Top 10 Icelandic Food You Should Try!

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What to eat in Iceland?

In this Iceland food guide, I will introduce you to delicious Icelandic food that you should try when visiting Iceland.

 

1. Skyr

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., and its benefit.

Not only contains high protein, but Skyr is also FAT-FREE!

How does it taste?

Skyr tastes quite similar to yogurt, but it has a thicker form. I prefer the one with a mixed 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 (Arla are not from Iceland and are thus not real Skyr).

Icelandic food
Skyr is one of the must-try food when you visit Iceland.

 

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 sharks, tasting it was one way to understand more about Icelandic food and culture.

fremented shark meat iceland

shark meat Iceland food
Would you dare to try?

 

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 enjoyed the tastiness of different types of fish.

Not only rich in omega-3, but dried fish products also 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.

food in Iceland market
This picture was taken at the flea market – Kolaportid. Credit: Ásta Karen Ólafs
food in Iceland
Would you like to try it?

 

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.

where to eat in Reykjavik
A traditional Icelandic meal in Reykjavik

 

5. Smoked lamb – Hangikjöt

Don’t forget to try smoked lamb when you visit Iceland. Although smoked lamb is a traditional Icelandic dish usually served on Christmas day, you can still find it in many restaurants.

 

6. Flatbread – Flatkökur

Another Icelandic food to try on this list is Flatbread, made 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 delicious!

food to try in Iceland
Smoked lamb on flatbread and meat soup is a great combination

I had this meal at Loki café, an excellent restaurant that served traditional Icelandic food with a beautiful view.

The decoration was unique, and the service was great too! I recommend this place.

restaurant in Reykjavik
Loki café – a lovely restaurant that serves traditional Icelandic food
places to eat in reykjavik
You can view the cathedral from this café
where to eat in Reykjavik
Stunning decoration at Loki café

 

7. Icelandic hot dog

There is a popular 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.

hotdog

Side note: According to my Icelandic friend,  it’s probably just something they say to sell to tourists. It’s 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 common to get some bread (Kleina) and drink cocoa milk.

what to eat in Iceland
A delicious breakfast with bread and chocolate milk

 

9. Licorice candy for gifts

Licorice candy is popular in Nordic countries, and so is Iceland.

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!

Iceland food
There are so many flavors to choose from.

 

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), a 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.

  1. Iceland is very high on my bucketlist, but after reading this I’m a bit concerned about what I can try of Icelandic food. I’m gluten and dairy intolerant and vegetarian, so finding food to eat might be quite difficult for me. It seems like there is a lot of sea food options, so if I ever travel with non-veggie friends, I’m sure they’ll have lots to try!

    1. I must say that people eat lots of meat in the North overall, and Iceland was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, so the habit of eating is pretty similar. However, I’m sure that you can find veggie foods there as well!

  2. There were a few familiar things in your post but lots that I’d never heard of before. I didn’t really think of shark as something to eat, but it seems interesting. I want to try the lamb soup and skyr one day. I’m not sure about the dried fish though.

  3. Wow…that is a great list of must try food from Iceland. Never heard of most of them. Hope to try everything when I visit Iceland.

  4. Even though Iceland is close to Norway there are some differences when it comes to food, but I am very familiar with Skyr as they sell that in Norway too. Not so fan of Dry fish, smells awful xD I think I would be skeptical to shark meat. Huge fan of licorice candy :D Thanks for the fun post :D

  5. We spent a couple of weeks in Iceland a few years back and also loved exploring all the food, so many people had tried to tell me it was just puffin meat and rotten shark but of course there are many delicious treats to enjoy. I didn’t fall for the liquorice though!

  6. Iceland has been my dream place since childhood but couldn’t get a chance to visit it . I wish I can visit it in next couple years and try this amazing food . Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Great list. Unfortunately, since I am a vegetarian, I can probably have only three items from the list. I would love to try Skyr.

  8. Iceland is an awesome place and the food is interesting. When I was there we went to this great icelandic place that served mikie whale and puffin. A bit controversial but both staples to a diet there.

  9. You’ve provided a great list. I would try atleast a few when I travel to Iceland. Might even try fish/meat ones, I don’t really them.

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