Trip report [Iceland]

iceland
icelandic
#1

Just got back from a week in Iceland. Keep in mind that we have a 2.6 year old spring onion so our meals are strictly casual lunch/early dinner. Breakfasts were always eaten at our various Airbnbs, except for one breakfast buffet at our one hotel. Hit up Bonus grocery shops to stock up on staples - milk, juice, skyr, couple of chocolate-based snacks for spring onion, cheeses, mushrooms, pasta. Iceland is well-known to be breath-takingly expensive for food and drink in restaurants so self-catering is a good thing to do, no matter your budget. Honestly, I loved the nation’s love of soup and could have subsisted on soup and bread all week (which was also generally the cheapest item on menus). We were both too tired to shop at Keflavik duty-free for beer and wine but we stocked up at a Vinbudin, which was $$$ but not as bad as drinking out.

Friday [Reykjavik]: Late lunch at Kaffi Vinyl. Very friendly, music-centric place, which we loved. Only all-vegan joint in town and maybe in all of Iceland. My Kawai (sic) sandwich with mushrooms, onions, and guacamole on ciabatta was tasty but quite messy. B’s tasty mile high club with portabella fakin’ bacon was huge. We were both stuffed. We stopped by Braud and Co. for one of their famed sourdough loaves. It was warm and good but honestly lacked the sour tang we’re used to from our local favorite bread place. Back at the Airbnb, I passed out for a short while. When I woke, I found the guys enjoying happy hour at Bryggjan Brugghús next to the Maritime Museum. Afterwards, dinner from Fish and Chips Vagninn food truck was a given. And so wonderful. Expertly fried fish and thick-cut chips, kick-ass curry sauce and mushy peas. Only the remoulade was just ok (but still good).

Saturday [Reykjavik]: Lunch at Kaffivagninn was amongst my favorite bites of food. The fish soup there is to die for. In a land of (to my Korean tastebuds) subtle flavors, their soup was so savory and flavor-forward. The accompanying baguette was great, too. B’s fish stew was new-to-us. Instead of being a brothy dish, it was a baked pan of potatoes, cream, perhaps cheese, and fish. Quite delicious but very rich. B had some trouble getting through it, but of course given the prices, he managed to eat it all. The rye bread that accompanied was really good. Presentation of both dishes, which normally I don’t care about, was quite lovely - the care behind the food was quite obvious.

Sunday [Reykholt, Laugavartn]: Lunch at Fridheimar was better in concept than in execution in our opinions. The huge greenhouse operation is impressive but it’s too touristy for our taste. We both opt for the all-you-can-eat tomato soup+bread buffet. It’s good but the soup needs some umami or garlic…some oomph. The breads, particularly the sunflower seeded one, are good. But there’s only so much soup and bread one can eat in one sitting. Still it’s a good deal. B got a Bloody Mary, which he liked but it was a little light on the octane and small to boot. A late dinner after Fontana hot spring spa at Héraðsskólinn hostel was wondrous. We would stay at this gorgeous hotel on our return trip to Iceland. The mid century furnishings, beautiful old rugs, books, piped-in old jazz , toys for kids, the no-shoes policy, the low lights. It was all so fantastic. They kindly let us get food at a late hour. My broccoli soup and bread hit the spot while the guys happily munched on pizza.

Sunday [Skógar]: Lunch at Hotel Skogafoss was nothing special (veggie soup+bread for me, pasta+meatballs which the guys split). Pasta dinner cooked in our fabulous Airbnb just outside Selfoss, which I admit, was pretty damned good (Japanese-inflected with mushrooms sautéed in a soup packet from a miso ramen, butter, tamari, then topped with furikake).

Monday [Suðursveit]: Dinner at Hali Country House Hotel was just ok. I got the asparagus soup and bread while B splurged for the Arctic char. It was sloppily plated with a few boiled potatoes and salad on the side. The fish tasted farmed to me. Breakfast buffet the next morning was plentiful and varied - much better than dinner.

