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Three large white plates in a tower are covered with tea service treats. The tower stands on a table with a white tablecloth, and there are teapots and flowers on it.
Tea service at Boston Public Library
The Catered Affair/Official Site

Celebrate the Holiday Season With Weekday Lunches and Afternoon Teas

December afternoons never looked so good

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Tea service at Boston Public Library
| The Catered Affair/Official Site

Got a few extra days off around the holidays? Take advantage of a weekday afternoon with a special holiday lunch or tea service. Whether you want to embark on a five-course power lunch or enjoy a tea service dripping with caviar, there’s something for everyone this holiday season, including the kids. Here’s the rundown on special holiday lunches and tea services in and around Boston for late fall and early winter 2019.

For more holiday dining information, consult and bookmark the Eater Boston Ultimate Holiday Dining Guide, which is updated year-round with pertinent maps and guides related to eating on various holidays.

This map was originally published on November 16, 2018; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sinatra at Encore Boston Harbor (First three Thursdays and Fridays of December)

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1 Broadway
Everett, MA 02149
(857) 770-3310
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On the first three Thursdays and Fridays of December, starting on December 6, Sinatra will serve lunch between noon and 2:30 p.m., featuring a three-course menu (with a la carte options) that includes dishes such as grilled octopus and lobster hush puppies, chicken piccata, and more. $29 per person. Call (857) 770-3310 or reserve online.

2. Juliet (December 27 and 28)

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257 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 718-0958
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Juliet is throwing a tea-style lunch again this year on December 27 and 28, with seatings between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., based on one of co-owner Katrina Jazayeri’s favorite books, The Wind in the Willows. Options include radishes and butter with watercress on brioche; scones; smoked salmon with cucumber and dill; lemon tarts; and more. (And tea, of course.) It’s family-friendly, with a “young hedgehogs” menu available for the little ones. Reservations recommended.

3. Waypoint (December 2-23)

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1030 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-2300
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Waypoint is serving holiday lunch throughout most of December, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a special feast of the seven fishes menu in addition to the regular menu. The special menu is $45 (or $65 with wine) and includes fried smelts, garlic roasted clams, ocopus polpetti, and more, as well as an optional caviar supplement.

4. Alcove (Daily, from November 28 through December 31)

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50 Lovejoy Wharf
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 248-0050
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Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli’s West End restaurant, Alcove, is celebrating the holiday season with special lunch and brunch services again this year, featuring caviar, plenty of champagne, and a couple special dishes, including Massachusetts steak frites with Scituate lobster tail (with optional caviar butter, because why not?)

Holiday lunch services run from November 28 through December 31 on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with Saturday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call (617) 248-0050 or reserve online.

5. No. 9 Park (Weekdays and one Saturday, December 2 through 21)

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9 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 742-9991
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Usually only open for dinner, Barbara Lynch’s Beacon Hill mainstay, No. 9 Park, serves holiday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday from December 2 through 20, as well as on Saturday, December 21. Order a la carte, or go all-in on the five-course tasting menu ($75 per person, with optional $45 wine pairing). The menu includes dishes like seared foie gras with a gingerbread doughnut and pepitas; French onion soup with roasted bone marrow; duet of goose; and cranberry cheesecake. Reserve online.

6. Rowes Wharf Sea Grille (Daily, year-round, with a special holiday tea daily in December)

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70 Rowes Wharf
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 856-7744
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Located at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowes Wharf Sea Grille offers tea service from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. every day, featuring a variety of teas, sandwiches, pastries, and tea-inspired cocktails. $50 per person includes the tea and food (cocktails are extra); add $10 for a glass of sparkling rosé.

From December 1 through December 31, though, there’s a special “holiday frost tea” available from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, with similar offerings (teas, sandwiches, pastries, a glass of something sparkling, etc.)

Call (617) 856-7744 for reservations or reserve online.

7. Boston Public Library (Wednesday through Sunday year-round, with a special holiday menu and hours daily from late November through late December)

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700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-5400
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While the Catered Affair-run Courtyard Tea Room and Map Room Tea Lounge at the Boston Public Library each feature various tea services Wednesday through Sunday year-round, there are special holiday hours and menus in effect from November 27 to December 30. (The library is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.)

Both the Map Room Tea Lounge and Courtyard Tea Room are offering seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, which only has 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. seatings. Holiday tea service in either location is $60 per person and includes a selection of tea sandwiches, seasonal soup and salad, scones, and petit fours. Reserve online for the Map Room Tea Lounge or Courtyard Tea Room.

