It may lack the festive pizzazz (and presents) that come with the Big Day itself, but Boxing Day shouldn't be written off as Christmas's poor relation. In fact, December 26th might even be better than December 25th.
For one thing, the season of goodwill is officially on the way out, which means no more sucking up to annoying family members or feeling obliged to be extra helpful in the kitchen. Plus you've got an entire week of unadulterated lounging before having to face the inevitable "What are you doing for New Year's?" questions.
Such an occasion should be celebrated with more than turkey sandwiches and cold Brussels sprouts. We say leave the leftovers and enjoy Boxing Day in all its glory with dinner at a favourite Brisbane restaurant. Forget the Christmas countdown; it's the Boxing Day build-up we should be getting excited about!
Urban List fave, Symposium, are open on this sacred day, serving up their seriously good coffee and yummy paleo fare to the folks who got a tad too cheery on the Big Day.
Watt Restaurant & Bar
We can't think of a better way to spend Boxing Day that hanging with friends, and sharing a bowl of mussels and drinks with friends by the beautiful river. Watt are open from 10am to 6pm.
South Side Diner
Serving up some of our favourite Yankee grub, South Side Diner are doing the right thing and flinging their doors open on Boxing Day (Yay!). They are also part of South Bank's Global Culinary Adventure, which could see you on a $10,000 eating trip of the world just for feasting at your fave South Bank restaurant. Check out the other restaurants involved here.
Pony Lounge & Dining
Recover from yesterday's food frenzy with dinner at Pony Lounge & Dining. The Eagle Street Pier restaurant's views over the Brisbane River compliment their relaxed Australian menu, which includes Cone Bay Barramundi and Lamb from Milly Hill. And if you haven't had enough of sharing with your nearest and dearest, you can try the Rangers Valley Wagyu Rump platter. Mmm, meaty.
Crema and Cream
We've introduced you to the greatness of suburban coffee geniuses Crema & Cream already so you'll be excited to know that they are open right up until the 27th of December (including Christmas Day!) between 7am and 10am, serving coffee and snacks only!
Hot Air Balloon Brisbane
If you are looking for something somewhat more substantial for breakfast, then why not combine the first meal of the day with hot air ballooning (and Champagne). Especially good if you didn't get the present you were hoping for, and need to make up for it.
We can't think of many things we'd rather be doing on Boxing Day than sitting in a cosy Queenslander with a plate of slow-cooked Confit Duck. Combining chef Olivier Boudon's Aurillac roots with local seasonal produce, Sprout do French cuisine with a Queensland twist.
Motion Bar and Grill at The Marriot
The Marriot's stylish restaurant is open for Christmas Day dining, but we say it's all about the after party. Spend Boxing Day in one of Motion Bar and Grill's chic booths or enjoying the evening sun on the riverside terrace.
Any residual Christmas Day stress will be magically erased with dinner at Claret House. After all that present wrapping, tree decorating and mince pie making, this Teneriffe wine bar's easy sharing plates and warm interior will have your blood pressure levels returning to normal in no time.
Keeping you well stocked and caffeinated over the holidays, Hawthorne Garage (who also do a mean breakfast) will be open every day except for Christmas Day, between 6am and 8pm. Talk about hard working!
If you haven't had enough of roast turkey and all the trimmings, a visit to Brisbane's favourite French restaurant is sure to satisfy your Christmas cravings. Their festive menu includes pan-fried monkfish wrapped in prosciutto and Tasmanian salmon, alongside the traditional bird, and can be enjoyed in their private Cellar Dining Room.
The Brasserie on the River
Stamford Hotel's Brasserie on the River offers diners a "magical" Christmas dining experience. While we're pretty sure there won't be any spirits of Christmas past or gallivanting elves, the Edward Street restaurant's poached lobster share plates and orange figgy puddings are nothing short of enchanted.
Feeling guilty about forcing your partner to endure Christmas lunch with the In Laws? A sunset dinner at Mount Coot-tha's Summit Restaurant will make up for any amount of Charades and watery gravy. The fairy lights and Christmas trees make the view onto Brisbane even more sparkling than usual.
Image credit: Half Baked Harvest