It’s that time of year again, a time where we can finally let our hair down and prepare for Mariah marathons and Love Actually reruns. After a whirlwind 2020, we can all agree that a chance to let loose, shake off some of that stress, and spend time with loved ones is sorely needed.
No matter how you celebrate December 25th—whether you’re after a full-blown, coma-inducing feast, or you want to keep it low-key with a few wines, a good view and some delicious seafood—we’ve got a lineup of venues staying open on Christmas Day that’ll take care of the planning, organising, and feasting stress for you.
Here’s what's open on Christmas Day in Sydney this year so you don't have to cook.
Manly, Crows Nest, Darling Harbour, and the Entertainment Quarter
The kings of friendly Italian fare have your back this Christmas Day. Four Fratelli venues will be plating up a special shared menu for Christmas lunch between 12 and 3pm for a super-reasonable $89 per person and $29 for kids. As well as a limoncello on arrival (because, how else do you start Christmas lunch?), you'll be treated to antipasti and fresh prawns, a 12-hour slow-cooked lamb shoulder, honey glazed ham, a fresh fruit platter for dessert, and more. Thirsty? Throw in bottomless Aperol Spritz, Espresso Martini, Fratelli Fresh wine, prosecco, or craft beer for just $39pp. Bookings are available here.
Summertime spritz fiends will also love Fratelli's crazy new " 25 Flavours of Spritzmas" spritz menu. Try mandarin and thyme, peach and rosemary, green apple, and refreshingly tropical lychee for $14 a glass or $29 for a jug.
Feast At Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
If you’re looking to splurge and ring-in the end of this weird and wild year with a well-deserved bang, look no further than the Sheraton Grand’s five-star celebrations. Expect all your classic seafood offerings at Feast (the hotel's famous buffet), with fresh Sydney rock oysters and blue swimmer crabs galore, as well as a selection of antipasti, charcuterie, Australian cheeses, and everyone’s favourite honey glazed ham and roast turkey being carved at live cooking stations throughout the hotel’s first floor. Mince pies, yule logs, and the ever-present pavlova all make an appearance, and we hear Santa might just pop his jelly-belly ‘round the corner, too, bearing gifts for kids under 12.
A Christmas Eve lunch starts at $129 for adults with dinner at $169, while a Christmas Day indulgence will set you back $289 per adult for lunch (including a three-hour beverage package of sparkling, white, and red wine, beer, soft drinks, and juice) or $229 per adult for dinner. For more info including children’s, Boxing Day, and New Years’ prices, head over here.
El Camino Cantina
Sipping fresh fruit slushie margaritas in sunny Manly sounds like a picture perfect Chrissie day to us. Good thing El Camino in Manly will be open for Christmas Day so this dream can be your reality. They're taking bookings from 12pm to 5pm, and you can dine a la carte or get a Deluxe Tex-Mex fiesta package ($89 per person). On the menu is spicy buffalo wings with blue-cheese mayo, adobo chicken fajitas, and crisp churros served deliciously warm with chocolate and caramel sauce for dipping. And yes, you can lock in two hours of slushie margaritas in a rainbow of seven fruity flavours. Book here.
Everyone's favourite leafy wine garden will be keeping their doors wide open this Christmas—and if the sun is out and your nearest and dearest are all around, we couldn't think of a nicer spot to be. The Winery's Christmas lunch is available to book from 12 - 4pm, and involves a delicious, festive three-course lunch for $110 per person. Start with fresh oysters, tiger prawns, or chicken parfait, and move on to roast chicken or pink snapper with truffle butter.
For dessert, it's the most iconic of all Aussie Christmas desserts—pavlova with Frangelico ice cream and fresh fruit. Step things up a notch with bottomless drinks for $49 per person, or get the fancier drinks for $89 per person. More info and bookings are available here.
Ormeggio At The Spit
If sparkly water views and some of Sydney's very best Italian-inspired fare sounds like the Chrissie prezzie you totally deserve—treat yourself to a luxurious lunch at Ormeggio. You'll be treated to an Aperol Spritz on arrival, as well as three freshly shucked oysters. Then, you'll move into an incredible four-course lunch, including a cheese course. The restaurant is taking bookings between 11.45am and 3pm, and prices start at $285 per adult or $99 for kids. Jump over here for more info and to book your table.
Meanwhile, over in the Inner West, one of our favourite spots for a martini and a little charcuterie (and some of Sydney's best sandwiches) is planning a special Christmas roast for Christmas Day this year. They'll be open from 12pm through to 5pm with just a 10% surcharge in play. Book here.
Pilu is one of Sydney's most unique restaurants—set in a charming beach cottage on Freshwater Beach. It also happens to be one of our best restaurants, with head chef Giovanni Pilu's Sardinian flair and love of beautiful, seasonal ingredients earning him two chef's hats. If that sounds like the sort of Christmas Day you'd like to have, book yourself a table at their extra-special set menu Christmas lunch. For $290 per person or $90 for kids, the menu features a particularly amazing saffron maccheroncini with lobster and confit tomato. More details and bookings are available here.
Luke Mangan's mainstay Glass Brasserie does not skimp on the Christmas Day feasting. Housed within the shiny Hilton Hotel, you can totally escape the summer heat and indulge in a super-special Christmas brunch ($95 per person), at either 9.30am or 10am. If it's lunch you're looking for, Glass Brasserie has a four-course set menu lunch available from 1pm finishing at 4pm ($195), but if the evening is you're preferred feasting time, book a table from 6pm with either two-course ($110) or three-course ($120) options available. More info and bookings are here.
Sydney really is the spot for great restaurants with water views. Manta is also staying open this Christmas Day with a luxurious four-course, seafood-filled lunch complete with a complimentary flute of champagne on arrival. For $325 per person and $125 for children, you'll be treated to things like Port Stephens king prawns, a lobster cocktail slider, freshly shucked Sydney Rock oysters served with oscietra caviar, salt-baked Queensland jumbo prawns with bottarga butter—and that's just the appetisers and entrees. More details and bookings are available here.
What are you waiting for? Get into the Christmas spirit now with Sydney's best Christmas lights.
Image credit: Glass Brasserie, Fratelli Fresh, Feast