Can't be bothered holding Christmas at home? Here's your guide to where you can eat out on Christmas Day.
You've talked about it forever, but this year you're actually going to do it. No getting up early on the 25th to co-ordinate 72 varied salads and desserts for everyone's specific dietary requirements (you're pretty sure cousin Cathy is only sugar-free on Instagram anyway) and no more checking frantically to make sure the turkey doesn't end up as dry as your brother-in-law's conversation.
This is the year you're going to do nothing but put on your grown-up glad rags on and go somewhere lovely where someone else will do everything, including the washing up.
But where? Obviously a lot of places are closed on Christmas Day but here are some that aren't. Make sure you book ahead, as many places will fill up fast ...
Chinese: Why have dry turkey when you could have juicy duck? If you're thinking high-end go directly to Huami for their Peking duck, which has been cooked to perfection in their giant custom-built wood-fired oven (their other dishes are stunning too). Or if you're thinking more cheap and cheerful, nothing is better than a fun and noisy yum cha brunch at Grand Harbour or cramming your face with fat, juicy pork and chive dumplings at Barilla on Dominion Rd.
Middle Eastern: Fancy some big mezze platters to share over a glass of something refreshing? Or more substantial Mediterranean meals as mains? The Nazar group, who own many well-known Auckland restaurants, will have Deco, Devon on the Wharf, Feriza's, Bodrum in Mission Bay, Casablanca Orewa and the brand new Bodrum in Browns Bay open, for their blend of Turkish and Greek cuisine. With all those locations, you're covered wherever you live in Auckland many of these restaurants are near the beach for a family stroll afterwards.
Indian: Two of Auckland's best loved Indian joints are open on Christmas Day - hallelujah! The beautiful people at Satya, as they have for nearly a decade, will be providing free meals for anyone who is lonely or in need, with all Auckland branches open. Paradise will be trucking out their beloved Hyderabadi biryanis and curries at all three locations in Sandringham too. It should be noted that the lovely folks at Paradise have a fridge full of free meals for anyone who needs them, all year round.
Japanese is an excellent festive option for the 25th. Masu's Nichiyo brunch is one of the best meals in town any time of the year and it's available from 11am-3pm on the 25th as well. You can graze from the amazing array of sashimi, maki rolls, small dishes and salads at the robata counter until you can graze no more, then choose from a stunning list of mains when you're ready. There will be a normal dinner service in the evening.
Traditional: If you're looking for something a little more traditional, many of Auckland's hotels will be serving special Christmas menus. All the Auckland favourites like Eight at Cordis, De Brett's Kitchen, Hectors at the Heritage and the Pullman have options, but don't forget newer openings like the Queen's Head at Sheraton Four Points, Hotel Grand Windsor or the brand new SO in Customs St. These all require advanced booking.