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.
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!
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.
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.
Glóð Restaurant is located in Hotel Valaskjálf at Skógarlöndum 3, 700 Egilsstöðum, Iceland
6 | Sushi Corner
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!
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 an 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
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.
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? 😃
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!
12 | Kröst
Hlemmur Mathöll, located in Reykjavik, 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 a 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!
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 Reykjavik. 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!
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!
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. I will talk more on the Blue Lagoon itself in a future post, but I did enjoy eating lunch at Lava.
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 😱)!
Lava is located at the Blue Lagoon at Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavik, 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).
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!
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.
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!
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...