8. Grill 23 (December 11 through 20)

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161 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 542-2255
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Grill 23 is bringing back its holiday lunch service for the middle of December (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily from December 11 through 20). There’s holiday decor, there’s a fireplace, and there are dishes like rigatoni Bolognese, a lobster roll, bourbon-marinated steak tips, and more. For more information, call (617) 542-2255 or email info@grill23.com.

9. The Lenox Hotel (December 8 and 15)

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61 Exeter Street, Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-5300
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With Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, the Lenox is hosting two family-friendly holiday teas this year. On the menu: teas, cocktails, and sandwiches, with live music and cookie decorating for the kids. Attendees are encouraged to bring unwrapped gifts or gift cards to donate to Wonderfund. Purchase tickets online ($75 per adult, $50 for children two to 14, complimentary for children under two).

10. Mandarin Oriental, Boston (Daily, November 30 through December 30)

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776 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02199
(617) 535-8888
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For the holiday season, the Mandarin Oriental is serving family-friendly, Santa’s workshop-themed afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge every day from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be crafts for the children, as well as weekend singalongs and Saturday Santa appearances. On the menu: champagne, teas, and various sweet and savory bites for the adults, as well as a special children’s tea menu. Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy or game to donate to Franciscan Children’s, and those who do will get access to a special chocolate fountain bar in addition to the tea menu. Tickets start at $48 for children and $88 for adults; purchase online.

11. Island Creek Oyster Bar (Fridays, December)

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500 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 532-5300
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Island Creek Oyster Bar doesn’t usually serve weekday lunch, but on Fridays throughout December, it’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serving an a la carte menu that includes bubbly, caviar, fried clam bao buns, blue crab cacio e pepe, and more.

12. Orfano (Weekdays from December 9 through 20)

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1391 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 916-9600
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New Fenway Italian restaurant Orfano is introducing lunch service just for the holidays, serving a special four- and six-course menu with featured wines and cocktails (through collaborations with guest sommeliers and bartenders). Reservations available December 9 through December 20 (weekdays only), with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reserve online or call (617) 916-9600.

Note: Orfano sibling spot Fool’s Errand — which is located steps away — is opening early during the holiday season (3 p.m.) to accommodate the post-lunch crowd with cocktails and snacks.

13. Blossom Bar (December 16 through 20)

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295 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 734-1870
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For a span of weekdays in December from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Blossom Bar is featuring a special holiday cocktail menu. (Blossom Bar does have regular weekday lunch service throughout the year, but this bar creates very interesting drinks, so you’ll want to see what tricks the team has up its sleeves for the special holiday menu.)

1. Sinatra at Encore Boston Harbor (First three Thursdays and Fridays of December)

1 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149

On the first three Thursdays and Fridays of December, starting on December 6, Sinatra will serve lunch between noon and 2:30 p.m., featuring a three-course menu (with a la carte options) that includes dishes such as grilled octopus and lobster hush puppies, chicken piccata, and more. $29 per person. Call (857) 770-3310 or reserve online.

1 Broadway
Everett, MA 02149

2. Juliet (December 27 and 28)

257 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

Juliet is throwing a tea-style lunch again this year on December 27 and 28, with seatings between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., based on one of co-owner Katrina Jazayeri’s favorite books, The Wind in the Willows. Options include radishes and butter with watercress on brioche; scones; smoked salmon with cucumber and dill; lemon tarts; and more. (And tea, of course.) It’s family-friendly, with a “young hedgehogs” menu available for the little ones. Reservations recommended.

257 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143

3. Waypoint (December 2-23)

1030 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Waypoint is serving holiday lunch throughout most of December, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a special feast of the seven fishes menu in addition to the regular menu. The special menu is $45 (or $65 with wine) and includes fried smelts, garlic roasted clams, ocopus polpetti, and more, as well as an optional caviar supplement.

1030 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

4. Alcove (Daily, from November 28 through December 31)

50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, MA 02114

Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli’s West End restaurant, Alcove, is celebrating the holiday season with special lunch and brunch services again this year, featuring caviar, plenty of champagne, and a couple special dishes, including Massachusetts steak frites with Scituate lobster tail (with optional caviar butter, because why not?)

Holiday lunch services run from November 28 through December 31 on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with Saturday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call (617) 248-0050 or reserve online.

