This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.If you have looked into traveling to Iceland then you probably already know that it’s an expensive country. It is actually the second most expensive country I’ve ever visited…second only to Switzerland (both were completely worth it). Not surprisingly, food is no exception in the “expensive” category. Icelandic food is incredibly yummy but extremely expensive and therefore, eating in Iceland does take some budget planning. To help you with that, here are 15 Iceland restaurants plus a couple of bonus options I tried out during my 13-day adventure.
Budget Indicator (USD)
1 | Restaurant Geysir Glima
Restaurant Geysir Glima was my first experience with the local Icelandic cuisine. Therefore, I went with their Sampler Plate consisting of a fresh whitefish, salmon, mashed potatoes with onions and cream, yellow rice, veggies, and a white sauce. The food was well seasoned and a great way to be introduced to local specialties!
TIP: I recommend the sampler plate because you can choose your own combination of food.
Restaurant Geysir Glima is located at Haukadalur, 801 Iceland
2 | Dyrhólæy Restaurant
At the Dyrhólæy Restaurant, I had the Pan-Fried Trout with potatoes and a yummy mango salsa.
And, chocolate cake for dessert!
Dyrhólæy Restaurant is located in Hótel Dyrhólæy at Brekkur, Vik 871, Iceland
3 | Z Bistro
The specialty of Z Bistro is langoustines and they do this specialty quite well! Langoustines are a different type of lobster known as the Norway lobster. It’s a smaller orange-pink lobster that is considered the most important commercial crustacean in Europe. I highly recommend the Lobster Spear and Lobster Pasta combo.
TIP: Portions are HUGE and can easily be shared.
Z Bistro is located at Víkurbraut 2 Höfn 780
4 | Við Voginn
Við Voginn is located in the quaint fishing village of Djúpivogur in East Iceland. A fishing village warrants ordering their specialty of fish and chips, right? Well, that’s exactly what I got and it was definitely the correct choice!
Við Voginn is located at 2, 765, Vogaland, Djúpivogur, Iceland.
5 | Glóð Restaurant
Perhaps one of the best dishes I had on the entire trip was in Egilsstaðir at Hotel Valaskjálf. These are Reindeer Meatballs with blueberries, mushrooms, and HEATHER served alongside (literally) tagliatelle pasta.
I may or may not have ordered it solely because it had Heather in it. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration because the entire combination of blueberries, mushrooms, and Heather appealed to me. But, the fact that it had Heather (a flower that grows predominantly in the UK) did have some influence.
Reindeer is an Icelandic specialty; otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have tried it (regardless of the Heather involved). While I’m not a vegetarian, I do have Bambi and Rudolph Syndrome.
TIP: Portions are on the larger side and could be shared if you aren’t extremely hungry.
Glóð Restaurant is located in Hotel Valaskjálf at Skógarlöndum 3, 700 Egilsstöðum, Iceland
6 | Sushi Corner
Subscribe to my YouTube for more travel videos!
To be honest, I’m not putting Sushi Corner on the list because it was necessarily outstanding sushi that should be tried. I’m putting it here in case there are others that might find themselves in the same situation as I was that night-still pretty full from lunch and wanting something light for dinner.
Most Icelandic dishes are quite rich and portions are large. So we ducked into Sushi Corner for more of a sushi snack!
TIP: There is no menu. All dishes are on a train and you grab what you want as it comes around. Each plate was 400 ISK (3.50-4 USD) so if you are on a budget, this works. Drinks are self-serve as you walk in the door.
Sushi Corner is located at Kaupvangsstræti 1 Akureyri 600
7 | Gísli Eiríkur Helgi
Say what? I know, I can’t pronounce it either! Actually, Gísli Eiríkur Helgi Kaffihûs Bakkabrædr is the full name.
It’s a cafe based on the legend of the dumbest brothers in Iceland. The stories are quite humorous!
Filled with odd knick-knacks (to include a clock without hands in the bathroom), one could spend a bit of time wandering around the two-story cafe in addition to dining.
But please, don’t miss the dining experience. They have incredible homemade fish soup, bread baked with the local beer, and a great selection of teas. It was by far the most picturesque, cozy meal we had!
Gísli Eiríkur Helgi is located at Grundargata, 620 Dalvík, Iceland
You might also like: SNORKELING SILFRA: THE MUST-DO REYKJAVIK DAY TRIP
8 | Restaurant BAKKI
Once again, we grabbed dinner at our hotel (which was one of my favorites of the entire trip). I freely admit that there was a lot of that going on on this trip which isn’t my norm. However, so much of Iceland is remote and there aren’t always a plethora of options at your disposal. So, I’m grateful that Icelandic hotels have good food!
