Every traveler’s bucket list typically includes a stop in Iceland because it is such an interesting and exciting island. The area offers a wide variety of attractions to entertain tourists. Icelandic food is one of its main draws. Before leaving this island, a tourist must sample all of the delicious cuisines there.
25 Most Popular Foods to Eat in Iceland
1. Icelandic Hot Dog
A hotdog with all the toppings is referred to as “one with everything.” These delicious and well-liked hot dogs are made from a mixture of beef, lamb, and pig. Ketchup, brown mustard, remoulade, crunchy deep-fried onions, and raw onions are among the toppings. These hot dogs are available at the majority of gas stations, hot dog stands, supermarkets, and convenience stores.
Both skyr and Greek yogurt are rich, creamy dairy foods. This Icelandic dairy product has been around for more than a thousand years. This delicious treat is a great source of protein and is made from pasteurized milk and bacteria culture. Skyr is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates but high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and has a number of health benefits. It may have been the secret ingredient that fed the mighty Vikings.
3. Slow Roasted Lamb
The Icelandic sheep is a unique and unpolluted creature. These lambs are raised organically without the use of synthetic fertilizers or artificial grains. In Iceland, slow-roasted lamb is a common dish. This dish is a favorite and is prepared especially to honor special occasions or festivals. Therefore, make sure to sample this dish, which is the most representative of Iceland.
Hákarl is yet another typical Icelandic dish. It is a regional delicacy dish made from the fermented shark. The food smells strongly like fish and has a unique fishy flavor. People prefer to eat it while drinking cocktails or other beverages. Additionally, if it’s your first time tasting it, we advise that you close your nostrils before biting.
Svið is a distinctive and genuine component of Icelandic cuisine. The dish calls for roasting a sheep’s head over an open flame. People prefer to pair this delicious meat dish with jelly, mashed potatoes, or turnips. In Iceland, it is a well-known winter recipe that everyone adores.
6. Ice Cream
Icelanders eat ice cream all year long! No matter how cold it is, there’s always a long line after dinner at the ice cream shop.
Ice cream parlors are open all year long in Reykjavik and little towns all over the island. Gas stations, cafes, and of course, specialized ice cream stores, some of which are open until one in the morning, can all be located on the island with ice cream machines. There is such a huge range of flavors, and many people add their favorite sweets, syrups, and toppings to their ice cream!
7. Fish and Chips
Fish and chips are another well-known dishes from Iceland. When creating it, ingredients, including flour, potatoes, vinegar, baking soda, salt, and even beer, are used. The delicious food is a must-try and a popular choice for comfort food for dinner.
8. Pönnukökur – Pancakes
There is never a reason to skip Icelandic pancakes, no matter what time of day it is. As a result, pönnukökur is served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This traditional dish is similar to pancakes found in France and is similar to a crepe. Pönnukökur, which is thin and delicious, is typically served with a tub of rhubarb jam and whipped cream.
Kjötsúpa is a well-known Icelandic soup recipe. Lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions, and fresh herbs make up the soup. It is a highly nutritious dinner alternative and is the ideal recipe to satisfy your cravings. Kjötsúpa is a well-known traditional treat that you simply must try while visiting.
For those who enjoy sweets, Iceland also provides some particular delights. A cake recipe called Rúgbrauð is renowned for its distinct brown texture. Rye flour, molasses, and buttermilk are ingredients in the bread. This beautiful treat is a favorite among Icelanders as a filling dessert after meals.
11. Icelandic Meat Soup
Try Icelandic pork soup if you ever have the chance; it’s amazing! Iceland is quite popular with tourists and other visitors. The soup is well-known for its vegetables, tender lamb, and flavoring. Ingredients that are frequently used include potatoes, leeks, onions, carrots, root vegetables, herbs, salt, and pepper. It’s simple, and everyone loves it, just like other well-known Icelandic dishes.
The dish is special because it uses a traditional fish recipe from Iceland. The preparation of this dish requires several weeks of drying and fermentation. Although not everyone will enjoy the salty and sour flavor of this meal, seafood enthusiasts will undoubtedly be amazed.
Another well-liked classic rye bread is flatkaka. When making flatkaka, or flat cake, flour, and hot water are combined before the dough is cooked. An intriguing aspect about the flatkaka is that they used moss as a supplement because they thought of flour as a luxury during the time of settlement. Later, rye flour took the place of moss, and now, wheat flour is frequently combined with rye. The best flatkaka is homemade, and it is best eaten with hangikjöt and butter. Try it with hummus, flavored cream cheese, or peanut butter and bananas.