Tuesday [Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Vik]: Lunch at the Heimahumar langoustine food truck after the glacier aquatic truck tour was interesting. The guys split a hotdog and B and I also sampled a langoustine roll. I must say it was OK but much more mushy (both the bread roll and the langoustine itself) then I’m used to with lobster rolls on the East Coast of the US. Also, I felt that the Icelandic love of sauces overwhelmed the langoustine. And there was some sautéed bell-pepper at the bottom of the roll which I found odd. Well, it was ok - it’s hard to be unhappy when you’re staring at a giant gorgeous glacier. A pitstop at the Soup Kitchen in Vik was quite good. This cute spot is in a former east German shipping container. We both got the vegan avocado soup that came with a Parmesan bread roll and it really hit the spot.

Wednesday [Hveragardi]: We fell in love with this little town when we took a detour for the geothermal pool. Afterwords we went to Olverk pizzeria and brewpub. It’s fairly new and the pizza was delicious as were the french fries and beer. Cool industrial-ish interior and friendly service.

Thursday [Stykkishólmur]: Lunch at Sjávarpakkhúsið is our best overall meal in Iceland (but we both still wanted garlic or some oomph). But the experience was quite wonderful. We got the Catalan Fish stew and the huge pot of mussels in white wine broth, both of which came with grilled bread. Both dishes were comfort in a bowl. Place had a hipster vibe, but not in an annoying way.

Friday [Reykjavik]: One repeat meal at Fish and chips vagninn was good but not as good as our first meal there. Perhaps the early hour did not allow for the oil to get hot enough but frankly we did not regret going back. Plenty of room for spring onion to stretch his legs there by the picnic tables.

We are already planning our next trip back to Iceland to check out the west fjords and other regions.

Here are the few food photos I took.

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(Denise) #2

Great details in this trip report, digga. You paint a vivid picture of the fare a traveler might expect – now I have a much better idea. More to consider for possible future travel.

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#3

Thanks for the kind words, but keep in mind that there is some really fabulous upscale food to be had in Iceland. Places such as Dill in Reykjavík. A friend of mine went in late July 2017 and said that it was one of the best meals she’s had anywhere. Unfortunately for us, upscale meals while traveling are not on our radar until spring onion is old enough to appreciate them.

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#4

We’re back in Iceland, specifically in Akureyri, chasing the Northern Lights (we saw them last night!). Unfortunately, the food’s been mediocre thus far (lunch of a veggie burger and veggie patty pita lunch at Backpackers was ok and this being Iceland, very expensive for what you get but spring onion devoured almost half a kids’ pizza, which is the important thing…plus cozy atmosphere; greasy fish and chips and a not-hearty-enough fish soup at Akureyri Fish for dinner). We’re in a hotel one more day before we move to an Airbnb where we’ll have a kitchen but in the meantime, we have to scrounge up lunch and dinner today. We may try Greifinn just to take advantage of the kids’ play space and not expecting much from the very American-looking menu. Would anyone have any food recs? Also, any recs for Mývatn, where we heading for the day tomorrow (I’m assuming we’ll end up eating at the natural bath, but thought I’d ask just in cas we’ll miss anything fab).

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(:@)) :@)) ) #5

That’s so cool! Seeing NL is very high on my list. Actually, it was planned for next year but a safari in S. Africa suddenly got in the way! I was trying to decide where to go to see NL, Norway vs Iceland, and Iceland “won”. Prices in Norway are even more breathtaking than in Iceland and I would need to travel farther north (Tromsø). Besides, after a short visit to Iceland 2 years ago I said I wanted to try more Icelandic traditional foods (which requires one to go to the far-flung areas or the island). Would combine this with NL sightings (if the atmospheric conditions would cooperate).

Sorry I have no food recs but am looking forward to reading more about your trip.

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#6

Back from Iceland this past Saturday…unfortunately, we had mostly mediocre food on this trip. I think we simply chose poorly, prioritizing feeding the 3-year-old spring onion over everything else (the kid lost weight on this trip…and he’s already a skinny mini to begin with…he’d rather play than eat).

Wed [Boston]: We ate at the Legal Seafood in Terminal E before boarding since we are flying on WOW Air, where you have to pay for everything (but it was a fine experience). We actually had a decent meal (B had salmon poke and I had shrimp dumplings) and a manager even came through, checking on everyone’s food.

