Back in 2017 when I stayed in Reykjavik we planned our day trips and packed sandwiches and snacks for our lunches. We’d dine out at restaurants for dinner after researching them daily. It worked out for the most part but since we didn’t have reservations we often waited for a table to open.

Upon my return in 2019 sadly not much was planned so day trips often meant only the snacks you had in the car and hot dogs or pizza for dinner. Now this did have its up sides as hot dogs are something of a commodity in Iceland and are not what we eat here. Made of lamb and beef these are not your typical ballpark franks and worth a try.

This time however I opted to be the foodie that I am and researched all eateries ahead of time often making reservations months in advance to ensure I could eat at whatever establishment I wished to. So my advice when you travel abroad, research ahead of time, no matter what your budget, so that you truly have ideas where you might want to go. Try local cuisines, try at least 1 thing you have never eaten before and savor every bite. Whether it’s pizza, Thai food, Icelandic, Indian, you can find it all in Reykjavik.

Duty Free

Upon landing at Keflevik Airport outside of Reykjavik you make your way, like any other airport, through the gate area and on to baggage claim. Being an international airport you have the opportunity to walk through the duty free shop and I’m here to tell you that if you want to be able to come back to your room for a quiet drink after a long day of travels then this is the cheapest place on the island to buy your booze! So pick up some drinks and wait patiently for your bags, they may take a while.

Friðheimar – The Tomato Greenhouse

Have you heard of the tomato place in Iceland, the one you can eat at? So many people have or do after they return home. In 2017 I happened upon this gem so I knew it was a spot I needed to return to. This tomato greenhouse provides 18% of of Iceland’s tomatoes but what makes it unique is how they’ve turned one of their greenhouses into a bustling restaurant, bar and gift shop. They also offer horse shows and a breeding program. Their simple menu starts with an all you can eat tomato soup and several types of bread. This is where I landed with my first meal in Iceland. I also took the opportunity to have the freshest bloody mary possible. Not only was this a wonderful first meal but with first class service as well. Upon arrival they walked me to my personalized table where I was also educated on the tomato production, sustainability and bees imported from Holland.

Recommendations: MAKE A RESERVATION MONTHS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR TRIP! Indulge yourself here for the chance to eat among this planted paradise.


Sudur Vik

If you ask people what the best restaurant in Vik is this place will pop to the top of the list. In researching where I should eat at each of my stops I take menu, proximity and reviews into consideration. This trip I decided that price wasn’t something I would worry about but quality so know that all of my eateries are on the higher end on purpose. I’ve done the hot dog and pizza trip, packed lunches and car snacks instead of meals but this time I wanted to experience food!

As it turns out I had been to Sudur Vik before, in 2017 when we were passing through. As with all the restaurants I dined at I made reservations and thankfully this place was about a stone’s throw from my accommodations, in fact, I could see it out my window! Just at the base of the hill down from Reyniskirkja Church sits this delectable eatery. It was so good I made reservations for my second night in Vik as well! For my first meal I opted to try the Wild Game platter appetizer. In consisted of smoked char, smoked caribou and cured goose and each bite was better than the last. I accompanied it with a local IPA and finished my night with some skyr and blueberries! My second night there I went for Filet of Lamb which was more than enough so I opted to skip dessert, LOL. Though I managed to head down to a local brew pub, Smiðjan Brugghús, for a pint and to unwind. The brewery was bustling, served food and had fun knowledgeable staff.

Sudur Vik

Smidjan Brugghus

Mia’s Fish and Chips

When you’re out adventuring most times the eateries closest to the tourist attractions are overpriced, busy and in general, places to stay away from but in Iceland that does not seem to be the case. Unlike busy cities, sites are so spread out across Iceland that restaurants are not always valid options. When planning my days I had to look at the times I could be places and what might be nearby where I could have myself a good meal.

As you travel through the south of Iceland you’ll pass by Skogafoss, my favorite waterfall, if you really can have one. I love it because you can walk right up towards it and be soaked by its mist. It’s exhilarating, not to mention beautiful. As you’re pulling in to the parking area there’s a small food cart on the corner, you really can’t miss it as it looks like giant lady bug. It’s red with large white spots and it’s here you can get yourself some fish and chips. Simple, hearty and delicious.  I arrived just as they were opening and ended up dining next to a couple from Canada. One of my favorite parts of my trip is how everyone bonds over a meal. I met so many amazing travelers while dining! This spot filled me up for my long hike up the 400 stairs and along the trail past Skogafoss. I recommend you do all of it or you’ll be missing out.

