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Food halls in Reykjavik - Your Guide

Fun, casual and full of choice – discover why Reykjavik’s food halls are perfect for all kinds of foodie

March 7, 2023

Food halls in Reykjavik - Your Guide

Fun, casual and full of choice – discover why Reykjavik’s food halls are perfect for all kinds of foodie

March 7, 2023

Who said bad weather means you have to miss out on street food? In the past few years, warehouse-sized indoor street food markets have cropped up across Scandinavia and northern Europe, and Iceland is no exception.

In the centre of Reykjavik, you’ll find huge halls home to stalls serving up street food from the fields of Iceland, the rice terraces of Korea and the plains of Mexico. Spend time fuelling up at the food halls between Reykjavik city tours and don’t worry about differing tastes, dietary requirements and eating styles.

Whether you’re embarking on a boat tour from the old harbour, hanging out in the centre of town or seeing the sights at the new harbour, there’s a food hall in Reykjavik for you, serving up casual eats in a buzzing, social atmosphere.

What Are Food Halls in Reykjavik?

Iceland is one of only three countries in Europe that doesn’t have a McDonald’s. The only McDonald’s on the island closed down in 2009. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get fast food.

Of course, the Icelandic hot dog is ubiquitous across the country – on sale in every petrol station shop for a quick and satisfying snack (it’s easy on the wallet too) and offered from carts around Reykjavik. But another form of fast food is quickly plugging the gap in Iceland’s culinary landscape: the food hall.

Throughout the city, you’ll find old bus terminals, fish markets and warehouses that have been turned into make-shift street food markets with stalls serving fast-cooked food without compromising on flavour and quality.

It’s no secret that Iceland’s weather (especially in winter) isn’t conducive to open-air marketplaces, so the solution is for independent vendors to cluster together indoors, each with their own stall and kitchen. Huge shared seating areas are where customers can enjoy traditional Icelandic fare alongside Korean rice bowls, sushi and soft tacos.

Pósthús Food Hall & Bar

In the heart of downtown Reykjavik, the Pósthús Food Hall & Bar is where folk can gather together in the warm and sample from a wide selection of independent street food vendors serving global cuisine. You can embrace traditional Icelandic fare with fish and chips or hearty soups from Finsen or try sushi with the freshest local seafood from Djúsí Sushi.

Perhaps try one of the towering burgers or soft tacos from Mossley Restaurant. Either way, it can all be washed down with craft cocktails and beer galore. The Pósthús Food Hall shows off the length and breadth of Icelandic ingredients within a charming old building. If you want to find out more about Iceland’s unique culinary history while sampling local delights, book a place on the Reykjavik food walk.

  • Address: Pósthússtræti 5, 101 Reykjavík.

After fuelling up in the food halls, see the sights of Reykjavik


Hop 5

From whale-watching tours at the old harbour to the awesome architecture of Hallgrímskirkja and Harpa Concert Hall, Iceland’s capital has sights by the bucketload. A compact city, sightseeing in Reykjavik can easily be done on foot, or on the convenient hop-on hop-off red bus around the city.


Hafnartorg Gallery

Another downtown spot to delight foodies is the Hafnartorg Gallery. Close to the old harbour, this ultra-modern complex of shops, culture and – of course – food and drink, is the ideal spot for a pick-me-up after a whale-watching trip or before an event at the Harpa Concert Hall.

The food offerings are a trip across the globe, from Mexico for quesadillas, to Hawaii for healthy, rainbow-bright poke bowls and past France and Italy for the finest cooking.

  • Address: Geirsgata 17, 101 Reykjavík.
Food Halls in Reykjavik

Grandi Food Hall

Perhaps it’s the lofty long-house-style interior or the vast shared tables stretching through the centre of Grandi Food Hall, but it feels like a nod to Iceland’s Viking tradition. Except that it’s completely modern, sitting within the spanking new development of the harbour district.

If you’re in the area for sights like FlyOver Iceland, Whales of Iceland, Lava Show and the Maritime Museum then this food hall is the perfect place for casual dining between cultural activities.

