Esther at QT AUckland

Skip the stress this festive season with the City’s most enticing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining events

While, for many, the festive season is usually packed to the rafters with fun traditions and celebrations, these don’t come without their fair share of work and effort. The trade-off is usually worth it, of course, but what if you could enjoy a sit-down meal on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day where the feast is piled high, the drinks are flowing — and you don’t have to lift a finger?

Some of Auckland’s best eateries have us all sorted in this regard, with their festive menu offerings. Should you wish to let the experts take care of the big day itself, there are excellent options available for you. Otherwise, we suggest making like the Europeans and booking in for one of the Christmas Eve extravaganzas, further stretching out the festivities. ‘Tis the season, after all.

Park Hyatt Auckland

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

The luxury waterfront hotel has a comprehensive Christmas offering this year that will ensure you don’t have to worry either the night before or the day of. At Park Hyatt’s flagship restaurant Onemata, enjoy a three-course Christmas Eve dinner from 5:30pm on the 24th. At $170 per person, choose from delectable dishes like a starter of crayfish arancini or savoury meringue; for mains, there’s turkey with ham croquette and cranberry jus or miso salmon with kumara gratin — followed by dessert, of course.

Christmas Day itself sees a four-course lunch served from 12pm, and dinner from 5:30pm. The lunch is $290 per person for a four-course menu and dinner is $220 per person for a three-course menu, with each including a glass of champagne. Both have similarly delectable dishes to the Christmas Eve dinner, yet with slightly more to choose from.

Book at Onemata here

The hotel’s relaxed yet elegant Living Room restaurant has a Christmas Day extravaganza on offer too — at $240 per person for four courses and a glass of champagne. Dive into the likes of smoked kahawai with crispy brioche, crayfish and oysters, followed by a choice of snapper, lamb rump or truffle cream mushroom cannelloni, and dessert.

Book at The Living Room here

Andiamo

Andiamo

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve

Sneak in a final catch-up with friends before the festivities well and truly begin at Andiamo’s Otto Hour, where, between 4-5pm, you’ll find an elevated selection of libations priced at a modest $8 each. If you fancy staying for dinner, the beloved Herne Bay haunt is offering its usual Italiano fare all day long, so park up at a coveted street-side table, order a selection of sharing plates and a spritz, and while away a few hours in the late afternoon sun. Divine.

Book at Andiamo here

Masu

Masu

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

This inner-city Japanese gem is open on the 25th, and has quite a spread available as part of its “Masu Kurisumasu Day” set menu. For $190 per person, enjoy a whole host of Masu’s moreish Robata dishes, from Asahi black beer sourdough with Wagyu butter to red prawn tempura with spicy miso and wasabi seasoning, to crayfish tartlet with ginger gel — and much, much more.

Book at Masu here

Jervois Steak House

Jervois Steak House

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve

For the most carnivorous amongst us, paradise is always found at Jervois Steakhouse, and this Christmas Eve the beloved Herne Bay institution is dialling things up a notch. Whether you’re looking for a casual pre-festive feast for two, three, or many more, Jervois Steakhouse has an exceptional offer to suit any sized party. A pair of merry diners can opt for the 600g Scotch fillet ($150) while a trio of festive foodies can select a 900g Scotch to share ($220). If there’s a larger bunch to feed, the different sizes can be combined to create an entirely bespoke offering. Each option will be accompanied by roasted garlic mushrooms, classic creamed spinach, crispy shoestring fries, red wine jus, horseradish, and green peppercorn sauce and dessert.

Book at Jervois Steak House here

Kingi

Kingi

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Head to Kingi for Christmas lunch, and you’ll be able to indulge in some exquisite fare, from swordfish with Café de Paris butter to venison croquette with cacao jus, coconut ambrosia with summer berries, and more. Beloved antipasti and raw bar dishes like oysters also make delectable appearances. It’s $179 per person for a four-course family-style sharing menu. And, should you wish to be able to simply toddle to your bed, seeing as Kingi is in the same building as The Hotel Britomart, why not enquire about staying overnight?

Book at Kingi here

QT Auckland

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Embrace a Mediterranean vibe for your Christmas meal with restaurant Esther’s Feasting Menu at QT Auckland. Available at both lunch and dinner, the set menu is $195 per adult and $90 per child (12 and under). Enjoy Esther’s delectable renditions of the classics, from Cambridge duck breast with cherry jus and porchetta with apple, to more indulgent dishes such as Alaskan King Carb risotto with salmon caviar and baked saganaki with honey.

