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Christmas Buffet
Photograph: Courtesy Lighthouse

Where to have Christmas Day lunches and dinners in Sydney for 2022

Make Christmas Day a breeze by taking the family out for a festive feed

Written by
Elizabeth McDonald
,
Alannah Maher
&
Alice Ellis
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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 will make you and your kin a yuletide feast, pop the Champagne for you, and the very best bit: there's no washing up required on your part. Too easy.

Don't forget, folks: restaurant staff at these places are working through Christmas Day, so be kind and sling them a tip.

The best Christmas Day lunches and dinners in Sydney

Q Dining
  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Sydney

This Circular Quay restaurant (which has some of the best views of the harbour in Sydney) is decking its halls with festive flair. Their four-course Christmas lunch, designed by head chef Steven Hartert, will be a luxe take on the Christmas classics. Think a chilled seafood platter; house-cured salmon; turkey breast with pine nut stuffing; honey-and-clove-glazed leg ham; and steamed fig pudding served with salted caramel ice-cream. A full 4-course vegetarian menu is also available. Santa will also make an appearance, bearing gifts for all! Nab a seat for $349 per adult, and $129 per child under 13.

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

On Christmas Day you can order à la carte from this swish restaurant tucked into the ground floor of the Star. Chef Dany Karam has mustered up a loyal following with his inventive take on Japanese cuisine – a nice detour from the usual Chrissy Day ham and pav! You can add a two-hour beverage package for $95.

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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 a luxury four-course sharing menu that will set you back $350 per adult (or $150 for children). Dietary requirements can be catered to with notice.

  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

Alessandro Pavoni was one of the avant-garde in Sydney's modern Italian scene, but he's turned right back to old-world grandeur. His dream: to bring the gold-brocaded opulence of Italian fine dining to Sydney. So if a grand, Christmas sounds like you, consider booking in at A'Mare. For $450 per adult (and $200 per child), you'll be treated to a grand five-course menu. That's A'Mare.

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Spend Christmas sky-high, filling your belly with an endless feast at Sydney Tower’s 82-storey high restaurant. The buffet lunch is $150 a head ($170 for a window seat; $70 for kids). You'll be taken on a culinary tour around the globe, with more than 30 international dishes to choose from. You'll also take a (seated) tour of Sydney, as the restaurant revolves.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Darling Harbour

Like the idea of an Italian Christmas? At Cucina Porto (another of the Star's stellar venues), you can enjoy a four-course Christmas Day sharing menu featuring treats like grilled beef scotch filet tagliata and a 'Guazzetto di mare' of mussels, prawns and fish in a dry red vermouth sauce. Oh, and crispy duck fat chips – delizioso! For $125 per person. Add an extra $55 each for a two-hour spritz package.

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Glass Brasserie
  • Restaurants
  • Sydney

Dine in style at Luke Mangan's hatted Glass Brasserie, the glassed-in dining room at the Hilton Sydney. Choose from a festive three-course menu for lunch ($229 per person), or two courses for dinner ($188 pp). Not bad festive value, considering Luke Mangan's rep. 

  • Restaurants
  • Steak house
  • Darling Harbour

At this swanky steakhouse, your Christmas classics get a gourmet makeover. Think turkey with macadamia stuffing, heirloom carrots and rhubarb chutney; Murray cod from the charcoal oven, and more. It's $225 for adults, and $65 for the kids.

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The Gantry Restaurant
  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Dawes Point

Want to make Christmas 2022 extremely spesh? Spend the day waterside at the Gantry, the restaurant at the Pier One Hotel. Be treated to a decadent lunch with champagne on arrival, snacks on ice, amuse bouche, entrée, main, pre-dessert (ooohh!) and dessert, with wine pairing throughout. The lunch sitting doesn't come cheap, at $499 per person (price for kids on request). Dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are both a bit more affordable, at $299 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 $295 per adult (or $95 for kids), you'll be served a fresh, Italian-inspired, seafood-centric menu including wagyu beef and Australian Bay lobster with a crustacean bearnaise. 

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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, roast pork, wood-roasted ocean trout, duck fat potatoes, cherry pav and much more. It'll cost you $220 per adult (and $90 for each child aged six to 12), but there are plenty of starters and sides, so it's decent value.

  • Restaurants
  • Asian
  • Darling Harbour

If you'd like your Christmas spread with a side of harbour views, book your seats at the Hyatt Regency Christmas Day lunch. It's $289 per adult, but that includes bevvies, along with all the seafood, turkey, hot buffet selections, sides and desserts of your dreams. Tickets for children aged six to 12 are $144. If you prefer the European approach, they also host a Christmas Eve dinner (for $159 per adult).

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Anason
  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

This truly resplendent 12-course modern Turkish feast by the harbour will cost you $244 per person for Christmas lunch, or $198 for Christmas dinner. Enjoy the sunshine and Barangaroo’s prime waterfront location, and fill up on Turkish delights including mezes like quail legs in pastry; salmon with tahini, walnuts and pomegranate molasses; lamb shoulder with manti, garlic yoghurt and mint –and of course, baklava.

  • Bars
  • Sydney

Celebrate Christmas from on top of the world – or Sydney, at least. At 83 storeys above street level, you can enjoy a surprisingly affordable Christmas high tea (premium finger food and drinks) at Bar 83 in Sydney Tower, for $130. Note that the celebration doesn't kick off until 2pm. But that gives you plenty of time for a leisurely morning of unwrapping pressies.

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  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

Fire, smoke, ice and steam – that's a reference to the four dedicated open kitchens that husband and wife restauranteurs Ross and Sunny Lusted have installed in the middle of their sprawling eatery Woodcut, which is part of the Crown Sydney on the Barangaroo waterfront. If you want spectacle with your Christmas Day lunch, then Woodcut could be the spot. As Ross Lusted says, “Hospitality is entertainment. We’re in the entertainment business." You can dine on a four-course menu at Woodcut on Christmas Day for $450 per adult and $200 per child.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Lavender Bay

You'll have a joyeux Noël at Loulou Bistro in Milsons Point. The three-course French-style sharing menu ($195 per adult) features freshly cooked Yamba prawns; Loulou’s signature chicken liver parfait; John Dory Farci; roast saddle of lamb; traditional Christmas cake ‘Bûche de Noël’ and more. There’s also a dedicated kid’s menu.

  • Restaurants
  • Restaurants

Here's one that's a little different – how about a Christmas feast designed by Australia's best chefs, but served up in the comfort of home? Providoor’s at-home restaurant meal deliveries take the stress out of Christmas entertaining. Take your pick from a range of feasts from Sydney's most popular eateries – for instance, you can get an Italian-style Christmas feast from A Tavola, a porchetta- or lamb shoulder-focused Christmas package from Three Blue Ducks, or a modern Rockpool Bar & Grill banquet featuring fine ingredients including Cape Grim rib eye (or cauliflower) steaks. 

Same-day delivery is available in Sydney until December 24, so you can get the goods delivered on Christmas Eve, in time for you to put everything together using the provided instructions.

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