The Icelandic bread known as Laufabrauð, sometimes known as leaf bread or snowflake bread, is typically consumed during the holiday season. It is a very thin, flat cake that has a pattern resembling leaves on it. It can be purchased at supermarkets and bakeries. However, it is frequently cooked from scratch. The thin dough is cut into little pieces and folded. Then it is briefly fried in hot fat or oil.
This fish stew referred to as “Plokkfiskur” locally, is another classic Icelandic meal. It consists of whole or mashed potatoes with either cod or haddock fillets that have been boiled. For the majority of guests, it is perhaps the most alluring Icelandic food.
Some eateries offer the adorable and sociable seabird on their menus. However, most people who consume puffins are tourists. However, during hard times and when food was scarce, Icelanders would eat puffin. But it’s not a common ingredient in Icelandic food. Like pastrami, the puffin meat typically served in restaurants is smoked.
17. Atlantic Cod
Fresh cod is available on the menus of all Icelandic restaurants, and many of them also serve “catch of the day,” which may be cod. Matur og drykkur, a restaurant in Reykjavik that prides itself on preserving traditional Icelandic cuisine, also serves codhead, a centuries-old dish. This does not appear to be as frightening as it sounds. The codhead is grilled for 40 minutes and has a lot of tender, rich meat to consume.
18. Arctic Char
Arctic char can be found in Iceland’s freshwater (Iceland has many crystal clear rivers, lakes, and streams). It is the most common freshwater fish on the island, and the country is the world’s largest producer of Arctic char. It tastes light, sweet, and buttery, similar to salmon and trout. Arctic char can be consumed in a wide range of ways. It can be cooked, smoked, grilled, broiled, or barbecued, and it can be eaten with mushrooms, vegetables, or fries. You can be as innovative as you want with how you prepare it to suit your tastes.
19. Hrútspungar – Sour Ram’s Testicles
Sour ram’s testicles are no longer a staple of the Icelandic diet, but they remain a popular national delicacy at events and celebrations. Unlike lamb meat, Hrútspungar is not smoked but rather preserved in gelatin or whey. Iceland herbs and garlic are used to flavor the dish, which is served as a pâté and as an appetizer.
20. Kleinur – The Twisted Donut
Kleinur is a delicious crispy donut that is later twisted into its distinctive shape.
Nutmeg and cardamon are added to the dough during the manufacturing process, and the donut is dusted with a light coating of sugar after baking. Take a bite, and you’ll be delighted by the crunchy exterior and the doughy insides.
Brennivín is a strong schnapps made of fermented grain with no added sugar that originated in Scandinavia and has been an important part of Icelandic culture since the 16th century.
It is frequently consumed after main courses (most notably after the fermented shark dish known as Hàkarl). It pairs well with seafood dishes.
22. Flòki Whiskey
The Icelandic Floki whisky is named after the first settler on Icelandic soil, Hrafna-Flki, a Norseman. It is strictly made from Icelandic ingredients (freshwater, herbs, barley). It has a flavor palette of vanilla, white coffee, fresh bread, pepper, and bubblegum, with a spicy finish.
23. Opal & Tòpas
Because the company that makes these spirits also makes non-alcoholic chewable candies with the same flavors, Icelandic children are already familiar with the flavors of this drink before they are old enough to start consuming the actual alcohol. By the time they are permitted to consume Opal and Tòpas, the taste of these beverages is associated with happy memories and favorite candies.
Iceland, like many Nordic countries, has a strange obsession with licorice. In the supermarket sweets aisles, you’ll find it salty, sweet, and chocolate-covered.
Literally meaning “hung meat,” this is usually lamb that has been smoked over sheep’s dung and is served in thin slices. It’s similar to Icelandic carpaccio.
Traditional Icelandic cuisine can differ greatly from that found elsewhere. Icelanders developed a distinct cuisine as a result of their remote location and centuries of survival through harsh winters. Iceland is a must-see for adventurous travelers who enjoy trying local cuisine. However, there are numerous dishes that elevate the overall cuisine from rustic to downright tasty.
Many visitors may overlook Iceland as a culinary destination, preferring to explore the hot springs, waterfalls, and volcanoes instead. A trip to a local restaurant, on the other hand, can be just as exciting.