A taste of Iceland

10 local delicacies
you must try

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Embarking on a journey through Iceland´s awe-inspiring landscapes, one cannot help but be enticed by the nation´s unique culinary heritage.

A fusion of age-old traditions, local resources, and evolving flavours, Icelandic cuisine offers travellers a taste of the island´s rich cultural tapestry.

Food dish of sushi on a copper table

From the delicately prepared seafood dishes sourced from Iceland´s icy waters to mouth-
watering pastries crafted by local artisans, our guide to Icelandic delicacies promises to seduce
your senses and indulge your epicurean curiosity.

Take a seat at our virtual table as we embark on a journey to uncover the local dishes that embody the spirit and soul of this captivating land.

1. Plokkfiskur

The Comforting Fish Stew

At the heart of Icelandic comfort food lies Plokkfiskur, a traditional fish stew made from boiled fish, potatoes, onions, and béchamel sauce.

This hearty and warming dish has been nourishing Icelandic families for generations, with each household adding their unique spin to the recipe.

Today, Plokkfiskur can be found in various traditional restaurants throughout Iceland, often served with rye bread, butter, and pickles.

For an authentic experience, visit Reykjavik´s Ostabúðin restaurant, where they prepare Plokkfiskur with succulent pieces of locally sourced fish and robust flavour combinations.

Icelandic fish stew in a glass table at the local fishing store
Dried fish or Hardfiskur on a brown table

2. Harðfiskur

A Savoury Dried Fish Snack

Harðfiskur, or dried fish jerky, is an Icelandic staple adored by locals for its high protein content and satisfying crunch.

Traditionally made from haddock, cod, or wolffish, this delicacy is wind- dried and can be enjoyed on its own or with a spread of butter.

Harðfiskur is widely available in
supermarkets, fish markets, and speciality shops across the country, offering visitors a savoury, nutritious treat to fuel their Icelandic adventure.

3. Þorramatur

A Feast of Flavours

Delve into Iceland´s culinary history with a taste of Þorramatur, a mid-winter buffet traditionally served during the country´s Þorrablót celebrations.

This feast typically features an array of
dishes, including pickled ram´s testicles (hrútspungar), fermented shark (hákarl), and cured and smoked lamb (hangikjöt).

These distinctive flavours embody the spirit of Iceland´s past, when preserving food through smoking, curing, and fermenting methodologies was vital for survival.

Diners seeking a true taste of tradition can find Þorramatur at Matur og Drykkur, an acclaimed restaurant located in Reykjavik.

Icelandic shark in plastic servings
Icelandic skyr in a shelf at the supermarket

4. Skyr

Iceland´s Creamy Delight

No trip to Iceland would be complete without indulging in Skyr, a delicious, creamy dairy productthat has been enjoyed by locals since the Viking Age.

Similar in texture to Greek yoghurt but
richer and smoother, Skyr brims with proteins, vitamins, and probiotics.

Skyr can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with milk and sugar, topped with fruit or used as a base for various desserts,
cheesecakes and smoothies.

Don´t miss the chance to sample this scrumptious treat, available in most supermarkets and cafés throughout Iceland.

5. Rúgbrauð

Volcanic Rye Bread

Sink your teeth into Rúgbrauð, Iceland´s famous dark rye bread traditionally baked using geothermal heat.

With a mildly sweet, dense texture, this bread pairs perfectly with smoked fish,
pâté, or a spread of Icelandic butter.

Travellers can learn about Rúgbrauð´s unique baking process and savour thick, crusty slices at the Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths, where the bread is buried in hot black sand and left to cook for 24 hours.

Dark rye bread in Icelandic store, called rugbraud
Langoustine served on a plate with garlic topping

6. Langoustine

Icelandic Seafood Staple

Indulge in Iceland´s prized langoustine, a local shellfish renowned for its delectable taste and tender texture.

The small coastal town of Höfn, often dubbed the "Langoustine Capital of
Iceland", boasts several restaurants, such as Humarhöfnin, that serve grilled and pan-seared langoustine dishes cooked to perfection.

