The holidays are different for everybody, but often involve a ton of home cooking, family, friends and gift-giving. What really helps to perfect the holiday experience is giving the family cooks a break once in a while. At least once or twice during the holidays, make that passionate cook in your family stop showing their love through their food and go out to eat! Not sure where to go? Don’t you worry – we’ve got what you need. We’ve figured out the where, when and why of the best places to go in Irvine for a delicious and satiating meal around the holidays. Leave those dirty dishes in the sink and come on out!

EATS Kitchen + Bar

After waking up early to open presents, family and friends can head to EATS Kitchen + Bar for the most delicious gift of all. Choose from favorites like eggs benedict, shrimp, citrus and avocado salad and $8 bottomless mimosas. Also open for New Year’s Day brunch!

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Hotel Irvine
17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine
(949) 225-6780

The Backyard at Hotel Irvine

Christmas time is here and The Backyard at Hotel Irvine is renowned for its spectacular holiday feast for all Irvinians (permanent or temporary) to enjoy. The Backyard holiday feast is packed with food stations including fresh-carved turkey, herb-crusted roasted prime rib, smoked salmon and seafood risotto, a decadent crêpe station, plus a build-your-own mimosa bar. There will be family photos with Santa, live music and a photo booth.

Seatings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
$75 adults, $35 ages 5-12

Hotel Irvine
17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine
(949) 225-6780

Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen

With cuisine that is rooted in the history of the Irvine Ranch, Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen focuses on locally sourced vegetables, cheese and meats, as well as relying on seasonal ingredients. This produce-forward farm-to-table style restaurant offers the perfect shareable dishes for family gatherings that are interested in an innovative, fresh and healthy dining experience around the holidays. Regular operating hours will be maintained throughout the holiday season.

Marriott Irvine Spectrum
7905 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine
(949) 759-0200

North Italia

Photo Courtesy of North Italia

Every family has different traditions – sometimes it’s ham and biscuits, sometimes it’s lasagna and friends, and sometimes it’s pizza! At North Italia, you and your family can celebrate the holidays with heartfelt and handmade pizzas, pastas and more. The quality of the Italian food at North Italia is unmatched in Orange County, and what better way to celebrate the holidays with family and friends than with a full belly of delicious handcrafted pizzas and pastas and house-made cocktails?

Closes at 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve
Closed on Christmas Day
Normal hours remain for New Year’s Eve and Day

2957 Michelson Drive, Irvine
(949) 629-7060

Paul Martin’s American Grill

For a classic American holiday gathering, dining at Paul Martin’s American Grill is the quintessential experience of decadence, comfort and cheer. With amazing customer service, mouth-watering shareable plates, belly-warming kitchen specialties, and holiday craft cocktails, this is a great option for a classic holiday celebration where someone else cooks!

Open Christmas Eve until 10 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Open on New Year’s Eve until 11 p.m.
Closed New Year’s Day

534 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine
(949) 453-1144

Cucina Enoteca

Photo Courtesy of Cucina Enoteca

The Spectrum is a go-to spot for families during the holidays – not just for gifts and movies, but the food options are outstanding. Cucina Enoteca is a modern Italian kitchen-meets-charming bohemian eatery that also has a shop attached to it. Casual yet refined, Cucina Enoteca has a welcoming atmosphere, deliciously crafted dishes and can accommodate large parties or intimate celebrations.

Christmas Eve open until 9 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Open New Year’s Eve
Closed New Year’s Day

532 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine
(949) 861-2222


Photo Courtesy of Javier’s

There is no better place to get a perfect margarita in Irvine than at Javier’s, and really, isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Javier’s also has top-tier Mexican cuisine, a beautifully sensual atmosphere and a whole range of craft cocktails for your holiday celebration. Bring the family (or just a date), nestle into a comfy dark booth, and enjoy the fine dining and drinking experience of Javier’s with cheer.

Open until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve
Closed on Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve open with normal operating hours
New Year’s Day closed

536 Spectrum Drive, Irvine
(949) 872-2101

TAPS Fish House

A perfect experience for seafood lovers and California cuisine lovers alike, TAPS Fish House is rated as one of the best dining experiences in Irvine regardless of the time of year. With stellar cocktails and beer and delicious steaks, burgers and seafood, TAPS is a one-stop shop for your holiday celebration. If you’ve got picky eaters or a range of diets, TAPS can accommodate every palate and diet, all while making you feel decadent and comfortable.

Open on Christmas Eve until 10 p.m.
Closed on Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve open until 12 a.m.
New Year’s Day closed

13390 Jamboree Road, Irvine
(714) 619-0404


Photo Courtesy of Puesto

Puesto at Park Place is a perfect spot for your hip and energetic family. With custom street art by Chor Boogie, and a sleek design by Basile Studio that is reflective of Mexico City culture and cuisine, the experience at Puesto Park Place is fun and vibrant, just like the food! Adjoined to the new AC Marriot Hotel, Puesto highlights its innovative culture and cuisine with a December taco of the month – the Chile en Nogada – that is bursting with holiday goodness, as well as three amazingly delicious seasonal winter craft cocktails. Puesto also donates $1 from every frozen horchata purchase to the California Fire Foundation, to help firefighters and their families.

Closes at 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve
Closed Christmas Day
Open New Year’s Eve and Day

3311 Michelson Drive, Irvine
(949) 608-7272