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Food & Drink

Traditional dishes to try in Iceland and its unique flavours

Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice, dubbed as one of the most extraordinary countries in the world. As an illustration, known around the globe for some of Mother Nature’s greatest masterpieces, from striking blue glacier lagoons to mossy volcanoes. Just like the beautiful landscape, you’ll be amazed by the unique Icelandic cuisine. So, let me show you some of the most interesting and popular dishes to try in Iceland.

What are the best dishes to try in Iceland?

As in most of Scandinavia, the local ingredients found in and around Iceland have inspired the food here. Owed to the island’s remote setting and severe winters, the food in Iceland is somewhat simple, healthy, and creatively unique. Even though Icelandic cuisine isn’t relatively famous, the food scene here gets better with the evolvement in the boom of tourism. Read below about the authentic flavours in traditional dishes to try in Iceland to sink your teeth into.


Lamb is the most preferred meat. The sheep here are one of the purest breeds in the world, and the meat is a gourmet ingredient. They prepare the meat in many ways, roasted, smoked, or made into a hearty stew. However, slow-roasted lamb is a local favourite, and in fact, it’s one of the best dishes to try in Iceland. You can go for an Icelandic special, the smoked Sheep’s head, if you are bold enough to try it.

Dishes to try in Iceland - Lamb

Hot Spring Rye Bread

When it comes to Icelandic cuisine, I don’t think you’ll find anything else more traditional than Rye bread! They traditionally bake the dark rye bread by burying it near a hot spring. This famous Nordic bread is quite dense and tastes sweet. Served as a side with smoked salmon, lamb, or cheese, it tastes great just smothered in butter as well. Sounds amazing right?

Dishes to try in Iceland - Hot Spring Rye Bread

Hot Dogs

Next on my list is a must-have when you are on your holiday in Iceland; by the same token, the Icelandic Hot Dog is a very popular delight. These hotdogs are made mainly from organic lamb, pork, or beef, and the best part is, you can find it almost anywhere.

Dishes to try in Iceland - Hot Dogs


Puffin, a type of seabird, prepared by smoking it or boiled in milk. Don’t get me wrong, even though Puffin is controversial meat; it is considered a delicacy. Usually eaten with a sweetened milk sauce mixed with bacon, butter, redcurrant jam, and tastes like a mix of beef and seafood. Moreover, you can find this available on many Icelandic menus and considered one of the best dishes to try in Iceland.

Fish stew

Fish stew, traditionally known as Plokkfiskur in Iceland takes a top spot on the Icelandic cuisine list. Cooked with a blend of freshly caught fish boiled and mashed in a white sauce, onions, and potatoes. There’s no denying that this famous fish stew tastes great when coupled with dark rye bread and butter.

Dishes to try in Iceland - Fish stew

Fermented Shark

Fermented Shark, locally known as Hakarl is the national dish of Iceland. Cured shark meat prepared in a unique fermenting method, then hung outside to dry for a few months. It has a powerful scent and, similarly, a peculiar taste. Commonly served in cubes on cocktail sticks, paired with a strong local beverage to cut out the distinctive flavour. Regardless, Hakarl is a very notable dishes to try in Iceland and a novel experience.

Dishes to try in Iceland - Fermented Shark


The iconic Skyr, an Icelandic cultural delight, a dairy product made out of cheese but similar to the texture of yoghurt. As a matter of fact, it can be found anywhere in abundance. You can have this high protein treat with a serving of milk, a sweet dressing, and also fresh fruits and is one of the best foods in Iceland that has been there for over a thousand years. 

Dishes to try in Iceland - Skyr


The people in Iceland love their coffee (who doesn’t?). You can get the best organic coffee in local coffee shops and cafes, found in abundance on the streets. You should not miss the coffee in Iceland as it is simply incredible, and also, the perfect way to get your daily dose of caffeine.

Dishes to try in Iceland - Coffee


A locally made spirit which is comparable to schnapps. Brennivin, known as the country’s national alcoholic beverage and has a strong taste close to vodka. 


Finally, we have Icelandic beer. Although this is a famous beverage it is very light and has very low alcohol content. 

Dishes to try in Iceland - Beer

The top 10 restaurants in Iceland

  1. Dill– One of the best restaurants in Iceland, together with extensive menus.
  2. Bæjarins Beztu– Next on the list you’ll find the best place to relish on Iceland’s most acclaimed hotdogs.
  3. Sægreifinn– The best place to enjoy fresh fish skewers in a harbour setting.
  4. Gló– An endless line-up of organic salads and similarly, fabulous prepared dishes.
  5. Messinn– One of the best restaurants in Iceland in a calm setting and also, famous for its steamy skillets of fresh fish.
  6. Grillmarkaðurinn– A stunning restaurant in Iceland that serves well-prepared local food and a formal setting.
  7. Fiskfélagið– Some of Iceland’s best seafood dishes, prepared in various methods.
  8. Ostabúðin– A place in a laid-back environment specialised in the best seafood and deli.
  9. Bakarí Sandholt– This is a famous spot in Iceland that offers the best-baked items and sweet treats.
  10. Garðurinn– This is one of the best organic and vegan restaurants in Iceland, serving unique Icelandic cuisine.

Rather than centring on normalised meals, why not have the pleasure of the best dishes to try in Iceland? Like what you see? Want to know how you can get to your Iceland food adventure? Why not call or email Travel Center UK to find out the best deals and flight offers that’ll pave the way for your trip to the “Land of Fire and Ice”?


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