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Sunda Christmas ham
Photograph: Supplied/Sunda

Restaurants and cafés open on Christmas Day

Can't face the kitchen on Christmas Day? Try one of these venues instead

By Rushani Epa
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This year's Christmas on December 25 will mark a time for us to share our joy with loved ones after spending a chunk of the year in isolation. In this case that can also include cosying up to a roast turkey or steamed xiao long bao at one of our favourite restaurants. These city restaurants, bars and cafés are opening their doors to share in the Christmas spirit, and we've included information on how you can join them. 

Still need to get a gift or two? These are some great last-minute Christmas present ideas. Need something to do this silly season? Melbourne has plenty of festive events to yule-tide you over. 

RECOMMENDED: Things to do in Melbourne on December 25 if you don't celebrate Christmas

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Restaurants and cafés open on Christmas Day

CBD

The following CBD restaurants are open on Christmas day.


Whole fish
Photograph: Thai Tide

Thai Tide

Restaurants Thai Melbourne

Time: 11am until 11pm.

Thai Tide fed the masses whole mud crab during lockdown, now it's feeding you this Christmas with the option of ordering anything off its regular in-house menu. Call 9650 7987 to book.

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Christmas ham
Photograph: Supplied/Sunda

Sunda

Restaurants Melbourne

Time: Noon or 1pm for a three-hour sitting.

Join Sunda for a six-course Christmas degustation with a native Australian and Southeast Asian twist. Throw your glazed ham and roast turkey assumptions out the door and prepare yourself for one of the most exciting Christmas feasts you'll ever have.

Oysters
Photograph: Sourced

The Duke of Wellington Hotel

Bars Melbourne

Time: 11.30am and 2pm sittings.

The Duke of Wellington is serving a set Christmas lunch menu this year featuring an obligatory ham (with a bourbon and apricot glaze) and turkey (slow-cooked with a currant, fig and chestnut stuffing), plus cold cuts, prawns, oysters and Christmas pudding. Vegetarians can feel at home too with a separate menu subbing the ham for eggplant and the turkey for pumpkin. 

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Panda Hotpot 蜀大侠老火锅

Restaurants Chinese Carlton

Time: 11.30am to 2pm, 5pm to 11pm.

Hot pot might be the best way to bring people together, especially during a time like Christmas. Panda Hot Pot is open to provide you with its regular menu featuring a range of hot pot options suited to those looking to numb their mouths with Sichuan peppercorns or looking to keep things mellow with a milky pork bone broth. Phone the venue to book your spot or reserve online.

Hofbrauhaus Melbourne

Restaurants German Melbourne

Time: Noon to 3pm.

Grab a stein full of pilsner and dig into some wienerschnitzel or crisp pork knuckle bigger than your head at Hofbrauhaus's temporary Docklands location. The restaurant and bier garten plans to offer its regular menu with some specials. Stay up to date via its website or Facebook page to find out if will accept walk-ins or if it's fully booked.

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Vermicelli roll with shrimp at Tim Ho Wan
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Tim Ho Wan

Restaurants Melbourne

Time: 10am to 8.15pm.

Tim Ho Wan is open this Christmas and will offer its regular menu which includes its renowned barbecue pork buns. There are traditional dumplings and pan-fried turnip cakes that you can eat to your heart's desire, but there is no booze. Fret not though as the food will easily make up for this. Walk-ins only.

State of Grace 2018
Photograph: Supplied

State of Grace

Bars Melbourne

Time: 11.30am to 1.15pm, 2pm to 3.45pm.

The multi-level restaurant and hidden cellar bar is offering two set Christmas lunch menus. One set lunch will take place on the rooftop with a tasting plate and bubbles on offer, while the other will be indoors and serve up a more formal four-course menu. Bookings are imperative via its website

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Dry hot pot at Musou
Photograph: Supplied/Griffin Simm

Musou

Time: 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to midnight

You've heard of hot pot, but have you heard of dry hot pot? Musou offers what's essentially a version of stir-fry that one person can enjoy. The process is simple: sit down and receive a menu like you would at hot pot and pick and choose your toppings and base. There's varying levels of numbness you can choose from (owing to Sichuan peppercorns) and heat too, but the difference is not only that it's dry, but that the food is prepared for you. A word to the wise: start off with mild or medium, unless you want it to feel like an out-of-control party occurring in the roof of your mouth. There's also fusion malatang that includes a coconutty tom yum broth on offer. Musou will be open for walk-ins and bookings.

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Pasta
Photograph: Il Nostro Posto

Il Nostro Posto

Time: 11.15am to 9.30pm.

