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Where to find yum cha on Christmas Day

Swap turkey for trolleys, crackers for char siu bao and peeling prawns for proper har gow

Bowls of Yum Cha at The Eight
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Don't celebrate Christmas? Do celebrate it, but don't want to deal with all the washing up? Luckily, some of Sydney's best yum cha restaurants will be dishing up all the dumplings your heart could possibly desire this Christmas Day.

If you're in need of a caffeine fix or a quick bite to eat, check out our list of cafés and restaurants open on Christmas Day. And if you need to take a long stroll to burn off all the damage, head off on one of our picks for Sydney's best walks

Yum cha restaurants open on Christmas Day

Lady serving yum cha at Palace Chinese Restaurant
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Restaurants, Chinese

Palace Chinese Restaurant


By night it’s Cantonese à la carte, but by day it’s yum cha carts ahoy at this Chinese restaurant hidden in Piccadilly Tower. Palace churns out all the classics, bustled about by enthusiastic cart pushers who’ll happily lift every bamboo steamer for you to inspect its contents. On Christmas Day, you can head in from 10.30am.

BBQ Beef at The Eight
Photograph: Daniel Boud

The Eight


Order the chunky hunks of barbecue pork knuckle that our waiter says is “better than belly”. Don't eat meat? Go for sweet braised tofu and spinach dumplings filled with toasted pine nuts. Their dumplings are soft, cloud-like and well made – see for yourself with a serve of the prawn and pork, and follow them with the rolled-then-fried rice rolls. They'll open from 10am.

Sunny Harbour Seafood Restaurant

Sunny Harbour Seafood Restaurant


A perennial favourite with yum cha fans, this multi-level Canto palace specialises in some of the more classic dim sum on offer, like braised tripe, or proper congee and stuffed donuts. It’s prawn-o-rama here too, with rounds of sweet braised eggplant stuffed with chopped-up prawns, prawn and scallop dumplings topped with a tiny scallop and classic har gow. Open from 10am.

Yum Cha at Marigold



This Chinatown mainstay has been hopscotching around Sussex, Liverpool and George streets for close to four decades, and she’s ageing well, with a look that nudges onto the right side of the nostalgic-kitschy divide. She also opens every day of the year, which means you can get your Chrissy cheong fun kicks from 10am on the big day.


East Ocean Restaurant


This bustling, open-plan dining room is a very fine place to indulge in salt-and-pepper delights, roasted meats and pretty much anything they throw your way. The dumplings are fluffy and fine-skinned, an order of their special fried rice with fish roe is a necessity. They'll be getting an early start, swinging the doors open from 9.30am. 


Dynasty Chinese


Walk over the little wooden footbridge and behind the waterfall to Dynasty, where sweet, glossy, baked barbecue pork buns and impressive 12-fold prawn dumplings await. On Christmas Day, they'll be trading as usual from 10am. 

Want more Christmas Day entertainment?

The 2014 Lights of Christmas at St Marys Cathedral Sydney
Photograph: James Horan
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Christmas in Sydney

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere means beach barbecues, long lunches and checking out the festive lights in the city. There’s no snow, sure, but we know how to party. Find out where you can sing Christmas carols, shop at the Christmas markets, and get a head start on the Boxing Day sales.