7 Wellington Restaurants Open On Christmas Day So You Don’t Have To Cook

By Thea Fauvel
5th Dec 2019

A bountiful seafood display.

We’re officially counting down the days till Christmas. Trees are up, shelves are stacked with tinsel and we’re already delving into that advent calendar. One thing we’re not stoked for though is the stress that often comes with Christmas day cooking. Sure, we love a home-cooked Christmas meal but we also love the absolutely blissful idea of giving everyone a year off—no organising ingredients, catering for dietary needs and best of all—no dishes. After all, Christmas is for relaxing in the sun, so why not let someone else take care of the strain. 

Here are the most appetising Christmas day eats in town, so you can sit back, relax, and scrap the tradition of stressful cooking.

St Johns Bar and Restaurant

It’s Christmas, Welly style. Located right on the waterfront, you’ll be enjoying Christmas lunch in the heart of Wellington if you choose St Johns Bar. This much-loved local is serving buffet-style lunch with all the trimmings. They’re offering complimentary bubbles on arrival and a great selection of hot and cold food including plenty of salads and seafood as well as all the carved meats and vegetables your heart desires. If you’ve got room left, top off the meal with some treats from their generously large dessert buffet. For some post-lunch festivities, you’re walking distance from the beach—hit the water at Oriental bay for a swim or rest your full bellies and sunbathe the afternoon away. 

Forage Kitchen at Grand Mercure

Another buffet sure to get those buttons popping is at Forage Kitchen. Imagine everything you’d want to eat on Christmas day and more—Forage kitchen likely has it, their buffet menu is ridiculously good. For those wanting some wintery Christmas and British classics, Forage Kitchen is here for you—Hallelujah, they’ve got all the things you’re missing including Yorkshire puds! Their offerings of sweets are incredible too, they’re serving all the desserts you actually like (sorry mince pies and trifle). As well as the buffet lunch, they’re offering a spectacular set menu dinner where you can watch the sunset turn the city a beautiful orange whilst you pull a Christmas cracker with your loved ones and dine on some of the best food in town. 

West Plaza

Get into the festivities and buffet the day away at West Plaza this Christmas. They’ve got all our Christmas buffet faves on offer including a salad bar with classics such as potato, Ceasar and roast vegetable salad, as well as the carvery, cold cuts and seafood platters and of course, the hot buffet. West Plaza is great for groups and unlike Christmas at home, they’re actually going to have enough chairs and a room big enough to house everyone. No being relegated to sitting on a camp chair or the floor here. 

Logan Brown

Fancy something a little more opulent than a cold cuts and a salad bar this Christmas? For a little more luxury, put on your Christmas best and dine at Logan Brown—one of Wellington’s most elegant and refined establishments. After all, they’re here to cook you a Christmas day feast. What a wonderful gift. Their exquisite menu boasts incredibly high-quality ingredients including butter-poached Langoustine, cured Ora king tartar and duck breast. Christmas at Logan Brown is sure to impress the food lovers in your life, especially as eating out means no leftover stuffing and turkey sandwiches for days after Christmas.  


It’s acceptable to overindulge on Christmas day and that’s exactly what we’d be doing at Portlander. With a tempting and tasty traditional feast, Portlander is offering an impressive five-course Christmas menu. With prawn cocktails, carved ham, turkey, and choices of eye fillet, salmon and classic chicken on offer, there’s something for everyone and all of your friends and fam are bound to have their mouths watering. With their vast spirit selection, Portlander is the perfect place to do the Christmas-day thing and have one too many afternoon brandies.

Hippopotamus at QT

Another restaurant sure to host a fantastic meal this Christmas is Hippopotamus at QT. They’re offering multiple sittings over Christmas day and with a curated menu that makes us feel like we could be eating alongside the royals, your minds and taste buds are sure to be blown. Sit and look out over the sunny waterfront as you enjoy a delectable four courses including oysters, hay smoked coastal lamb tartare and Ora king salmon (as well as a palate cleanser between meals). Impress your refined  friends and family and treat them to some magnificent food this Christmas—knowing QT, we know this one will be incredible.


Seafood at a Kiwi Christmas is a given, and Dockside won’t disappoint with the range they have on offer. Some of the menu items include whitebait fritters, hot smoked salmon, fresh catch market fish plus plenty of other impressive and tasteful meals. Dockside offer three courses and a complimentary flute of Pol Roger on arrival. They’re all-embracing and can cater to all your nearest and dearest’s needs. Their menu boasts gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan possible items. If you’re planning on booking, we suggest getting in quick as they’ll fill fast, after all, it is right on the water and has got to be one of the top locations to spend a sunny Christmas. 

Now that Christmas is taken care of, check out what else is happening around town this December.

Image credit: Kaitlin Maree 

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