Food & Drink

Where To Eat In Auckland On Christmas Day 2023 So You Don’t Have To Cook

By Kathryn Steane

Some helps themselves to food at one of the best christmas day dinners in auckland.

Christmas Day should be about relaxing and spending time with your loved ones, right? But sometimes finding an Auckland restaurant that's open on Christmas Day is like finding a needle in a haystack.

We've done the hard yards and found out who's open to play host this year so you can sit back, relax and make merry while someone else does all the work. Here are all the great restaurants that are open on Christmas Day 2023.

FISH

Hilton Auckland, Auckland CBD

A Christmas Day feast at FISH.Image credit: FISH | Instagram

Leading the festivities this year is FISH, who invite you to join them for an unforgettable shared-style Christmas dinner. Perched at the end of Princes Wharf, this is certainly a beautiful spot to spend the big day and the menu, curated by top chef Des Harris, is just as gorgeous.

There'll be Chatham Islands crayfish to start—a 12-hour glazed Hawke's Bay lamb shoulder for mains—and a caramelised white chocolate and Kirsch mousse to round out your meal in a suitably sugary manner. And let's not forget that glass of Pommery Brut...

$260 per person. Book here.

Metita

SkyCity, Auckland CBD

Christmas is getting the island treatment over at Metita, the latest offering from acclaimed chef Michael Meredith. Fresh Pacific flavours, redefined and reimagined are the order of the day here, presented in the form of a scrumptious shared menu for you and your whānau.

Expect King salmon with betel leaf, pickled mango and roe—taro bread and butter—snapper with cucumber, kaffir lime and tarua—and a turmeric, pineapple, tipolo and cinnamon cream dessert. Also includes a glass of champagne on arrival (yuss).

$195 per person. Book here.

Esther

QT Auckland, Auckland CBD

A festive feast at Esther.Image credit: Esther | Supplied

Switch up the festivities this year with a Mediterranean-inspired spread at celeb chef Sean Connolly's beloved restaurant, Esther. Located inside the stylish QT Hotel, you'll be treated to your choice of lunch or dinner featuring fan faves like puff bread and baked saganaki, alongside seasonal specials such as Alaskan king crab risotto and Harmony Farms roast porchetta. Ooh, and a gorgeous plum pudding with custard and vanilla bean gelato for afters.

$195 per person / $50 per child. Book here.

JW Marriott

Auckland CBD

A table full of food at JW Marriott's Christmas Day dinner.Image credit: JW Marriott | Instagram

You'll be feeling well chuffed (and presumably, well stuffed) after doing the rounds at JW Marriott's Christmas Day buffet.

This inner-city spot is putting on a generous Chrissy-themed spread for lunch and dinner, blending local flavours with traditional classics—think succulent roast ham and turkey, loads of fresh seafood, and a Secret Dessert Room complete with chocolate fountains, pavlova and other naughty treats (how very Willy Wonka!). A delicious Christmas Eve dinner is also up for grabs.

From $149 per person. Book here.

The Cut

Rydges Auckland, Auckland CBD

Let The Cut take care of Christmas lunch and/or dinner this year, starting with a glass of sparkling G.H. Mumm, whoop whoop. Once that's down the hatch, you'll be treated to an exquisite buffet featuring traditional carvery roasts, a bounty of fresh seafood, and desserts of both the naughty and nice variety. Sure beats Santa's milk and cookies...

$215 per person / $115 per child (ages 5–17) / $50 per child (ages 5 and under). Book here.

Cooke's Restaurant

Fable Auckland, Auckland CBD

A festive spread at Cooke's Restaurant, one of the best places to dine on Christmas Day 2023.Image credit: Cooke's Restaurant | Facebook

A chic Christmas menu awaits those who choose to spend December 25 at Cooke's Restaurant, which you'll find hidden inside the lush Fable Auckland hotel. They're running an exquisite seven-course feast for both lunch and dinner this year, guaranteed to take your Chrissy Day celebrations to tasty new heights. 

Enjoy the restaurant's stylish heritage setting whilst feasting on drool-worthy dishes including scampi with yellow peach chutney and finger lime—lamb loin with witloof and wild mushroom puree—and white chocolate semifreddo with passionfruit, macadamia, and lady grey caramel sauce. Ooft.