You know the seafood at the fish and chip stall is super fresh, since the fish market is right next door (you can visit to see the fresh catch of the day). And Fjárhúsið is the perfect spot to try Iceland’s traditional lamb dishes.

There are stalls and trucks inside for all tastes and dietary requirements – those that like spice can opt for Korean rice bowls or Mexican tacos. But the real bonus is that this area is home to a handful of microbreweries, so the casual bars here are stocked with local craft beers and provide a great introduction to the city’s booze culture.

If you want to find out more about the ales and lagers on offer in Reykjavik and learn the history of prohibition in Iceland, join the Reykjavik Beer Tour.

  • Address: Grandagarður 16 , 101 Reykjavík.

Vera Food Court

One of Reykjavik’s newest food halls, Vera Food Court can be found close to the university. The student population in the area keep this place feeling hip and cool with blueberry-topped granola bowls and vegan salad bowls screaming out for an Instagram shoot.

It’s a big destination for the plant-based diners of Reykjavik (though there are plenty of options for carnivores as well), but it’s the hygge-chic atmosphere that keeps people coming back to Vera Food Court.

  • Address: Bjargargata 1, 102 Reykjavík.

Hlemmur Food Hall

Inspired by Europe’s sprawling food markets, Hlemmur Food Hall is considered Iceland’s first food hall and sits in the city’s former bus terminal. You’ll find it at the end of Laugavegur, the main shopping street in the heart of the city.

So after an afternoon perusing the souvenir shops and wandering Reykjavik’s wooden-clad buildings, it’s the ideal place to unwind with some traditional Icelandic food. For example, the SKÁL stall specialises in foraged Icelandic ingredients to take their artfully presented dishes back to the days of gathering from the country’s natural larder.

Try Icelandic lamb in hearty soups or towering burgers at Fjárhúsið. Grazing in wild pastures provides a sweet tang of berries and arctic herbs to the meat.

  • Address: Laugavegur 107, 105 Reykjavík.

Base yourself in Reykjavik and embark on a series of day tours to experience the wilderness without the hassle


Skogarfoss

Weather can change at a moment’s notice and road conditions can be difficult to navigate across Iceland so take the stress out of visiting the island with day tours from Reykjavik. You can hunt for the Northern Lights, see the wonders of the Golden Circle and South Shore or embark on a glacier hike and be back in Reykjavik in time for dinner, all without the hassle of driving yourself.

Borg29 Food Hall

Perhaps you’re in Reykjavik for a business trip. Well, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the city’s street eats. Borg29 Food Hall is the new kid on the block, in the city’s financial district.

It’s a great spot for a business dinner or lunch if you’ve got a big group with varying tastes and you want to keep everyone happy. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, pizza, sushi, charcuterie boards paired with wine and hot-wok stir-fries. Plus, you’ve got beautiful views of (usually) snow-topped Mount Esja and the wild Atlantic Ocean.

  • Address: Borgartún 29, 105 Reykjavík

Kúmen Food Hall

Located in Iceland’s first shopping mall, just outside the city center, Kúmen Food Hall fuels that age-old debate: is it street food or is it a food court? The answer is, who cares! If the pizza is gooey with cheese and the poke bowls are fresh and packed with goodness, then we can put down the debate and pick up a fork. Within the Kringlan shopping centre, this food hall is near the Perlan on the outskirts of town.

  • Address: Kringlan 4-12, 103 Reykjavík.

Höfði Food Hall

If you’re heading out of Reykjavik to hit the Route One ring road around the island – perhaps to see the sights of the south shore or natural wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula – then you can stop and fuel up on street food at Höfði Mathöll on the way.

It offers a delightful array of street food staples such as hearty burgers, curries packed with flavour from Tandoori Palace and flash-cooked noodles dishes from Wok On. - Address: Bíldshöfði 9, 110 Reykjavík.

Reach the centre of Reykjavik the easy way with organised transfers from Keflavik Airport


flybus

Iceland’s international airport is out on the Reykjanes peninsula, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Reykjavik itself. Booking the bus from Keflavik to Reykjavik in advance of your visit can save you time and hassle on arrival at the airport. Times to coincide with every flight landing at Keflavik, there’s always a Flybus waiting for you.

Food halls outside Reykjavik

The Greenhouse, Hveragerði

Probably Iceland’s most Insta-worthy food hall, as the name suggests, The Greenhouse in Hveragerði is dripping with lush botanica alongside its Yuzu burgers and Punk Fried Chicken. If you’re heading east, Hveragerði is the first village you’ll pass leaving Reykjavik.

Those that want to experience Iceland’s outdoor bathing culture can stop at the nearby Reykjadalur hot spring, where you can soak in a geothermally heated river pool and mud baths amidst glorious nature.

The Greenhouse is an ideal place for a post-riding meal if you’re in the area to visit South Iceland’s massive horse farms. You can take in the scenery from horseback with a guided session along the wild bridle paths. Horses in Iceland are a rare breed with a long and quirky history so this is an essentially Icelandic experience.

  • Address: Austurmörk 6, 810 Hveragerði.
Food Halls in Reykjavik

Mjólkurbúið – The Old Dairy Selfoss

If you’re embarking on a south coast tour, don’t miss a stop at The Old Dairy in Selfoss. The building itself is a sight to behold as it was the first dairy factory in Iceland and dates back to 1929. It was reconstructed in the same style, with its striking arched window, and opened as a food and cultural hotspot in 2021.

There’s space indoors and outdoors for wining and dining, so you can make the most of those rare sunny days in Iceland. Inside, there’s a modern industrial feel where wooden tables and a selection of street food stalls are tucked beneath iron staircases.

The atmosphere is fabulous, with woks sizzling away and pizzas cooking in stone ovens. For some inspiration on what to see nearby, check out our South Iceland Guide. - Address: Eyravegur 1, 800 Selfoss

Mathöll Vesturlands - Borgarnes

Our final food hall is a little different from the others. Mathöll Vesturlands is located within the B59 Hotel in Borgarnes and has the aesthetics of a hotel restaurant – plush seats and a co-working space if you need – but offers an array of fast-cooked food from numerous indie outfits such as The Skyr Factory, Fjárhúsið (The Sheep House) and B59 Craft Beer. It’s well-located if you’re taking a tour of West Iceland.

  • Address: Borgarbraut 59, 310 Borgarnes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reykjavik's famous food?

Right on the Atlantic, Reykjavik’s most popular and traditional dishes tend to focus on seafood. Cod, haddock and langoustines are stapled ingredients within Reykjavik’s culinary scene and in most seafood restaurants you’ll find a pan-fried fish dish with vegetables and fish still sizzling in a cast-iron pan set before you.

Some of the older, traditional restaurants serve uniquely Icelandic dishes such as puffin breast and even whale steak. Believe it or not, despite the cold weather, ice cream is a firm favourite in Reykjavik and you’ll find lots of parlours serving a rainbow of different scoops, even in the middle of winter.

What is Iceland's most famous food?

Perhaps the one you’ve all heard about is Hákarl or “rotten shark”. The shark meat is not actually rotten, but is fermented by digging a shallow hole in the gravelly sand and placing stones on top to squeeze the fluid out of the meat. It is considered a delicacy and you can sample a small piece of Hákarl on guided food tours of Reykjavik…if you dare.

But there are plenty of other Icelandic foods that might seem far more appetising like thick dollops of Skyr yoghurt, Icelandic lamb, hearty soups and the ubiquitous hot dogs you find across the country (made from grass-fed Icelandic lamb).

Do you need to make dinner reservations in Reykjavik?

Iceland sees a huge number of visitors to the island every year, and demand for restaurants in Reykjavik is high, especially well-known or special occasion restaurants. Making dinner reservations is always advisable to avoid disappointment if there is a specific place you want to dine. However, if you find yourself at a loose end one evening and everywhere is fully booked, the casual and communal nature of Reykjavik’s food halls make them an excellent choice for a last-minute dinner.

