Davio’s offers a traditional Christmas Eve feast


Courtesy of Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse

A chef at Davio’s prepares gnocchi as part of a traditional Italian dinner.

While many Christians spend their Christmas Eves gathered as families, for many citizens of Philadelphia, Davio’s Philly is the place to be when it comes to their Christmas Eve meals.

Davio’s Philly, an Italian Steakhouse, is located on 17th Street in Center City, Philadelphia. The restaurant is well-known for their traditional “seven fish dinner” on Christmas Eve, which incorporates many popular types of fish.  

The large meal, which varies from seven to 13 courses, includes a first option of Lobster Bisque or Maine Lobster, a second which is a choice of tuna, octopus, scallops or sea beans, and a third which could either be crab meat, halibut or pazza.

Furthermore, while some may prefer a meat dinner on their Christmas Eve, Davio’s Philly feels strongly about their tradition of upholding a fish-based meal.

Their current website explains that “The feast of Seven Fishes is a time-honored Italian Christmas Eve tradition, honoring the vigil prior to a religious holiday when no meat was served…delectable seafood courses will be available, recalling the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The Christmas Eve Special currently retails at $75 and is served from 5 PM to 10 PM, only on Christmas Eve. Although this may be viewed as expensive to some, many customers feel that it is worth the hefty cost.

Joseph S wrote in an online review, “When you show up, you’re treated like a millionaire…The food is delicious.”

In addition, manager Michael Dombkoski says the tradition of their annual Christmas Eve dinner has been in place since their first location in Philadelphia opened in early 1985.

Likewise, The Christmas Eve Special has garnered respect from many critics as well.

An anonymous reviewer wrote online through TripAdvisor, “it was indeed one of the [best] meals [she had] ever had.” Another person had written, “the dining experience and overall atmosphere of the restaurant was superb and unique.”

Along with the positive reviews for Davio’s Philly and their Christmas Eve dinners, another rarity about their business is their longevity; they have been in business for the past 33 years.

According to their website, the workers of Davio’s Philly believe their Christmas Eve Meal success can be attributed to the positive responses by customers.

Overall, Davio’s Philly Christmas Eve Special has become a staple Christmas Eve dinner for many citizens in Philadelphia, and the owners do not plan on stopping their holiday traditions anytime soon.