Icelandic Cuisine: Facts You Need to Know

       Surrounded by the ocean, Iceland offers delicious, versatile cuisine. Although fish and seafood make up a large part of the Iceland food scene, the cuisine specialties also include lamb, potatoes, dairy, and bread.

The Norse Vikings planted the roots of Icelandic cuisine when they settled here in the 9th century. They brought Scandinavian cuisine with them which is why many traditional Scandinavian dishes are also a part of Iceland food culture.

In this article, we will talk about Icelandic dishes, what to expect, and what to put on your checklist.


What Are Some Traditional Dishes In Iceland

Strong flavors and healthy ingredients are the base of traditional Icelandic food. The best food in Iceland is simple yet extremely satisfying.

Icelandic Fish

There are over 340 species of saltwater fish in the waters that surround Iceland. Since the country is in the middle of the ocean, it’s only natural for fish and seafood to make up a substantial portion of the local diet.

Fishing is an important part of Icelandic history and is still a crucial way to feed the nation. The most common saltwater fish you can eat in Iceland include Cod, Capelin, Greenland shark, Dealfish, Haddock, etc. Also, Icelandic rivers and lakes are home to three species of salmon: Arctic char, Brown trout, and Atlantic salmon.

Kjötsupa – Traditional Lamb Meat Soup

If you want to taste a true Icelandic delicacy, you mustn’t miss out on the traditional lamb meat soup. Kjötsupa has been a part of the Iceland food culture for centuries. It’s very popular among visitors for its rich, exquisite taste. Perfect for comfort on a cold, long winter’s day, the soup is made of lamb shoulder or shank, rutabagas, potatoes, and carrots.

Harðfiskur – Dried Fish Jerky

You can find dried fish jerky everywhere in Iceland. It’s considered a delicacy, and Icelanders love having some hardfiskur for snacks. If you’re a fan of beef jerky, you’ll probably love the Icelandic version. Most tourists find the unusual snack delicious. It’s most often served with homemade Icelandic butter.


Where to Find Some Of The Best Food In Iceland

When it comes to popular food in Iceland, there are many restaurants where you can taste some of the spectacular dishes this beautiful country offers.

If you aren’t sure what to eat in Iceland, visit some of the following restaurants:

Kaffi Hornid

Kaffi Hornid is a restaurant located in a small fishing town called Hofn. Known as the langoustine capital of the world, Hofn offers some of the most delicious shrimps and lobsters you will ever taste. When you visit Kaffi Hornid, make sure to get their famous grilled lobster platter.

Sveitagrill Miu

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, visit Sveitagrill Miu. Mia’s Country Van is a bright red food truck placed on the side of a dirt road with a single picnic table in front in case the weather miraculously allows you to. It’s located right around the corner from the famous Skogafoss Waterfall and is among the most praised eating places for tourists.


Fridheimer is a glowing greenhouse located in the depths of the Golden Circle. With outstanding displays of basil and tomatoes, amazing smells, and beautiful greenery, it offers an unforgettable experience. An entire family lives and works here, and prepares incredible, healthy homemade meals. Make sure you try the tomato soup and the fish bread.


Do You Dare To Try This Icelandic Food?

Iceland’s famous food is exotic, but some dishes may be a little too exotic for certain taste buds. If you’re up for a challenge, make sure you try some of the following:

Fermented Shark – Hákarl

Shark meat has been a part of Iceland’s traditional culture for centuries. Naturally, they’ve come up with a way to ferment the sharks, which is how Hákarl became a part of the tradition. The meat is cured with a specific fermenting process and then hung to dry outside for five months. Hákarl has a very distinctive ammonia smell and a very strong fishy taste.

Sheep’s Head – Svið

How about an entire sheep’s head for a romantic Icelandic breakfast? While Svið isn’t a part of the average Icelander’s daily cuisine, it’s still a delicacy often served in traditional restaurants. Some people say the meat from a smoked sheep’s head is the best they’ve ever tasted.

Sheep’s Head Jelly – Sviðasulta

Icelanders use every part of the animals they use for food. So, where there’s a sheep head, there’s also sheep’s head jelly. It’s made of sheep head leftovers and usually served with boiled potatoes. This traditional meal may look uninviting, but people who have tried it are mostly pleasantly surprised.

Blood Pudding– Slátur

Blood pudding is a sort of sausage-like traditional food. It’s made from sheep blood inwards, and fat. Traditionally, it’s served boiled, but you can also have it made in a pan.

Get a Taste of Iceland With

Iceland’s appeal goes far beyond the spectacular geysers and glaciers. The term ‘seafood delicacy’ takes a whole new form in this beautiful country. If you want a complete Icelandic experience, make sure you treat your taste buds with some of the traditional delicacies. Contact today to learn more about our Icelandic camper rentals and prepare yourself for the culinary trip of a lifetime!


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