Depending on where you were standing on January 26th, 1787, it was either a day to celebrate the founding -- having sailed all the way from England -- of the unruly continent known as Australia, or the day you were invaded by a bunch of cocky Brits.
Whatever you decide to call it: Foundation Day or Invasion Day (both are celebrated/mourned in Australia) here in New York, we call it an Excuse to Drink All Day and Eat Meat Pies.
In Midtown, it's an all-day battle between Aussie watering holes The Australian and Van Diemen's, which are both offering specials on pints and "pots" (roughly half a pint) of Tooheys and Coopers and plenty of meat pies and sausage rolls to soak it up. The Australian is pretty enticing with live music and classic Aussie flicks, but come on -- Van Diemen's has free Tim Tams (those chocolate wafery things) and Aussie rugby. Oh, why not start at noon and hit them both.
Later on, head down to Eight Mile Creek, where upstairs you can enjoy a price fix meal of pumpkin soup and lamb shanks or head down under, literally, to the Creek Bar for an extended happy hour (4-8) supplemented by Vegemite sandwiches, Wallaby wings and a live band fresh off the boat from Brisbane.
Of course, if it's Michelin-rated or not at all for you, what better day than Australia Day to check out London-trained chef Brad Farmerie's delicate "Australiasian" tower-style dishes at Public? If fried Barron Point oysters with shiso, sansho pepper, and wasabi sauce don't wake up your palate, a Tasmanian sea trout with pickled daikon and a cilantro salad should do the trick.