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Christmas Day lunches

Skip the stress of hosting your yuletide celebrations and book a merry restaurant lunch instead

Photograph: Neal Whitehouse Piper

If the thought of cooking another Christmas meal for the family brings on sweaty palms and memories of dishes piled high, then maybe it's time to consider treating yourself to a merry Christmas lunch at one of Melbourne's finest restaurants. Each of these venues is putting on something special at price points to suit all budgets. 

Christmas shouldn't be stressful, which is why we've put together your ultimate gift guide. For more restaurant tips for the holiday season, visit our essential hit list.

Restaurants serving Christmas lunch

Arbory Bar and Eatery

Christmas lunch doesn't have to be fussy. Sometimes a laid-back affair is all you need and the Arbory has you covered. They'll be running as usual, with chef Nick Bennett whipping up an appropriately festive turkey burger with all the trimmings: onion and herb stuffing, brie, bacon, cranberry relish, shaved apple, celeriac and watercress.

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Melbourne

Circa, the Prince

Christmas lunch in Melbourne comes with a risk: is it going to be so hot your thongs melt to the pavement, or will summer storms soak your dorky sweater? At Circa, you'll get four courses including aouthern rock crayfish, and outside on The Deck at Circa, you'll chow down on three courses of seafood dishes, Saskia Beer turkey, and spiced pinapple.

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St Kilda

Dutchess

The Dutchess, seated on top of the historic Duke of Wellington hotel, offers an economical feast. The scenic view of Federation Square will save your reputation (and your wallet), and the four-course family style meal will sate your appetite. Look out for Petuna Ocean trout and porterhouse steak on the menu, alongside a traditional christmas pudding for desert.

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Melbourne

Hotel Windsor

There's high class, and then there's the Hotel Windsor. This is where you can get the fanciest Christmas lunch in the city, in your choice of venue: a DIY buffet feast over at the Bourke and Grand Ballrooms, or an extravagant five-course meal in the 111 Spring Street restaurant.

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Melbourne

The Merrywell

Choose from pacific oysters, whole roasted turkey and mushroom ravioli for a hearty but fuss-free Christmas Day lunch at the Merrywell, and save room for an ice cream sandwich or an apple pie. Wheelbarrow to get home in not included.

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Southbank

No. 8 by John Lawson

If you're looking to really impress the folks (or you're trying to build bridges with the in-laws), then spare no expense with this six-course Christmas Day lunch at at Crown. We'd recommend skipping breakfast on this one: the Bass Strait scallop foie gras, Yarra Valley turkey and tenderloin will set you up for that annual Christmas food coma.

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Southbank

Shark Fin Inn

They don't have any Christmas specials on, but bring the family down anyway and try Shark Fin Inn's banquet menu, which includes a multitude of dumplings and their signature Peking duck. It'll be packed (it usually is), but call ahead and you should be able to grab a table for a Chinatown Christmas feast.

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Melbourne

Stuck for gift ideas?

The ultimate Melbourne gift guide

Even Santa couldn't fault this shopping guide – we've matched Melbourne's best stores to four personality types, from the edgy tastemaker to the thrifty bargain hunter. Just remember, there's nothing like seeing your friend's face light up at a gift that is just so them.

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By: Rose Johnstone

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