6 Of Reykjavik's Cheapest Eats
Updated: Dec 3, 2022
To most North Americans, spending $30.00 on food from a food truck for dinner can seem steep, but in Iceland this is actually one of the better deals. With budget airlines encouraging travellers to use Iceland as an affordable getaway, you may be in for a shock when you sit down for your first meal and realize you’re about to pay double what you would back home. On a budget? Most backpackers and travellers are - I was too. Despite the limited options for affordable dining in Reykjavik, you can still find a way to fill your stomach without emptying your wallet. Here are some of my favourites:
1. Bæjarins Beztu
Almost every tourist site will direct you to Reykjavik’s famous hot dog stand, and for good reason! These hot dogs are lamb-based with pork and beef and are topped with ketchup, sweet mustard and crisp fried onions. You can dine here for around $3.00 CAD, so help yourself to two!
2. Svarta Kaffiđ
This one is a MUST! On a cold day in Reykjavik, nothing hits the spot like a steaming bowl of soup...especially when the bowl is made of fresh bread. They have a limited menu, only one or two soup options, because everything is made fresh, and dining here for one person costs roughly $15.00 - $20.00 CAD. Pair your soup with one of their Icelandic beers and you’ll want to keep coming back for more.
The oldest cafe in Reykjavik, it’s reasonably priced ($15.00 - $20.00 CAD depending on what you order) and even has a delicious vegan burger option (which I enjoyed!) on the diverse menu. It has a classic pub feel and is right in the heart of downtown, making it an easy access stop on your exploration of the city.
4. Fish and Chips Vagninn
This English style chip truck in the Reykjavik harbour region is great bang for your buck. The fish and chips are outstanding and reasonably priced compared to other local options ($18.60 CAD) plus you can enjoy a great view of the ocean while you eat.
5. Icelandic Street Food
This small restaurant downtown had a great vibe and we were even given generous samples by the owner the first time we passed by. Their menu is small but aims to provide a homestyle Icelandic dining experience at an affordable rate for visitors. All recipes belong to the owner’s Grandmother - this is a super authentic dining option that won’t force you to spend too much in one sitting.
6. Eldur Og Is
“Fire and Ice” is a delicious Crepe and Ice Cream shop located in the downtown core. You can have a full meal here by ordering one of their fresh made crepes, or compliment your dinner with a bowl of ice cream and some amazing toppings. Depending on what you order here you might spend anywhere from $12.00 to $20.00 CAD a person...those toppings add up fast.
While I wouldn’t recommend travelling to Iceland specifically for the food, there’s definitely plenty of options to keep you satisfied without going broke during your Icelandic adventure. You're visiting for the unparalleled experience of seeing Iceland's stunning landscapes and hot springs; food is just a necessity along the way, but with these options you can definitely find ways to indulge and enjoy as well. If you have recommendations for other affordable dining options in Iceland, please share them with me - I’d like to go back someday! :)
*Disclaimer* Prices are based on my experience travelling here in 2017.