Anonymous asked: When traveling about Iceland, how much can one expect to pay for food and drink?
You can expect to pay a lot less than you would a few years ago. The price of food and drink in Iceland is comparable to the average in the EU. According to one source it was 4% over the EU average in 2010, but 61% in 2006.
Eating out is a bit expensive though. In Reykjavík you’ll find plenty of really good restaurants, but expect to pay a high price. Out and about in Iceland it hard to find really good restaurants and very few lie in the high price range.
A typical price for a hamburger in a diner would be between 1100-1900 ISK. A large beer would be between 350-900 ISK (typically 500). Here’s the menu for one of my favorites.
You can get a half a sheephead (in picture) and a coke for 1650 at the bus station.
There have been plenty of questions about Icelandic food before.
lairsandlairs asked: I am visiting Iceland this summer & am very excited! However, the more research I do the more apparent it becomes that icelanders aren't very in touch with veganism. Will it be difficult to be vegan or vegetarian there?
Traditional Icelandic food is definitely meat oriented. However, I’m sure anybody can find something to their liking. All restaurants will have vegetarian options, although smaller ones might not have much diversity. In Reykjavík there are a couple of vegetarian restaurants. I used to frequent Salatbarinn when I worked nearby. Also check this restaurant guide that grundstuck recommended here below.
You can get great fresh fruits and vegetables in Iceland. They are generally organically grown in geothermally heated greenhouses.
Out in the country there are fewer restaurants overall and many more of them are of the hot-dog and hamburger standard. There you might have some trouble finding good options, but they’ll typically have some lousy vegetarian option.
If you eat fish, then you’ll have lots of great options and if you eat dairy, then you must try skyr.
ledenny asked: Hi! I was thinking about studying abroad after I graduate high school. One of my top choices is Iceland. However, I'm curious about the food there. I'm open to trying new foods, but what i've found on google are some of the extremes such as fermented shark and sheep intestines! yuck! What are some common foods in Iceland?
No don’t worry, our diet isn’t quite that extreme. Traditionally Icelandic food was something to survive off of, rather than to enjoy. That’s why we ate things like fermented shark and sheep testicle jam. This is also why modern Icelandic cooking is very international. You’ll get a whole lot more tex-mex in Iceland than shark. Our cuisine is very northern European, with extra emphasis on lamb, fish and potatoes. Icelandic lamb is really good. I went to a fancy meat market in Stockholm recently and when the butcher heard I was from Iceland he said he’d been trying to get hold of Icelandic lamb, because it was the best lamb in the world. Oh yeah and we make the best hot dogs in the world.
There are also some traditional Icelandic foods everybody loves. Skyr might be the best example. It is my absolute favorite breakfast.
shaquandabonquiqui asked: Hallo! Where do i find some Whale to eat in Reykjavik? Is it available in supermarkets or do i have to go to a restaurant and will it be very expensive? It doesn't even have to be cooked ha. Thanks XX
Whale is available in most supermarkets and it’s not expensive. It is usually sold as pre-spiced or marinated steaks, ready for the grill or pan. You can cook it just like a good beef steak.
You should also go whale watching. Here’s a video about the combination.
The Icelandic Embassy along with the embassies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are celebrating the Nordic Food Day (October 26th) by giving 45 thousand Washington DC school children a healthy Nordic lunch.
The aim is to introduce wholesome Nordic food and Nordic culture to the kids. Common dishes such as Swedish meatballs, Icelandic fish, Icelandic skyr, Swedish knäkkebröd and Danish smörrebröd will be on the menu.
Wish they’d offer some fermented shark as well.
Anonymous asked: I want to apply to become an exchange student to Iceland but, I am a vegan and the place that I want to go through (AFS) said that with my diets limits it would be practically impossible to be able to find a host family that could support my diet in a country so centered around meat. They want me to find another country but I really have my heart set on Iceland. What are your thoughts about being a vegan exchange student to Iceland, do you think it could be done?
There are plenty of vegans in Iceland. Maybe not plenty enough to find a vegan AFS host family though. But I’m sure there are some that would at least accommodate a vegan.
I’m not sure we are much more centered on meat, than the US or Northern Europe for example. What kind of vegan are you? Do you eat fish? Icelanders eat a lot of fish.
Perhaps I’m a meat centered Icelandic simpleton, in which case I hope you forgive me, but would you consider turning to meat while in Iceland. Having been an AFS exchange student myself, I know exchange is all about diving into the culture the best you can. I ended up eating all sorts of things I’d never have chosen and realized it really is possible to eat anything when you are abroad. I even lived as a vegan there for two weeks (toughest two weeks of my life). I’ve also had two good Icelandic friends who were vegan for many years, but happily follow a balanced meat diet today.
goldenfall asked: On our recent trip to Reykjavik we went to a few places to get some lamb boats (Hlolla Batar was one of them). They were amazing.
What's in the mayonnaise sauce they use? Curry? I need to know!
Kokteilssósa (cocktail sauce) is a typical Icelandic fast food sauce. It is always offered with french fries for example. You might be talking about this, I’m not sure.
- 100gr sour cream
- 100gr mayonnaise
- 3 spoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon sweet mustard
However even though Hlöllabátar is the perfect sloppy fast food place, I’m not sure they are sloppy enough to use kokteilssósa on their boats. It is better with french fries. If you check their menu, you’ll see half of the boats have “Hlöllasósa” (Hlölla Sauce). I’m guessing that is some mayonnaise mumbo jumbo.
My favorite boat, which is actually not on the menu is Búkolla. It has everything in one boat. Beef, salad, french fries, Bearnaise sauce all in one calorie full sandwich.
Anonymous asked: I was a wondering, What are some typical Icelandic dishes? Not like the traditional food but common food that I would find if I just walked into a families home or something like that.
Iceland has gone through such great changes in the past century, that the “normal food” heritage isn’t so strong. Of course we have all sorts of traditional food such as hákarl (shark) that we love to scare tourists with or eat when we are drunk… But the normal food you’d expect to find in an Icelandic home would be something similar to Scandinavia. Meats, lamb, beef, pork and chicken with potatoes as the most common sidedish would be typical. Lamb is much more popular in Iceland, than anywhere else I’ve been. We eat it in all sorts of ways and in the summer barbecue season it is by far the most popular.
So the family dinner you might walk in on and I wish I was having right now would be. Oven roasted leg of lamb, fresh boiled potatoes, warmed up green peas and rubarb jam. There might be a fresh salad or boiled carrots and root vegetables. I’d be drinking a glass of milk with it.
The “traditional” way of cooking things is almost always boiling (not exactly gourmet). Oh and on Mondays most people have fish.