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Long table with chairs outside on a deck at the Gantry
Photograph: Supplied/The Gantry

The best Christmas day lunches in Sydney

Make Christmas Day a breeze and take the family out for lunch

Written by
Divya Venkataraman
,
Alannah Maher
&
Time Out editors
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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.

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Don't do Christmas? Try these yum cha restaurants open on Christmas Day. Catering at home? You might need this handy guide to buying seafood from a top Sydney chef

Recommended: The 50 best restaurants in Sydney

Christmas Day lunches in Sydney

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. 

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

This swish restauarant tucked into the ground floor of the Star isn't just a post-pokies stop-off. Chef Chase Kojima has mustered up a loyal following with his inventive take on Japanese cuisine, and you can try it out on Christmas day. The menu ($150 per person) includes tasty delights like miso-glazed toothfish, snapper with white soy dressing, scallop sashimi and a whole lot of sushi.   

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  • 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. It'll set you back $285 per adult (or $99 for children). 

Glass Brasserie
  • Restaurants
  • Sydney

Mix it up this year with a Christmas brunch: it's $95 per person, and you'll get a glass of bubbly thrown in. 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.

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  • 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 $190 for adults, and $55 for the kiddies. 

  • Restaurants
  • Woollahra
  • price 2 of 4

Bistro Moncur is hosting a very European, three-course Christmas lunch for $250pp, or $350 with matching wines. On the menu is an amusebouche of caviar and eggs and soliders, followed by pate or a prawn and avocado salad. Mains are a choice of pan fried toothfish or roast turkey with sides of snow peas, potato, or green salad. For dessert they're serving Christmas Pudding with cognac custard.

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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, with six courses showcasing seasonal ingredients, including a seafood platter, and a glass of Perrier Jouet Champagne. It's yours for $349 per person – and you can add on a curated wine package for $79 each. Otherwise, the 'Christmas Luxe Lunch' is a riff on the classic buffet, with meats and seafood, salads and sides – but there's no need to leave your seat, just order as much as you like and it'll find its way to your table. Prices start at $299 per adult (drinks are included). 

  • 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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  • Restaurants
  • Balmain

Why not try a Turkish style Christmas lunch this year? You'll enjoy five courses, including a cheese plate; octpus with chilli jam; lamb fillet shish kebab; calamari with tarama aioli and a platter of baklava. The feast will cost $155 per person ($55 per child under 14). 

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

There are two options at Gowings Bar and Grill on Christmas Day. There's a share banquet with roast turkey, pineapple glazed ham and Christmas pudding ice cream profiteroles. Or you can luxe it up with lobster, roast suckling pig, and white chocolate, coconut and cherry trifle. Prices start at $175 per person.

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  • 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 $195 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. And if you prefer the European approach, they also host a Christmas Eve dinner.

Anason
  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

This truly resplendent 14-course feast by the harbour will cost you $185 per person, or $55 per child. Enjoy the sunshine and Barangaroo’s prime waterfront location, and fill up on Turkish snacks including mezes like fried okra, lentil kofte, king prawns with raki cream, and baklava with pistachio ice cream. They're also open for dinner service if you prefer to save your celebrating until after the sun goes down.   

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  • Travel
  • Double Bay

This five-star Double Bay hotel is laying on a Christmas spread that includes Crystal Bay tiger prawns and Sydney rock oysters,  and slow roasted turkey with all the trimmings. As tradition dictates, plum pudding with brandy Analgise, traditional mince pies or a raspberry, dark chocolate and coconut yule log are on the dessert menu. It's priced at $230 per adult without drinks, $315 incuding drinks, or $115 for children 12 and under.

  • Hotels
  • Luxury hotels
  • Darling Harbour

Take the hassle out of prepping a big family meal with the Sofitel Christmas Day four-course lunch, which includes dishes like kingfish ceviche, a lobster and foie gras salad, and a hibiscus pavolva to finish – but you get to pick between a choice of entrées, mains and desserts. It costs $114 per adult.

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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 $299.

  • 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.

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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 $150 for adults and $55 for kids, and you can book in for noon or 3pm over here.

Have your Christmas lunch in the clouds, 81 levels above the city at Sydney Tower’s stylish new revolving restaurant. Executive chef Darren Templeman brings his experience working across Michelin-starred restaurants to a three course feast that’ll set you back $185 (or $199 for a guaranteed window seat) and $55 for kids. Book here.

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This beautiful architectural dome in the Royal Botanic Gardens is putting in a four-course Christmas feast amongst the beauty of its In Bloom exhibition, the largest vertical floral display in the Southern Hemisphere. Lunch includes unlimited beverages for $180, or $80 for kids. Book here.

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