Food & Culture

Best restaurants open on Christmas Day around Australia

Whether you just want a break from hosting Christmas lunch or you don't partake in the Yuletide holiday, these Australian restaurants are here for all the cheer.

By The Gourmet Traveller team
Not many of us want to be up at 6am on Christmas Eve curing a side of salmon, preparing two kilograms of prawns - and three dipping sauces - and also just about to start a theatrical (read: challenging) cherry and gingerbread bombe Alaska or festive Yule log. Christmastime is busy enough before we even factor in the culinary efforts.
If you'd rather give yourself a break this year we have the answer: outsource the festive stress and have a Christmas feast at a top Australian restaurant. We wholeheartedly support you getting out of the kitchen (and the tedious clean-up) altogether by booking everyone into a restaurant.
Of course, many popular spots close over the holiday period. So, we've done the heavy lifting to pull together the top places open on Christmas in Australia's major cities - and that still have bookings available. From harbourside Sydney restaurants and rooftop restaurants in Perth to beloved St Kilda pubs and fun-loving Chinese diners in Brisbane, these top restaurants are offering celebratory banquets for all tastes and traditions this season.
Restaurant bookings tend to book out quickly for the holiday, too, so it's best to secure a table for you and your merry crew as soon as possible.
Here are the top restaurants open this Christmas Day around Australia.

Best restaurants open on Christmas Day in Sydney

Brasserie 1930
Quay is putting on a spectacular five-course menu on Christmas Day, featuring five courses from celebrated Australian chef Peter Gilmore. Dishes may include raw scallops with smoked eel cream and sea cucumber crackling; marron with sea urchin, koshihikari rice and marigold broth; and roast beef fillet with mushroom and black garlic purrée.
Price: $595 per person, plus the option to add $330 wine pairing.
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Yallamundi Rooms at Sydney Opera House
Just across the harbour, Danielle Alvarez has taken over the culinary direction of Sydney Opera House's event venues which means the Sydney icon is now offering a Christmas Day feast. Book in for a lunch in the Yallamundi Rooms to dine on the likes of roast turkey, pancetta, cranberry, sage and pistachio stuffing; summer greens and cos salad; garlicky roasted potatoes; and, of course, Christmas pudding with brandy custard.
Price: $310 per person.
Cafe Sydney
Also by the harbour, Cafe Sydney is hosting Christmas Day lunch for $330 per person. Boasting some of the best views in town, it will be serving a set menu that is both festive and uniquely Australian - think glazed bug tail with prawn tortellini; King George whiting with Champagne caviar sauce; duck with cherries and raddicchio; and Christmas pudding with brandy crème anglaise.
Price: $330 per person.
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Anason
Want to break tradition this Christmas? No ham, no roast turkey, no mince pies? Barangaroo's waterfront Turkish restaurant Anason is serving up a Middle Eastern feast of hummus, beetroot falafel, haloumi, charred calamari, pomegranate roast chicken and lamb shoulder.
Price: $195 per person.
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Woodcut
Also in Barangaroo, Woodcut at Crown Sydney is offering a festive four-course lunch for $390 per person. Plus it's open for dinner, too, offering a la carte menus for groups of nine people or less.
Price: $390 per person
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a'Mare
Also located in Crown, Italian fine-diner a'Mare is putting on a Mediterranean feast of scallop with 'nduja and bottarga; spaghettoni mancini with steamed mudcrab; and wagyu tritip with Jerusalem artichoke cream.
Price: $390 per person
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In the city, Brasserie 1930 is hosting its first Christmas meals this year with both Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch services on offer. The menu is a three-course shared menu of Christmas classics - think glazed ham, turkey ballotine and show-stopping sides - curated by executive chef Brent Savage.
Price: $250 per person.
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Fabbrica Bread Shop
Looking for something more casual on Christmas Day morning? Rozelle's recently opened Fabbrica Bread Shop is open from 7–11am with coffee and a smaller menu, plus pre-ordered catering pick-ups. So you can get your usual barista-made flat white then return home with a hamper filled with boozy pavlova kits, finish-at-home porchetta and festive mince pie sfogliatella for the festivities.

