Thirteen venues, from pubs to hotpot, open on Christmas Day in Melbourne

Luci, the flagship diner of Hilton Melbourne, is doing a four-course Christmas Day lunch that involves honey-glazed duck ...
Luci, the flagship diner of Hilton Melbourne, is doing a four-course Christmas Day lunch that involves honey-glazed duck breast with cherries followed by berry pavlova. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

After a marathon year of cooking, you might be sorely tempted to outsource the duties on Christmas Day. We say three cheers to that. Or you might be celebrating the day away from your usual crew. Whatever the reason, you can't go wrong by booking a table at your local or seeking out a special restaurant that will feel like a gift to yourself. This year, you really have earned it.

Arbory Bar & Eatery
Views of the Yarra and an ultra-Christmassy spread will each be vying for your attention at this bar beside Flinders Street Station. Get set for poached langoustine with beurre blanc, mini lobster rolls, glazed ham and more; kids and teens packages also available. Three courses for adults $145. Menus for teens $105 and kids $45. Open 11.30am-8pm. Book via arbory.com.au

Conservatory at Crown is doing seafood buffets at lunch and dinner on Christmas Day, as well as a breakfast spread in ...
Conservatory at Crown is doing seafood buffets at lunch and dinner on Christmas Day, as well as a breakfast spread in the morning. Photo: Supplied

Arbory Afloat
Make it a very summery Christmas indeed and take a dip in the pool that crowns this floating bar on the Yarra River, followed by snacks like falafel-crumbed prawns, grilled saganaki and fried calamari. Both daybeds and tables are available, depending on how relaxed you're planning on getting, and there's pink gin, Pimms cocktails and more to make things merry. Minimum booking size of 4 people and minimum spends apply. Open noon-10pm. Book via arboryafloat.com.au

Auburn Hotel
It doesn't matter who's at your table this year, this suburban pub in Melbourne's east has something to offer everyone. Omnivores can opt for traditional Christmas roast or salmon en croute for their mains, while kids have plenty of snacks, and vegans are also in for a treat. What's not to love about fuss-free festivities? Three courses for $125 (adults) and $50 (kids). Open for lunch from 11am. Book via theauburnhotel.com.au/whats-on/christmas-day

Bistro Thierry
Move quick if you want to nab a table at one of Melbourne's most hospitable venues – this is a Christmas Day favourite for a reason. From prawn cocktails to half-lobster in lemon sauce, ballotine of turkey right through to buche de noel, you're in safe hands at Bistro Thierry. Come for lunch, stay 'til dark. Four courses for $220; no children's menu. Open for lunch from noon. Book via phone (03) 9824 0888

Arbory Afloat will be open for casual grazing and set menus, with a choice between booking a standard table or a day ...
Arbory Afloat will be open for casual grazing and set menus, with a choice between booking a standard table or a day lounge on the pool deck. Photo: Parker Blain

Cappo Sociale
Experience the full mambo Italiano at this Italian hangout perched above Brunswick Street, where the pasta is al dente, the Moretti is ice-cold and drinks like the red-hued Venetian Sunset and Limoncello Sours will get the party started. Favourites from the regular menu will be joined by special festive dishes like porchetta with cotechino sausage and lentils. Child-friendly dishes available. Open for lunch from noon. Book via capposociale.com.au

Chancery Lane
A table in this plush Euro-inspired dining room in the heart of the city is a sure way to treat yourself. Luxurious touches are the MO every day of the year at Chancery Lane but on December 25, expect an array of seafood hors d'oeuvres to begin and later, your choice of John dory with squid ink and bottarga or wagyu sirloin with charred leek. Finish with baked meringue or a cheeseboard. Four courses for $140, kids' menu $60. Open 11.30am-4.30pm. Book via info@chancerylane.com.au

Conservatory
There's nothing like a buffet to ensure happy campers. And Conservatory is open for business from 7am on Christmas Day, preparing rashers of bacon and eggs over easy, then setting up for lunch and going right through to dinner. There'll be seafood platters, there'll be roast meats, there'll be vegetarian options and plum pudding – you can't go wrong. Breakfast $90 adults, $45 children. Lunch $430 adults, $215 children. Dinner from $250 adults, $125 children. See specific hours and book via crownmelbourne.com

