Icelandic Food We Love

Do you ever outgrow that inner desire to try something totally out of the box? Well, the adventure doesn’t end with a trip to the nature in Iceland. There is something more magical to this country.

Icelandic Food We Love

Do you ever outgrow that inner desire to try something totally out of the box? Well, the adventure doesn’t end with a trip to the nature in Iceland. There is something more magical to this country.

What’s life without a taste of adventure? Do you ever outgrow that inner desire to try something totally out of the box? Well, the adventure doesn’t end with a trip to Disneyland, a tour of the museum, or even a road trip to your favorite spot.

It can be as simple as treating yourself to a taste of traditional flavorsome food. The next time you think of trying something unusual, here is our carefully compiled list of the top 10 Icelandic Food you’ll love, as much as we do.

Icelandic Dark Rye Bread - Dökkt Rúgbrauð

Photo by Myllan

If, like us, you have a deep love for traditional food, you’ll agree that this food is not the conventional type of bread we were raised to eat at breakfast. From its finest ingredient to its enticing appearance and brown crunchy taste, it’s no doubt a perfect combo that leaves you craving for more. It is best enjoyed with thickly spread butter, smoked lamb, and fish stew. You’ll love to share this goodness with friends and family!

Iceland, though having a population of 340,813 residents is definitely not lagging in the food industry, especially when it comes to really healthy foods.

In Iceland, the bread is traditionally baked in the ground using steam but with the advance in today’s technology, it’s a lot faster to oven bake. Rye is rich in magnesium, fiber, and necessary body-building nutrients. It’s also good for weight loss with its low fat and gluten content.

It is found in homes, bakeries, cafes, stores, and supermarkets within and outside Reykjavik. Iceland central city has the highest number of restaurants and outlets where residents can make purchases of their favorite food till late hours of the night; some other parts of the country do not enjoy this luxury.

Ice Cream - Icelandic Style

Icelandic food - icecream
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Ryan Yoo)

Have you ever seen a sobbing child’s tears stop midway at the sight of ice cream? We have and it’s always a heartwarming sight. Ice cream has that same show-stopping effect in Iceland. Come cold, winter or hurricane; ice cream parlors like Valdis are always in business.

You’ll never have to look too far to find a store, as this Iceland delight is also sold in gas stations. You’ll find yourself screaming “I need some more, get me some Icelandic ice cream”. We told you this country is the real deal when it comes to really great food. Here’s a word of advice, ensure you go with extra money especially when you’re shopping for ice cream, because the sight of it alone will make your eyes pop. It’s loved and enjoyed by all age ranges and can be a unifier.

There’s the rainbow cheesecake ice cream, Iceland magical mermaid ice cream, white chocolate,  pistachio, oreo, watermelon, and just like you, we’re also thinking there might not be an end to these flavors, as new flavors keep showing up every time. Ice cream happens to be a nutritional source of vitamins, minerals, calcium and it is a brain stimulant.

If you previously thought ice cream was all junk food, now you know it is good food for you. So the next time you see a long queue, it could be some thirsty ice cream lovers who can’t get enough of the flavors. Icelanders are serious about their ice cream and so are we!


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Icelandic Food - Harðfiskur

Dried fish hanging in Iceland
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Steve Parfitt)

When you walk into a restaurant like Snaps Bistro in Reykjavik, you can be sure the fish served you is freshly caught, a term Icelanders know as “Fish Of The Day. Well, we cannot expect less from a country that’s primarily surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean, which is home to various species of fish.

The exportation of fish plays a major role in the Iceland economy, as it’s the country’s 2nd most exported product, after Aluminium. Iceland is blessed with high-class seafood restaurants like messinn, fish market, and fiskfelagid, amongst several other outlets within and outside Reyjavik.

Whether dried, baked, grilled, boiled, or fresh, fish is no doubt a core food in Iceland that cannot be overlooked. Dried fish is a well-liked snack and everyday delicacy, easy to break, and loved by locals and foreigners. It’s properly cleaned, sliced carefully, and hung to dry in an open space, until it’s fully dried and brittle. 

In basic biology we were taught that Fish is a very vital source of a balanced diet. Iceland fish comprises fatty acid and 80% high- quality protein which is a curative to protein deficiency symptoms like headache, fatigue, and muscle cramping. Dried fish is famously consumed with an addition of Icelandic butter, the taste is heavenly.

Hot Dogs

A classic Icelandic hot dog
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Andy Wang)

What did you hear about Icelandic hot dogs because the hype is true! You think you’ve tasted the best hot dog, wait till you’re blown away by the Icelandic recipe. So what’s so unique about this food and why is it so loved and highly consumed with people eating it all day long? Well, as always, the taste is the difference!

The hot dogs are well blended with tasty lamb meat, sweet mustard, ketchup, creamy remoulade, sausage, raw and crisp onion. Be sure to go along with a towel or napkin, as the sauce could stream down your chin while you’re hurrying to grab a full bite. Though the hot dog is sold in stores, road-side stop, airport landings, malls, gas stations across the country, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a chain of hot dog stands, founded in 1937, with over 80 years of consistently blowing our minds with their flavors, is still the most ancient and popular hot dog outlet in Reyjavik and was a host to prominent Bill Clinton in 2004 during his stay in Iceland for a UNICEF Conference, who preferred his with only mustard. You can have all the hot dog toppings the Icelandic way by saying eina með öllu (meaning “One With Everything”). 

