This article lists a few of the restaurants that will be serving lunch and/or dinner on Christmas Day in Wellington New Zealand in 2009.

I remember the last time I flew to Calgary Canada on Christmas Eve and arrived late at night (around 11:30 p.m.). Whenever I’ve flown to Calgary and arrived late, I’ve stayed at the Delta Calgary Airport Hotel; this time was no exception.

The following morning, I decided to have a typical full Canadian breakfast at the breakfast buffet of the Delta Calgary Airport Hotel.

Luckily I did, because little did I know, on Christmas Day when I drove to Canmore (near Banff), where I would be spending the rest of my trip, I found all restaurants to be closed.

I inquired whether any restaurants were open, since the place where I was staying did not have its own restaurant, and was told that only hotels might be serving dinner.

That night I decided to go to bed semi-hungry… Do not let that happen to you and go hungry on Christmas Day when you visit Wellington New Zealand.

Dining at restaurants in Wellington open on Christmas Day

Christmas in Wellington is a very quiet day and in keeping with Christmas tradition in most countries, except for Tourist Centres, most facilities and attractions are closed.

Most of the larger hotels in Wellington are open for Christmas dinner. You don’t have to be a resident of the hotel to dine, however, it is a good idea to consider booking well in advance to get a seat on Christmas Day. Some hotels such as Bolton Hotel require you to prepay your dinner reservation.

Many non-hotel restaurants won’t be open due to the high cost of staffing on a New Zealand Public Holiday.

Christmas dinner at non-hotel restaurants in Wellington

Some non-hotel restaurants, such as Logan Brown (located on the corner of Cuba & Vivian Streets) is only open for an early lunch (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and a late lunch (2:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.). The cost is $165 and $185 per person, respectively.

Another non-hotel Wellington restaurant that is open on Christmas Day for lunch and dinner is Zibibbo Restaurant & Bar. Zibibbo is located in the Old Police Station Building at 25-29 Taranaki Street, Wellington, not far from the Duxton Hotel and Te Papa museum. Zibibbo’s Christmas lunches cost $39.50 or $49.50 depending on whether you choose a 2-course or 3-course meal. Dinner (for groups) costs $60 or $70 per person.

Correction: Unfortunately, Zibibbo will not be open on Christmas Day. Please refer to the comments below this article. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

Christmas dinner in restaurants of hotels in Wellington

Some of the major hotels in Wellington have already published their Christmas dinner menus. Two hotels worth mentioning are:

  1. Bolton Hotel Wellington
  2. Duxton Hotel Wellington

Dinner at Bisque on Bolton costs $165 per person for adults and half that price for children. Bookings for Christmas Day are essential at the Bolton Hotel Wellington and as mentioned earlier must be prepaid.

Dinner at the Duxton Hotel Wellington costs $130 per person for adults and $65 per child under 12. The Duxton Hotel Wellington is also offering a Christmas lunch at $45 per person.

If you’re looking for a more affordable Christmas dinner or lunch, you can try one of the following Wellington hotels.

Copthorne Hotel Wellington on Oriental Bay is open for Christmas Day lunch and dinner. Their Christmas lunch buffet costs $95 per person, $75 per person for senior citizens, and $50 per child (under 12 years). Children under 5 eat for free. The Christmas dinner set menu of the Copthorne Hotel Wellington costs $80 per person. The Copthorne Hotel Wellington was not only quick to respond to my Christmas dinner query, but provided me with their menus, and I must say that their Christmas lunch buffet menu sounded very appetizing!

The West Plaza Hotel is open for Christmas lunch, which costs $95 per person and $45 per child (10 years and under). The West Plaza Hotel will not be open for Christmas dinner.

Instead, you can choose to have Christmas dinner at the Bay Plaza Hotel Wellington. The cost is $55 per adult. There is ham, turkey, fish, and Pavlova among other things on the Christmas dinner set menu of the Bay Plaza Hotel.

The Mercure Hotel Wellington on the Terrace (345 The Terrace) has a Christmas dinner buffet from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The price for their Christmas buffet is $85 per person and they require a deposit of at least $50 per person.

The last hotel to respond to my Christmas dinner query was the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor. The James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor Wellington is serving both a lunch buffet and dinner buffet on Christmas Day. Christmas lunch is served between 12 noon and 2:30 p.m. Christmas dinner is served from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.. The buffets cost $135 per adult and $75 per child of 12 and under. Children under 5 eat free. The James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor Wellington also provided me with their menu. The menu is extensive with lots of choices for both vegetarians and meat lovers.

As you can see, there are lots of choices, but you’d better hurry and make a reservation, because Christmas Day is quickly approaching! If I had to choose, after reviewing the menus and prices, I’d go with the Christmas lunch buffet at the Copthorne Hotel and dinner at the Bay Plaza Hotel. the menu of the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor Wellington looked so good I’d have lunch there on Xmas Day. By the way, the seats for lunch are filling up quickly – I can understand why…

Final words on Christmas dinner in Wellington

You can contact any of the hotels in Wellington New Zealand to ask whether they’ll be serving lunch and/or dinner on Christmas Day.

Remember that you also have the option of staying at a New Zealand motel in a unit that has cooking facilities and cook yourself dinner on Christmas Day. Just remember to shop for groceries before Christmas.

Note: This article was accurate when it was published and/or updated. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the hotels and restaurants in question before planning your trip.

Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details
directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.