Christmas Day might be all about the long lunches- but for some of us, cooking at home just isn’t a viable option. Maybe the kitchen is too small, perhaps you aren’t up to catering for all your relatives, or when all is said and done, you’d just rather have the day off and be out of the kitchen. Fortunately for us, a small clutch of the best places in town are staying open and laying the tables for a Christmas feast, so you can enjoy yourself in style and eat to your heart’s content this Christmas Day.

The Bathers’ Pavilion
The view here looks directly onto the golden sands of Balmoral, all the vista you need to complement a Christmas lunch - and you might even contemplate a swim in the gentle waters to finish the day. Owner-chef Serge Dansereau and his team open their doors each Christmas for lunch in both the restaurant and cafe areas of this historic location. While lunch in the restaurant might have sold out already, there is room available in the beautiful cafe. There are two sittings- 11.30am and 2.30pm- with three courses available at $195pp.

Sokyo at The Star - Level G, The Darling at The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
They never rest at The Star and Christmas Day is no exception. If you’re feeling like something a little different from the traditional turkey and ham, then perhaps it’s time to celebrate the day with the delicate Japanese fare at Sokyo. The team is serving a multi-course lunch with the option of bento boxes for the kids. Of course it will reflect the Christmas flavours that you love, but it’ll be delivered with a contemporary Japanese point of difference at $140pp for six-courses.

Balla at The Star - Level G, Harbourside at The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
There’s a four-course Italian style family feast on offer to celebrate Christmas Day at Balla. Think share plates of dishes that include antipasti, handmade pasta, sparkling fresh prawns and turkey- all finished with a dessert of panettone custard pudding. It’s a Stefano Manfredi four-course Italian spread for $125pp with a gorgeous view of the harbour to complement it.

BLACK by ezard at The Star
It’s another four-course extravaganza for Christmas lunch at BLACK by ezard. It starts with Spencer Gulf prawns, moves on to 300 day grain fed Angus beef and poached hapuka, before wrapping up with chocolate, brandy custard and Christmas pudding crumble dessert. Teage Ezard and the team make the most of the best quality produce available in Sydney and there’s that view out the huge windows to the harbour. Lunch is served from noon and it’s priced at $125 per head.

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
If you love your Christmas day seafood, then lunch in The Sunset Room at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel might be the way to go. The seafood centric four-course menu has been designed by chef Pete Evans and complements the glittering watery view. There’s Moet on arrival followed by matched wines for the lunch, with chilled seafood platters, whole roasted snapper, slow cooked lamb and tropical pavlova to finish. It’s $250pp including a four hour drinks package.

P.S. - They’re also doing a Hawaiian style Christmas Eve dinner - so get the celebrations started early.

The Golden Century
These guys never sleep- and as Christmas day is all about a great spread, why not do it Cantonese style. Might be time to order whole roast duck, or get into a bubbling hotpot, but as this place is all about the seafood, maybe deep fried mud crab, live abalone, or pippies in XO sauce are the way to go. Better yet, select your catch from the live tanks and enjoy your Christmas Day seafood super fresh.

Le Pelican
Celebrate Christmas Day French style with a seven-course lunch at Le Pelican from noon. From caviar with smoked salmon ravioli, to seared duck foie gras and nougat bread, roasted duck breast and dessert of brioche with pear and black truffle ice cream, it will be a Christmas meal to remember. The lunch menu is $150pp.