space to welcome guests.

Credit: Facebook/komesushikitchen

The restaurant moved to its new space at 5301 Airport Blvd. at the end of last month. While the menu looks much the same as the original restaurant’s, Kome, which also operates Daruma Ramen downtown, now serves three varieties of ramen, udon and a small roster of Japanese whiskeys.


The larger space means more seating, as well as a bigger area for waiting guests, who previously had to cram into an entryway or wait outside at the old Kome. Early next year, the owners will expand their demi-empire to include Ni-Kome, a sushi and ramen spot at the food hall Fareground downtown at Second Street and Congress Avenue.



Austin barbecue proves superior to Houston’s at weekend event

Austin has better barbecue than Houston. At least that’s one way to extrapolate the small sample size of data collected at last weekend’s HOU-ATX BBQ Throwdown at the Saint Arnold Brewing Co. A panel of judges gave a pair of first place ribbons to co-champions LeRoy & Lewis of Austin and Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue of Pflugerville. And the judges  weren’t the only ones impressed by LeRoy & Lewis, the barbecue truck helmed by former Freedmen’s pitmaster Evan LeRoy, as the team also took home the People’s Choice Award.

Bacon ribs from LeRoy & Lewis. (Credit: Evan LeRoy)

Both of the Central Texas spots brought a bit of Asian flare to the proceedings, with LeRoy & Lewis rocking Bacon Rib (bone in belly cured like bacon, smoked whole, sliced and smoked again) with brisket fried rice, kimchi and fish caramel, according to LeRoy, and Brotherton’s using smoked confit beef pate, Korean style brisket and pulled pork, kimchi, pickled daikon and carrot, Thai chili pomegranate gastrique, mango jalapeno coulis, & cilantro on crostini for a tricked-out play on a banh mi, according to one attendee.

Co-champions Evan LeRoy (left) and John Brotherton. (Credit: Evan LeRoy)

The two blue ribbon winners topped a field that included Beaver’sThe Brisket HouseEl Burro & the BullThe Pit RoomTin Roof BBQ, 2016 Throwdown winner Killen’s BBQEllis Brothers BBQ, and Gatlin’s BBQ of Houston and Austin-area joints Micklethwait Craft Meats, and Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ.

Looks like there’s a nice rivalry heating up between Texas’ top two barbecue cities.

Now open: Italian deli La Matta in East Austin

Austin longs for more quality sandwich shops, so the opening of La Matta in East Austin should come as welcome news to sandwich lovers (present company included).  New Waterloo, the team behind Sway, La Condesa the South Congress Hotel and more, opened the Italian sandwich shop and cafe Monday at the corner of East Fifth and Comal streets (501 Comal St.). The shop is helmed by Italian-raised executive chef Erind Halilaj, and will be joined next year by full-fledged Italian restaurant Il Brutto in The Arnold, a mixed-use building that will eventually be home to residents and businesses such as C3 Presents, Condé Nast, and Front Gate Tickets.


“My goal with La Matta is to bring authentic Italian sandwiches to Austin. Authentic meaning there is no interpretation—this is what you would eat in Italy, presented in exactly the same way,” said Halilaj, who joined New Waterloo after serving as executive chef at Obica Mozzarella Bar in New York City.

La Matta is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Relevant La Matta links: Website | Facebook | Instagram



Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin’s Loro adds Old Thousand’s James Dumapit to team

Chef James Dumapit cut his teeth as a member of the Hai Hospitality empire, movinghis way from stage to sushi chef at Uchi, and eventually serving executive sous chef at Uchiko. Following his stints at those two lauded spots, he opened modern Chinese restaurant Old Thousand as co-executive chef, but he is leaving that East Austin establishment to return to where it all began for him.

James Dumapit will serve as chef de cuisine at Loro, the forthcoming Japanese smokehouse from Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole. Contributed by Logan Crable

Hai announced today that Dumapit will serve as the chef de cuisine at Loro, the Japanese smokehouse on South Lamar which recently announced that Aaron Franklin had joined on as partner. 

“James Dumapit is one of the most talented chefs to come up through the Hai ranks and I am so thrilled to have him back in the fold on this project,” Cole said. “I can’t wait to see what inspiration and creativity he brings to the menu and to what both Aaron and I want to bring to Loro.”

Loro is set to open on South Lamar in early 2018 at 2115 S. Lamar Blvd.

Old Thousand is operated by the SMGB Hospitality Group, which recently shuttered its short-lived PS 35 pizzeria in Round Rock, which was a joint venture with former 40 North pizza trailer chef Clint Elmore.