My Food Adventures in Iceland!

braised reindeer icelandic breakfast icelandic hot dog viking beer

Hello, friends! I apologize for the long absence. I’ve been very busy with the holidays and vacation. Now that I’m back from vacation and the holidays are over I would like to share the food adventures I had on my vacation in Iceland.

Icelandic food is very much based on pickling, fermenting, et cetera—any means of preserving food during the hard cold winters. So for breakfast every morning, there was pickled herring, which I had with bread and Icelandic butter.   The hotel at which we stayed also offered a variety of meats during the breakfast buffet. I must say that their pepperoni was one of the best I’ve ever had. I’m not sure where the pepperoni came from, but it was delicious.

One night for dinner, we went to Kex Hostel, which had once been a biscuit factory. There I ordered reindeer braised with beets, and a Christmas beer called Jola Bock. It was the first time I’ve had reindeer and it tasted like lamb, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I only felt a little guilt considering it was right before Christmas and I felt like I was eating Rudolph and Santa would put me on the naughty list. The restaurant at Kex Hostel also had a warm cozy ambience. One wall was a library full of books, and the restaurant itself was filled with the most interestingly eclectic mix of decorative accents and furniture. I would highly recommend anyone visiting Reykjavik to go to Kex Hostel.

Another joint I would highly recommend is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, which is a little hot dog stand on Tryggvagata near the harbor. I must say that it was the best hot dog I’ve ever had in my life and I have had many a hot dog. Their hot dog is made with a mixture of pork, beef, and lamb. The casing also snaps beautifully when you bit into the hot dog. To add to their distinct flavor, the Icelanders add finely minced fresh onions, fried onions (which gives it a nice crunch), and their own condiments, which I can only describe as a mayo remoulade and a type of ketchup. I honestly would go back to Iceland just to have the hot dog and would strongly encourage anyone who visits Iceland to go to Baejarins Beztu.

There were a few other things on my list I wanted to try but did not get a chance while there, like Hakarl, which is fermented shark. I did however bring some shark home, which I will post about once I’ve tried it. I am definitely planning to go back during the summer for a longer stay, and hopefully try other traditional Icelandic food, such as whale and smoked lamb.

gulfoss iceland


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