Reykjavik Food Walk: a Review

I wouldn't call myself a foodie. But when I was offered an opportunity to do a food tour in Reykjavik, Iceland with The Reykjavik Food Walk, I couldn't say no! I must tell it was much more than just a food tour but let’s start from the very beginning. We met our knowledgeable and inspirational guide Anna Sara at Harpa Concert Hall and our exciting journey could start. After a short walk and introduction to Reykjavik from the top of the Arnarholl hill and hearing about the excitement of Icelanders upon their football team’s historic victory over England at Euro 2016, we got to our first food stop.36reykjavik food tour 1350696

Islenski Barinn

The Icelandic meat soup

The bar has recently reopened in a new location and it wasn’t long until locals started frequenting it. The Icelandic Bar is now a cosy place to meet up both for locals and visitors.

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Traditional Icelandic meat soup is a popular meal, the perfect food for a cold winter's day. Each family in Iceland has its own variation of the recipe that includes mutton or lamb meat, potatoes, turnips, rice, as well as herbs for spice and added flavour. Besides the soup, we also had an opportunity to taste a local Christmas beer there.14reykjavik food tour 1350535We continued our walk to the Cheese Shop or Ostabúðin, located on Skólavörðustígur - only a few steps off Laugavegur shopping street. I must admit that only with the help of Anna Sara we noticed a tiny elf on the top of the street sign. Do you see this awesome creature?15reykjavik food tour 1350541

Ostabúðin, the cheese shop

The gourmet Cheese Shop offers a wide selection of cheeses but it is much more than that.16reykjavik food tour 1350546

Besides the cheeses, you´ll find delicacies such as hot-smoked goose, cured lamb fillet, salmon tartar and goose liver pate.19reykjavik food tour 1350556

We had an opportunity to taste Black Gouda, Gull Ostur, and Blue Cheese and also smoked lamb, horse and goose.17reykjavik food tour 135054818reykjavik food tour 1350551

After that, our walk continued uphill towards a landmark of the city, Hallgrímskirkja church to Cafe Loki.21reykjavik food tour 1350562

Café Loki

Rye bread ice cream

Cafe Loki is a hospitable restaurant that serves authentic Icelandic food, located across the street from famous Hallgrímskirkja in central Reykjavik.23reykjavik food tour 1350568

The environment is cosy and modern, and the food is rumored to be the most authentic traditional culinary experience in Reykjavik. You can enjoy traditional Icelandic homemade dishes such as Icelandic meat soup, Icelandic plate, homemade bread, and cakes. From the top floor, visitors can enjoy a beautiful view over Reykjavík, Hallgrímskirkja church and to Bláfjöll mountains. We tasted rye bread ice cream with whipped cream and honey. It was really delicious for my taste buds.24reykjavik food tour 1350574We also met some eaters outside the cafe at their apple tasting meal.

22reykjavik food tour 1350565Then we continued our walk to the Pond, locally known as Tjörnin, one of Iceland's most beloved and iconic Reykjavik city features. Icelanders come here with their children to watch and feed the birds, so again we were not the only eaters there.

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Quick Skyr stop at the Pond

Thick and full of protein, skyr has been made in Iceland for more than a thousand years. Skyr is a central part of the Icelandic diet. It was likely brought to Iceland by Scandinavian Norsemen who settled the land in the late ninth century. The traditional recipe for skyr involves taking milk and heating it with a bit of old skyr from the previous batch, as a starter. After curds form, the whey is drained slowly for many hours to create a thick, sour product. Icelanders say that skyr is not a yogurt at all, but rather a cheese. We had the blueberry variety of skyr. To me, skyr tasted more like a thick yogurt not cheese. 27reykjavik food tour 1350631From there we continued our way to the iconic hot dog stand, making a short stop at the square in front of Iceland Parliament building.28reykjavik food tour 1350649

The hot dog stand Bæjarins bestu pulsur

The best hot dog in town, often shortened to simply “Bæjarins beztu”, is a popular hot dog stand in central Reykjavík. It has been open there since 1937. In 2006, British newspaper The Guardian named Bæjarins beztu the best hot dog stand in Europe. The majority of Icelanders have eaten at Bæjarins beztu. Foreign visitors are often brought here to be introduced to “the Icelandic national food”, namely hot dogs. Among famous people who have eaten at Bæjarins beztu are Bill Clinton, former president of the United States, and James Hetfield, vocalist of the heavy metal band Metallica. Bæjarins bestu pulsur stands are located at 5 places in Reykjavik so you have a choice.29reykjavik food tour 135065630reykjavik food tour 135066231reykjavik food tour 1350671On our hot dog we had mustard, ketchup, remulaði (mayo based relish) and then regular onions and deep fried onions.
All in all, Reykjavík is a fishing village so visiting Old harbour was the essential part of our food tour.32reykjavik food tour 1350684After a short stroll we arrived at Kopar restaurant.33reykjavik food tour 1350687