At Restaurant BAKKI, I had the Mushroom Risotto which came with a small side salad and a piece of grilled bread. Although it didn’t blow me over as something I will always remember, the risotto was good and I would order it again.
TIP: You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to dine at the restaurant. Also, this is the hotel where I saw the first of my two northern lights sightings in Iceland!
Restaurant BAKKI is located in Hótel Laugarbakki at 531 Hvammstangi, Iceland
9 | Perspectives Restaurant
We spent one night in Borgarnes and tried out the restaurant in the hotel. Perspectives Restaurant is a somewhat upscale restaurant for the area and had a great menu featuring local dishes. I had the local fish specialty with baked potato wedges, salad, and skyr for dessert.
Skyr is a traditional Icelandic dessert. It tastes a lot like yogurt and is usually topped with fruit such as strawberries.
Perspectives Restaurant is located in Hotel Borgarnes at Egilsgata 16, 310 Borgarnes, Iceland
10 | Arnabær
The day we toured the Snæfellsnes, a peninsula in western Iceland, we stopped in yet another fishing village (there are so many beautiful ones all around Iceland) for lunch. In Arnarstapi, we ate at Arnabær which offers an array of items such as fish and chips, pizzas and dessert pizzas.
I know what you’re thinking…really? Pizza in Iceland? Well, that day, yes. Pizza in Iceland. But hear me out. I got the Journey to the Center of the Earth. Although it’s your basic pepperoni pizza, it bears the namesake of the novel which is set on the Snæfellsnes (actual setting is the Snæfellsjökull volcano).
When in Iceland…right? 😃
TIP: If you want more traditional food, my friend got the fish and chips and said it was really good!
Arnabær is located at Arnarstapi 355, Snaefellsbaer 356, Arnarstapi, Iceland
11 | Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar
Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar is definitely a nice restaurant with a chic vibe and great atmosphere. I ordered the fresh fish of the day which was pan-seared Arctic Char served with grilled mixed veggies and potatoes. My friend, Lisa, got the Spaghetti Carbonara with cream sauce and bacon.
Both were really quite good including the bread served with a white garlic sauce!
Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar is located in CenterHotel Midgardur at Laugavegur 120, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
12 | Kröst
Hlemmur Mathöll, located in Reykjavík, is Iceland’s first food hall and definitely worth checking out. I don’t know about you, but I love food halls and think they are such a neat concept.
We walked through, looking at different menus and eventually settled on Kröst. My risotto balls and fries with truffle mayo hit the spot (I wanted more of them actually).
Lisa had lamb soup with veggies which she thoroughly enjoyed as well.
In case you haven’t noticed, lamb is also traditional Icelandic food. I’m not a huge fan of lamb though I did have it once because I was there to experience all things Iceland!
TIP: Walk around and look at the different menus and find what strikes your fancy!
Kröst is located inside the Hlemmur Mathöll at Laugavegur 107, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
13 | Old Iceland
One night we decided to look up Google’s opinion on restaurants in Reykjavík. Old Iceland came up immediately with outstanding reviews of their traditional Icelandic cuisine.
However, I was worried about getting in since it was the weekend so I called to see if they took reservations and made them for 5:30 pm which was the only time offered.
The interior was very unique and very "Iceland". We even had to step down into the restaurant sort of like a hideaway. That along with the candles made it very cozy!
I got the Traditional Icelandic Meat Soup (lamb) with veggies and the Fillet of Cod with herb and garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and champagne sauce. Both dishes were phenomenal!
TIP: Portions are modest making an appetizer, entrée, and dessert feasible. Or you can order several things to share! Also, they only take reservations for 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm. After that, it’s walk-ins only with reported wait times of never longer than 20-30 minutes.
Old Iceland is located at Laugavegur 72, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
14 | Sushi Social
Sushi lovers, listen up! Unlike the previous sushi place, I AM recommending the sushi at Sushi Social. I would even go so far as to say it's a place not to miss! We had drinks, appetizers, entrees and well, no dessert because we were full by then. Full and happy!
Right: The Snow White consists of Reyka vodka, pineapple juice, passion syrup, yuzu mix, vanilla syrup, egg white, and a dry raspberry crumble
Appetizer: Salmon sashimi (my absolute favorite)
I asked what the specialty or most popular menu item was and went with their recommendation of the Icelandic Roll. It is a gravlax roll (raw salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill) with Brennivín (Icelandic traditional Schnapps), dill, avocado, mango, cucumber, dill mayo, and a rye bread crumble.
