When I announced I was going to Iceland, everyone cautioned me about the food. I was warned that Iceland food is seriously bad. They told me that, as a foodie, I simply wouldn’t enjoy the trip.
They were wrong.
While it’s true that I had more than my fair share of unfortunate gas station sandwiches for budget reasons (food, along with everything else in Iceland is crazy expensive), there is good food to be found in Iceland. Really good food, actually.
In this post, I’ll share with you, in no certain order, the best Iceland food I found in my two weeks spent touring Iceland.
The best Iceland Food
1. Cod in a Mexican Cream Sauce
This dish was the day’s special at a hole in the wall we found just off the highway. Both delicious and filling, I love any meal with double carbs!
2. Icelandic Seafood Pasta
You wouldn’t normally think of great pasta when you think of Iceland, but this dish incorporated fresh seafood and served it up with a simple salad.
After so many simple breakfasts, we were excited to find this cafe serving an American style breakfast with a generous serving of bacon. This homemade berry jam served for the toast was also full of flavor.
4. Roasted Cod
No surprise this list is going to be seafood heavy. We found another special of the day when hunger forced us to find a stop on the highway. This simple dish of perfectly cooked fish paired with a simple salad was just what we needed to get back on the road.
5. Traditional Icelandic Fish Stew
Served with dark bread this was the perfect lunch on a cold afternoon.
6. Buttery Lobster Roll
One of the most memorable dishes from the trip, this huge lobster roll was stuffed with freshly grilled lobster on a buttery roll and served with fries. I would go back to Iceland just for this dish.
7. Icelandic Fish & Chips
This version is my new favorite, as I prefer the roasted potatoes over fries. The small salad was also a welcome fresh component on a dish that’s largely heavy and filling.
8. Tapas in Iceland?
Yes, tapas in Iceland. Smakkbarinn in Reykjavík features a tapas menu that highlights local ingredients. This means you’re able to try smaller portions of dishes you’re not so sure about, including local specialties such as reindeer, whale, and fermented shark.
I have always mentioned that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I was able to found a dessert in Iceland that I’m pretty fond of. Skyr is a traditional Icelandic dessert made with a mild yogurt like base and topped with fresh fruit. It can sometimes also contain granola. Versions found throughout the country range from simple to very high end.
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Which dish looks best to you? Let me know in the comments section below!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.