Does Reykjavik have a McDonald’s?

Iceland is one of only three countries in Europe not to have a McDonald’s. There used to be one here, but it closed in 2009. Of course, you can still get a burger and fries if you want, at most of Reykjavik’s food halls or at the famous Icelandic fast food joint: Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar (Tommi’s Burger Joint).

What kind of food do Icelanders eat?

Due to the cold, harsh winters, Icelanders tend to eat hot food with a focus on warming, hearty soups and stews. Icelandic lamb, freshly caught fish and langoustines are a staple of the Icelandic diet, with plenty of potatoes, chard and now, tomatoes (thanks to geothermally heated greenhouses). Skyr yoghurt is also a popular way to start the day as Iceland’s dairy factories have always been a big part of the culinary culture.

What do picky eaters eat in Iceland?

If seafood isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Iceland isn’t all about fish, lobster and fermented shark. There are plenty of places to grab a burger, hot dog or pizza. Those with particular dietary requirements will find all kinds of food to suit them – vegan salad bowls and vegan burgers, vegetarian menus and gluten-free cafés in Reykjavik. One of the best places for picky eaters is the food halls of Reykjavik where you’ve got a choice of different cuisines and styles – spicy, hearty, meaty, vegetarian, and vegan…all under one roof.

So, foodies can rejoice. There are plenty of places to fuel your Reykjavik city sightseeing excursions, and food halls offer a place for all tastes and trends. Folk gather together at big, communal tables to sup on tacos alongside poke bowls and good old-fashioned fish and chips.

It may seem like the harsh weather of Iceland would put the kybosh on street food, but vast indoor spaces have been turned into social arenas dedicated to food and good times. All you have to do now is decide which food hall to hit first.

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.

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Once again, the enthralling spectacle of Iceland's Reykjanes volcano is back in the limelight! After 11 months of peaceful dormancy, the volcano is now alive and kicking, treating locals and tourists to another captivating visual performance. If you've been yearning for an adventure that's truly out of this world, this might just be your calling!

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Food halls in Reykjavik - Your Guide

Fun, casual and full of choice – discover why Reykjavik’s food halls are perfect for all kinds of foodie

March 7, 2023

Food halls in Reykjavik - Your Guide

Fun, casual and full of choice – discover why Reykjavik’s food halls are perfect for all kinds of foodie

March 7, 2023

Who said bad weather means you have to miss out on street food? In the past few years, warehouse-sized indoor street food markets have cropped up across Scandinavia and northern Europe, and Iceland is no exception.

In the centre of Reykjavik, you’ll find huge halls home to stalls serving up street food from the fields of Iceland, the rice terraces of Korea and the plains of Mexico. Spend time fuelling up at the food halls between Reykjavik city tours and don’t worry about differing tastes, dietary requirements and eating styles.

Whether you’re embarking on a boat tour from the old harbour, hanging out in the centre of town or seeing the sights at the new harbour, there’s a food hall in Reykjavik for you, serving up casual eats in a buzzing, social atmosphere.

What Are Food Halls in Reykjavik?

Iceland is one of only three countries in Europe that doesn’t have a McDonald’s. The only McDonald’s on the island closed down in 2009. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get fast food.

Of course, the Icelandic hot dog is ubiquitous across the country – on sale in every petrol station shop for a quick and satisfying snack (it’s easy on the wallet too) and offered from carts around Reykjavik. But another form of fast food is quickly plugging the gap in Iceland’s culinary landscape: the food hall.

Throughout the city, you’ll find old bus terminals, fish markets and warehouses that have been turned into make-shift street food markets with stalls serving fast-cooked food without compromising on flavour and quality.

It’s no secret that Iceland’s weather (especially in winter) isn’t conducive to open-air marketplaces, so the solution is for independent vendors to cluster together indoors, each with their own stall and kitchen. Huge shared seating areas are where customers can enjoy traditional Icelandic fare alongside Korean rice bowls, sushi and soft tacos.

