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What are the Most Popular Christmas Foods Eaten Around the World?

Popular Christmas Foods Eaten Around the World

The Christmas holiday is celebrated in many different cultures around the world, and as a result, the popular foods associated with the holiday vary widely from one region to another. Here are some of the most popular foods from different parts of the world that people enjoy for the Christmas holiday:

United States and Canada:

  • Roast turkey or ham, a standard main course for holiday dinners.
  • Eggnog, a rich and creamy beverage made with eggs, milk, and spices. The drink is often served with rum.
  • Gingerbread cookies and houses are popular festive treats and decorations.
  • Though often the subject of jokes, Fruitcake is still a traditional Christmas dessert and is often served to celebrate the holiday or given as gifts.

United Kingdom:

  • Roast turkey or goose, a typical main dish.
  • Christmas pudding, also known as plum pudding, is a dense and rich dessert traditionally served with a brandy sauce or custard.
  • Mince pies (or small pastries) filled with dried fruits and spices.
  • Trifle, a layered dessert with cake, custard, fruit, and whipped cream.


  • Panettone, a sweet bread loaf with candied fruits and raisins.
  • Pandoro, another type of sweet bread, is often served dusted with powdered sugar to resemble a snow-covered mountain.
  • Seafood dishes, particularly the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, are common in many regions.


  • Bûche de Noël, a Yule log-shaped cake, is a classic.
  • Foie gras, a delicacy made from duck or goose liver.
  • Oysters and other seafood are popular choices for festive meals.


  • Stollen, a fruitcake-like bread filled with nuts, dried fruits, and marzipan.
  • Lebkuchen, a type of spiced gingerbread cookie, is often enjoyed during the holiday season.
  • Christmas markets offer a variety of festive foods, including sausages, roasted chestnuts, and mulled wine (Glühwein).


  • Tamales, masa dough filled with various fillings (shredded meats or fruits).
  • Bacalao a la Vizcaína, a dish made with salted codfish, tomatoes, and peppers.
  • Ponche Navideño, a warm fruit punch, is a traditional Christmas drink.


  • Fried chicken, particularly from KFC, has become a popular Christmas meal due to a successful marketing campaign in the country.
  • Christmas cake, typically a light and fluffy sponge cake decorated with strawberries and whipped cream.

When it comes to Africa, we couldn’t simply list one group of foods. The continent is incredibly diverse, with a wide range of cultures, traditions, and cuisines, so the foods eaten to celebrate Christmas vary significantly from one region to another. Here are a few examples of Christmas foods and dishes that are enjoyed in different parts of Africa:

South Africa:

  • Roast meats, particularly roast beef or lamb, are common main dishes.
  • “Braai” (barbecue) gatherings are popular, where various meats and sausages are grilled outdoors.
  • Malva pudding, a sweet and sticky dessert, is a favorite.
  • Christmas fruitcakes and mince pies are also enjoyed.


  • Rice dishes, such as jollof rice (a spiced tomato-based rice) and fried rice, are often served as main courses.
  • Pounded yam or fufu (starchy side dishes) might accompany soups and stews.
  • Pepper soup, a spicy broth made with various meats and spices, is a festive starter.
  • Chin chin, a sweet and crunchy snack, is often shared during the holiday season.


  • Fufu, banku (a fermented corn and cassava dough), or rice might be served with stews and soups.
  • Kelewele, spicy fried plantains, is a popular street food enjoyed during Christmas time.
  • Akple and Fetri detsi, traditional Ewe dishes made from corn dough and fish or meat stews, are also enjoyed.


  • Nyama choma, grilled meat often served with kachumbari (a tomato and onion salad), is a festive favorite.
  • Pilau, a spiced rice dish, is commonly enjoyed during the holiday season.
  • Chapati, a type of flatbread, is a staple side dish that might accompany festive meals.


  • Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew, is often enjoyed on special occasions, including Christmas.
  • Injera, a sourdough flatbread, is a staple that is served with various stews and dishes.
  • Tej, a honey wine, might be shared during festive gatherings.

Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast):

  • Attiéké, a couscous-like side dish made from cassava, is commonly served with grilled fish or meat.
  • Foutou, a starchy dish made from plantains or yams, might be enjoyed with soup or sauce.
  • Alloco, fried plantains, is a popular street food that might make an appearance during holiday celebrations.

These are just a few examples from a few countries worldwide. There are countless other traditional Christmastime foods enjoyed around the world. Even the specific dishes listed here can vary widely within different regions of the same country, and local customs and preferences play a significant role in shaping holiday food traditions.

Happy holidays!

Do you celebrate Christmas? What are your favorite dishes to enjoy for the Christmas holiday? Let us know in the comments!

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