Kopar restaurant and bar 

Rock crab soup

This restaurant is located at the Old harbour. As you stand on the pier of the old harbour, you can feel the history of Reykjavík and watch the harbour life, the fishermen, people walking and enjoying life. The old harbour, the ships, the vibrant city centre, old and new in a surprising mix, makes Kopar special. What makes the restaurant stand out is its variety of dishes. On the menu, new and old recipes meet, where traditional ingredients and surprising ones are combined.

34reykjavik food tour 1350694We ate a rock crab soup with shrimps, spinach and bean sprouts. It was very warming with a full rich taste.

36reykjavik food tour 135069635reykjavik food tour 1350695After a final stroll and introduction to some superb street art in the neighborhood by excellent Anna Sara, we got back to the central Reykjavik for our last stop Apotek.37reykjavik food tour 1350715

Apótek kitchen and bar

Apricot chocolate mousse and a sorbet

Our last stop Apotek is an exciting restaurant located in one of the first large concrete buildings in Iceland. The building is known as “Apotekið” or “the pharmacy” because it housed Reykjavíkurapotek from 1930 to 1999.38reykjavik food tour 1350725

The restaurant is casual-smart, offering delicious food in the vibrant atmosphere and stylish surroundings.40reykjavik food tour 135073241reykjavik food tour 1350735Their menu is a mix of Icelandic and European cuisine with hot Argentinian grills, also because the head chef Carlos Gimenez is from Argentina. Apricot chocolate mousse and a sorbet was an excellent ending to our amazing food walk with Anna Sara.42reykjavik food tour 1350742

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Conclusion: The Reykjavik Food Walk is definitely recommended for all visitors to the city. This tour gives participants an opportunity not just to try the excellent food but also to learn a lot about Reykjavik and Iceland.10reykjavik food tour 1350520

Want to discover more about the city? Take the Reykjavik free walking tour.

Have you been to Reykjavik? What are your most memorable impressions of the city? Share in the comments section!

Want to explore more of Iceland? Check out these stunning pictures for your inspiration.

Note: I was invited by the Reykjavik Food Walk but all opinions are my own.FoodWalk

  • Published by Anita on 09 December 2017 
  • Author: Anita Sāne

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveller, passionate photographer and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    travelling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner who plans and executes her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter and Bloglovin.


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    I love food walks (done 2 this year, one in Ljubljana and another in Amsterdam). This one seems really interesting - I was drooling over all the cheese. Lovely pics!
    The photo of the bird eating the apple is amazing, it's amazing how clear it is. Amazing photo.
    When I visited Iceland, one the things that surprised me the most was how good the food was. I had heard not very good things about the Icelandic cuisine, and I was proven completely wrong. From the freshest cod I have eaten to the Geyser Bread I was constantly surprised by how good everything tasted. I was able to have lunch at Ostabudin, and it was delicious. I have my eye on Apotek for when I go back.
    This looks like a fantastic way to explore the city!I visited earlier this year, but I am embarrassed to say the only thing on your tour that we tried was the hotdog!! I better go back!!
    Despite food normally being one of my favourite things about travel, in Iceland I nearly did not explore it at all. The whole trip turned out quite pricey and I had a tight budget, and unfortunately food was the one expense that was easiest to cut. I had looked into food tours to get a good glimpse and taste of the Icelandic cuisine, but all those I found were still over my budget. I am very happy I made it to Iceland and was able to see that beautiful country, but I really feel like by not properly enjoying the food scene I have missed out on such a big portion of the place.Well... at least I can get Skyr in Sweden, so there is one thing from your list that I actually tasted! :) But the sight of the cheese and the smked meat really made me realize I did miss out during that trip. I hope to have the possibility to go back with more budget one day!
    This food walk looks so interesting specially to know the local cuisine and perspective. I particularly loved cheese and ice cream since I am vegan. But all the pics are awesome
    I had no idea about the food in Iceland before reading your post. The meat soups sounds lovely and as much as I would love to try the crab one I'll have to skip due to my selfish allergy. The rye bread ice cream is very intriguing! I have heard about skyr before but never tried it. I guess I have to fly to Reykjavik and do a food tour now, as I am a big foodie.
    Love Food walks. Here in Mumbai we do almost every month it's so much fun.Apricot chocolate mousse sounds delicious :)
    I really want to visit Iceland for hundreds of reasons, and the food was never one of them! How wrong I was. This looks amazing!

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