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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

The best Christmas buffets in Reykjavík

By Staff

  • Get stuffed Whether it’s sweet or savoury, a starter, or a main course you are looking for, Reykjavík’s best Christmas buffets have it all. Photo/Jómfrúin  

Whether it’s sweet or savoury, a starter, or a main course you are looking for, Reykjavík’s best Christmas buffets have it all.


The annual Christmas buffets, known as “jólahlaðborð” in Icelandic, are a huge part of the Icelandic Christmas celebrations. Starting in November, many restaurants and hotels will offer Christmas buffets that include seasonal dishes to spread the Yuletide cheer. But take note: Make sure to book well in advance as Icelanders love their “jólahlaðborð,” and restaurants become fully booked early!



Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaður, Fiskmarkaðurinn


1.Fiskmarkaðurinn (Aðalstræti 12)
Fiskmarkaðurinn, or the Fishmarket, has consistently been one of Reykjavík’s most popular restaurants since its inception in 2007. The restaurant offers a delicious 9-course Christmas tasting menu that includes such mouth-watering dishes as lightly salted cod, breast of goose and pork belly.


Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaður, Jómfrúin


2. Jómfrúin restaurant (Lækjargata 4)
Jómfrúin is known for its Scandinavian-style Christmas platter, which includes open sandwiches topped with delicious paté, meatballs, smoked ham, and the ever-popular and oh-so-Scandinavian pickled herring. The food is frequently accompanied by a shot of snaps, known as aquavit, and specially brewed Christmas beer. 


Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaður, Slippbarinn


3. Slippbarinn (Hotel Marina, Mýrargata 2)
Slippbarinn is situated in the Marina Hotel and overlooks the harbour. It´s a popular place for aperitifs, brunch, and, of course, a cheerful Christmas buffet as the spacious dining area easily accommodates large groups. 
Slippbarinn will offer a taste of Scandinavia’s most popular Christmas dishes, such as pickled herring, smoked meat, and wild game.


Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaður, Viðeyjarstofa


4. Viðeyjarstofa (Viðey island)
Viðeyjarstofa in Viðey island, just a short sail from Reykjavík, is Iceland’s oldest stone building. The restaurant offers a fantastic Christmas menu in charming settings, away from the hustle and bustle of Reykjavík’s busy city centre.
The menu includes delicacies such as goose breast, reindeer paté, Icelandic langoustine, and salmon with orange and cardamoms.


Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaður, Fjörukráin


5. Fjörukráin 20.nóv til 20 des (Strandgata, Hafnarfjörður)
To celebrate Christmas in a heathen Viking locale sounds somewhat contradictory, but remember, Yuletide was a religious festival celebrated by the Norse and Germanic people before being Christianised. Fjörukráin restaurant’s décor creates a unique atmosphere, the Christmas menu, however, is rather traditional: Stuffed turkey, smoked leg of lamb, salmon, reindeer meatballs, and gravlax.


Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaðir, Perlan


6. Perlan (The Pearl)                                                    
Perlan restaurant is located within the futuristic glass-dome building with the same name. The restaurant is revolving and offers a magnificent 360 degree view of the city and its surroundings. Between mid-October and mid-November the dining spot offers a popular wild game buffet worth trying. From mid-November the restaurant switches gears and begins to serve Christmas inspired dishes.  


Jólahlaðborð, veitingastaður, Grillið


7. Grillið (Hotel Saga)
Grillið restaurant is situated on the top floor of the Radisson BLU Saga hotel. Many of the dining room’s original designs, such as the unique ceiling, the floor and the old chairs, designed by architect Halldór Jónsson, are still intact, creating a lovely setting. Grillið’s tasty Christmas menu includes pickled herring, goose, and lightly smoked rack of lamb.

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