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Plate of prawns with dips, lemon and a glass of sparkling wine.
Photograph: The Langham/Laura-Jane Hawkins

The best Christmas Day lunches and dinners in Sydney

Make Christmas Day a breeze and take the family out for a festive feed

Written by
Divya Venkataraman
,
Elizabeth McDonald
&
Alannah Maher
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Christmas has the potential to be a joyous occasion, but the combined pressure of extended family, opressive heat and group catering can really take the shine off your day, which is why you might want to consider just booking a table at one of these top Sydney establishments. They'll make you and yours a yuletide feast, pop the Champagne, and there's no washing up required on your part. Too easy.

Don't forget, folks. Restaurant staff are working through Christmas Day, so be kind and tip big.

If you own a venue and you'd like to be considered for inclusion in this list, please get in touch with our food and drinks editor at elizabeth.mcdonald@timeout.com.

The best Christmas Day lunches and dinners in Sydney

Have your Christmas lunch in the clouds, 81 levels above the city at Sydney Tower’s stylish new revolving restaurant. Christmas Eve feasting starts at $125 for three courses and Christmas lunch and dinner will set you back $185 (or $200 for a guaranteed window seat) and $55 for kids. Book here.

The Winery
  • Bars
  • Surry Hills
  • price 2 of 4

The laneway beauty tucked behind Crown Street is keeping its doors open this Christmas – tuck into a festive, three-course lunch for $110 per person. You'll be plied with oysters, tiger prawns, or chicken parfait to start, and then take your pick between roast chicken or snapper. To finish? A pav, of course.  Get bottomless drinks for $49 per person, or $89 if you're looking for a snazzier selection. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Darling Harbour
  • price 3 of 4

This swish restaurant tucked into the ground floor of the Star isn't just a post-pokies stop-off. Chef Dany Karam has mustered up a loyal following with his inventive take on Japanese cuisine, and you can try it out on Christmas day. The menu ($200 per person) includes tasty numbers like salmon shungiku with sweet samjang, shiso ponzu, avocado and daikon salsa, marble scored 9+ rump cap, scallop tortellini and a festive chocolate and cherry crumble.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Mosman
  • price 2 of 4

With postcard-perfect water views and an inspired take on seafood, Ormeggio is an archetypal Australian summer destination. At Christmas lunch, you'll get an Aperol Spritz on arrival (as is the Italian way), freshly shucked oysters, and four-courses of chef Alessandro Pavoni's menu. The set menu includes cured scallops, Hiramassa kingfish crudo, handpicked spanner crab fritters and more. It will set you back $350 per adult (or $150 for children). 

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Spend Christmas sky-high and filling your belly with an ‘unlimited’ feast at Sydney Tower’s 82-storey high restaurant. The team is putting on a festive feast for $130 a head (or $150 for guaranteed window-side dining) and $50 for kids. You can have your pick of Christmas Eve, Christmas lunch or Christmas dinner. Book here.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Darling Harbour

Cucina Porto is another of the Star's stellar venues taking care of all of your Christmas needs. Kick your heels up and enjoy a family style set menu ($95 per person) of antipasti, beef and lamb ragu, whole roasted chicken, and plenty more. 

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Glass Brasserie
  • Restaurants
  • Sydney

On the slightly more affordable end of the spectrum is Glass Brasserie, at $209 ($55 for the kids) per person, and you'll get a glass of bubbly thrown in on arrival. The glassed-in dining room at the Hilton Sydney is the perfect space to celebrate with your nearest and dearest – and you'll get a festive mince pie to finish on.

  • Restaurants
  • Steak house
  • Darling Harbour

At this swanky steakhouse, your Christmas classics get a gourmet makeover. Think a roast of turkey with macadamia stuffing, heirloom carrots with rhubarb chutney, smoked pork hock risotto and more. It's $230 for adults, and $55 for the kids.

