First of all, the food is simple and delicious! Yes, the prices are expensive, better to be aware of it, but a travel is nothing without trying the local food 😉 At least once, you should really give it a try. Even if I’m thinking back now, yum! So let me share couple places and dishes that we discovered randomly during our journey. It’s just a random and very subjective selection based on our preferences 🙂
Fish & More Restaurant is located on Skólavörðustígur street under number 23 in Reykjavík, close to the city center. We have found it randomly, no one recommended to us, I was just in a deep desire of eating something local and warm and ideally with fish. Of course I read upfront and knew that at least the Icelandic fish soup is a must to taste once we are there. So we were just walking to the center direction when suddenly we have spotted the place. We knew we needed to enter, and it was just perfect. Warm inside with great smell coming from the kitchen and super friendly stuff, cool design with map wallpaper, perfect spot for travelers. We were advised on the daily menu options and we couldn’t be happier as they had fish soup and fish stew as well on the menu.
Iceland is anyhow a country of fish and fisheries, fish bars, fish restaurants and the standards are sky high, with great-quality ingredients. Langoustine, cod or haddock is some of the most common to see on the menus and are sure bets. Best enjoyed with mashed potatoes and the classic Icelandic rye bread with butter.
Plokkfiskur is the name that you should look for on the menu, and it is basically a simple fish stew. It’s made with only a few ingredients: White fish (such as haddock or cod), potatoes, yellow onion, wheat flour, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Some recipes may additionally include ingredients such as bay leaves, chives, curry, chicken stock, bearnaise sauce and cheese. Like any classic dish a few variations may exist. It is one of foods Icelanders grow up with. Kids love it. It‘s served in preschools and for lunch at schools, and foreign visitors can order fancy versions at most better Reykjavík fish restaurants. Every family has its own recipe, and there is no one correct way to prepare this dish: “Icelandic mothers and grandmothers have thrown these ingredients together to feed their families without precisely measuring the different ingredients, adjusting the recipe based on how much fish or potatoes there are in the fridge that day”.
You should definitely taste it while there or try to prepare it at home, there are many recipes available if you google it. But don’t forget to serve it with dark sweet Icelandic rye bread and butter 😉
The Icelandic Skyr yogurt. All over Iceland. For sure you have heard of it, it might be available in your local bigger supermarkets too. But anyhow, on Iceland you can find it in every store, even in Bonus and Netto, dozens of variants, numerous different flavors! Even though some classify Skyr as cheese but it is more commonly recognized as a thick yogurt.
There are 5–6 great restaurants in Höfn, not more and all of them are focused on seafood and proudly serving their fresh langoustines, the only worry was that they close around 9 pm in the evening, so Z Bistro became our favorite quickly as they stayed open longer, till 11:00 pm 🙂 but the food was indeed super delicious, and comes with a very friendly crew, highly recommended.
We have discovered the coolest local bars in Akureyri. Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city, located on the north of the island. It’s super cute and tiny and basically you can visit it all on a longer afternoon. We found two local bars with tasty local craft beers, and amazing atmosphere, friendly people. The first was called R5 bar, where I took this picture too. We have tasted high-quality hand crafted dark beers here with a hint of chocolate and coffee flavors, and blondes with fruity aroma.
The second one is Akureyri Backpackers. Even if you are not a backpacker, you are more than welcome 🙂 It’s a casual bar with bistro menu and they are open for travelers and locals as well, worth to stop by at least for a beer.
Do you have any favorite place in Iceland? That you would recommend to add to my list? Please don’t hesitate to share with all of us in the comment section and later on I will update this article with your recommendations with adding your names as well to it. Thank you for your cooperation 🙂