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Your guide to Christmas Day dining in Melbourne

Don’t panic! While many places are fully booked for Christmas Day, there are still some options available. Here’s our list of places you can feast with family or friends, then relax without a second thought about the dishes. But get in quick, availability is fast disappearing.

Locanda
Lunch from 12 to 4pm and Dinner from 6pm -10pm. Corner Exhibition and Little Bourke streets, $195 per adult.

Locanda is preparing a buffet lunch and dinner stacked full of traditional faves and modern Aussie dishes. We got hungry just reading about the herb-crumbed black Angus striploin and the salmon with fennel, lemon and capers. For dessert, there’s Nutella cannoli and a chocolate fountain.

A wooden table with multiple plates of food on it, adorned with candy canes and decorative stars

Locanda

The Wharf Hotel
Sittings at 11.30am and 2.30pm, WTC Wharf – Riverside. $95 per adult.

Soak up the summer sunshine at the waterside Wharf Hotel while enjoying traditional wintry Yuletide fare. Forget about the irony, just tuck into the three-course lunch that includes roast turkey, sage and onion stuffing. For dessert, there’s Christmas pudding with custard.

Christmas Day Pool Party at The Holiday Inn
1pm – 4pm, Flinders Lane. $75 per adult and $35 per child

Keep it low key this Christmas and celebrate with the chef’s barbecue lunch at the Holiday Inn’s pool terrace. There’ll also be a spread of cold and hot buffet items, plus desserts. All that’s left for you to do is lie by the pool with a cocktail and take a splash once you’ve digested lunch.

A blue pool next to green grass and sun loungers. There are colour pool toys in the pool including a watermelon and banana

The Pool Terrace at the Holiday Inn

12pm onward, Crown. $210 for adults, kids order à la carte. 

Choose to order the teppanyaki or à la carte set menu. Koko is offering both options, for the same price and either include a glass of Moët on arrival. Start with crayfish. tuna and NZ salmon sashimi and move on to melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef. Finish with yuzu and mango Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) served with coconut ice cream.

12pm to 3pm, South Wharf. $89 adults and $29 kids
This South Wharf favourite is serving the chef’s special five-course Japanese lunch on Christmas Day. Start with classics like sashimi and sushi before moving on to crumbed, fried wagyu and sake seasoned salmon. Finish with the mocha pudding. For kids, they’re offering bento boxes and dessert. 
A table of Japanese dishes including wagyu beef on rice being held up by chopsticks in the foreground

Akachochin

12pm onward, Crown. $180 for adults

Traditional Christmas dinner with a twist. You’ll begin by dining on kingfish carpaccio and crayfish medallions. Then you’ll move on to the favourites like roast turkey with chestnut stuffing. To finish, you can choose to keep it traditional with the Christmas pudding and crème Anglaise. Or you can opt for the mouth-watering bombe Alaska with pistachio ice cream.

Sittings at 11.30am, 3pm, and 6.30pm, Flinders Walk. $150 per person.
Spend Christmas beside the Yarra with a shared feast focused on seafood, from king prawns to lobster rolls. Arbory Bar and Eatery’s two-hour all-inclusive package also has northern hemisphere festive favourites like turkey terrine and fruit mince pies, plus drinks.

From 12pm, Spring Street. $359 per adult.

Lovers of old-fashioned elegance will love the festive lunch at Hotel Windsor. The buffet includes an oyster-shucking station, a carvery with ham, roast turkey and more. Plus there are beautiful British and French desserts. Drinks are part of the package, so raise a glass with friends and family.

Grand entrance way to the Windsor hotel, with steps and brass trimmed doors and railings

Hotel Windsor

12.30 – 3pm, Westin Melbourne. $330 for adults and $100 for kids
The Christmas buffet lunch at Allegro is a decadent feast of seafood, charcuterie platters and all the sides you can imagine. The main event is the Christmas roast which includes a veritable array of meats such as rib-eye, goose, turkey and pheasant. Finish off with dessert and the Christmas cheese tower.

11.30am to 5.30pm, Queens Street. $230 per adult.

Say hello to seasonal produce as Saxe Restaurant takes you on a five-course journey through some of its best dishes of 2019. While away your Christmas Day in the elegant dining room, and take the guesswork out of wine pairings thanks to the menu’s expert recommendations.

Waitlist availability only

From 11.30am, South Wharf. $69 per adult.

Enjoy a Thai take on Yuletide by the river at bright and bubbly BangPop. The seven-course sharing banquet includes red duck curry and caramelised banana parfait. This also stars in the alternative banquet for vegan and vegetarian diners. Add fruity drinks and you’re almost having Christmas in Bangkok.

People eating at outdoor tables at a restaurant beside waterway

Bang Pop

PJ O’Brien’s
Sittings at 12pm, 3.30pm and 6.30pm, Southbank. $80 per adult.

Bring some Irish cheer to Christmas Day at PJ O’Brien’s. They’re turning on a three-course meal including turkey and ham roast, seafood chowder and Irish apple crumble with toffee sauce. Add a beer or two and you’ll soon be saying ‘sláinte’ to one and all.

Bistro Guillaume
12pm to 4pm, Crown. $195 per person.

Be whisked away to Paris with this six-course lunch inspired by the city of love. Take in the riverside views while feasting on indulgent dishes such as Clarence River prawn cocktail and Tajima wagyu fillet. A glass Moët and Chandon NV is also included.

A modern, intimate dining room with long tables, and mirrors on the walls.

Bistro Guillaume