Where to go for a festive end-of-year lunch | Gourmand and Gourmet

Where to go for a festive end-of-year lunch

  • Food & Booze
Forget elaborately wrapped kitchen appliances and a bike we’ll only ever use once, all we want for Christmas is a season full of delicious lunches that will sleigh our appetites. From family get togethers, intimate office parties and all those catch ups that don’t happen throughout the year, there’s a place for everyone on this nice list. We’re rounded up the 12 best spots to eat, drink, be merry and eat some more – one for every day of the Christmas season. There’ll be no true loves giving turtle doves or leaping lords, just lunches giving us seriously festive food babies that will rival even Santa’s famed figure.
Darling & Co | Paddington 
For a Christmas lunch that will have everyone feeling like a socialite, Darling & Co’s glam surrounds, stunningly presented fare and most importantly, top notch drinks list, will leave you thinking you’re a high flying VIP. They’ve even got a 3 course set Christmas lunch menu full of festive dishes like honey glazed ham terrine and frozen Christmas pudding available Monday to Friday for $48pp, to make it easy to coordinate indecisive lunchers.
Riverbar + Kitchen | CBD
There may not be anything about riverside views in The Twelve Days of Christmas, but this picturesque spot has definitely earned its place in our Twelve Lunches of Christmas. Dig into the mouthwatering (and people-pleasing) menu of eats like soft shell crab burgers and crisp fish and chips, or book in for the shared menus if you’ve got more than 10 hungry people coming. Pro-tip: Make it a sneaky mid-week lunch from Monday to Thursday to beat the festive crowds.
Bar Alto | New Farm
There’s something for everyone (yes, even that extra picky colleague and the gluten intolerant guy who does the accounts) at Bar Alto. Dig in to their delicious Italian eats with an Aperol spritz in hand, and ho-ho-hope that no one wants to share your tempura fried zucchini flowers and salt cod croquettes.
Pony Dining | Eagle Street 
Even Santa himself will want to opt for a horse-drawn carriage after tucking in to Pony Dining’s modern Australian eats. Wash those down with the impressive wine list and rein-beers, and you’ll sure feel the festive cheer. All aboard the Pony Express!
PopoloPopolo | South Bank 
With a name that translates to ‘people’, Popolo sure knows how to do group dining. Sharing is the game here, making it the perfect spot to bring your nearest and dearest to feast on everything from pizza to suckling pig. After something a little different? Embrace the ridiculously good Brisbane weather, and have a Popolo picnic.
The Palms | Mount Gravatt
Put a star on top of the palm tree this Christmas, and take your nearest and dearest to The Palms at Garden City. Have yourself a merry little grazing plate (or six) and a Palms Pimms Cup cocktail. When we say that it’s worth braving the shopping centre during December, you know you’re in for a Christmas miracle.
Eleven | Fortitude Valley 
Step above the Christmas craziness at Brisbane’s favourite rooftop bar, by taking in one of Brisbane’s best views and some deliciously impressive bites. Slide into one of their luxurious booths (they fit up to 20 , FYI) and get into the Christmas spirit with some spirited cocktails, because cocktails actually are all around.
Sake | Eagle Street 
Japanese is never a bad idea, especially when it’s served up by this legendary spot. For everyone’s saké, order something from the signature menu – the dumplings will make you feel like all your Christmases have come at once. Udon know it yet, but your guests will be feeling soba-lessed they let you organise the Christmas lunch.
Bucci | Fortitude Valley
Bucci has decked the walls with a whole lot of red, giving the restaurant a very festive feel – and that’s before you have a cocktail or two. Get into the giving spirit, and maybe actually share the share plates you order (yes, we know its a crazy concept), or you know, just order double…we promise you’ll still stay on the nice list. 
Sono | CBD
Baby it’s hot outside, but don’t let that stop you from diving into Sono’s gyoza with spicy dipping sauce. There’ll be no so-so lunches at Sono, with the traditional Japanese menu sure to please even the Grinch-iest of your group, and you can even get yourself booked into one of their private sunken dining tables.
Mecca Bah | Fortitude Valley
Spit roasted lamb is traditional Christmas fare, but spit roasted lamb on a Mecca Bah pizza? Maybe not so much. That doesn’t make it any less delicious, and we’re sure that your lunch dates will be happy to ditch any yuletide traditions for some delicious Middle Eastern eats. Bah humbug? Not around here.
Libertine | Petrie Terrace
French-Vietnamese cuisine might not be a traditional festive go-to, but Libertine’s red décor, fairy lit terrace and ridiculously good share plates will have you eating your words (and their ‘cracklin’ twice-cooked free-range pork belly). It’s a miracle on 34th Street Petrie Terrace. Longer days call for longer lunches – you can’t argue with that (and anyone who tries is going straight to the top of the naughty list). Words by Georgia Tyler