Pósthús Food Hall & Bar

In the heart of downtown Reykjavik, the Pósthús Food Hall & Bar is where folk can gather together in the warm and sample from a wide selection of independent street food vendors serving global cuisine. You can embrace traditional Icelandic fare with fish and chips or hearty soups from Finsen or try sushi with the freshest local seafood from Djúsí Sushi.

Perhaps try one of the towering burgers or soft tacos from Mossley Restaurant. Either way, it can all be washed down with craft cocktails and beer galore. The Pósthús Food Hall shows off the length and breadth of Icelandic ingredients within a charming old building. If you want to find out more about Iceland’s unique culinary history while sampling local delights, book a place on the Reykjavik food walk.

  • Address: Pósthússtræti 5, 101 Reykjavík.

After fuelling up in the food halls, see the sights of Reykjavik


Hop 5

From whale-watching tours at the old harbour to the awesome architecture of Hallgrímskirkja and Harpa Concert Hall, Iceland’s capital has sights by the bucketload. A compact city, sightseeing in Reykjavik can easily be done on foot, or on the convenient hop-on hop-off red bus around the city.


Hafnartorg Gallery

Another downtown spot to delight foodies is the Hafnartorg Gallery. Close to the old harbour, this ultra-modern complex of shops, culture and – of course – food and drink, is the ideal spot for a pick-me-up after a whale-watching trip or before an event at the Harpa Concert Hall.

The food offerings are a trip across the globe, from Mexico for quesadillas, to Hawaii for healthy, rainbow-bright poke bowls and past France and Italy for the finest cooking.

  • Address: Geirsgata 17, 101 Reykjavík.
Food Halls in Reykjavik

Grandi Food Hall

Perhaps it’s the lofty long-house-style interior or the vast shared tables stretching through the centre of Grandi Food Hall, but it feels like a nod to Iceland’s Viking tradition. Except that it’s completely modern, sitting within the spanking new development of the harbour district.

If you’re in the area for sights like FlyOver Iceland, Whales of Iceland, Lava Show and the Maritime Museum then this food hall is the perfect place for casual dining between cultural activities.

You know the seafood at the fish and chip stall is super fresh, since the fish market is right next door (you can visit to see the fresh catch of the day). And Fjárhúsið is the perfect spot to try Iceland’s traditional lamb dishes.

There are stalls and trucks inside for all tastes and dietary requirements – those that like spice can opt for Korean rice bowls or Mexican tacos. But the real bonus is that this area is home to a handful of microbreweries, so the casual bars here are stocked with local craft beers and provide a great introduction to the city’s booze culture.

If you want to find out more about the ales and lagers on offer in Reykjavik and learn the history of prohibition in Iceland, join the Reykjavik Beer Tour.

  • Address: Grandagarður 16 , 101 Reykjavík.

Vera Food Court

One of Reykjavik’s newest food halls, Vera Food Court can be found close to the university. The student population in the area keep this place feeling hip and cool with blueberry-topped granola bowls and vegan salad bowls screaming out for an Instagram shoot.

It’s a big destination for the plant-based diners of Reykjavik (though there are plenty of options for carnivores as well), but it’s the hygge-chic atmosphere that keeps people coming back to Vera Food Court.

  • Address: Bjargargata 1, 102 Reykjavík.

Hlemmur Food Hall

Inspired by Europe’s sprawling food markets, Hlemmur Food Hall is considered Iceland’s first food hall and sits in the city’s former bus terminal. You’ll find it at the end of Laugavegur, the main shopping street in the heart of the city.

So after an afternoon perusing the souvenir shops and wandering Reykjavik’s wooden-clad buildings, it’s the ideal place to unwind with some traditional Icelandic food. For example, the SKÁL stall specialises in foraged Icelandic ingredients to take their artfully presented dishes back to the days of gathering from the country’s natural larder.

Try Icelandic lamb in hearty soups or towering burgers at Fjárhúsið. Grazing in wild pastures provides a sweet tang of berries and arctic herbs to the meat.