Book at Esther here

Soul Bar & Bistro

Soul Bar & Bistro

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve

Although Soul’s staff are having a well-deserved break on the 25th, book in for lunch or dinner on the 24th and you’ll be able to enjoy the Viaduct Harbour treasure’s famous hospitality and delightful fare. Get ready for a classically Soul-ified buzzing vibe, just the thing to ease into a relaxing Christmas day.

Book at Soul here

The Sugar Club

The Sugar Club

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

If you fancy taking your Christmas meal to soaring new heights, look no further than The Sugar Club. Putting on two special degustation menus for the festive period, one of which is plant-based, the jewel in the Sky Tower’s crown will be sure to make a luxurious affair of the proceedings. For $159 per person (or $175 for the deluxe offering), indulge in the likes of chilli coconut-cured tuna ceviche, pork cheek with cauliflower puree, braised lamb shoulder and more (there’s the option to add beverage pairings, too).

Book at The Sugar Club here

Non Solo Pizza

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve

Parnell’s Non Solo Pizza has all you need to celebrate Christmas Eve in the most delicious way possible with its Italian long lunch offering. Kick off the festivities nice and early, securing a lunchtime table, and settle into a four-course feast featuring an array of impeccable Italian fare. For $75, you’ll be met with a selection of classics and new renditions, with the option to add a drink (or two) into the mix. For us, Aperol is the obvious choice of libation (given the setting), perfect when paired with spinach and porcini rotolo or a crisp porchetta with salsa verde.

Book at Non Solo Pizza here

Metita

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

If it’s an entirely unique Christmas feast you seek, look to the refined Pacific flavours of Michael Meredith’s Metita. The SkyCity newcomer is offering an exceptional four-course sharing menu this Christmas, with all the makings of a festive meal to remember. For $195 per person, you’ll be served a glass of champagne alongside a considered selection of Meredith’s experimental Samoan fare. Guests can expect the likes of king salmon in betel leaf with pickled mango, oysters with hibiscus vinegar, duck breast with spiced and sour fala, and snapper with kafir lime and tarua, rounded off with the exceptional Pasifik Koko dessert that has quickly earned cult status.

Book at Metita here

Huami

Huami

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

For an entirely satisfying Christmas lunch, Huami delivers on all fronts and is the perfect spot to take the family for a festive feast. Offering a selection of its elevated Chinese cuisine, this Christmas you can indulge in fruit wood-roasted peking duck, kong bao chicken, crispy tabasco prawns and more, washed down with a Huami gin, a whiskey from the restaurant’s impressive selection, or a crisp glass of champagne. End the day on a high note with a delectable dessert, and head off on your merry way well-satiated.

Book at Huami here

Bivacco

Bivacco

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve

Bivacco has well and truly turned up the Sunday feast this Christmas, offering some of the most festive fare in the city. On December 24th, head down to the sun-soaked deck and indulge in all manner of yuletide treats, from maple glazed ham with pineapple mostarda to Big Glory Bay salmon, pigs in blankets, and more. There will also be an abundance of fresh seafood on offer, and a dessert station loaded with all of your Christmas favourites, plus a host of festive libations to keep you well-watered. Spaces are $95 per adult for the feast (with drinks charged separately) and $35 per child, with under-fives eating for free.

Book at Bivacco here

Mudbrick

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

If you find yourself on Waiheke Island this festive season (or simply want an excuse to leave the heart of the City), both of Mudbrick’s popular dining rooms are open on Christmas Day, serving variations on classic Christmas lunch and dinner from midday onwards. In The Mudbrick Restaurant, enjoy a spectacular, seven-course degustation while enjoying the vineyard’s sweeping views and stunning wines. While in The Archive Bistro, you can partake in a slightly more casual affair involving a set menu of Chef’s-choice nibbles followed by an entrée, main and dessert of your choosing.

Book at Mudbrick here

Síso

Síso

Open For Dining: Christmas Eve

Whether you’re a fervent foodie, a cocktail connoisseur or simply a lover of festive cheer, beloved Remuera eatery Síso is the place to be this silly season. Make a booking for Christmas Eve and delight in its enchanting ‘Tis The Season Christmas offering, in partnership with Malfy Gin, which sees a series of impeccable festive libations served alongside a fresh, Mediterranean-inspired take on the classic Christmas menu. Opt for either two or three courses, available for $79 and $99 respectively (including a cocktail on arrival) and usher in Christmas in style.

Book at Síso here

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