Okay, so what happened to this year? One moment we were ringing in 2015 and the next minute December is here and all of our grand plans to be organised for Christmas have crashed and burned (cue last minute rush to overcrowded shopping centres and the nightmare of parking).
However, all is not lost. No matter how disorganised you may be, we’ve got your back. We’ve teamed up with the problem solvers at Harpoon Harry
This new bar in Surry Hills ticks all the right boxes—good food, good drinks and good music. Sure, making a booking helps to secure you and your crew a table, but the place is so big you’ll most likely be able to find yourself a bit of space in which to go in on their tasty burgers, tacos and cocktails. Head upstairs if you want a bit of a boogie, or slide into a booth for some festive D&Ms.
The Potting Shed
Sitting next door to The Grounds of Alexandria, The Potting Shed is serving up delicious dishes and decadent cocktails in one of the prettiest restaurants in Sydney. As with most of these venues, bookings are ideal, but a little bit of patience will get you places (delicious places), so just wander the beautiful grounds while you’re waiting for your table.
The Soda Factory
No bookings required at this Surry Hills bar! The Soda Factory is an American-style diner and bar where the drinks are flowing and the food is, well, a good lining for all the drinks. Think cheeseburger springrolls, buckets of Southern fried chicken, and gourmet hot dogs. Live music is frequent, and dancing is obligatory.
The Oaks is a classic choice when looking to catch up with mates, drink a few beers, and dig into some classic pub food. Fortunately, The Oaks is massive, with lots of different areas for you to spread some festive cheer. If it’s good weather, snag yourself a table under the giant oak tree and cheers your disorganised self for making such a good (and last minute) decision.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
Summers are made for drinking in the sun and Watsons Bay Hotel is the perfect place in which to do said drinking. This waterfront bar does get busy so we suggest you order a nice glass of rosé and try to look casual while you and your eagle eye friends are scouting the premises for any groups looking to leave their table. Chances are, you’ll be able to nab something and you’ll be tucking into some fresh seafood in no time.
Din Tai Fung
The festive season is all about sharing, so why not take that ethos straight to the dinner table? Din Tai Fung (AKA the best dumplings in Sydney), are serving up green and red Christmas themed dumplings all the way up until the end of the year. If you’re a teeny bit organised (like a day in advance organised), there are some very special Christmas banquets available to make ordering for your squad even easier.
If you’ve got visitors from overseas coming to Sydney for the summer, this iconic bar with the epic harbour view should be where you get your festivities on. Even if you and your buds are all locals, Opera Bar is a great spot to feel smug while you drink some cocktails and watch the boats go by. Not to be outdone by the view, the food here is top notch too with freshly shucked oysters, charcuterie, and grilled meats all waiting to be devoured by you and your friends over a long Christmassy lunch.
Via Napoli is like one big Italian party every day so it seems only fitting to have your Christmas do here. Yes, Via Napoli is home some of Sydney’s best pizza, but it’s also home to burrata the size of your head, eye-popping antipasto boards, and Italian waiters who are as hilarious as they are knowledgeable. You and your pals are guaranteed to have a fun time at Via Napoli.
So you can be fancy without being organised. Pei Modern is tucked into the Four Seasons and is serving up deeeeelicious food thanks to the creativity of Mark Best and Head Chef Joachim Borenius. There are two group dining menus to take advantage of over the festive season (a two-course menu at $60 and a three-course menu at $85). We say get the three-course menu because it includes their signature slow-cooked Milly Hill lamb shoulder, which is legen—wait for it—dary.
There are few things we like more than drinking and eating by the water. Foy’s Kirribilli is a gorgeous spot settled in amongst bobbing sailboats and is the perfect spot for a Christmas catch up even if you’ve left it to the last minute. There’s a set menu for $45 per head, which covers most bases, or you can simply order from the a la carte menu (don’t fill up before dessert—the banoffee is ridiculous).
Image credit: Jackielyn Powell at Opera Bar
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