I try not to make changes when sampling a specialty dish, but this time I did make the small substitution of cream cheese instead of cucumbers because I can't stand them.
Bonus: The Icelandic Roll came out on a plate shaped like the country of Iceland!
TIP: If I remember correctly, they did not charge me extra for the substitution. Also, despite the ingredient list, there is not a heavy dill flavor to the Icelandic Roll. I HIGHLY recommend it. SO. GOOD.
Sushi Social is located at Þingholtsstræti 5, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
15 | Lava at Blue Lagoon
I hesitated on my decision to include this one or not only because due to its location, it isn't somewhere easily accessible unless you are visiting the Blue Lagoon. But ultimately, I did enjoy eating lunch at Lava so I included it.
We had prior reservations and noticed a line to get in right at opening time. Most, if not all of the people in line had reservations, but jumping in line when we noticed it forming did enable us to get a table with a good view.
My friend and I both got the Langoustine Soup, the Beef Tenderloin and the Chocolate Caramel Mousse. Accompanying the meal were two kinds of bread (sourdough and rye) with Icelandic sky butter.
Our package also came with a glass of sparkling wine. We both chose the sweet option and I actually enjoyed it (news flash: I'm not a wine fan 😱)!
TIP: Make reservations well in advance-ideally at the time you book the Blue Lagoon itself (which also needs to be done well in advance). Also, it is perfectly acceptable to eat in your provided robe. The only reason we didn’t do this was because we had already showered in preparation to leave after lunch. Otherwise, that would have been game on!
Lava is located at the Blue Lagoon at Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
1 | Frida Chocolate
Who loves chocolate? 🙋Icelandic chocolate is pretty flipping fabulous and Frida Chocolate is where to go!
If you would like recommendations, I got the Hrönn (white chocolate with lemon, cream and limoncello filling), Hōrdur (caramel, chocolate, butter, salt, icing sugar and candyman), Kari (caramel, chocolate, raw sugar, Einstök wee heavy).
TIP: Get a few to eat now and several to take with you! The Hrönn was my favorite.
Frida Chocolate is located at 40a, 76, Siglufjörður, Iceland
2 | Krónan Grocery Store
The perfect place to grab groceries for the road, your guesthouse, or campervan!
TIP: Right next door is Icewear/Vík Wool where I bought the best gloves of my life (Icelandic, of course)!
Krónan has many locations. We went to this one in Vík located at Þjóðvegur, Vík, Iceland
3 | Try Kæstur Hákarl and Brennivín
Kæstur Hákarl is "fermented shark" and Brennivín is the local, traditional Schnapps. I know you're reading this thinking I've lost my mind. That's perfectly fair because, at the time, I think I thought I had as well. But it is a thing to try in Iceland and our guide provided it for us.
Therefore, I put my big girl panties on and tried them both!
It was an experience. And an experience it was. It makes for good memories and even better travel stories and that is 1) what travel is about and 2) exactly why I did it.
TIP: Don’t automatically turn your nose up at something that seems different or not…ahem…palate-pleasing. Unless there’s an obvious reason not to try it, then why not? Live a little. You’re traveling for a reason, right?
This list has a lot of variety both in terms of cuisine and pricing. It even included a grocery store option and a chocolate shop. Hopefully, there is something for everyone in your group visiting Iceland...everything from local specialties to familiar favorites if you have a picky (or less adventurous) eater in your party! To give you even more options, another suggestion is a food tour in Reykjavík!
Have you been to Iceland? Do you have a restaurant or favorite dish you'd like to add to the list? If you haven't been to Iceland, which restaurant on the list would you want to try out most? As always, let me know below-I love hearing from you! 🙂
'Til next time...
Leave a Reply - I Love Comments!
Clare Pettigrew says
Thanks for posting this review. It brought back many great memories of my trip which I shared with you, Lisa and others. I agree with your thoughts on trying new flavours and ingredients when travelling.
Hi Clare-Great to hear from you! I’m so glad you liked the post-it was a great trip wasn’t it? I enjoyed meeting you! Thanks for reading! 🙂
This is an awesome list with a lot of variety! Plenty of things I’ve never tried before and would love to. I’m loving some of the wall art and decor of the places, too.
Hi Dani-Thank you! Yes, definitely lots of variety which was what I was wanting so there would be something for everyone. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Carmen Edelson says
Everything seriously looks amazing, this is a great guide! I could live off of seafood, I love it so much. So I think I’d be a happy camper in Iceland 🙂
Hi Carmen-Thanks! I love seafood too so eating in Iceland was fabulous! Thanks for reading! 🙂
This looks so delicious – even the Iceland! This is such a great idea for a post, too. Afordable restaurants has to be one of the most googled searches for Iceland. Looking forward to reading the Blue Lagoon post.