For Sicilian-inspired eats in a converted 19th-century warehouse, look no further than Il Nostro Posto. Expect pizzas and pasta on its regular menu. Reserve online via OpenTable.

The Wharf Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

The Wharf Hotel

Restaurants Docklands

Time: 11.30am to 1.15pm, 2pm to 3.45pm.

If you're after a laidback Christmas experience, head to the pub, or the Wharf Hotel specifically. The venue will offer a three-course lunch for children and adults alike. Reserve via the website

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Chef David

Restaurants Chinese Melbourne

Time: 11am to 2.30pm, 5pm until midnight.

Chef David will pass the hot pot baton on solely to its brother venue David's Hot Pot and will instead offer items off its à la carte menu like Sichuan wagyu beef skewers or a plethora of grilled meats or seafood options this Christmas. Call 8797 2666 to reserve.

David's Artisan Hot Pot

Restaurants Melbourne

Time: 11.30am to 11.30pm. 

Chongqing and its adjacent Sichuan Province are hot pot grandmasters. Here, specially designed tables are fitted with a sunken hot pot receptacle that houses an ornate steel pot. The pot is then often subdivided into at least two (sometimes nine-plus) different broth regions, with the fiery hot mala variety – usually, a beef stock that grunts with tonnes of chillies and Sichuan peppercorns – a must-order. Patrons then order plates of raw ingredients off the menu, concoct themselves a custom sauce from the DIY sauce station, and get to business. Bookings are essential online.

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Thai hot pot
Photograph: Jiyu Thai Hot Pot

Jiyu Thai Hot Pot

Time: 11.30am to 2.30pm. 

With its roots in Phuket, Jiyu does hot pot like you've never had it before: Thai style. Lovers of a hot and sour Tom Yum soup will be happy here, as will those who crave a creamy coconut broth. Be sure to try its signature seafood hot pot, you'll thank us later. Book your spot via its website or phone 9639 3669.

Latte
Photograph: Café Lafayette

Café Lafayette

Time: 10am to 2pm.

Sleep-in on Christmas day then head to Café Lafayette for a Christmas brunch. Expect colourful, Japanese-influenced foods like its take on an eggs Benny that features braised pork belly on a mentaiko potato croquette, or its rainbow latte art that was made for the 'gram. 

 

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Imperial Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

Imperial Hotel

Bars Melbourne

Time: 11.30am to 1.15pm, 2pm to 3.45pm.

The rooftop bar and pub is dishing up an extravagant three-course set lunch menu on Christmas day. Think honey and mustard glazed ham or King Ora salmon en croute with all the trimmings. There are even oysters with a shallot vinaigrette. The event is children friendly and bookings are essential via its website.

Food at The Crafty Squire
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The Crafty Squire

Bars Pubs Melbourne

Time: 11.30am to 1.30pm, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

The bar and pub is turning off the sports on its TVs and instead diverting its attention to a specially curated set three-course lunch menu this Christmas. Celebrate in two-hour sittings and expect the likes of its own spin on the classic prawn cocktail featuring a brandy spiked sauce and fresh Queensland prawns, or the obligatory Christmas pudding soaked in cognac served with vanilla bean custard. Book via its website.

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Cento Mani Café
Photograph: Cento Mani Café

Cento Mani Café

Restaurants South American Melbourne

Time: 8am to 2pm.

Colombian café Cento Mani is yet to confirm whether it will open for breakfast and lunch on Christmas Day. Phone 7021 1039 to enquire.

North

The following northside restaurants are open on Christmas Day.

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Punjabi Curry Café
Photograph: Punjabi Curry Café

Punjabi Curry Cafe

Restaurants Asian Collingwood

Time: 5pm to 11pm.

For those craving a decent North Indian feed there's Punjabi Curry Café: a spice-laden haven where you can mop up a smoky chicken tikka masala with a garlic naan. The venue's extensive menu will be available all night too so you can plan in advance. Phone 9419 5307 or book online.

East

The following restaurants in Melbourne's east are open on Christmas Day.

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Auburn Hotel charcuterie board
Photograph: Supplied

Auburn Hotel

Bars Hawthorn

Time: 11.30am to 1.15pm, 2pm to 3.45pm.

Upscale Hawthorn pub, Auburn Hotel is offering a set three-course lunch menu on Christmas Day with a separate menu dedicated to vegetarians too. Choose from whatever main you feel like on the day like the Christmas turkey with a sage and onion stuffing and a juicy chipolata. Or prepare yourself for the cheese selection to end your meal with featuring blue cheese, brie, smoked cheddar, quince paste, lavosh and muscatels. Reserve online.