Mia’s Fish and chips

Heimahumar – Food Truck

The busiest tourist spot I encountered had to be Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon which is funny because on this particular day there was nothing of note to see there. In fact, it was actually the most disappointing site I visited though it was due to extreme cold in the region so there were no icebergs, just a large frozen lagoon with seals way off in the distance. However there were 3 different food trucks parked in the very full parking lot and scores of tourists waiting for the chance for a hot meal.

The one I was looking for was the Langoustine truck and it did not disappoint! Each truck offered something different and all had long lines. With very limited dining options out here how could they not? Being from New England I opted for the “Lobster Roll” and Lobster Soup, both made with langoustine and very much worth the wait. The area is lined with picnic tables where diners can take a moment to relax, laugh and enjoy their meal. I sat alongside a group of women from all over the US traveling in one of the many large buses roaming the countryside. The soup was a bit lacking so what I will say is it was a delicious cup of broth to warm you on a cold day, I drank it slowly and savored the flavors. The lobster roll, however, was one of the most flavorful meals I had and if you find yourself at the glacial lagoon it’s worth the wait!


Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon Restaurant

When you’re looking for luxury you can not go wrong with this accommodation and restaurant. Roughly a 25 minute drive from the glacier lagoon you’ll find this hotel sitting alone with mountains behind it and the sea before it. Equipped with hot tubs, sweeping views, heated bathroom floors and a bar full of whimsical drinks this hotel offers you a bit of extravagance after a long day of hiking. At the top of the list of amenities is their restaurant where they allowed me to order their 5 course tasting menu and I absolutely indulged.

Here’s a breakdown of what was included and yes, I ate every bite!

1. Smoked mackerel
2. Celery soup
3. Rock lobster
4. Lamb filet with parsnip puree
5. Chocolate cake

I paired it all with a glass of hot mulled wine and this was without a doubt the best meal Iceland had to offer!

Recommendation: Stay the night, sit on the porch with a drink, under a blanket and order yourself a wonderful meal!

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon and Restaurant

Cafe Loki

Now I had heard about Cafe Loki over 6 years ago and traveled to Iceland twice since hearing about it and I hadn’t visited. Well let me tell you I was missing out! Offering a more authentic menu I stopped in for a quick lunch after a very long 4 1/2 hour drive to Reykjavik. Before heading out for lunch I checked in to my stay at Kex Hostel, a boutique hostel featuring dorm style, single or shared rooms. They have a restaurant, bar and entertainment. All in all a cheaper option than a hotel for the night and as a hint there seemed to always be cheap street parking outside and it’s only 2 blocks from the main drag.

A short walk away situated across the street from Hallgrímskirkja in downtown Reykjavik you will find no better place for soup and I assure you, you do not want to skip this one. It was everything I had heard about and more. A large bowl of lamb stew, side of bread and giant Icelandic lager were the perfect meal for this weary traveler. Stop in, enjoy the view and get the soup!

Cafe Loki

Matarkjallarinn – The Food Cellar

Not one to sit idle, I headed out to take part in happy hour. Food and drink on any island can be pricey and happy hour affords you the ability to have pre dinner drinks at much more affordable prices so I grabbed a seat at Lebowski Bar, yes, themed after The Big Lebowski complete with an entire page of white russians. I opted for a Somersby cider which was crisp and not too sweet.

A short walk away is The Food Cellar with beautiful dark wood, a large bar and very sweet staff. I ordered the pan-fried arctic char, part of the salmon family. The meal itself was good but the real star of the show was their in house entertainment. I sat with a glass of wine while a man played the grand piano right behind me. Beautiful sound resonated throughout the restaurant while I slowly sipped my wine and enjoyed my meal. They win the ambiance game, hands down.

The Food Cellar

Braud & Co – Saving the best for last

Okay I discovered this place in 2017 and have been here over a dozen times during my 3 trips into Reykjavik. If you take nothing else away from this blog take away this, go here, get a cinnamon bun or bread or another pastry, eat it fresh and breathe deeply. There’s something about their fresh baked goods that will have you coming back again and again. Don’t want to take my word for it, just go early morning and see the line out the door. They have several locations but the only one I’ve ever managed to go to is their Frakkastígur 16 location which you’ll probably see in photos as it’s a very recognizable building. I really don’t know what more to say other than every single day I was in Reykjavik I grabbed my breakfast from here and apparently at it so fast I never snapped a photo!

Braud & Co

Stay tuned for Part 2!