For a truly memorable Icelandic seafood experience, sample this delicious crustacean during the annual Höfn Viking Village Lobster Festival.

7. Hangikjöt

Smoked and Cured Lamb

Hangikjöt, Iceland´s classic smoked and cured lamb dish, is an essential part of the nation´s culinary heritage, often found at festive gatherings celebrating Christmas and Easter.

Traditionally prepared using smoking methods with dried sheep dung or birch wood, this aromatic dish can be served hot or cold, typically with a side of peas, potatoes, and béchamel sauce.

To sample this flavourful delicacy during your travels, be sure to visit local restaurants like Reykjavik´s Café Loki, known for its enticing selection of traditional Icelandic cuisine.

Smoked lamb called hangikjot in Icelandic supermarket packed in plastic
Two Icelandic hot dogs at the hot dog stand

8. Icelandic Hot Dog

A Street Food Classic

Unassuming yet iconic, the Icelandic hot dog, or pylsa, holds a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike.

Often described as Europe's answer to the American hot dog, the Icelandic version features a lamb-based sausage that comes with a unique blend of spices.

Complementing this are toppings like raw white onions, crispy fried onions, ketchup, sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, and a creamy remoulade sauce.

While hot dog stands can be found dotted across Iceland, a visit to Reykjavik's Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, frequently lauded as the best hot dog stand in Europe, is considered almost obligatory for anyone craving an authentic experience.

9. Kjötsúpa

The Quintessential Icelandic Lamb Soup

When the cold winds of Iceland start to chill the bones, locals turn to Kjötsúpa, a wholesome and hearty lamb soup, for comfort and warmth.

Rooted in Iceland’s pastoral traditions, this nutritious stew features tender chunks of lamb simmered to perfection with a medley of local root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and turnips.

The rich broth, often infused with herbs like thyme and bay leaves, captures the essence of Icelandic terroir.

The dish is a staple in many households, especially during the colder months, and can be found in various eateries across the country.

For those looking to immerse themselves in this comfort-food experience, head to Íslenski Barinn in Reykjavik, known for its focus on traditional Icelandic recipes.

A bowl of lamb soup Kjotsupa on a wooden table
Icelandic Kleinur on a blue plate

10. Kleinur

Delectable Doughnut Delights

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a taste of Iceland´s favourite pastry, Kleinur.

These twisted doughnut-like delicacies are made from a mixture of flour, sugar, and butter, deep-fried to golden perfection, and dusted with a sprinkling of sugar.

Soft and pillowy on the inside with a
slightly crispy exterior, Kleinur are the perfect treat to enjoy with a piping hot cup of coffee or cocoa.

Reykjavik´s Búrið café and bakery offers a delightful selection of freshly baked Kleinur, making it a must-visit stop on your culinary expedition.

Savour the Flavours of Iceland
with Slice of Iceland

As you venture through Iceland´s epic landscapes, these local dishes provide a deliciously
authentic taste of the nation´s culinary traditions and vibrant gastronomic heritage.

These flavours will surely linger on your palates, etching themselves into your travel memories for years to come.

Meat on a dish served with massed potatoes

As you embark on your gastronomic adventure through enchanting Iceland, let Slice of Iceland
be your culinary compass.

Our team of passionate experts are dedicated to helping you unveil the exquisite flavours and dishes that define this spectacular island nation.

From iconic staples such as Plokkfiskur and Harðfiskur to unique delicacies likeÞorramatur and Hangikjöt, your taste buds are in for an unforgettable journey.

Discover and book your ultimate food-themed excursions with ease via our guided tours of
Iceland. Whether it's a guided Reykjavik food walk, a traditional Icelandic feast, or a coastal
seafood experience, begin your delectable exploration with us at Slice of Iceland.

Embrace the magic of Icelandic cuisine and let its captivating flavours enrich your memories of this extraordinary land.

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