Iceland is famous for being extremely expensive, but it cannot stop us from trying its specialties. In this Iceland food guide, I’m going to introduce you delicious Icelandic food that you should try when visiting Iceland.
I first knew about the name “Skyr” while I was on my way to Iceland. It was a long 3.5 hours fly from Copenhagen to Keflavík, so I started reading the magazine that WOW air provided.
Skyr first caught my eyes with its appealing flavors with different choices from plain, strawberry, blueberry, mango, etc., as well as its amazing benefit. Not only contains high protein, Skyr is FAT-FREE!
How does it taste?
Skyr tastes quite similar to yogurt, but it has a thicker form. I prefer the one with mix flavor of blueberry and raspberry! It’s super tasty and healthy.
How to eat Skyr like a local?
Skyr is often served with milk, but trying it alone is also tasty. While Skyr is popular in Nordic countries, it is exclusively Icelandic. If you want to find the best Skyr, you should always look for the MS Skyr or KEA Skyr brands (brands like Arla are not from Iceland and are thus not real Skyr).
2. Fermented Shark Meat
When I was walking around the flea market, one seller offered me to try shark meat. It was quite salty, and the taste stayed long inside my throat. Although I don’t support or encourage eating shark, trying it was one way to understand more about Icelandic food and culture.
3. Dried fish – Harðfiskur
During my road trip to Iceland, I noticed that dried fish is sold everywhere. You can either find it at the supermarket, or souvenir shop, or fish markets.
I tried it once at the flea market, and still remember the taste until now. I could feel the freshness of the sea a bit salty, and I totally enjoyed the tastiness from different types of fish.
Not only rich omega-3, dried fish products have a lot of vitamins and protein. You can surely buy it as a perfect souvenir thanks to its healthiness, lightweight and long-shelf-life.
4. Icelandic meat soup – Kjötsúpa
Having a hot bowl of soup when it’s cold outside is the best, isn’t it? Meat soup is one of the traditional dishes of Iceland, and every restaurant offers this meal. With the tasty flavor of the broth made of the root veggies – potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, and lamb, Kjötsúpa comforted and warmed me up.
5. Smoked lamb – Hangikjöt
Don’t forget to try smoked lamb when you visit Iceland. Although smoked lamb is a traditional Icelandic dish which is usually severed on Christmas day, you can still find it in many restaurants.
6. Flatbread – Flatkökur
Yet another Icelandic food to try on this list is flatbread, which is made of the mixture of rye flour and whole wheat flour. It is usually served with some butter and a slice of smoked lamb or smoked salmon. I tried the one with smoked lamb, and that combination was totally delicious!
I had this meal at Loki café, which is a nice restaurant served Icelandic traditional food with a beautiful view. The decoration was very unique and the service was good too! I totally recommend this place.
7. Icelandic hot dog
There is a very famous hot dog chain in the heart of Iceland, Reykjavik named Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which means “The best in town”. It has operated since 1937, and famous for its lamb sausages. Many famous people have visited this stand, including Bill Clinton (2004). This place is selected as the best hot dog stand in Europe.
Side note: According to my Icelandic friend, it’s probably just something they say to sell it to tourists. It’s really just hot dogs with a mash of leftover meat that is mostly pork, then some beef and lamb.
8. Breakfast in Iceland with Icelandic bakery –Kleina
Do you know how people have breakfast in Iceland?
It’s very common to get some bread (Kleina) and drink cocoa milk. This was what I had with my friend in Iceland :)
9. Licorice candy for gifts
Licorice candy is so popular in Nordic countries, and Iceland is not an exception. There are various candy stores in Reykjavik, Iceland with different flavors. I think the taste is quite weird, but many people love it, so try it!
10. Sheep’s head – Svið
Sheep’s head is one of the traditional Icelandic food that rarely eat today. If you’re looking to try something special (and challenging), sheep’s head should be on your list.
I didn’t try it though… I cannot eat without imagining the sheep is staring at me!
*The article was updated on June 9th, 2018