TNT Diner

From traditional turkey to traditional Chinese, where to dine out for Christmas dinner

A turkey dinner with all the trimming.
A turkey dinner with all the trimming. TNS

“All I want for Christmas is to not have to cook.”

I’ve heard that one before.

I’m here to help.

Here’s where to dine out on Christmas Day for lunch, dinner, drinks and even Chinese food around the Tacoma area.

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS MEALS

BLACK BEAR DINER

Where: 10404 156th St. E., Puyallup; 253-268-0192. No reservations required or taken for this casual family-friendly diner.

Details: Full menu served 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., plus Christmas dinner specials beginning at 11 a.m. that include a holiday turkey-dinner plate with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie ($18.99) or a prime rib dinner with a slice of pumpkin pie ($18.99).

EMERALD QUEEN CASINO

Where: Tacoma I-5 and Fife locations.

Details: Buffet dining both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Pacific Rim buffet at the Fife location will be open 11 a.m. to midnight Christmas Eve and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Day with a traditional buffet that includes ham and turkey. The International Buffet at the I-5 Tacoma location will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Christmas Eve and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Christmas Day with a traditional buffet, plus special dishes.

LOBSTER SHOP

Where: 4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma; 253-759-2165.

Hours: Noon to 8:00 p.m. Christmas Eve; noon to 6 p.m. Christmas Day. Reservations required and might be limited for this fine-dining restaurant. Also check back for cancellations.

Details: Serving a three-course tasting menu at $60 per person that includes a choice of soup or salad, combos such as prime rib and prawns or lobster tail and seafood brochette, plus special dessert choices. A la carte menu options include starters, soup and salads, plus more than a dozen entree choices that include slow roasted prime rib with trimmings ($38), pumpkin ravioli ($22), maple-glazed salmon ($32), miso-sake black cod ($32) and day boat scallops ($34).

PACIFIC GRILL

Where: 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; 253-627-3535.

Hours: Serving Christmas Eve brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 3:30-8 p.m. only. Not open Christmas Day. Reservations required and might already be fully booked at this fine-dining restaurant.

Details: Check here for brunch menu. Check here for Christmas Eve dinner menu (coming soon).

STANLEY AND SEAFORT’S

Where: 115 E. 34th St., Tacoma, 253-473-7300.

Hours: Open noon to 9 p.m. for brunch and dinner Christmas Eve, noon to 8 p.m. Christmas Day. The restaurant appears to be fully booked for Christmas Day but try by phone to check for cancellations. Reservations still available for Christmas Eve brunch and Christmas Eve dinner at this fine-dining restaurant.

Details: The special Christmas dinner menu includes entree choices of prime rib ($37/$45), salmon ($26), rack of lamb ($39), wild mushroom ravioli and braised short rib ($24) and various other offerings.

TANGLEWOOD GRILL

Where: 3222 56th St NW, Gig Harbor; 253-858-5555.

Hours: Christmas Day, 1-6 p.m. Reservations strongly recommended and might be limited at this family-friendly restaurant.

Details: A long list of a la carte menu items that includes special cocktails, appetizers, soups and salads. Six entree choices include New York strip steak ($23.99), roasted prime rib ($28.99) and salmon ($22.99).

CHINESE RESTAURANTS

Chinese food on Christmas is more of an East Coast thing, but why not adopt it as your tradition? The restaurants below will serve their typical Chinese menus.

NORTH CHINA GARDEN

Where: 2303 Sixth Ave., Tacoma; 253-572-5106.

Hours: 4-9 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day.

YEN CHING

Where: 8765 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood; 253-582-3400.

Details: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day.

TACOMA SZECHUAN

Where: 9601 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood; 253-581-0102.

Details: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

MAIN GARDEN

Where: 1106 E Main, Puyallup; 253-848-7222.

Details: 1-10 p.m. Christmas Eve only. Closed on Christmas Day.

ROSE GARDEN

Where: 12615 Meridian, Puyallup; 253-770-9988.

Details: Open regular hours Christmas Eve and open Christmas Day (although typically the restaurant is closed on Mondays).

THAI FOOD, TOO?

How about a fun new tradition of Christmas Thai food? Charm Thai, the South Hill Thai restaurant tucked into a strip mall, will serve Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals from noon-9 p.m.

BARS

For a bar with a penchant for good cooking, head to Doyle’s Public House. The restaurant and bar will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Chef Ben Marcus is cooking up Christmas ham with potato surprise, green bean casserole and candied yams.

Zodiac Supper Club, the Hilltop restaurant and bar where diners grill their own steaks in a fabulous retro dining room, will be open Christmas Day from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. with a regular menu, plus a few festive cocktails.

For those needing a nip, Odd Otter Brewing will be open from 1-10 p.m. (no food, just beer). Magoo’s Annex will open at 5 p.m. with a limited menu.

And here’s something that whiskey lovers will prioritize, a tasting menu of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons at Smokey Joe’s Cigar Bar and Sports Bar (alert: smoking allowed). Shots are individually priced, but a flight of pours will be $45, according to the event page.

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