Top 10 Icelandic Food You Should Try!

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 going to Iceland. It was a long 3.5 hours fly from Copenhagen to Keflavík, so I started reading the WOW air magazine.

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 Icelandic food and culture more.

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, 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 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 excellent 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 is 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 to tourists. It’s just hot dogs with a mash of leftover meat, 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 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 foods rarely eaten 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.

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  1. Perfect timing for this post! I just won a ticket to Iceland and can definitely need this advices to survive there ;-)

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Congratulations! It’s great that you won the ticket to their ^^
      Hope that you will have a great time in Iceland with these tips!

  2. I have actually already tried 4 out of the 7 :) and loved it! Still not sure if I will every try the shark meat though… haha

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Haha, I hesitated at first with the shark meat too but tried it anyway. It was a memorable thing that I did there.

  3. I’m heading to Iceland in November and this post just made me more excited! I’m actually really excited to try shark. That’s something I’ve never had. I only heard of the bread and the Icelandic hot dog, so thanks for adding more to my must-eats list!

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I’m excited for you too! Would love to hear your experience after trying all these food :)

  4. Jessica Lam says:

    I just got back from Iceland last week and I tried everything here except meat soup and liquorice! Cafe Loki was sooo good, I definitely want to try their rye bread ice cream next time I’m there! And the rotten shark is definitely an interesting dish that I’ll never want to eat again lol. It was fun trying it though!

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Great to know that you visited Cafe Loki too! It’s a must there, haha! Rotten shark has a kinda unique taste for sure!

  5. Nomadic Foot says:

    Iceland is very high on my list. i was little worried about the food here but this post make ma happy that it gives you many option for food. just one query is the meal halaal?

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I think there must be Halal food in Iceland as well. I have not checked out that option yet, but you can find Halal food many places around the world.

  6. Never really read about the local cuisine of Iceland. Maybe it gets overshadowed by the stunning the landscape. But good to see a fresh post for the food part. The Meat soup looks delicious

    1. Ha Truong says:

      It’s so true that people usually remember about the beauty of Iceland, but the food is also important to consider as well :) Meat soup is totally yummy!

  7. Malith Fernando says:

    The food is very tempting. Specially the shark meat. I have never tried that. Would love to try that once at least. Great post for the food lovers.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      If you have a chance, don’t hesitate to try all. It will bring you best memories about the trip!

  8. Chasing Potatoes says:

    WOW, Icelandic food is interesting except that shark meat. :( Anyway, love this article. I have a friend that will go here, I will tell her to bring me Liquorice candy. hehe. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I’m so happy that you love the article :) Please try the Liquorice candy and tell me whether you like it or not.

  9. My Travelogue by Bhushavali says:

    Skyr sounds yummm. As someone who eats flavoured yogurt everyday, I might want totally want to try it! The breakfast of bread & cocoa definitely looks delicious! That said, being a veggie, the rest of it all may not work out for me!

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I prefer Skyr to Yogurt. You will love Skyr and the bread I’m sure ;) They are yummy :D

  10. Francesca says:

    Iceland has been the number one on my bucket list for years now, but I must confess that being Vegan I’m very concerned of what I’ll ever find to eat, especially considering that I’d like to rent a van and make a road trip to isolated parts of the island where I’d find only little isolated villages…. :-O

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I think you can buy food in the supermarket instead…

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