$250 per person. Book here.

Onemata

Park Hyatt Auckland, Auckland CBD

If crayfish arancini, ham croquettes and miso-glazed salmon, followed by treats from award-winning pastry chef, Callum Liddicoat—washed down with champagne sounds like your cup of Christmas tea, then best book yourself in for Christmas Day lunch or dinner at Onemata.

One of several top-notch eateries located inside the stunning Park Hyatt Auckland hotel, these guys are serving up a feast fit for a Chrissy king (or queen), in an unrivalled waterfront setting. Plus, they're putting on a special dinner for Christmas Eve, too.

From $220 per person. Book here.

La Marée

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel, Auckland CBD

A Christmas Day feast sits on the table at La Maree, one of the best christmas day dinners in Auckland.Image credit: La Marée | Facebook

Christmas is the time to indulge, is it not? And La Marée, the signature restaurant over at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel, is just the place to do it.

Their exquisite Christmas Day buffet lunch will boast a chilled raw bar with lobster tail, South Island oysters, home-steamed prawns and crab claws—a carving station with roasted lamb and turkey—and a pastry station with Christmas bread pudding, ginger créme brulee and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, all served a literal stone's throw from the Auckland Viaduct. They too will be hosting a dinner on Christmas Eve.

$255 per person / $115 per child (ages 6-12). Book here.

The Sugar Club

SkyCity, Auckland CBD

For a festive feast that's quite literally next-level, head up Auckland's tallest building to The Sugar Club. Yes, if the Sky Tower were a Christmas tree then this world-class restaurant would surely be the shining star on top.

Located 53 floors above ground, not only will you enjoy one of the best views in the city—but you'll also be treated to the finest in creative dining, should you choose to eat here on Christmas Day.

Opening their doors for dinner, they'll be offering several different menus depending on the size of your group, with oysters, crayfish, lamb and trifle all expected to make an appearance. And seeing as it's the one day of the year when over-indulgence is not only acceptable but actively encouraged, you'd best make sure you snap up one of their coveted cocktails while you're there.

$230 per person (excluding cocktails). Book here.

Mudbrick

Waiheke Island, Auckland

People dine outside at Mudbrick restaurant on Waiheke Island.Image credit: Mudbrick | Facebook

It's two times the festivities over at Waiheke favourite, Mudbrick, who are serving up a Christmas Day lunch at their fancy flagship, Mudbrick Restaurant (where you'll enjoy a seven-course degustation), as well as at the more relaxed Archive Bistro (expect a set menu of shared nibbles followed by your choice of entrée, main, and dessert). And bonus, both come with insane ocean views. The final menu will be confirmed in late November.

$195 per person / $50 per child (Mudbrick Restaurant) | $175 per person / $50 per child (Archive Bistro). Book here.

Masu

SkyCity, Auckland CBD

For those wanting to steer clear of tradition, there's not a single slice of ham in sight at the award-winning Masu—which is instead offering diners an exotic Kurisumasu menu for dinner.

Expect plenty of scrumptious Japanese-inspired fare, including black beer sourdough with wagyu butter—sashimi, oysters and scampi tempura—and strawberry cream cake with cherry ice cream. Merīkurisumasu!

Orbit

SkyCity, Auckland CBD

One thing we know about Christmas Day dining at Orbit—spirits will be high. How could they not be, when the food and drink are flowing, and the views are otherworldly (like The Sugar Club, this one sits far above the city, up the Sky Tower).

These guys are putting on an epic four-course Kirihimete menu showcasing the best local and seasonal produce for both lunch and dinner (think Riverland beef fillet with truffle potato mash, prawn wontons, wilted spinach and rosemary jus and a layered dark chocolate cake with raspberry jelly and sorbet, all enjoyed while sitting in the country's only rotating restaurant (yes people, the dining room actually moves).

$195 per person / $99 per child. Book here.

Get in the festive spirit with a tour of Auckland's best Christmas lights.

Main image credit: Cooke's Restaurant | Facebook

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