  • Address: Laugavegur 107, 105 Reykjavík.

Base yourself in Reykjavik and embark on a series of day tours to experience the wilderness without the hassle


Skogarfoss

Weather can change at a moment’s notice and road conditions can be difficult to navigate across Iceland so take the stress out of visiting the island with day tours from Reykjavik. You can hunt for the Northern Lights, see the wonders of the Golden Circle and South Shore or embark on a glacier hike and be back in Reykjavik in time for dinner, all without the hassle of driving yourself.

Borg29 Food Hall

Perhaps you’re in Reykjavik for a business trip. Well, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the city’s street eats. Borg29 Food Hall is the new kid on the block, in the city’s financial district.

It’s a great spot for a business dinner or lunch if you’ve got a big group with varying tastes and you want to keep everyone happy. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, pizza, sushi, charcuterie boards paired with wine and hot-wok stir-fries. Plus, you’ve got beautiful views of (usually) snow-topped Mount Esja and the wild Atlantic Ocean.

  • Address: Borgartún 29, 105 Reykjavík

Kúmen Food Hall

Located in Iceland’s first shopping mall, just outside the city center, Kúmen Food Hall fuels that age-old debate: is it street food or is it a food court? The answer is, who cares! If the pizza is gooey with cheese and the poke bowls are fresh and packed with goodness, then we can put down the debate and pick up a fork. Within the Kringlan shopping centre, this food hall is near the Perlan on the outskirts of town.

  • Address: Kringlan 4-12, 103 Reykjavík.

Höfði Food Hall

If you’re heading out of Reykjavik to hit the Route One ring road around the island – perhaps to see the sights of the south shore or natural wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula – then you can stop and fuel up on street food at Höfði Mathöll on the way.

It offers a delightful array of street food staples such as hearty burgers, curries packed with flavour from Tandoori Palace and flash-cooked noodles dishes from Wok On. - Address: Bíldshöfði 9, 110 Reykjavík.

Reach the centre of Reykjavik the easy way with organised transfers from Keflavik Airport


flybus

Iceland’s international airport is out on the Reykjanes peninsula, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Reykjavik itself. Booking the bus from Keflavik to Reykjavik in advance of your visit can save you time and hassle on arrival at the airport. Times to coincide with every flight landing at Keflavik, there’s always a Flybus waiting for you.

Food halls outside Reykjavik

The Greenhouse, Hveragerði

Probably Iceland’s most Insta-worthy food hall, as the name suggests, The Greenhouse in Hveragerði is dripping with lush botanica alongside its Yuzu burgers and Punk Fried Chicken. If you’re heading east, Hveragerði is the first village you’ll pass leaving Reykjavik.

Those that want to experience Iceland’s outdoor bathing culture can stop at the nearby Reykjadalur hot spring, where you can soak in a geothermally heated river pool and mud baths amidst glorious nature.

The Greenhouse is an ideal place for a post-riding meal if you’re in the area to visit South Iceland’s massive horse farms. You can take in the scenery from horseback with a guided session along the wild bridle paths. Horses in Iceland are a rare breed with a long and quirky history so this is an essentially Icelandic experience.

  • Address: Austurmörk 6, 810 Hveragerði.
Food Halls in Reykjavik

Mjólkurbúið – The Old Dairy Selfoss

If you’re embarking on a south coast tour, don’t miss a stop at The Old Dairy in Selfoss. The building itself is a sight to behold as it was the first dairy factory in Iceland and dates back to 1929. It was reconstructed in the same style, with its striking arched window, and opened as a food and cultural hotspot in 2021.

There’s space indoors and outdoors for wining and dining, so you can make the most of those rare sunny days in Iceland. Inside, there’s a modern industrial feel where wooden tables and a selection of street food stalls are tucked beneath iron staircases.

