Delicious Reykjavik Eats on a Budget
We've talked about how to get to Iceland and back for $300. We know that cheap places to stay are always possible to find between hostels, Airbnb, and couch-surfing. But food? How do we indulge in a place's culture without breaking the bank?
That answer is one only a local would know. Introducing Jeannie from Life With a View. She's done all the research to take away the guesswork for us. Here's what she says:
Eating can definitely be one of the most expensive parts of your trip to Iceland.
Icelandic cuisine is traditionally prepared with fresh and local ingredients. However, a lot of things have to be imported to this small island in the Northern Atlantic, often times making food quite expensive.
I have always been impressed by the quality of the restaurants in Iceland, and never disappointed in a dish. So while there are plenty of restaurants in Reykjavik that are worth the splurge, sometimes food isn't where you want to spend your money when traveling.
Whether you are trying to make it through Iceland on a tight budget, or looking for a few meals to save some money, there are definitely delicious options! Here are my picks for places I love that are easy on the wallet.
$: $0-10 USD
$$: 10-20 USD
Kex is one of the most popular places to stay in Reykjavik and one of the coolest scenes as well. This old biscuit factory turned into a hostel has a happening bar and delicious restaurant! I’ve stopped in here often for a quick bite to eat and never been disappointed.
I recommend the smoked lamb as an appetizer, dried fish (hardfiskur - and Icelandic classic!), roasted lamb, or burgers.
Open times: 12pm-11pm with a slightly cheaper lunch menu served until 5pm
This place has simplicity and deliciousness down to a science. The Thai inspired menu includes three options: beef, chicken or vegetarian with rice noodles in a deliciously flavored broth. You don’t want to miss this place, the heaping bowl of goodness will warm your belly and your soul.
Open times: 11am-10pm
You can’t miss this place as its in the middle of Laugavegur, the main street in Reykjavik. Although the menu is small, the food is done right. Really great flavors in some of the most traditional dishes. They also have a great happy hour which helps keep costs down. I highly recommend the local Icelandic craft beers!
I’ve enjoyed the flatbread and wings, and the fish tacos are the most raved about item on the menu.
Open times: 11am-10pm
Glo is my go to place right now. Everything from the menu to the decor is exactly what I look for in my food choices. Their food is all organic and prepared using minimal ingredients. The menu is simple with options for gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and raw.
I recommend the daily chicken entree, but I have heard great things about their flatbreads and wraps. They also have a full coffee bar.
Open times: 11am-9pm
The tagline for this restaurant is “Indian Street Food” so right away you know it’s going to be good! If you’re looking for a full flavor spicy meal, this is the place to go!
I recommend the Chicken Thali which is a mixed plate option of two chicken dishes served with basmati rice and naan. I’ve also heard the Indian chicken pizza from the lunch menu is good.
Price: $$ (Note, they have a Tuesday special that is always changing for a discounted option)
Open times: MON. - THU. 11:00am-10:00pm, FRI. 11:00am-11:00pm, SAT/SUN. 5:00pm-11:00pm
As you’re walking around the adorable Old Harbour, make sure to stop in for a cup of creamy lobster soup. Paired with a homemade roll and Icelandic butter, this is a mouthwatering combo that you can’t miss. Sægreifinn means Sea Baron in Icelandic, and also has a selection of fresh sushi grade fish cuts that can be cooked in house or eaten raw.
Open times: May 15 to August 31 11:30am-11:00pm, September 1 to May 15 11:30am-10:00pm
This wouldn’t be a proper Iceland recommendation list without mentioning the famous hot dog stand. Icelanders love their hot dogs, and Bæjarins Beztu is one of the most popular tourist stops in Reykjavik. In 2004, Bill Clinton stopped in for a hot dog, and his photo is still on the wall today!
Open times: Sundays to Thursdays 10:00 – 01:00, Fridays to Saturdays 10:00 – 04:30