Thurs [Reykjavik]: Our first day in Reykjavik and we find ourselves at IKEA for lunch! The Airbnb is < 10 minutes away and we wake up starving after getting into KEF at 4:30 am, picking up a car, driving 45 minutes to Reykjavik, then passing out in one big bed together. No joke, there is quite a bit of online talk about the great deal on food at IKEA…and this one has wine and beer. We’ve never eaten at an IKEA stateside, so we have nothing to compare it to, but the food is tasty enough and the portions are huge (I got veggie croquettes with couscous, and green beans, while B got some chicken-fried steak concoction and spring onion picked off our plates and freshly-squeezed OJ). B gets a beer and I refrain. I think the whole shebang came to ~$25 USD. We also pick up a really nice loaf of bread for breakfasts (the bakery is on the ground floor right as you walk in, with big plate glass so everyone can see the bakers…I guess it must be a point of pride for this IKEA). B knows I detest shopping at IKEA but even I admit it’s fun to browse when not under the pressure of actually buying stuff and hauling it home.
-Later that evening, we hit Bryggjan Brugghus as we did on our last trip for happy hour. Reasonably priced wine, house beer, and the most addictive shoestring fries - that was spring onion’s dinner. B was happy and celebrating because he saw the Northern Lights from the plane somewhere over Greenland!
-Dinner is at home - fettuccine with soy sausage and tinned tomatoes all purchased from the local Bonus. Wine was purchased at duty-free as all the locals and prepared tourists know to do.

Fri [Reykjavik]: Breakfast in - the bread IS really good, especially slathered with Spanish garlic aioli that we bought at IKEA for < $4 USD. Lunch was a HUGE disappointment. We braved the whipping wind and horizontal rain to go to Laundromat Cafe (the kids’ play space is a major draw and we missed out last trip)…only to find that it had closed just 10 days prior. There was a lease dispute. In its’ place was a refined almost Viennese-like cafe which was too sedate for spring onion. We settled on an American lunch of burgers and beer across the street. Dinner of leftovers.

Sat [Akureyri]: We flew to Akureryi, our first time visiting. It’s way more chill than Reykjavik. We can already tell we’ll like using this town as our home base for the rest of the trip. First couple of nights we stay the Icelandair Hotel because B is enticed by their included breakfast (that man loves a free b’fast!). And the buffet is plentiful and varied. Plus, we’re right across the street from the geothermal pool. Our first dinner is again a disappointment. Akureryi Fish Restaurant gets a lot of positive write-ups but our meal was mediocre. I got the fish soup, which had almost no seafood and B’s fish and chips were quite greasy. It was empty when we walked in around 6:30 pm - we should’ve known. B heads out to see the Northern Lights but spring onion needs his sleep so I have to pass. But that’s ok - I’m thrilled that one of us got a chance to see them (and fortunately, its our family photographer who experiences them).

Sun [Akureyri, Dalvík, Ólafsfjörður, Siglufjörður]: We drive up the coast, drink in the landscape, and have decent sandwiches at Aðalbakarí (bakery) in Siglufjörður. One more night at the hotel, we take advantage of HH, get some bar snacks and then think about dinner. We decide to check out Greifinn, again because it advertises a play space that parents can monitor using an phone app. Ugh…it is really crowded and the play space is cramped, yucky, and filled with naughty kids (which has not been our typical experience in Iceland). We decide to go to Hagkaup and pick up Thai ramen cup noodles, which spring onion devours. Plus, we have a lot of supplementary snacks.

Mon [Akureyri, Mývatn]: The Airbnb is awesome with a well-stocked kitchen. This will be home base for the next 4 days. We drive out to Mývatn, which is only ~1.5 hours away and awesome. We stop for lunch at Vogafjos, which is a working dairy farm. We both get tomato and cheese sandwiches (B’s with ham) and spring onion has a grilled cheese sandwich. There’s an actual small salad garnish with their own mozzarella. Lovely setting and spring onion enjoyed feeding the cows after lunch (you can look out at them from a big window inside the restaurant). We consider dinner at the cafeteria at the Natural Baths but decide to head home. Dinner was more pasta - with Linda McCartney soy ground “meat,” chickpeas, and tinned tomatoes.

Tues [Akureyri, Mývatn]: Drive out to Mývatn again, get lunch supplies at the small grocery store in town (more bread, garlic cheese, strawberry yogurt/skyr rice cakes, bananas). Dinner was leftover pasta.

Wed [Akureyri]: Lunch at home of this-and-that followed by skiing. Dinner at home was veggie shepherd’s pie using the soy ground meat and mashed potato topping.

Thurs [Akureyri]: We try the pizza buffet at Bryggans after learning that a large pizza is $42 USD, while the buffet is only $17 USD/person and spring onion is free. To me, it’s mediocre but B likes the pizza and the focaccia is good but not replenished at all so I nab the last few pieces. French fries are good but do not make a good lunch. Cool, old building.

Fri [Akureyri]: Last day in Akureryi, we grab lunch at the bakery, Bakaríið við Brúna, near the mall. We should’ve gone there sooner…the breads look awesome. We get only a half loaf of sourdough since we’re flying out later that day. B gets some spicy tuna spread while I try a pretzel (just ok) and leftovers. Spring onion loves his date bar.

Sat [Garður]: We are spending our last day in Garður, which is only ~15 minutes drive from KEF but feels a world away. After swimming at Vatnaveröld (Waterworld, which spring onion absolutely loved), we head out to Garður by 6:30 pm and hope that the one restaurant out there, Röstin, is open. We had a couple of situations where places were closed due to winter hours. We see a tiny house with a double-decker British bus parked in the yard (!) and think, maybe this is the place? There’s a pleasant-looking dining area in the front room but it is empty. B gets out, walks around the house, looking for signs of life. None. $#!t. Well, we drive towards the lighthouses to check them out, resigned to visiting the N1 petrol station for food. What do we see but a sign for Röstin! And there are cars and an “open” sign in the window! Hooray! Through the very strong wind, we walk to the best meal of this trip. There is an interesting-looking museum on the ground floor (closed at that hour). There are only 2 other occupied tables, but the owner is working hard, running around to wait on tables, check on the kitchen, and takes the time to chat with the guests. With a nice view of the water and lighthouses, we share the fish and chips (I love the spelt batter) and the plokksfiskur, a fish stew gratinee with potatoes that is very different from the version B had on our last trip. Accompanied by dark bread and both dishes had cabbage slaw. We had several Úlfur IPA Nr. 3 between the 2 of us that was superb. Came to ~$80 USD which is a steal in Iceland. This lovely meal, cooked and served up with love and care erased all the memories of mediocre meals we had out. B has already started looking at flights this year! Didn’t take many food photos…And taking photos at Röstin just didn’t feel “right.” I’ve become less-and-less a fan of taking food photos and more of just savoring the moment. Except when you are at IKEA. :grinning:

NLIKEAIKEA%20bread

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Weekend eats [Lexington, Cambridge, Malden, Everett...all in MA]
#7

Lovely the northern light! Too bad you didn’t see that in person. My parents had a trip a few years ago, they were not lucky and didn’t have the chance to see that. Not easy to travel when the kid is young but you managed that already. Another time maybe, but you seem to go to Iceland often.

Looks decent the Ikea bread. Glad you have a nice last meal.

I tried to seduce my husband to travel northern countries, especially Iceland, he doesn’t like cold places. I start buying him warm clothes as gifts, hope he will get it one day! :grin:

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(:@)) :@)) ) #8

Thank you!

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#9

Great trip report, thanks! I so want to go to Iceland and between the two reports (I had missed the earlier one till now) I feel much more informed about what to expect.

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#10

Thanks for your copious notes on both trips. We are very much on the fence about taking our 1 year old to Iceland at the end of June/early July. We aren’t sure if we should wait until she is a bit older so she can enjoy the trip more.

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#11

@gracieggg When to go on vacations can be a tough decision for parents of really young ones. We started traveling internationally with our son when he was 4 months old (Turks and Caicos, which doesn’t rank with our pre-kid trips to places such as to Southeast Asia, but it is what it is). Iceland has been a good choice for us because it keeps mom and dad happy and as a curious 3 year-old, spring onion is happy, too.

Does your 1-year old enjoy being in the water? If so, that’s something that she could enjoy every day. If she falls asleep readily in the car, you and your partner can drive around, taking in the landscape while she snoozes. Does she like running around, exploring? Plenty of wide-open spaces for her. I’m sure she’s in sensory-overload mode, which is a fantastic thing to observe in kids…one afternoon, spring onion played with a caterpillar outside our countryside Airbnb (we were on a horse farm so we didn’t have to worry about him running out into traffic). One Airbnb was at the base of a “mountain” and had a play structure.

Iceland is very kid-friendly. There are usually toys in restaurants and pleasant attitudes towards kids from staff and family restrooms wherever you go.

As a mom who is learning as she goes, I wouldn’t necessarily worry so much about how much your daughter will remember (frankly, I barely remember anything before the age of 10! Kinda kidding, of course). If you go someplace that gives you a welcome and happy break from the tedium that can accompany life with a baby, then everyone, including baby, will be happy. I think that should be a goal of travel with very young kids.

And to keep this food-focused, skyr is something most kids like to eat. And it is ubiquitous.

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#12

Thank you again!!! Yes, we were up for more travel adventures pre-baby (Morocco was my favorite trip to date) too. And agreed on the remembering point. We do want to expose her to all types of experiences even if she won’t remember it.

She isn’t quite walking yet but will likely be by the time of this trip. She is quite curious and a good traveler. She likes playing in water. We did a trial trip to Florida 2 months ago which was very easy and tons of fun.

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#13

More than anything, I think traveling with young ones teaches them to be flexible. Private message me if you want to chat more about the specifics of Iceland. Best of luck!

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#14

We are going back to Iceland (leaving tomorrow) for our 3rd time in a year. Yes, I guess we really like Iceland!

Anyway, this time around, we are taking our time and doing the Ring Road. We are going to the West Fjords for the first time and we want to try Tjöruhúsið. I may be too late with a reservation request, though (just sent it this morning, about a week in advance). Has anyone been here? Does it live up to the hype (some hype linked below).


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#15

Have a great trip! Can’t wait for your report!

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#16

We’re back from our Iceland adventure. We spent 16 days exploring the beautiful regions on the Ring Road which encircles the entire island. And we ate MUCH better than we did on our last trip this past spring. Breakfasts were always eaten at home (and once in a forgettable hotel in Hofn). I’ll try to stick to only food-related content but I sometimes get carried away.

We drove clockwise from Reykjavik and we had unusually sunny weather for most of our trip.

Reykjavik, Fri 24 Aug
We pass out for a few hours at our apartment after getting in at 4:30 am local time and then having a scare at the airport when our checked-in backpack was momentarily lost (it was marked to go onto Paris) which delayed us another hour or so at KEF. We hit the Ice Wear Outlet to look for rain pants for spring onion and then had a delicious lunch at Glo next door. I had the Indian dal bowl and B went with the Mexican bowl. Hearty and filling and not too pricey, which is one of our eating goals in Reykjavik. Free self-serve pure Icelandic water by the pitcher. Braud and Co shares a space with Glo, so we got a nice seeded loaf of bread for breakfasts.

Happy Hour at one of B’s favorite places in Reykjavik, Bryggjan Brugghús. A few beers and some sweet potato fries revived us.

We explored the far end of the Old Harbor area which we didn’t do previously. There are interesting-looking restaurants we didn’t have time to check out (Kumiko, the Japanese tea shop which was sadly closing for good, Grandi Mathöll, Messinn Granda), a big glass bookstore; the design-y / pricey Friends and Farmers shop; Þúfa “sculpture” is found literally at the end of the road.

Don’t laugh - we went to IKEA again, this time for dinner. After spending a couple of hours at one of Reykjavik’s public pools, we were all starved and IKEA was close by. We tried the salmon and I should’ve known it’d be farmed. Spring onion was happy with his meatballs so that’s all that truly matters.

Reykjavik, Sat 25 Aug
We visit Þingvellir National Park (was pouring during our 1st trip so we skipped it then) and then the guys want to re-visit Geysir (I wasn’t all that impressed the 1st time but compromise / flexibility is important when traveling) and then we have a a basic meal in the cafeteria at Geysir.

Our plans to return to beautiful Héraðsskólinn hostel for a meal were messed up by a cycling road race on the Golden Circle, the route of which went past the hostel and Fontana spa, delaying us. We skipped that and improvised veggie + chickpeas pasta at home.

Akranes, Sun 26 Aug
Lunch at Hverinn following a visit to Krauma geothermal spa. A lot more pleasant than the exterior suggests which we find is a common theme for many restaurants we try. We sat outside and had pizza for spring onion (the ubiquitous slightly better than supermarket pizza but he loves the stuff) and B and I split the plokkfiskur (fish stew / gratinee) which is delicious. With a couple of beers, we leave happy and relaxed from our dip at the spa.

Snæfellsnes peninsula [Hellnar / Stykkishólmur], Mon 27 Aug
Simple (which in Iceland, doesn’t always translate to inexpensive) lunch at Primus Cafe in Hellnar of fish soup, plokkfiskur, and bagel + cheese. Next time, we will try Fjöruhúsið café which is situated on the hillside, overlooking the coast.

Dinner at Sjávarpakkhúsið, one of B’s favorites. Mussels are even better than I remember and the fresh fish burger on black rye bun is superb, too. The tartar-like sauce comes in a tiny copper saute pan, which delights spring onion. We missed 1/2 priced beers at happy hour (which is 4-5 pm) but that’s ok. We order and drink good beer anyway.

Westfjords [Suðureyri], Tues 28 Aug
Lunch at Hótel Flókalundur which is close to the ferry terminal and natural geothermal pool. Very lamb-y meatballs for spring onion (B could barely even help finish them) and we split the decent fish and chips. The fish seems to have a little curry powder in the beer batter, which is unexpected but a nice touch. An awesome drive to Suðureyri and a simple dinner of cheese and crackers, leftover pasta, and wine in the dining room of our guesthouse. The cool-looking Fisherman restaurant and hotel are down the street from us but we skip it this time. [We get advice from a local that the plokkfiskur sandwich is delicious and not too expensive. Next time!]

Westfjords [Ísafjörður], Wed 29 Aug
Another awesome drive, this time to the big “city” of Ísafjörður for the meal I’ve been anticipating for weeks at Tjöruhúsið. Wow. As hyped up this place is, our meal lived up to it all. The room is in a tiny former tar house and there are communal tables/benches. I felt happy seeing two groups of local blue collar workers and firemen (they were still in their uniforms) on lunch, some with their families. The lunch buffet is reportedly smaller than dinner, but I can’t even imagine having even more choices than what we were offered. We started with fish soup, which is delicious. There is bread; salad with arugula, tomatoes, cukes; cold red bean and chickpea salad; baby potatoes with dill; jasmine rice. But the key is, don’t fill up before the main event. Everything is left out on big tables at front and you self-serve. The large strapping chef brings out giant skillets of fish as needed. We had teriyaki cod, Thai curried redfish, plokkfiskur-style, and our favorite, halibut with white wine/lemon/fried capers sauce. Man, I am still dreaming about that preparation. Even spring onion, who often turns his nose up at fish ate well. Plus, there is coffee and tea and small post-meal treats, such as biscuits and chocolates. All that for $65 USD (kids eat free). We did not order any alcohol and stuck with water and were glad. Might be more expensive for dinner, but we would go back to Westfjords in a heartbeat just to eat at Tjöruhúsið again. We couldn’t even think about dinner so we finish off leftover cheese and crackers and wine at our guesthouse.

Westfjords [Hólmavík] to Northern Iceland [Skagaströnd], Thurs 30 Aug
We have a long drive today, leaving beautiful Westfjords and heading to the northern part of the island. Lunch at Cafe Riis of pizza and mussels that were a special of the day. We make dinner at our house in Skagaströnd, where there is only one restaurant which is closed.

Northern Iceland [Siglufjörður], Fri 31 Aug
Lunch at Hannes Boy which is part of the lux Sigló Hotel compound. I have the very nice parsnip soup buffet and B goes for the fish of the day which is cod and both beautifully plated and delicious. The local Seagull Siglo IPA is awesome. B had wanted to visit their taproom but their opening hours (evening only on Fridays) is not going to work with our plans (ie, spring onion’s plans).

Northern Iceland [Akureyri], Sat 1 Sept
We have a picnic outside on this sunny 60F (16C) day. We huddle down by HOF Cultural Center, eating cheese and crackers, and brown-bagging beer. Stops at Valdís for ice cream and Bonus for more food supplies to cook dinner in at our awesome little cottage outside Akureyri.

Northern Iceland [Mývatn] to Eastfjords [Seyðisfjörður], Sun 2 Sept
Lunch at Gamli Bærinn, which I think used to be a simple locally-owned pub (we tried to go last year but it was closed for renovations) and is now owned by Icelandair, which also took over the neighboring hotel. It’s certainly spiffy inside and we had a delicious lunch of vegan burgers, a quite decent kids pizza, and Borg IPA. Drive to beautiful Eastfjords to our charming farmhouse in Seyðisfjörður. Dinner cooked in our lovely kitchen and spring onion cooked alongside me in his well-stocked play kitchen.

Eastfjords [Seyðisfjörður], Mon 3 Sept
We missed out on both the 2-for-1 lunch special at the Nordic Hotel and a meal at Skaftfell Cafe, which were both high on my list. We love our house and kitchen so much that we decide to be frugal and eat in again. Both are on the list for our return to Eastfjords.

Eastfjords [Seyðisfjörður] to Eastern Iceland [Höfn], Tues 4 Sept
Lunch at Kaupfjelagid in Breiðdalsvík (the very well-stocked and diverse general store) for fish and chips again (decent) and a mozzarella panini. Cute shop. Our hotel in Höfn is rather bleak but we have a good and fun meal at the “fast food” joint, Hafnarbuðin. Höfn is known for their langoustine so we get a langoustine roll and veggie burger, octopus hot dog for spring onion. White ales go quite well. The place is tiny and packed. Even has a take-out window.

East to South Iceland [Hvolsvöllur], Wed 5 Sept
We are meeting up with B’s brother and his companion. After finding them at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, we head to lunch at Systrakaffi for good veggie burgers and wine. We make dinner at our house in Hvolsvöllur.

South Iceland [Hvolsvöllur], Thurs 6 Sept
Lunch at the cute Eldsto Art Cafe - soup buffet for all 4 adults and a huge kids portion of fish and chips for spring onion. The mushroom soup and sweet potato + carrot soup were both tasty. Good bread, too. Dinner was in again. It’s a bit tough traveling with B’s brother as he is VERY money conscious and has spent his week in Iceland eating sandwiches made in his hotel room. Which is fine, but not compatible with our priorities. Oh well.

South Iceland [Hveragerði] to Keflavik, Fri 7 Sept
Lunch at a favorite of ours, Ölverk. The best pizza (we got ours with dulse and mushrooms) we’ve had in Iceland plus double IPA. I am loving the Icelandic-style of IPA on this trip. More floral (not in an overpowering way) and less hit-you-over-head extreme hops a la Dogfish Head.

Keflavik, Sat 8 Sept
Last lunch at Kaffi Duus. B’s brother and companion pass on lunch and drink cappuccinos because they don’t want to spend more money on food. Their loss. We had one of our best meals here - a halibut curry. It came with a bowl of soup, which B ate and then we split our meal, which was more than enough. Plus we ordered another order of naan. The curry was fragrant with coconut and filled with chunks of fresh halibut. Basmati rice and salad rounded out the plate. Off to KEF where spring onion ate a huge portion of decent fish and chips. B’s brother had a smoked salmon open-faced sandwich which he enjoyed.

B is already scheming our next trip to Iceland. Góða ferð! (bon voyage)

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#17

Such fun to read your report, thanks for taking the time to post it!!

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#18

Thanks for the post, I would really want to try plokkfiskur after reading. I search briefly to see if there is any Icelandic restaurant in Paris, only a juice bar called Lemon serving salad and sandwiches. Maybe I need to make this myself.

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#19

It’s quite a homey dish and I’m sure not difficult to make. It might be a great dish for busy winter weekday evenings when you need to throw something tasty together and you have fresh and firm fish. Pure comfort food and a whole serving would probably be a bit too rich for my tastes, but splitting a serving of it gives me just enough. It’s traditionally served with dark rye bread, which in Iceland is almost chocolate-y in taste.

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#20

Thanks for the tips for smaller portion, and rye bread. I haven’t been to Iceland, but have been to Finland, they eat a lot of rye bread too. Some recipes mention using Icelandic herbs for garnish, like wild Arctic thyme. Have you tasted that? How is it different from the “ordinary” thyme (Thymus vulgaris), which is available here?

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