The atmosphere is fabulous, with woks sizzling away and pizzas cooking in stone ovens. For some inspiration on what to see nearby, check out our South Iceland Guide. - Address: Eyravegur 1, 800 Selfoss

Mathöll Vesturlands - Borgarnes

Our final food hall is a little different from the others. Mathöll Vesturlands is located within the B59 Hotel in Borgarnes and has the aesthetics of a hotel restaurant – plush seats and a co-working space if you need – but offers an array of fast-cooked food from numerous indie outfits such as The Skyr Factory, Fjárhúsið (The Sheep House) and B59 Craft Beer. It’s well-located if you’re taking a tour of West Iceland.

  • Address: Borgarbraut 59, 310 Borgarnes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reykjavik's famous food?

Right on the Atlantic, Reykjavik’s most popular and traditional dishes tend to focus on seafood. Cod, haddock and langoustines are stapled ingredients within Reykjavik’s culinary scene and in most seafood restaurants you’ll find a pan-fried fish dish with vegetables and fish still sizzling in a cast-iron pan set before you.

Some of the older, traditional restaurants serve uniquely Icelandic dishes such as puffin breast and even whale steak. Believe it or not, despite the cold weather, ice cream is a firm favourite in Reykjavik and you’ll find lots of parlours serving a rainbow of different scoops, even in the middle of winter.

What is Iceland's most famous food?

Perhaps the one you’ve all heard about is Hákarl or “rotten shark”. The shark meat is not actually rotten, but is fermented by digging a shallow hole in the gravelly sand and placing stones on top to squeeze the fluid out of the meat. It is considered a delicacy and you can sample a small piece of Hákarl on guided food tours of Reykjavik…if you dare.

But there are plenty of other Icelandic foods that might seem far more appetising like thick dollops of Skyr yoghurt, Icelandic lamb, hearty soups and the ubiquitous hot dogs you find across the country (made from grass-fed Icelandic lamb).

Do you need to make dinner reservations in Reykjavik?

Iceland sees a huge number of visitors to the island every year, and demand for restaurants in Reykjavik is high, especially well-known or special occasion restaurants. Making dinner reservations is always advisable to avoid disappointment if there is a specific place you want to dine. However, if you find yourself at a loose end one evening and everywhere is fully booked, the casual and communal nature of Reykjavik’s food halls make them an excellent choice for a last-minute dinner.

Does Reykjavik have a McDonald’s?

Iceland is one of only three countries in Europe not to have a McDonald’s. There used to be one here, but it closed in 2009. Of course, you can still get a burger and fries if you want, at most of Reykjavik’s food halls or at the famous Icelandic fast food joint: Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar (Tommi’s Burger Joint).

What kind of food do Icelanders eat?

Due to the cold, harsh winters, Icelanders tend to eat hot food with a focus on warming, hearty soups and stews. Icelandic lamb, freshly caught fish and langoustines are a staple of the Icelandic diet, with plenty of potatoes, chard and now, tomatoes (thanks to geothermally heated greenhouses). Skyr yoghurt is also a popular way to start the day as Iceland’s dairy factories have always been a big part of the culinary culture.

What do picky eaters eat in Iceland?

If seafood isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Iceland isn’t all about fish, lobster and fermented shark. There are plenty of places to grab a burger, hot dog or pizza. Those with particular dietary requirements will find all kinds of food to suit them – vegan salad bowls and vegan burgers, vegetarian menus and gluten-free cafés in Reykjavik. One of the best places for picky eaters is the food halls of Reykjavik where you’ve got a choice of different cuisines and styles – spicy, hearty, meaty, vegetarian, and vegan…all under one roof.

So, foodies can rejoice. There are plenty of places to fuel your Reykjavik city sightseeing excursions, and food halls offer a place for all tastes and trends. Folk gather together at big, communal tables to sup on tacos alongside poke bowls and good old-fashioned fish and chips.

It may seem like the harsh weather of Iceland would put the kybosh on street food, but vast indoor spaces have been turned into social arenas dedicated to food and good times. All you have to do now is decide which food hall to hit first.

REYKJAVIK EXCURSIONS BLOG

Get inspired! Information and tips and must see places in Iceland, fun facts, customs and more.