In 2006, the British Guardian Newspaper chose Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur as the best hot dog stand in Europe. In later years, other celebrities and dignitaries have also been thrilled by the special Iceland food.  How else will you explain your visit to this iconic place without an experience with the best hot dog in town? Over in Iceland, the hot dog is a big deal and will be enjoyed for more years to come.


Icelandic coffee
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: J E S U S R O C H A)

When coffee becomes the new tea in a country like Iceland, it’s no surprise it’s the 3rd largest consumer of coffee in the globe per capita. That’s not to suggest that tea is completely ignored, the demand is only on a much lower end, compared to coffee. It’s already Iceland anyway, so why wouldn’t they make do with some strong hot and sizzling cup of coffee.

In 1958 Mokka Kaffi became the first coffee shop, a time when coffee was traditionally brewed at home. Before long, it soon became a home away from home and a house-hold name as Icelanders got comfortable hanging out with friends and family at the coffee shop. Mokka Kaffi then introduced the first never before seen espressos machine, which improved the rate of coffee production and won them a place in the heart of several Icelanders.

Today, there are more coffee shops within and outside the Iceland capital city of Reyjavik and some of the coffee houses provide reading materials and internet access, making these places a highly sociable center. Despite not having the big coffee brand names like Starbucks and Costa, Icelanders have molded for themselves a specialty of coffee that’s loved around the world.

Coffee in Iceland is majorly imported, as the weather condition in the country does not fully support the coffee plant. Healthy rivalry among coffee sellers in Iceland has led to a better refinement of the end product as each business in a way wants to get the attention of the not so large country populace. The coffee stores are continuously improving on the status quo so they don’t go out of business – what’s a good coffee store without customers?

Both the young and old can enjoy their favorite coffee flavor with sufficient cream and sugar. Coffee, aside from being a fat burning supplement, it reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers the risk of Parkinson’s, improves physical output, and also boosts metabolism. This Iceland food is sold in fast food hubs, supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, and coffee parlors.  Coffee is served in variants like espresso, cappuccino, latte, and mocha. In Iceland, it is good practice to offer your visitors some coffee mixed with milk and sugar. Coffee and Iceland doughnut go well together.

Icelandic Bun - Kleinur

Photo by Gaedabakstur

Did you know Kleinuar is made up of sour milk, the same ingredient that makes up Skyr? Sour milk is medicinal for people with hypertension and calcium deficiency.  What’s there not to love about this Iceland food, it’s a favorite food and traditional Christmas snack.

With its crunchy taste and flavored toppings, you cannot go wrong on this one. Just ensure your stomach is half full before visiting any of the outlets because the doughnuts are always fresh and delicious and the queue, if any, is worth the wait. 

The doughnut has its peculiar shape, having its beginnings in Scandinavia. The bakeries are full of mouthwatering pastries and bread where locals and tourists have access to variants of their choice.

Icelandic Lamb Soup - Kjötsúpa

Photo by Anna Rosa

Well, they say “You haven’t lived until you have had a taste of the Icelandic lamb soup”. There’s a lot of truth in that. The food is a cultural recipe that’s not about to go extinct. It’s an iconic savory delight, perfect for a cold winter’s night.

Whether it’s homemade or you’re enjoying it at a restaurant, it’s a combination of well chopped brown onions, cabbage, sweet potatoes, lamb, carrot, paprika, soup herbs – or you can improvise with a vegetable stock. Hmm! The meat is usually very tender and the aroma is always inviting.

Open a bowl of well-prepared lamb soup and you already have the attention of those in the room. The smell is that contagious! In a country like Iceland where the residents are almost outnumbered by the number of sheep, lamb meat is a fine and readily available meat for consumption, as they are not hard to find around.

Lamb soup is rich in iron, minerals, and vitamins. It is called “Kashmir” in Kazakhstan, “Nilaga Tupa” in the Philippines and “Scouse” in Britain but the food is Icelandic.

Icelandic Skyr

Icelandic food
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Micheile Henderson)

Finally, in our number spot is Skyr. If you’ve never had a taste of this Iceland food, you know you’re missing out already. It’s a highly proteinous dairy product with several health benefits, as it boosts the immune system and energizes the muscles.

Also, you can enjoy it without being concerned about weight gain because it has less calories, carbs, and fat. Skyr is made from skimmed milk and it comes in a diversity of sweeter flavors, ranging from the baked apple flavor – to crème Brulee-flavor.  It’s little wonder that it’s one of Iceland’s most loved foods. Skyr, though famously synonymous with the Greek yogurt, is in real terms a sour milk cheese, don’t be surprised at all.

 It is still one of Iceland’s most traditional foods as it has outlived many centuries. It can be enjoyed with blueberries, caramel rhubarb sauce, and cream, Now that you’re eager to have a taste of this delicacy, you can easily find it at the stores in Reykjavik – the capital city of Iceland, in local supermarkets and gas stations. It is currently available in other parts of the world but there’s still that uniqueness in the flavored Icelandic recipe.


Travelling to Iceland?

Check our overnight tours with a driver guide that includes a one night stay in a bubble.
See Guided Tours

*Starting from ISK 74.900 per person