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Reykjavik trip report: 6+ days from hot dogs to chef's menus...


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Reykjavik trip report: 6+ days from hot dogs to chef's menus...

kukubura | Nov 23, 2012 04:50 PM

I wanted to report back on 6+ really great days in Reykjavik. We definitely fell in love with Iceland and had a lot of fun wander, exploring and nibbling our way through. We were there the first week of November so the days were getting a little short and we had a couple of days of brutal wind, but the harsh weather added to the stark beauty of the landscape. Seriously, is there a more amazing environment than Iceland?

Three quick notes: Some of our food-related activities were actually part of research that my wife is doing for an article so I'll be leaving them out. My completist nature is going crazy but that's the name of the game when you're tagging along with a pro!

Secondly, while we were expecting to try whale, puffin, hakarl, etc… when it actually came time to eat we ended up bypassing a lot of the "weird" stuff, not because we were grossed out but because it just didn't feel right. We heard multiple locals downplay whale and read that the majority of Icelanders are against whaling on ethical grounds regardless of the endangerment status of the minke whale and we don't travel to places to do things that the locals specifically are against. As for hakarl, every time I almost ordered it I decided that I wanted to eat things that taste GOOD not BAD. We probably would have ordered puffin if it was in season but it wasn't. Anyway, not knocking anyone who orders these things, just pointing out that we didn't.

Finally… eating in Iceland is EXPENSIVE! I mean, everyone tells you that it will be but that doesn't lessen the surprise! But within that the bigger surprise is that the expensive meals are often more "reasonable" than the cheap ones. Meaning, $240 is obviously more money than $60, but $240 for a multi-hour, multi-course chef's menu with amuse, cocktails, wine pairings, etc is a lot easier to justify than $60 for two soups and two beers. But either way, prepare to drop some coinage! We were hoping to find more "neighborhood" joints, maybe that served old-schoool favorites like sheepshead or blood pudding, but we didn't find anything like that, even after asking around. I'm guess that sort of food is cooked at home or is served outside of the city. The fast food restaurant in the bus station servers sheepshead but nothing else on the menu looked interesting to my wife so we skipped it. But I'd like to hear from someone who went there.

Even so, it was all worth it since the food was great.

Ok, on to the report (I'll try to keep it brief since I tend to go on, but I think it's already too late!)

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