South

The following southside restaurants are open on Christmas Day.

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Bangpop

Restaurants South Wharf

Time: 11.30am to 2.30pm with sittings every 30 minutes.

Go on a culinary journey to Thailand this Christmas with Bangpop in South Wharf. Attend one of the multiple sittings that go for two hours at a time and receive a drink of your choice upon arrival. Taste the likes of crisp pork belly with mustard greens and dried chilli, or a rich beef Massaman curry. There's also a vegan menu. Book online.

Meat Market
Photograph: Supplied

Meat Market

Restaurants Steak house South Wharf

Time: 11.30am to 3.30pm with sittings every 30 minutes.

Sit down for a three-course lunch at Meat Market. Check out views of the Yarra in South Wharf as you saunter over to the raw bar containing Coffin Bay oysters and more, or enjoy your choice of main including cider-brined free-range organic turkey with macadamia and apricot stuffing. There are multiple sittings and each lasts for two hours. 

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Bistro Guillaume

Restaurants Southbank

Time: 11am to 1pm, 1.30pm to 4pm, 5pm to 7.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm.

Put a French spin on your Christmas this year with Bistro Guillaume. Its five-course set menu could come with a glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne, Fraser Isle spanner crab, Lakes Entrance John Dory with smoked mussel and kombu butter, Mayura Station wagyu with pommes Anna and a truffle vinaigrette, La Luna Holy Goat with honeycomb and brioche and a classic pav to top it off with. Reserve online.

Arda Turkish Cuisine

Restaurants Mediterranean Caulfield

Time: Open. Phone venue.

Treat yourself to a Turkish feast this Christmas. Arda Turkish Cuisine is known for its succulent kebabs, mixed grill platters guaranteed to please everyone and Turkish pizzas. Wash it down with a cold pint or wine from its list. Phone 9530 0193 to reserve.

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Grand Lafayette

Restaurants Cafés Prahran

Time: 5pm until late. 

Proving that breakfast is never boring in Melbourne, 100-seater cafe, Grand Lafayette mashes up Eastern flavours with Western approaches in brunches that are sometimes too pretty to eat. Popular dishes include matcha French toast, wasabi scrambled eggs, gua bao and their clear, flavoured raindrop cakes. Coffee is from Five Senses and there is a wide selection of mocktails available with breakfast. Keep an eye out for their dinners, with an all-you-can-eat menu of Japanese favourites including baked scallops, karaage chicken and miso baked salmon on offer. Book online or call 9510 0501.

Merrywell food spread
Photograph: Supplied

The Merrywell Bar and Dining

Bars Southbank

Time: 11.30am to 1.30pm, 1.45pm to 3.45pm, 5pm to 11pm.

Christmas lunch at Merrywell won't be your usual cheeseburger and shake affair, but a set four-course share menu upstairs which is yet to be announced. Dinner will offer its usual à la carte menu though so you can still get your fix of Americana fare. 

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Nobu

Restaurants Southbank

Time: 11am to 1pm, 1.30pm to 4pm, 5pm to 7.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm.

Head to Nobu's nightclub-esque food hub occupying three levels at Crown Melbourne. The menu that usually features sushi and sashimi, baby tiger prawn tempura and beef tenderloin with wasabi salsa will instead opt to offer a set two-course lunch menu with two sittings, and a set dinner menu, too. Reserve online.

Dumplings at Sun Kitchen
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Sun Kitchen

Restaurants Chinese Albert Park

Time: 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm.

The upmarket Chinese restaurant will offer its tanks of live seafood, with its cellar stacked with marquee names (if you fancy a Domaine de la Romandee-Conti 2008, it’s yours for $32,880) and a menu stuffed with eyebrow-lifting dishes such as the Imperial Treasure seafood claypot of abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw and more (it’s $398 – order ahead). Book online.

 

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Oyster
Photograph: Taryn Elliott

Prince Dining Room

Time: 11.30am to 2.30pm.

Prince Dining Room will offer two sittings this Christmas with a set lunch menu. Dishes will include wood-roasted turkey pie with preserved cherries, crystal bay prawn cocktail rolls and mango and passionfruit pavlova. Book online.

Beef wellington
Photograph: Sourced

Pure South Dining

Restaurants Australian Southbank

Time: Noon onwards (lunch only).

