Iceland is on the list of almost every travel buff. The incredibly beautiful locales of Iceland tend to attract explorers from everywhere. Everyone knows about wondrous places in Iceland but one truly underrated topic is Iceland’s food and its food halls. With an average footfall of around three million tourists a year, Iceland has certainly stepped up when it comes to delicacies. So many vibrant places are opened throughout the country for visitors to treat their taste buds. As amusing as it may sound, the fermented shark is the national food of Iceland and people seem to be in love with it, even the foreigners. Every few meters you will find a hot dog stall serving piping hot delicacy to long queues of people. You can read more about the famous Icelandic hot dog here.
You can try these delightful dishes and various others at some of the best food halls and stalls in Iceland. From favorite hangout spots to fancy dining halls, Iceland is a land that includes an expansive range of cuisines. Let’s explore these beautiful food halls in Iceland.
The Stunning Hlemmur Food Hall
Hlemmur Food Hall is situated on Hlemmur square. It is one of the oldest food courts in Iceland. Reykjavík’s first food hall, Hlemmur looks vibrant and happening. Reykjavik is the bonhomie of international as well as new and interesting fusion cuisines. Any kind of food craving can be satisfied in Reykjavik. Although Hlemmur Food Hall is always crowded, so much so that at times you have to wait outside the food hall. The wait is worthwhile when you finally get to taste the savoring dishes. Mexican, Danish, Italian and French- name the cuisine and you will find it inside Hlemmur Food Hall. Considering its central location in Reykjavík, it is easy to reach Hlemmur.
A fun fact about Hlemmur: It was earlier Reykjavik’s central bus station. When the bus station shifted eventually, this food hall was built with small bars and restaurants inside. Here discover what is inside Hlemmur Food Hall.
· SKÁL: Skál is an experimental bar and restaurant. You can find good food throughout the country but if you like to try something new, Skál is the perfect place to visit. It specializes in traditional Icelandic recipes with foraged Icelandic ingredients. In Iceland’s restaurant circles, the trend of foraging is becoming increasingly popular.
· JÆJA: If you are short on time, Jæja is a good place to catch a quick lunch without halting too much. They serve delicious, fresh, innovative salads, and crispy sandwiches. To quench your thirst, you will also find beer and schnapps.
· KRÖST: Kröst is bound to impress you with its delicious food and breathtaking ambiance. The menu of this restaurant is flooded with mouth-watering items like French wines, cured meats, and grilled goodies. If you want to head out for a fancy dinner or a casual date on your trip to Iceland, Kröst is the perfect place to make a stop.
· RABBAR BARINN: For those who are not ready to compromise on their healthy routine even on a vacation, Rabbar Barinn is a place to delight their taste buds. Using the freshest ingredients to make all their dishes, Rabbar Barinn ensures that whatever you eat, it is organic and delicious.
· JÓMFRÚIN: You will find at Jómfrúin, a combination of Icelandic and Danish cuisine. Their specialty is smørrebrød which are Danish open-faced sandwiches. Interestingly, that is the only thing available on their menu but it is worth it to taste it once. They often combine traditional recipes with new and local ingredients.
· BRAUÐ & CO: Artistically rich and taste-wise superb, Brauð & Co is a renowned bakery in Iceland. Known for organic sourdough bread and cinnamon buns, Brauð & Co will charm those who have sweet teeth and like to taste different kinds of bread.
Other Delightful Places to Grab a Bite
While Hlemmur Food Hall is a massive food court, it is not the only one. Icelandic cuisine is known for its multiple fish delicacies and Pylsa hot dogs. Apart from these two major dishes, there are salads and curries to explore. Find out here more places where you can sit and grab a bite in Iceland.
Grandi Food Hall
You can try multiple cuisines at Grandi Food Hall. There are many food stands where people are encouraged to devour different dishes like lamb curry or pork. Grandi Food Hall is a cultural hub too. You can experience here Icelandic cultural events, food carnivals, and big festivals that are celebrated in Reykjavík. Iceland Airwaves and the Icelandic National Day are also celebrated here with great pomp and show. For tourists interested in fish delicacies, a brand-new fish market has opened in the vicinity recently. If you are exploring the harbor area, Grandi Food Hall is the perfect point to order a refreshment. Many boutique shops, ice cream parlors, and museums in the surrounding area lend the food hall a charming look.
Höfði Food Hall
Höfði Food Hall is also popularly called Höfði Mathöll. It will take you more than one visit to explore Höfði Food Hall inside-out. Nine diverse food stalls make the Höfði Mathöll. Stalls here offer specialties from various parts of the world including Italian, Indian, Mexican, and Icelandic. The Scandinavian street food stand, Hipster is a must-visit when you are in Höfði Food Hall. It is a fresh and sophisticated take on street food. This is the specialty of Icelandic street food that mixes dishes from many countries. A fine example is Hipster where you will find shrimp sandwiches on brioche and sautéed mushrooms with dill on sourdough. For pizza lovers, Flatbakan is a fine place to eat. A pepperoni and olive pizza with some Icelandic ale on a chilly afternoon is just the best. The visual appeal of Flatbakan is also quite catchy and urban.
All the spice can bring you on fire. This is why it is recommended to the try cinnamon buns at Sætir Snúðar, situated at Höfði Food Hall. They offer fresh from the oven buns topped with cream and lightly peppered with sugar crystals. To bring some Mexican flavor to your plate, you can visit Culiacan in Höfði. Spicy and Loaded nachos, burst at the seams burritos and unctuous quesadillas are what you will find at Culiacan.
Kringlan Food Hall
Originally a shopping mall, Kringlan opened its food hall in 2019. The vibe of the place is urban, hip, and catchy. Here you can explore here the interesting concept of food trucks. Five of those run here which are quite popular among the locals. For lamb-based Icelandic cuisine, you can order from Fjárhúsið food truck. Even Korean street food is served here at Kore. For vegan tourists, a food joint named Jömm is available. Their doughnuts are highly recommended by the foodies.
Sushi is a delicacy that is so common yet not everyone can make it. Tókýó Sushi offers fresh sushi which is lip-smacking good. If you want to try eastern cuisines, Halab Kebab is a good joint to grab a bite from. It sells kebab and falafel wraps.
Fast Food Culture in Iceland
Fast food in Iceland only meant Pylsa hot dogs until a few years back. Lately, a lot has been added to the list of fast food. If you like to explore the food history of different cultures, Iceland can be a great place to start. As more and more food halls opened in Iceland, the street food culture has boomed, and that too for the good. While you are on an adventurous tour, you can take a quick break to any of the nearest food halls and pick something from your favorite cuisine. Whether it is a real classic Icelandic food scene that involves proper tradition or any other of your favorite cuisine, you can spot it all in the food courts of Iceland.
Almost all the livestock is fresh and organic in Iceland. This is the best part when it comes to food here. Pork, fishes, and lambs are all organically obtained ingredients used to make multiple delicacies. So if you are not ready to compromise on health and still want to try food in Iceland, you can go ahead with all your heart.