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What’s a better gift than brunch at Love Lane Kitchen. (Credit: David Benthal)

Which is more of a cooking day in your home: Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? 

For some folks, cooking on Christmas means steering clear of the kitchen the night before, especially for weekenders and holiday vacationers who’d rather get into town and find a good place to eat.

Whether you’re in the mood for traditional seafood or a festive holiday brunch, these five North Fork restaurants are serving Christmas Eve menus that will suit a variety of fancies.

For a traditional Christmas Eve feast …

Birchwood of Polish Town

512 Pulaski St., Riverhead


This restaurant is a go-to if you can’t imagine Christmas Eve without the Feast of the Seven Fishes. The menu includes clams, oysters on the half shell and jumbo shrimp plus 15 chafing dishes, three carving stations, pasta stations and an assortment of desserts. The buffet runs from 2 to 7 p.m. The cost is $39.95 per person. 

For a little Shelter…

Vine Street Café 

41 South Ferry Rd., Shelter Island


The chefs at this Shelter Island hot spot are passionate about sourcing their menu from local farmers and fishermen. It’s a great place to eat any time of year and makes Christmas Eve dinner a little more special. The restaurant is also open on New Year’s Day. 

For a causal meal…

Love Lane Kitchen 

240 Love Lane, Mattituck


If you’re traveling and want to fuel your holiday break, start your day at Love Lane Kitchen for breakfast or lunch on Christmas Eve day. The Mattituck restaurant is known for its satisfying comfort food. Grab a sandwich or soup to keep it light before the main meal. The kitchen closes at 3 p.m.

For a festive brunch…

First & South

100 South St., Greenport 


Who says brunch is for weekends only? Christmas Eve falls on a Monday this year and First & South in Greenport is keeping it fun and festive with a special holiday brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended. 

For fine dining…

The Preston House & Hotel

428 East Main St., Riverhead


The Preston House opened early in 2018 with an elevated farm-fresh menu featuring everything from local seafood to authentic southern barbecue. The restaurant will be open for dinner on Christmas Eve with prix fixe and à la carte dining options.