Hi Elizabeth-Yes, eating in Iceland on a budget is definitely a challenge. Thought I would provide a wide variety of choices for all budgets so people could splurge when they wanted to and scale back when they need to! So glad you like it-Blue Lagoon coming soon! Thanks for reading! 🙂
I am sure the seafood in Iceland is simply scrumptious. I remember traveling in Newfoundland. We ate at a small restaurant and we were the first customers that day. We ordered our fish and then we watched the staff leave the restaurant, head down to the dock, and bring back our freshly caught fish from the fishing boats. I imagine Iceland’s fish dishes would be as sensation as the fish that day. What a variety with lamb and reindeer. But, did you have to wait so long to tell us about Frida Chocolate? Seriously. Every meal should start with chocolate!
Hi Lance-Haha! I’m with you on that! Every meal should start, consist of and end with chocolate! If I wasn’t going in order around the country, Frida would have come up sooner! Thanks for reading! 🙂
What a great post, Heather! I have tucked it away for when I eventually travel to Iceland. The map is super helpful and of course your budget guide. Glad you splurged the odd time! I would love all the seafood – those Langoustines look AMAZING!
Hi Alison! Glad you find the map helpful! The seafood in Iceland is definitely fantastic! Although I felt like I was splurging the entire time because Iceland is quite pricey! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Punita Malhotra says
The cafe based on theme of the dumbest brothers in Iceland is too cute. All the places you picked look wonderful. Would love to sample all the dishes in your post.
Hi Punita-It was definitely an interesting story! The food was quite yummy! Thanks for reading! 🙂
The Travel Bunny says
This looks amazing, I bet all the food you got to try made your trip even better. I’m really curious about tasting those reindeer meatballs with tagliatelle someday soon.
Hi Mirela-Those meatballs were amazing!! Thanks for reading! 🙂
We were in Iceland a little over eleven years ago and the food was not quite like this (but it wasn’t bad at all either!). It looks delicious and makes me even more eager to head back (I remember our favorite place was this sandwich cart at the end of the road. I still dream of it!)
Hi Jen-You aren’t the first person I’ve heard this from (as in people who said they visited a long time ago and the food wasn’t the same). I guess Iceland really stepped it up in the food department after tourism boomed? Anyway, the food is yummy and hopefully, you’ll get to go back and try more of it and get to return to your favorite sandwich cart! Thanks for reading! 🙂
APRIL KEY RODE says
We have never been to Iceland yet, but it is one of our bucket lists! I hope we can go someday. It’s like you’re the old version of my daughter! Back to your post, I love all the pictures, and I think our family will try the chocolate place and the Old Iceland Restaurant and Hlemmur Matholl. We love Japanese food but we always look for Vietnamese Pho every time we travel to see if how it is different from here in our place.
Hi April-Yes, you have to visit Iceland!! You will love it! The food is yummy and I hear you on the Vietnamese Pho…I try certain things (one of them being sushi) everywhere I go to! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Wow your post is so delicious! So many mouth watering dishes. I can’t wait to go to Iceland now.
Hi Akriti-Iceland does have fantastic food. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Kanika Bakshi says
Wow, the Post is mouthwatering..I visited Iceland earlier and tried very few restaurants from the above list, this Time Ill try to get the touch of all the above, no doubt I’m foodie and love to explore places on the priority of tasty food..really subp article, keep sharing and convincing foodies like me 😉
Hi Kanika-I love getting feedback from other foodies! When are you going back to Iceland? Definitely try out all of these yummy treats. Obviously you know Iceland is expensive, but just like their landscapes, their food is awesome! Thanks for reading! 🙂
We are heading to Iceland in about 3 weeks and I was thinking that we needed to hit up a grocery store right away before we begin the Ring Road. Did the hotels you stayed at offer breakfast? If so – what did it consist of? I’ve heard there is very little – like cereal, not like in the states. Thanks 🙂
Hi Bridget-So, yes some of our hotels did include breakfast. The ones that did had a decent buffet actually. But I do know what you mean. I don’t know where all you are staying, so my best advice would be to email the hotels and check to see exactly what breakfast consists of. You can also check on TripAdvisor or other review sites, but best way is to ask directly. You might also want to see if refrigerators are part of the deal too. Hope this helps and if you have any other questions, please let me know! Thanks for reading! 🙂