Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Food and Fun: For the love of food!

By Sara McMahon

  • Yummy, yummy Sægreifinn, a small restaurant located on the old Reykjavík harbor, is famous for its lobster soup and fermented skate. Photo/Valli

Should the refined cuisine served during Food and Fun not be to your taste, there’s a plethora of other more conventional restaurants to be found in Reykjavík that are well worth a visit. As the saying goes: Every man to his taste.

 

1. Sægreifinn, or the Sea Baron, is a small, humble restaurant located in an old baiting hut on the old Reykjavík harbor. The restaurant was founded by Kjartan Halldórsson, a retired fisherman and former chef for the Icelandic Coast Guard, who quickly became famous for his delicious lobster soup.
While the lobster soup might be the restaurant’s specialty, the more traditional dish of fermented skate, a foul-smelling Icelandic delicacy, is also worth a try—if not for the taste of it, then at least it’ll make for a good story.

2. The Icelandic culinary business Salt Eldhús offers cooking classes for foreign travelers who are interested in learning more about Icelandic culture and cuisine. The introductory class in Icelandic and Nordic cuisine, called Local & Focal, takes place every weekday at 11 am and is four hours long. Participants learn to prepare a three-course menu, consisting of fish, Icelandic lamb, and a skyr dessert—skyr­ being the traditional Icelandic dairy product that resembles yogurt.

When all the cooking is done, the group sits down to enjoy their home-cooked meal, some music, and good conversation.

3. The hot dogs at Bæjarins beztu have been called the world’s best. The small chain of hot dog stands—the most famous one located by the old harbor—has been dubbed the country’s best eatery and, despite its humble enclosure, has attracted celebrity clients such as Bill Clinton and model Chrissy Teigen. Order ‘eina með öllu’, a hot dog with all the trimmings, and enjoy!

 

Bæjarins bestu, bæjarins beztu, Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton ejoying "eina með öllu" at Bæjarins beztu.

 

4. The restaurant Matur og drykkur opened for business last month.  Owned by chef Gísli Matthías Auðunsson, the restaurant serves traditional, Icelandic specialities, but with a twist. Try the hashed fish or cod liver served on ‘laufabrauð’ bread and you’ll be in for a treat.

5. Junk food connoisseur Dr. Gunni vehemently maintains that Kókosbolla, a coconut flour bun so delicate that it can neither be wrapped nor exported, is Iceland’s very best sweet. The bun consists of a fluffy white paste inside a thin chocolate shell covered in coconut flour. For a volcanic party inside your mouth, try drinking Coca Cola while eating the bun.
Another favorite among locals is the Lindu rís buff. A gooey marshmallow covered in succulent milk chocolate and topped with crunchy rice crisps, this candy is so addictive it should come with a warning label. 

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