Best restaurants open on Christmas Day in Melbourne

Lake House, Daylesford
While not in Melbourne, Lake House in Daylesford is a picture-perfect destination for Christmas in the country. Book for a festive three-night stay at Lake House Hotel and enjoy being taken care of over the holidays. The stay includes a celebratory Christmas Day lunch menu with paired sommelier selected wines, and all other meals during your stay too
Price: From $2035 per person for Lake House Christmas stay package.
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Warabi
If you're staying in Melbourne and aren't bound to tradition, Warabi is offering an eight-course omakase dinner menu inspired by the season. Plus, you'll leave with a gift - a Japanese Christmas cake - to eat on Boxing Day.
Price: $380 per person.
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Studley Park Boathouse
Melbourne's historic boathouse at Studley Park will be open and full of festivities. Offering a lunch menu for $150 per person, the venue promises three courses of Christmas favourites.
Price: $150 per person.
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Botswana Butchery
New Zealand export Botswana Butchery, located in Flinders Lane, is offering a four-course Christmas lunch on the holiday. Think venison tartare and grilled quail to start, followed by duck with beetroot and orange relish and almond cream; roast snapper with mussel escabeche; harrisa-roasted cauliflower; and wagyu sirloin. Sides such as duck fat potatoes and seasonal salad are also included as are festive desserts. Plus, you can opt to add slow-roasted lamb-shoulder, T-bone steak or whole Southern rock lobster for extra costs.
Price: $165 per person, plus the option to add an $86 wine pairing.
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Hotel Esplanade St Kilda
Southside, St Kilda's The Espy is hosting not one but three feasts this Christmas Day. In the main bar and onsite Italian-American restaurant Louey's, it's serving a seafood-leaning feast - seafood platters of oysters, prawns, Moreton Bay bug cocktails and baked half shell scallops, followed by mains, sides, and pavlova and tiramisù cannoli for dessert.
At its onsite Asian-inspired restaurant Mya Tiger, there'll be a $185 Cantonese banquet featuring Kung Pao crab spring rolls; pork, prawn and truffle siu mai; and roast duck and char siu pork collar served with bao buns. Then a five-spiced Christmas pudding with miso caramel to finish.
Price: From $175 per person.
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Best restaurants open on Christmas Day in Brisbane

Donna Chang
The Lex
W Brisbane's newly opened New York-style grill, The Lex, is open for Christmas Day lunch. As the hotel's new signature restaurant occupying the terrace-style space, it's offering a festive feast with a side of sweeping city and river views. For $299, you'll get snacks on arrival, a three-course lunch and matched drinks for three hours.
Price: $299 per person.
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Donna Chang
At Brisbane's popular Donna Chang, heritage quarters with decorative ceilings create a premium setting at this upmarket riff on Chinese. And on Christmas Day the restaurant is offering a contemporary Chinese banquet menu paired with free-flowing drinks, including Champagne.
Price: $288 per person.
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Settimo
Dine like an Italian this Christmas by booking the family in for lunch at Settimo. The Amalfi-inspired menu features highlights of roasted fish, Settimo's signature pork, slow-cooked lamb and desserts of Christmas pudding and tiramisù.
Price: $199 per person.
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Best restaurants open on Christmas Day in Adelaide

Koomo
Koomo
Have a sky-high festive lunch at Koomo, located on the 10th floor of the city's tallest building - Crowne Plaza Adelaide. The 'Asian fusion' restaurant is offering a share-style Asian-inspired Christmas lunch menu in its stylish dining room with views over the city.
Price: $149 per person.
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Ela at Hotel Alba
Hotel Alba's signature restaurant Ela is open all day on Christmas, including for a special three-course lunch of share plates with free-flowing bubbles and wine, plus a Spritz on arrival and an apéritif with dessert. The menu includes dishes such as manchego croquettes and prawn cocktails with Marie Rose sauce to start, followed by chargrilled beef fillet, oven-baked salmon and porchetta, plus festive desserts - from rum balls to fresh cherries.
Price: From $169 per person.
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Best restaurants open on Christmas Day in Perth

Bistro Guillaume
Long Chim
David Thompson's Long Chim restaurant is serving a share-style Thai street food banquet this Christmas, featuring aromatic beef skewers, corn cakes, sour orange lobster curry, grilled lamb rump, minced prawn and pork soup, and more.
Price: $169 per person.
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Bistro Guillaume
At French diner Bistro Guillaume inside Crown Perth, you can expect a glass of Moët & Chandon on arrival and a luxurious menu of seafood platters, beef Wellington, roasted Glacier 51 toothfish with pumpkin ravioli, and cranberry macadamia parfait.
Price: $220 per person.
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Wildflower
Set atop a Perth rooftop, Wildflower is once again offering a Christmas Day lunch for those looking to escape the at-home festivity stress. With marron served with pearl barley, wagyu beef with smoked aubergine and warrigal greens, and strawberry and sandalwood meringue, the five-course set menu promises to match the scenic views.
Price: $285 per person.
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Best restaurants on Christmas Day in Canberra

The Boat House
Sitting pretty on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, The Boat House is offering a long, leisurely Christmas lunch this year. The six-course set menu might include WA marron with pickled fennel, koji crown-roasted chicken with sweet corn, wagyu scotch fillet and, for dessert, finger lime pavlova with basil mousse and yuzu ganache. If you're looking for an elegant feast and a scenic setting, this is the spot.
Price: $230 per person.
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Monster Kitchen
Cheekily called 'A Montrous Christmas Lunch', contemporary Australian restaurant Monster Kitchen's Christmas event kicks off at noon and promises ample food to ensure you leave merry and satiated.
Price: $150 per person, plus an optional two-hour beverage package for $49.
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Decided to stay at home? Check out our best Christmas recipes, Christmas salads and festive Christmas dessert recipes.