A Foodie's Guide in Iceland
Food & Wine
It's unanimous — Iceland is a foodie hub, and anyone who has been to the magic country can attest that the food options are as diverse and delicious as the sights you will get to see! From traditional Icelandic food to options with a wide variety of international cuisine, it can be a little overwhelming to choose restaurants for your trip. After having trying several in different trips, here are a few of my favorites.
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Where to stay in Iceland
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Places to eat & drink in Iceland
Lunch or Dinner
Kol Restaurant (in Reykjavik): With an incredible, modern yet cozy atmosphere, and just a couple steps away from the iconic Hallgrimskirkja, Kol has the best lamb I've tasted while in the country, and for when you don't know what to order (and also the best deal!), their 3-course meals are always on point and simply delicious. The starter and dessert are equally impressive as my main dish!
Pósthús Food Hall (in Reykjavik): Iceland restaurateurs have their "atmo" done right and this hip food hall in the middle of town did not disappoint! Housed in an old post office building, nine stylish restaurants will make you travel through different cuisines, from tacos, pizza, burgers and sushi, to typical Icelandic or Indian with a Scandinavian twist, the many options will definitely make you want to come back! When I was there, I tried the fish of the day from Finsen, which was irresistible and all that I needed at that moment.
Black Crust Pizzeria (in Vik): Located in Vik and near the Black Sand Beach, the black crust pizzas (got the influence?) from this casual pizzeria are as delicious as they sound interesting. Either on their black crust or sourdough, each option seems more creative than the other - I recommend the homemade date pesto, pepperoni, cream cheese, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes on a black crust if you're feeling for a classic with a twist. After a long day traveling from Vik to the Glacier Lagoon and back to Vik, this pizza felt like a hug!
Iceland has a big Happy Hour culture (typically around 4-6pm, offering discounts on appetizers and drinks), and while food and beverage tends to be quite pricey in the country, it's a wonderful way to try different restaurants, drinks and food options, without breaking the bank! A restaurant hop is highly recommended - here are my two favorites:
Monkeys Restaurant (in Reykjavik): This warm, colorful and exotic restaurant right off Laugarásvegur has delicious (and budget-friendly) drink and food options during happy hour. A wide cocktail and Nikkei (Asian and Peruvian fusion) inspired menu selection can be greatly enjoyed in different spaces in this funky restaurant. My favorite is the Champagne Train. Yes, you read it right! Probably the most Instagrammable foodie experience you will have while sipping on bubbly (or the drink of your choice!) and eating some sushi.
Bastard Brew and Food (in Reykjavik): Another favorite for good happy hour deals and cozy atmosphere, at Bastard, you will feel like you are in a nice library or living room - so cozy you may lose track of time and decide to stay for another drink, or another… A good choice is the grilled flatbreads (beef carpaccio was my favorite!) and craft beer and draft cocktails.
Lamb Hot Dogs: You cannot leave Iceland without trying their famous Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur Hot Dogs, or quite literally, "the best hot dog in town". Made of lamb sausage and served with ketchup, mayo, mustard, and crispy onions, this will be an incredibly delicious meal! They have units in town, but if you miss it, no need to fret - you will have one last chance to try them by the departing gates in the airport.
Meat Soup: Another very traditional food, Kaffi Loki, just across the street from Hallgrimskirkja, is a good option for trying the Icelandic lamb meat soup and other staples like fermented shark, smoked lamb or trout.
Ice Cream: Rain or shine (or wind or snow, it's Iceland, after all!), ice cream is a must-try while in Iceland. With many different flavors and unmatched creaminess, make no mistake - Icelanders are proud of this delicacy. In Reykjavik, you can try SKÚBBand Valdís. |
Of course, this list doesn't exhaust all the amazing options available, but hopefully will give you a (tasty) starting point!
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspo? Check out Fora Travel Advisor Cam Le's guide, 5 Days in Iceland: A Magical Journey Through the Land of Fire and Ice.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Iceland.