Whether you're looking for a more formal four-course lunch in its upstairs dining room or a casual three-course experience by the riverside, Pure South Dining in Southbank has you covered. Each offering is paired with premium beverages and you can choose from a list of mains that includes King Island grass fed beef Wellingtons served with asparagus, shallot and sauce Bordelaise or pan roasted Huon salmon with smoked potato, peas and preserved lemon. Book online.

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Conservatory

Restaurants Southbank

Time: 11am to 1pm, 1.30pm to 4pm, 4pm to 7.30pm, 8pm to 10.30pm.

Conservatory is Crown’s upmarket buffet restaurant, but it's putting away the bain maries this Christmas and instead opting for an à la carte-style set menu. Reserve online.

Pizza at 400 Gradi : Crown
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Gradi: Crown

Restaurants Southbank

Time: Noon to 1.30pm, 1.30pm to 3pm, 3pm to 4.30pm, 5pm to 6.30pm.

Gradi is famed for its Margherita and now you can have as many pies as you'd like on Christmas, or sample anything off its regular à la carte menu. Each sitting will run for one and a half hours at a time and bookings can be made online for sittings until 6.30pm. The venue will accept walk-ins after 6.30pm.

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College Lawn Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

College Lawn Hotel

Bars Prahran

Time: 11.30am to 1.15pm, 2pm to 3.45pm.

Don your finest Santa hat and make your way down to College Lawn in Prahran. The sunlit, astroturf-decked pub is offering a set three-course lunch menu suited to all ages. Book online.

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Roast chicken
Photograph: Sourced

Ludlow

Time: Noon to 4pm or 5pm.

Riverside bar Ludlow will offer punters the chance to cast their gaze over the Yarra as they sample a set three-course lunch menu. There's plenty of beers on tap and an extensive wine list so rally the troops and book online.

Plates of dumplings
Photograph: supplied

Silks

Restaurants Chinese Southbank

Time: 11am to 1pm, 1.30pm to 3.30pm, 5pm to 7pm, 8pm to 10pm.

Crown Melbourne’s upmarket Chinese restaurant has a set five-course menu in store for your festivities. Book online.

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Outside at The Espy
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The Esplanade Hotel

Bars Pubs St Kilda

Time: Open. 

The latest incarnation of the Esplanade Hotel in St Kilda, one of Melbourne’s most famous pubs, is far too big and sprawling to simply pop by for a pint. With many different dining areas there's no doubt they will have a stellar line-up in store for Christmas. Sign up to its newsletter for updates on its plans. 

 

The Exchange Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

The Exchange Hotel

Bars Port Melbourne

Time: 11.30am to 1.30pm, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

The Exchange has long held a reputation and the odd award for its parmas, but the pub has a set three-course lunch menu fit for both adults and kids in store for Christmas. Reserve via the website

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Food at Two Birds One Stone
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Two Birds One Stone

Restaurants South Yarra

Time: Tentatively opened. 

Brunch enthusiasts are advised to phone Two Birds One Stone on December 10 to ensure it's open on Christmas Day. Phone 9827 1228. 

The Smith, Prahran
Photograph: Supplied

The Smith

Restaurants Prahran

Time: 11.30am to 4.30pm.

The Smith is a smart and elegant all-day eatery with obligatory open kitchen, bar area up front, restaurant out back and double function rooms upstairs. The venue will offer a family-friendly set menu feast. Book online.

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Pork belly
Photograph: Sourced

QT Melbourne - Pascale Bar and Grill

Restaurants European Melbourne

Time: Noon.

QT Melbourne's signature restaurant will offer one sitting on Christmas Day with a three course à la carte menu featuring the likes of ocean trout confit, scotch fillet with béarnaise sauce and honey and lavender roasted carrots. Reserve your spot online.

Newmarket Hotel Courtyard
Photograph: Supplied

Newmarket Hotel

Restaurants St Kilda

Time: 11am to 1pm, 2pm to 4pm.

Enjoy feeling like you've arrived at a friend's place and receive bubbles on arrival with a three-course set lunch menu at contemporary pub Newmarket Hotel. The family-friendly venue near St Kilda's foreshore is accepting bookings now online

 

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West

The following restaurants in Melbourne's west are open on Christmas Day.

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Pineapple stuffed with fried rice
Photograph: Loving Hut West Melbourne

Loving Hut West Melbourne

Time: Open.

The family-owned vegan restaurant will continue to trade on Christmas Day. Call 9326 7551 to enquire or book.

Or book into Christmas lunch

Arbory Bar and Eatery Christmas spread
Photograph: Supplied

The best Christmas Day lunches in Melbourne

Restaurants

If the thought of cooking another Christmas meal for the family results in sweaty palms and flashbacks to dishes piled high, 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.

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