Where to Eat in Iceland

Honestly, eating in Iceland wasn’t our favorite part. We were there for the sites and eating ended up being more of a time sucker than anything else. I remember just thinking, “Gosh! I like really need to eat again!” or, “One granola bar is ok for dinner right?”

I did love that they make everything beautiful. Nothing comes just dumped on your plate. And they are the masters of sauces over there!! Everything tasted a little bland to us, but BAM, put that sauce on and you’re good to go.

We had heard that food was pricy, and BOY was it!!! To cut costs we only ate out three times and then bought the rest of our food from the discount grocery store. Hannah’s shopping list: fruit, granola bars, etc. Nate’s shopping list: cookies, candy, etc.

Most of their food was so different (or impossible to read) that we ended up sticking to the absolute basics. Plus, we didn’t have a way to prepare anything.

This is a chain bakery that we found in the bigger towns. Very affordable and only locals hanging out at them. I think we spent about $7-$8 on two pastries and one tea here. That’s waaaaay less than touristy places. As far as local things go, we loved trying everything we could. Some pastries are great … others we threw out. Some chocolate bars are great … some bars we spit out. They have a soda that seems super popular that’s called Appelsin. Think orange Fanta.

At the nicer guesthouse we stayed at breakfast was provided that next morning. Meat and cheese, toast, Icelandic butter and jams, cream cheese spread, Icelandic yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and tea and coffee.

Though beautiful, this is NOT what we meant to order. Since our Icelandic is a bit rusty we asked the waiter for help. She told us this was fish and chips … $35 later … we still had not had our idea of fish and chips. When we tried to leave a tip after our meal the waiter responded, “No tips. In Iceland we say ‘Come and enjoy!'”

Our last day in town, we ate at the cutest little fish house right on the water in Reykjavik. Ordering our much craved fish and chips was finally a success (thanks to pictures in the menu). I think we spent about $50 on this meal and it included these two HUGE plates and a coffee for Nate.

The best experience we had eating in Iceland was by far our anniversary dinner in Reykjavik. The whole trip was to celebrate three years of pain … I mean everlasting joy, but why not treat ourselves to a fancy dinner?

We ate Monday night dinner at: Matarkjallarinn. Check it out here.

What a treat. Right in the heart of Reykjavik, this restaurant makes Icelandic food that melts in your mouth. We felt so relaxed and enjoyed every minute of our three hour dinner.

Soft baked pretzels with anchovies infused cream cheese.

Slow baked cod smothered in a rich hollandaise sauce and topped with small fried crackers.

Definately my favorite course. This rich duck wing came with two delicious sauces (ranch and BBQ) and fell off the bone.

One large piece of roasted cauliflower covered in gooey cheese. This comes sprinkled with sugared pecans and chunky pesto.

Tiger Prongs. Two jumbo shrimp wrapped in the thinnest noodle type thing I’ve ever seen. Fried, crispy, and delish. Three dipping sauces each more smooth and flavor- packed than the last.

I didn’t think I could hold even one more bite, but then out came the main course! Delicately baked white fish topped with two creamy sauces. A large piece of sautéed kale, accompanied by perfectly cooked yellow potatoes. A 10 out of 10 kind of meal.

Dessert was a chilled moose topped with a small sliver of chocolate rice crispies, raspberry preserves and house made carmel, and a small scoop of raspberry sorbet.

All in all this place is a must visit for someone wanting to experience Icelandic food for an evening. I would recommend 12 and up.

4 Tips for Eating in Iceland

  1. If you’re looking to save money read our upcoming blog post on travel hacking Iceland.
  2. If you’re looking to experience a true Icelandic dinner try eating at Matarkjallarinn (12 and up).
  3. Eat at the local bakeries.
  4. If you’re staying somewhere that offers breakfast, take it! Or ask for something you can take on the road if you’re in a hurry.
  5. Shop at Bonus. They are scattered all around the island and offer much cheaper prices than other grocery stores.
  6. Make sure you know what you’re ordering.
  7. Try new things! Try everything!

Go and enjoy!!! Are you excited to try out the food?


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