Christmas Tivoli is open, and that means Christmas season has officially started in Denmark!
One thing I definitely recommend to do during advent in Denmark is to have a traditional Danish “julefrokost” – which translates to Christmas lunch, but can just as well be had for dinner (or both, because it usually contains food enough for at least three to four meals!).
Many restaurants offer special “julefrokost”, but few do it as well as Restaurant Kronborg. A local favorite, the cozy lunchtime restaurant specializes in Danish sandwiches (smørrebrød), but extends its opening hours and menu to offer the traditional Christmas dishes in November and December.
The first and most important thing you need to know about a Danish julefrokost is that there is SO. MUCH. FOOD. And it consists of multiple servings, so you must absolutely pace yourself, no matter how delicious it is, otherwise you’ll be full in no time!
Traditionally, the meal starts with the fish courses. This includes herring – sild – in all shapes and forms, but among the most popular is marinated herring, either “plain” or with sauces. My boyfriend’s family always has it with a curry sauce (karrysild) and a tomato sauce, which are both yummy. At Kronborg, we got julesild – marinated herring with Christmas spices, like star anise, capers, and raw onions…
… fried herring – stegte sild – with soft onions and capers…
… and my personal favorite: karrysild! This marinated herring is served in a creamy curry sauce with red onions and boiled eggs, with the yolk cooked to waxy-soft perfection!
Seriously, this stuff is pure gold. You’ll be putting your herring on a slice of rye bread and washing it down with snaps or the famous julebryg, Christmas beer.
If you thought for a second that this concludes the fish courses, think again! Because next, we were treated to two different types of salmon. The first one was a simple cured salmon (rimmet laks) with soft scrambled eggs – always a winner!
This was accompanied by these beautiful salmon rolls filled with an apple and celery salad. So good on bread!
We’re still not quite done with the fish – because this was followed by another absolute highlight: fiskefiletter! Breaded fillets of plaice, pan-fried in butter, and topped off with classic, homemade remoulade sauce.
During the course of the meal, it’s custom for people to lift their glass and say skål – but remember that you don’t drink your snaps like a shot of tequila, you merely sip it. That’s important to note because if you down your glass every time, you’ll probably have to be carried home!
After the fish courses, it’s time for the meat! Starting with a serving of julepølser – Christmas sausages – with lun leverpostej, a sort of liver paté, served with red beets and mustard.
Next up was the only dish I skipped – to my boyfriend’s great delight – even though it’s another Danish all-time favorite: stegt flæsk, thick, fried slices of pork belly. Normally, it’s served with potatoes and parsley sauce, but during Christmas season, Danes serve æbleflæsk. My boyfriend’s grandmother’s version of æbleflæsk is sort of a chunky apple sauce with pieces of fried bacon in it – it sounds so weird, but tastes SO GOOD, you guys! Kronborg’s version were slices of fried pork belly, topped with apples and onions.
After all this meaty goodness, you’d think we were pretty full, but we had one more meat course to finish – before it was time for cheese and dessert, of course! And so we were served the absolute classic of Danish Christmas food: flæskesteg, pork with crispy crackling, and konfiteret andelår, confit duck legs, both served the traditional way with red cabbage and cucumber salad.
After this hefty, meaty platter, we were served a delicious brie and a hearty vesterhavsost, a Danish hard cheese, with a chunky, delicious fig compote and some crackers.
Then, it was time for the grand finale: the classic rice pudding with whipped cream and chopped almonds, risalamande, with kirsebærsovs (cherry sauce). If you’ve seen my post on Danish Christmas foods, you’ll know that there’s a whole almond hidden in the rice pudding, and whoever finds it, gets a little gift called mandelgave.
In our dining group, predictably, the only Dane – my boyfriend – found the almond! He’s had many years of training to perfect his almond-discovery skills! The restaurant actually did have a little gift for him – though I will not reveal what it was, in case some of you want to go there and have julefrokost as well.
We practically had to be rolled out of there, but it was an absolutely amazing dinner. The restaurant is cozy and traditional, staff was super friendly, and they have all menus available in English as well.
You should definitely try some of their specialty snaps, they have delicious flavors, such as raspberry or sea buckthorn, which really help take the edge off the otherwise quite sharp akvavit. A classic julefrokost with all those delicious foods pictured above costs DKK 399 per person (drinks excluded), and it’s worth every øre!
Do you like Danish julefrokost? What’s your favorite dish? Share in the comments below!
Restaurant Kronborg, Brolæggerstræde 12, restaurantkronborg.dk