The holiday season is here once again, and just in case the cold weather and travel delays got you down, may I just be the first to say… Cheer up, it’s Christmas. It’s that time of year where we try to rock ugly Christmas sweaters with the same confidence as a Victoria’s Secret runway model, re-watch holiday movies we could quote just about every line to, and stuff our bellies with far too much eggnog that’s considered appropriate for company holiday parties.

Best of all, it’s the time to treat ourselves and take advantage of the wonderful holiday offerings from a few of our favorite Colorado spots. Whether you take part in Christmas festivities or not, are an out-of-towner celebrating away from home this year, or simply looking to switch up the go-to holiday traditions, this is our gift to you…

Introducing 303 Magazine’s round-up for holiday dining: see what Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins restaurants made the list this year.

Basta

Photo courtesy of Basta.

Photo courtesy of Basta.

Where: 3601 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder

When: Christmas Eve, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

The Lowdown: This summer, the new and improved Basta, a five-year-old wood fire oven eatery and pizzeria re-opened its doors to the Boulder streets. This Christmas Eve, paying homage to the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes, Basta will offer an a la carte menu, featuring seven fish dishes, in addition to other items. For reservations, please call (303) 997-8775.  

beast+bottle

Photo courtesy of beast + bottle

Photo courtesy of beast + bottle

Where: 719 E. 17th Ave, Denver

When: Christmas Eve, 4:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. 

The Lowdown: In addition to partnering with A.C.T.S (A Community Taking a Stand…Against Hunger) and hosting a food drive this holiday season to help those in need (Guests who bring in 5 non-perishable food items by Wednesday, December 30, will receive a token for a FREE glass of wine selected by the sommelier, with purchase of food), beast+bottle will be open this Christmas Eve. Their regular carte menu will be available, along with menu specials and special wine pairings offered by JP Taylor.

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, Fort Collins

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Jax Fish House. Photos by Glenn Ross.

Where: 123 North College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO

When: Christmas Eve, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Cost: $50 per person

The Lowdown: This holiday, the Jax family brings you the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Join them Christmas Eve at their Fort Collins location for a special candle-lit dinner before midnight mass. This age-old, traditional Italian feast will be served family-style and will feature several different kinds of fresh, delicious seafood. Wine will be included and a special feast for the kiddos will also be available. The menu for the evening will include Oysters on the Half Shell, Smoked Mussel Bruschetta, Fruit De Mer, White Bean Soup with Clams, Smoked Trout and Arugula Salad, Crazy Water, Squid Ink Gnocchi, and Tiramisu. For more information and to make reservations please contact Jax at (970) 682-2275.

Lola Mexican Fish House

Where to eat on Christmas 2015

Lola. Photo by Camille Breslin

Where: 1575 Boulder Street, Denver, CO 

When: Christmas Eve, dinner 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., happy hour 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Cost: $16 for the first plate and $13 for each additional person

The Lowdown: If families that pray together, stay together, does the same hold true for families that feast together? Cozy up this Christmas Eve with LOLA’s family-style Paella, half-off bottles of wine, and complimentary milk & cookies. Regular dinner and happy hour menus will also be available. For more information and to make reservations, please contact LOLA at (720) 570-8686.

The Corner Office

Where to eat on Christmas Denver 2015

Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken at The Corner Office.

Where: 1401 Curtis St., Denver

When:  Christmas Day, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. 

Cost: $40 per person

The Lowdown: Join The Corner Office for their annual Chinese Christmas Dinner on December 25. Indulge in vegetable fried rice, sweet + sour chicken, pepper steak, eggs rolls and fortune cookies. This menu is served family and will put a smile on all faces. No smiling ducks here.  The Menu can be downloaded here.

Second Home Kitchen + Bar

Second Home + Kitchen

Duck cassoulet at Second Home + Kitchen

Where: 150 Clayton Ln, Denver

When: Christmas Eve and Day, 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. 

The Lowdown: Second Home Kitchen + Bar is opening its doors all day this Christmas, starting with its weekend pajama brunch from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. (kids 8 and under wearing pajamas eat free), and followed by a special holiday dinner menu for the 24th and 25th crafted by Chef David Anderson. The menu will feature Cioppino with Dungeness crab, mussels, prawns, charred tomato + saffron fennel broth, pear + gorgonzola dolce flatbread, pan roasted black cod, duck cassoulet and herb crusted Harris Ranch prime rib. Full holiday menu can be downloaded here.

OAK at fourteenth

Where to eat on Christmas Boulder 2015

Oak at Fourteenth. Photo courtesy of Oak

Where: 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302

When: Christmas Eve, 5:30 p.m. – 12 a.m. 

Cost: $75 per person

The Lowdown: Down in Boulder this holiday? Try venturing to Oak Restaurant for Prix-fixe menu including a King Crab Toast with lemon aioli and wasabi, Black Truffle Risotto with wild mushrooms and truffled pecorino, and Oak Grilled Beef Short Rib, and baked chocolate mousse. Call (303) 444-3623 for reservations.

Elway’s at the Ritz

Where to eat on Christmas Denver 2015

Elway’s at the Ritz

Where: The Ritz-Carlton, 1881 Curtis St., Denver

When: Christmas Day, Served from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Cost: $75 per person, $35 for children

The Lowdown: Celebrate the holidays with one of the best spots in town and a special Chef’s three-course Menu. Begin with Acorn-Squash Soup with Pistachio Gremolata, then enjoy the tenderness of a Wagyu Beef New York Strip with Yorkshire Pudding, Roasted Marble Potato and Petite Vegetables. End the evening on a sweet note with house made Pomegranate Cheesecake. For reservations, please call 303.312.3107.  Dinner comes with complimentary valet parking.

Jill’s Restaurant

Where to eat on Christmas Boulder 2015

Jill’s restaurant. Photos courtesy of St. Julien Hotel + Spa

Where: St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder

When: Christmas Eve and Day, 5 – 7:30 p.m

Cost: $69.95 for adults, $24.95 for children ages 4-12

The Lowdown: Jill’s, also in Boulder, is offering a candlelight dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This seven-course menu will include a choice of soup; duck tortellini; choice of kale salad or beef tartare; a duet of Colorado beef, natural turkey breast with stuffed leg roulade, or seared yellowtail hamachi; French apple tart or Brooklyn blackout cake; and chocolate peppermint truffles. For reservations, call (720) 406-7399.

Randolph’s Gastro Restaurant & Bar

Where to Eat christmas dinner 2015

Randolph’s.

Where: Warwick Denver Hotel 

When: Christmas Day, 10 a.m. to closing 

Cost: $58 for adults, $48 for seniors, and $20 for children age 12 and under (under age four eat free)

The Lowdown: Randolph’s Gastro Restaurant & Bar will serve a lavish Christmas brunch in the opulent Capital Ballroom until 3 p.m. The selection will include made-to-order omelets; Challah French toast; candy-striped beet and arugula salad; herb-crusted prime rib; a holiday dessert display; and more. Then, beginning at 4 p.m. they will offer an la carte dinner menu. Choices will include oysters Rockefeller; grilled mushroom caps; rack of lamb; salmon a l’Oscar; beef Wellington; pumpkin crème brûlée; eggnog cheesecake; and more. For reservations, call (303) 318-7272.