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Hotel Esplanade
The Espy is covering all bases on December 25. Take your pick of Australian Christmas favourites in the ground-floor dining room, Cantonese twists at upper-floor diner Mya Tiger or a more casual pace in the pub's main bar, where drinks and snacks will be served. Whatever you choose, expect hot-to-trot flavours, frosty drinks and something to keep the kids happy. Open from noon. Full details on pricing and menus at hotelesplanade.com.au

Ichi Ni Nana
Keeping things fresh and fun, this Brunswick Street izakaya will be serving all your favourite Japanese snacks, both hot and cold, for you and yours to linger over. Don't forget to add Kirin poured straight from the tap to complete the experience. Open from 5pm. Book via ichininana.com.au

Luci
Glam up your Christmas with a lunch table among the chandeliers and grand windows of the former Equity Chambers building, now occupied by Hilton Melbourne. Flagship diner Luci is plating top produce like kurobuta pork chop with spiced peaches, and using cherries to great effect alongside honey-glazed duck, with berry pavlova for a sweet finish. Four courses for $175, kids' menu $60. Open 12.30pm-2.30pm. lucimelbourne.com.au

Supernormal has created a special banquet for sale on Providoor, ready for people to heat and plate at home.
Supernormal has created a special banquet for sale on Providoor, ready for people to heat and plate at home. Photo: Supplied

Matilda 159 Domain
There's festive cheer throughout the four-course lunch at this Domain Road establishment, whether it's whipped brie paired with cranberry, Fraser Island spanner crab or red and green strawberries with jersey cream for dessert. Four courses for $195, kids menu $60. Lunch only from 12pm onwards. Book via info@matilda159.com

Panda Hot Pot
Hot pot is surely the definition of sharing a meal together, as you and your table choose everything from the broth to the delicacies you'll be cooking, and then gather around the steaming cauldron to dunk, dip, swoop and swirl your way to satisfaction. Panda Hot Pot is one of the city's most theatrical rooms in which to experience this ritual, with intricate woodwork and an enormous dragon watching over proceedings. Open 11.30am-2pm, 5pm-11pm. Book via pandahotpot.com.au

Providoor
Bring the restaurant to you this Christmas with the life-saver that is Providoor. Browse special festive menus from 30 top restaurants including Supernormal, which is delivering seafood snacks, glazed duck and cherry-choc mousse. Or make the most of seafood specialists The Atlantic or Yarra Valley Caviar to amp up your spread. There's even a Spotify playlist to bring extra cheer to your table. More restaurants will add menus in the coming weeks. Delivery available until 24 December across Melbourne and major regional centres. Order by 4pm the day prior via providoor.com.au

Luci is serving honey-glazed duck with cherry among the soaring columns of Melbourne's former Equity Chambers building.
Luci is serving honey-glazed duck with cherry among the soaring columns of Melbourne's former Equity Chambers building. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

Taxi Kitchen
Smack-bang in the heart of the city, it doesn't get much more convenient than Taxi Kitchen. The ease continues with a set menu that still offers some choice, whether you're a seafood fan, seek out Asian flavours, or love something closer to a traditional Christmas lunch. Four courses for $220, kids' menu $55. Open 12pm-4pm. Book via transporthotel.com.au

The Station Hotel
Lunch at one of the west's favourite pubs can only be a good idea, especially when there are prawn cocktails with Marie Rose sauce to open proceedings. If prawns aren't your thing, there are two other choices plus options galore for mains and dessert. A separate vegan menu lists delights like beetroot tartare with horseradish and chive. Kids are also welcome. Three courses for $130, kids' menu $40. Open for lunch from 11am. Book via thestationhotel.com.au

The Vincent
There's ham and turkey, there's nut roast for those who don't eat animals and there's chocolate cake for the kids: yep, this grand old dame of a hotel has got something for every member of your Christmas crew. And there'll be a glass of bubbles waiting for you when you arrive, too (make that a soft drink for the kids). Three courses for $120, kids' menu $45. Open for lunch from 11am. Book via thevincent.com.au