When it comes to travel, one of the first things that we think about is the gastronomy of this new place we are going to discover. Maybe you have heard stories of Icelandic dishes such as the infamous fermented shark, lamb soup, or the sheep’s head. These are just some of the traditional dishes you can find in town, and, just between us, you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to try them.
Although in summer you will find a lot more of street food downtown, you CAN’T MISS trying the Icelandic hot dog. Downtown Reykjavik is home to the famous Bæjarins Beztu (a favorite with locals, presidents, and celebrities), a stand that has been open near the harbor since 1937. What makes them so special? The hot dogs are mixed with lamb and come topped with a few different sauces besides your standard ketchup and mustard. And for coming in at less than 500 ISK, it might be the cheapest meal out you can get in town.
If you are a candy person, you need to try PIPP, a chocolate bar that’s a staple in any Icelandic grocery or convenience store. They come filled with caramel, mint, or the ever-popular licorice! You will love it.
After Björk and volcanoes, one of the most Icelandic things is SKYR. If you’re already here, we’re sure you’ve seen it already. What exactly is Skyr? Well, it’s not exactly a yogurt, despite what your stomach might think. It’s more like a soft cheese made of pasteurized skimmed milk. It’s a really creamy, healthy snack, and it comes in many, many different flavors. You can buy it in all kinds of supermarkets for about 130 ISK.
A trip to Iceland isn’t complete without trying their famous drink Brennivín. Perhaps you know it by its nickname Black Death. You can ask for it in all the bars and clubs, but also in restaurants after eating a fermented shark (of course you can skip the shark). And the Icelandic way to say cheers? Skál (kind of like scowl)!
Icelandic cuisine may be very much different than what you’ve expected it to be.