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The Gantry Restaurant and Bar
  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Dawes Point

Under the direction of rising star chef Thomas Gorringe, Pier One Hotel's restaurant the Gantry is way more than an in-house dining room. Their Christmas lunch menu is unlikely to disappoint. Enjoy a premium seafood platter, a four-course tasting menu, pre-dessert, and petit fours. Grab a glass of Champagne on arrival and four matching wines. It's yours for $349 per person – and you can add on a curated wine package for $79 each. If you're doing things European style there is a Christmas eve and Christmas dinner for just $199 per person.

  • Restaurants
  • Freshwater
  • price 2 of 4

Lunch at Pilu at Freshwater is like stepping through the looking glass into a Mediterranean island holiday on a normal day, so we wouldn't sniff at the idea of whiling away Christmas day there. For $290 per person (or $90 for children), you'll be served a fresh, seafood-centric menu including a saffron maccheroncini with lobster and confit tomato and oysters with Champagne granita. 

 

 

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Gowings Bar and Grill
  • Restaurants
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

Gowings Bar and Grill is pulling out all the stops on Christmas Day. There's a shared banquet with roast turkey, pineapple glazed ham, wood-roasted salmon, and Christmas pudding ice cream profiteroles. It'll cost you $195 per adult but there are plenty of starters and sides, so this one's a bargain.

  • Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Darling Harbour

If you like your Christmas spread with a side of harbour views then book your seats at the Hyatt Regency Christmas Day lunch. It's $220 per adult and will include beverages, fresh seafood, a charcuterie platter and a selection of salads. For main, treat yourself to a selection of festive ham and turkey, stuffed with all the trimmings. Tickets for children aged four to 12 are $110. If you prefer the European approach, they also host a Christmas Eve dinner, as well as festive lunches every Thursday and Friday throughout December.

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Anason
  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

This truly resplendent 14-course feast by the harbour will cost you $224 per person for Christmas lunch, or $198 per person for Christmas dinner. Enjoy the sunshine and Barangaroo’s prime waterfront location, and fill up on Turkish snacks including mezes like quail legs in pastry, snapper with white bean piyaz, lamb loin, smoked eggplant puree and baklava with pistachio ice cream. 

 

Q Dining
  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Sydney

This Circular Quay restaurant (which also has some of the best views of the harbour in Sydney) will host a luxe three-course lunch, which also includes free-flowing Veuve Clicquot for $349 for adults, $129 for teens, and $95 for kids under 12.

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  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Sydney
  • price 3 of 4

If you’re looking for a special view for a special occasion, the gentle rotation of the outer circle of O Bar and Dining will provide you with panoramic views of Sydney and its Harbour. This fine diner is putting on a booked-out Christmas lunch, but if you’re quick you might be able to snag seats at dinner on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve of five courses ($225) or three courses for kids ($100). Make a reservation here.

This modern Italian restaurant set in the leafy greenery of the Domain, opposite the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is putting on a Christmas lunch with plenty of antipasto bites,  plates to share and a prosecco on arrival. It’s $165 for adults and $55 for kids, and you can book in for noon or 3pm over here.

 

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  • Travel
  • Millers Point

The Rocks’ home of luxury and high tea is putting on lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve with extravagant seafood displays, carvery meat selection and festive dessert stations. Lunch runs from noon for $248 per person (or $40 per child) including a drink package with wine, beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Children four years and under eat for freeChristmas Day will set you back $398 per person, and Christmas dinner is $248 per person. Make a booking here

For the first time ever, you can spend Christmas Day under the famous white sails of Sydney Opera House, with two seperate Christmas lunch options to choose from. There'll be two sittings in the Yallamundi Rooms ($225) as well as in the Joan Sutherland Theatre ($260). Both are four-course feasts with a premium drinks package. Make a booking here

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  • Bars
  • Darling Harbour
  • price 2 of 4

This waterfront Darling Harbour spot is chanelling Bali beach hut vibes every day, but on Christmas Day they're levelling up the festivities and rolling out a pig on a spit for a barbecue complete with sirlon steaks, snags, salads and sides. You can get all this for $79 with a two-hour drinks package, or for an extra $30 you can upgrade to the seafood option with prawns and oysters on arrival. The kids menu is $49. Pick a time and book in here

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