Iceland trip report 2023

We’re back!






This short visit is for the 3-night Wilco residency at Harpa in Reykjavík. Heading to Tenerife on Tuesday. Will be reporting in real-time-ish. We just arrived on an overnight this morning. We’ve only had time for lunch, hit the pool, and the requisite post-swim hot dog. Full-on sun today!


Having not been able to make our annual winter trip to Tenerife this year, I’m looking forward to enjoying your stay.


Oh yay! Trip reports from @digga are always such fun!


Hello from Tenerife. Finally reporting back on Iceland, which was our usual mix of trying to find inexpensive meals out (we stayed in a hotel…no kitchen/cooking for 5 days straight, which felt odd and that I strangely missed) and lots of pylsur (Icelandic hot dogs). Gourmands, we are not! :laughing:

We passed out after grabbing the free hotel breakfast. Late lunch at Ning’s, a fast casual Asian place within walking distance of our budget hotel. I posted previous photos of chicken and veggie dumplings, a huge barley/veggie/soy meat bowl. We never eat white rice so that was like candy for all 3 of us. After hitting the pool, we were in a rush to make it to the first of 3 Wilco shows so it was dinner-on-the-run (hot dogs for the guys, lunch leftovers for me).

Hotel breakfast. Spring Onion had a hot dog for lunch. B and I held off until early dinner/Happy Hour at Slippbarinn. We’ve walked by this place a thousand times. We got calamari and the mussels, both really good. The calamari was expertly fried and tender with lemony aioli. The mussels were made in a beer broth with unknown spices…and so good. Beautiful to look at, too. Then onto night 2 of Wilco.

Lunch at IKEA, which we’ve done before. :rofl: The photo is terrible, but the plokkfiskur was decent, SO loved his meatballs and the salmon which he shared with B. For ~$30 (with 1 beer and 1 wine and a dessert), it’s a steal in such an expensive country. We’ve read that locals go there just to have a cheap meal.

It wouldn’t be a complete trip to Iceland for us without at least 1 pizza meal. Dinner was at Flatey, a highly-regarded Neapolitan-style pizzeria that we’ve somehow managed not to try on all of our previous trips. SO wanted yet another hot dog, which we obliged. B and I split the Tartufo, a white pie with potatoes, mushrooms, truffle oil (just a whisper), mozz. We were both regretting not having tried it sooner. Decent red on tap. Last night of Wilco - we were feeling wistful (3 great shows).

Cobbled together lunch at an N1 gas station (everyone eats at an N1 at some point - hot dogs for the guys, cup ramen for me). Dinner/Happy Hour at Bastard Brewery, a spot we’ve been to on a previous trip. We really like this place - nice vibe (especially chill on a Sunday), cute interior (we got seated at the very same table as before), friendly staff. SO got the parma flatbread (he wanted most of the toppings [arugula, pine nuts, mushrooms] on the side), a tasty portabella mushroom burger for me (had a creamy sauce that made it a little slippery, but added a rich element that complemented the mushroom), a double beef burger for B (a little overdone, but B rarely meets a burger he doesn’t like, he has them so infrequently). Good fries. We love that the portions aren’t gargantuan. We got a dessert for SO for being such a good sport during the concerts (we were out way past all of our bedtimes, getting home around 11 pm). A chocolate brownie crumble with blueberries. Even I had a bite, which, with red wine, was delicious and somehow, not cloyingly sweet.

Our last full day in Reykjavik. We somehow ended up at another Flatey location for the lunch happy hour (discounted pizzas until 2 pm); this one was definitely a locals’ locale. Mini margherita for SO, parma for me and B (I gave all my parma to B). Candy floss ice cream with gummy pearls for SO for afters. We were all quite happy.

Dinner was at Ning’s again, as we wanted to stick close to the hotel and get our packing done. Kids’ panda box of noodles/eggs (hold the veggies)/fried chicken, a surprisingly good curried fried haddock for B, and some ho hum noodles with soy meat for me.

Then, off to Tenerife Tuesday morning. We stopped by the big Lidl near the airport. We are staying in a magical place high in the mountains in northern Tenerife. I love the efficient little kitchen! View is great (ignore the power lines). We didn’t reach our place until 8 pm; a simple pasta meal for all of us. And Canarian goat cheese and bread. Wine is so inexpensive and good and the whole milk is like cream.

I’ll continue this dispatch on the Spain board.


I forgot to post that on Easter Sunday, we visited a geothermal area just 30 minutes outside Reykjavik in horizontal rain conditions. We ran into a local man and his son who were cooking their Easter eggs in the geothermal super-heated water inside a cloth bag. He said that they turn beautiful colors and showed us the photos from last Easter. Crazy blues, greys, yellows.


Look out for Montes de Oca, which is made in Adeje in the south of the island and is excellent. Really goaty. I had this in a now closed restaurant in Los Cristianos. The guy who owned it said he used to keep some goats and made his own cheese. But when he opened the restaurant, he didnt have time to look after them. So, he sold them and they ended up on a farm which is one of quite a number which supply milk to the producer of Montes de Oca. They make a mild one and an aged one. You want the aged, of course.

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Glad to hear from you! Sounds like you had an excellent time in Iceland, as usual. Fun story about the Easter eggs.

That apartment in Tenerife looks great!

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@digga, have you found a favourite hot dog stand in Iceland? A friend is visiting this week.

Not Digga, but you got the famous Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur in the capital which is pretty solid. And just about any gas station across the country got serviceable dogs. The food, especially seafood overall was surprisingly good everywhere so we didnt feel the need to hunt for hot dogs. I was more impressed with fish and chips trucks (especially Fancy Sheep in the north). Best meal was a Langoustines feast at Fjöruborðið.
We did the ring road in 2022, way before I started posting here.

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Thanks! I am passing along your tips!

I don’t eat hot dogs but my hubby says they are uniformly good, much better quality than what we get in the US. As @Ziggy states, the famous stand is justifiably famous for a reason and every N1 gas station has a decent hot dog and often the only places to eat while on the road. B says to look for stands with fun toppings because the hot dog itself seems to be identical across the country (for ex, there was one stand in Selfoss that he really liked - you can’t miss it if you are passing through town, which a lot of first-time visitors do, it’s in a prominent spot).

PS I giggle at the thought of being the resident Icelandic hot dog expert. :joy: