3131 SE 12th, 236-6761 (Call ahead)
The Berlin Inn offers hearty, delicious fare for your gut stuffing pleasure. Christmas day they're whipping up a special feast, including turkey, or more excitingly Ganse Braten (oven roasted goose), stuffed with a brandied apple and onion stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet and sour red cabbage, orange sweet potatoes, orange cranberry chutney, and bread. This meal is available to go, but why not spend a few hours hanging in the Inn's cozy dining room and sipping delicious Gluhwein--a warm wine and brandy drink that tastes like cider, but gets you completely wasted? Watch out.
3404 SE 39th, 775-8888
Eating Chinese food on Christmas is a tradition all its own, but if you're going to celebrate the sacred birth of Baby Jesus with Kung Pao, it better be pretty damn phenomenal. Hoho is one of the best Chinese restaurants in town, and it even has lots of vegetarian options for your friend the PETA freak, including the crispy green beans, General Tso's Tofu, made with crispy fried tofu, and a sweet garlic sauce served with broccoli spears. If you're down with the animal protein, make sure to order up the pepper salted squid, claypot duck, and succulent and pleasantly gristle-free sesame beef.
835 N Lombard, 283-9734
Some of us are most comfortable wrapped in the smoky, familiar blanket of our local watering hole. Porky's knows this, and is making absolutely positive that you're warm and cozy this Christmas day, by providing cheap drink specials, a huge holiday feast, and the musical accompaniment of rock 'n' roll DJ Amanda Kill. Expect a diverse culinary spread complete with mashed potatoes, veggies, meats, and desserts. The Porky's crew isn't exactly positive what they'll be whipping up, but rest assured there'll be something for everyone--even you booze slurping vegetarians.
McMenamin's Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd, 288-2192
If you feel nostalgic for the bustle of a family gathering, the Kennedy School is a great place to eat on Christmas day. There are moms, dads, kids, and grandparents aplenty, all rushing around and annoying you as much as your very own family would. My favorite thing about a holiday meal at the Kennedy, however, is the fact that you don't need to make any excuses for yourself. You're not an estranged loser when you're dining here; you're just a ravenous hotel guest grabbing an early meal (before X-Mas dinner) or a late one (after X-Mas brunch). No one needs to know that you have nothing better to do, and you can celebrate your secret autonomy with Bloody Marys, mimosas, steak and eggs (breakfast served until 11:30 am), burgers, salads, and the most Christmasy food of all: pizza. While you're at it, catch a flick at the Kennedy School theater.
2821 SE Stark, 232-3704
If you're willing to eat Christmas dinner in a bar, you probably don't care whether your meal is traditional or not. But while the Bonfire won't be offering up any prime rib or turkey dinners, they will be preparing some of the best bar food available on Baby Jesus' birthday. Order a portabella mushroom gyro, a hearty plate of rice and beans, a Greek sampler platter with pita, olives, and hummus, or a juicy Bonfire burger with salad and fries. Everything is tasty and substantial and provides a great big sponge for the long night of celebrating with friends.