What LA lacks in snow (at least the real kind), it manages to make up for in spectacular holiday light displays—and that includes the glittering, over-the-top decor at some of our favorite local haunts. These restaurants go all out in December, complete with tinsel garlands, twinkling lights, and a whole array of ornaments and Christmas-y bric-a-brac that kids will love. Ready to get into the holiday spirit? Read on for your guide to LA restaurants that take Christmas to the next level.
For Festive Fun in the Valley: Casa Vega
Colorful lights are a year-round staple at this old-school Mexican spot in the Valley. Come Christmastime, Casa Vega adds tinsel, ornaments and a tree or two (or three) for plenty of holiday cheer. In addition to serving up all the atmosphere, the restaurant also offers tasty margaritas for the over-21 crowd, plus a kids menu for little ones.
13301 Ventura Blvd.
For Old Hollywood Charm in Burbank: Smoke House
Black and white photos of celebrities line the walls of this iconic Burbank steakhouse, which you may recognize from any number of TV shows and films. (It was most recently featured in La La Land—the scene where Ryan Gosling's characters plays Christmas tunes at the piano.) An inflatable Santa is there to greet kids at the entrance, and once you're inside you can't miss the oversized Christmas tree, giant nutcracker and red stockings. And while a steakhouse with white tablecloths may not seem family friendly, this place definitely is. There's a kids menu that includes everything from mac and cheese to prime rib, depending on your little one's tastes.
4420 Lakeside Dr.
For Carolers Every Night in Atwater: Tam O'Shanter
Don't let the expressions on the kids' faces in the pic fool you: There's nothing ho-ho-hum about The Tam O'Shanter's Christmas festivities with merry carolers on hand every night through Dec. 30. The Scottish pub's patio is also open in case your family wants to take advantage of the oh-so Christmas-y and cozy outdoor fireplace.
2980 Los Feliz Blvd.
For Christmas Kitsch at a Fairfax Landmark : El Coyote Cafe
Another local Mexican dining institution (it's been around since 1931), El Coyote also does Christmas lights throughout the year but really gets decked out come December. Think a Christmas tree, garlands, glowing reindeers, mini Santas and more. Be sure to check out the elaborate window display too—the perfect thing to entertain kids while you wait for your food.
7312 Beverly Blvd.
For the Ultimate Holiday Pop-Up in Long Beach: Miracle at The Ordinaire
This Long Beach restaurant may have just won Christmas. Now through Dec. 31, you can stop by to experience all the joy at The Ordinaire's merry and bright holiday pop-up, complete with gift-wrapped tables, a crackling fireplace with stockings on the mantel, and an explosion of lights and tinsel. While you're there, don't miss out on the restaurants seasonal libations, like the Snowball Old Fashioned or Bad Santa with rum and chai tea. Cheers!
210 The Promenade
For Grown-Up Holiday Cheer Downtown: Blitzen's at Here & Now
Just in case you can sneak in a night off from the kiddos during the hectic holiday season, consider a trip to Blitzen's at cocktail bar Here and Now. This just-for-Christmas pop-up features festive decor galore, along with occasional appearances by Santa, carolers and drag queens (because... why not?). Check bar's calendar for details.
300 Santa Fe Ave.