Hot Dogs and Ice Cream for Christmas

Vala Hafstað

Hot dog stands, ice cream parlors and cafés in Reykjavík were busy over Christmas—even on Christmas Eve. It has become more and more common for centrally located restaurants to remain open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The ice cream store Valdís was among the ones that kept their doors open over the holidays. Owner Gylfi Þór Valdimarsson tells Morgunblaðið that foreign tourists find it a special experience to be able to visit an ice cream parlor in the middle of winter, let alone over Christmas.

 “I remember when I was training to become a cook in 1997,” he relates. “At the time, I was on call on Christmas Eve at Hótel Loftleiðir, with tears in my eyes, serving meat at 6 pm for the 20 souls who showed up. I remember wondering what on earth these people were thinking, not staying home for Christmas. Things have changed since then, and more and more people go to restaurants over Christmas.”

 For the past five years, hot dog stand Bæjarins bestu has stayed open for Christmas. Nowadays, they maintain the same hours year-round.

 Manager Baldur Ingi Halldórsson explains why they first decided to stay open for Christmas: “We decided to stay open, because there was hardly any place open, and someone had to serve food to all these people.”

This Christmas, numerous customers showed up, although not as many as last year—likely due to fewer tourists visiting the country this December than last.

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