50 Lovejoy Wharf
Boston, MA 02114

5. No. 9 Park (Weekdays and one Saturday, December 2 through 21)

9 Park St, Boston, MA 02108

Usually only open for dinner, Barbara Lynch’s Beacon Hill mainstay, No. 9 Park, serves holiday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday from December 2 through 20, as well as on Saturday, December 21. Order a la carte, or go all-in on the five-course tasting menu ($75 per person, with optional $45 wine pairing). The menu includes dishes like seared foie gras with a gingerbread doughnut and pepitas; French onion soup with roasted bone marrow; duet of goose; and cranberry cheesecake. Reserve online.

9 Park St
Boston, MA 02108

6. Rowes Wharf Sea Grille (Daily, year-round, with a special holiday tea daily in December)

70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

Located at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Rowes Wharf Sea Grille offers tea service from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. every day, featuring a variety of teas, sandwiches, pastries, and tea-inspired cocktails. $50 per person includes the tea and food (cocktails are extra); add $10 for a glass of sparkling rosé.

From December 1 through December 31, though, there’s a special “holiday frost tea” available from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, with similar offerings (teas, sandwiches, pastries, a glass of something sparkling, etc.)

Call (617) 856-7744 for reservations or reserve online.

70 Rowes Wharf
Boston, MA 02110

7. Boston Public Library (Wednesday through Sunday year-round, with a special holiday menu and hours daily from late November through late December)

700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

While the Catered Affair-run Courtyard Tea Room and Map Room Tea Lounge at the Boston Public Library each feature various tea services Wednesday through Sunday year-round, there are special holiday hours and menus in effect from November 27 to December 30. (The library is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.)

Both the Map Room Tea Lounge and Courtyard Tea Room are offering seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. daily, except for Sunday, which only has 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. seatings. Holiday tea service in either location is $60 per person and includes a selection of tea sandwiches, seasonal soup and salad, scones, and petit fours. Reserve online for the Map Room Tea Lounge or Courtyard Tea Room.

700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

8. Grill 23 (December 11 through 20)

161 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

Grill 23 is bringing back its holiday lunch service for the middle of December (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily from December 11 through 20). There’s holiday decor, there’s a fireplace, and there are dishes like rigatoni Bolognese, a lobster roll, bourbon-marinated steak tips, and more. For more information, call (617) 542-2255 or email info@grill23.com.

161 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116

9. The Lenox Hotel (December 8 and 15)

61 Exeter Street, Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

With Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, the Lenox is hosting two family-friendly holiday teas this year. On the menu: teas, cocktails, and sandwiches, with live music and cookie decorating for the kids. Attendees are encouraged to bring unwrapped gifts or gift cards to donate to Wonderfund. Purchase tickets online ($75 per adult, $50 for children two to 14, complimentary for children under two).

61 Exeter Street, Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

10. Mandarin Oriental, Boston (Daily, November 30 through December 30)

776 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

For the holiday season, the Mandarin Oriental is serving family-friendly, Santa’s workshop-themed afternoon tea in the Lobby Lounge every day from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be crafts for the children, as well as weekend singalongs and Saturday Santa appearances. On the menu: champagne, teas, and various sweet and savory bites for the adults, as well as a special children’s tea menu. Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy or game to donate to Franciscan Children’s, and those who do will get access to a special chocolate fountain bar in addition to the tea menu. Tickets start at $48 for children and $88 for adults; purchase online.

776 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02199

11. Island Creek Oyster Bar (Fridays, December)

500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Island Creek Oyster Bar doesn’t usually serve weekday lunch, but on Fridays throughout December, it’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serving an a la carte menu that includes bubbly, caviar, fried clam bao buns, blue crab cacio e pepe, and more.

500 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

12. Orfano (Weekdays from December 9 through 20)

1391 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

New Fenway Italian restaurant Orfano is introducing lunch service just for the holidays, serving a special four- and six-course menu with featured wines and cocktails (through collaborations with guest sommeliers and bartenders). Reservations available December 9 through December 20 (weekdays only), with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reserve online or call (617) 916-9600.

Note: Orfano sibling spot Fool’s Errand — which is located steps away — is opening early during the holiday season (3 p.m.) to accommodate the post-lunch crowd with cocktails and snacks.

1391 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

13. Blossom Bar (December 16 through 20)

295 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

For a span of weekdays in December from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Blossom Bar is featuring a special holiday cocktail menu. (Blossom Bar does have regular weekday lunch service throughout the year, but this bar creates very interesting drinks, so you’ll want to see what tricks the team has up its sleeves for the special holiday menu.)

295 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445

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