Iceland is no place for vegetarians let me tell you that. Infact there can be times when you won’t find a single restaurant or even a gas station. We did take some food and protein bars from New York as a backup not knowing it will come to our rescue the minute we land.
After collecting our car rental from Keflavik airport we got to know restaurants in Reykjavik don’t open before 10 am (on weekends) and it was only 8 am then! That’s when we decided to dig up the food stock we had with us. Once we reached Reykjavik first thing we did was shop some groceries at Bonus – a supermarket chain in Iceland. You can find everything from fresh fruits/veggies to soup packets to canned food to some nice Icelandic dark chocolates 🙂
- Bring your own stock of some instant food – you will need it incase you don’t find a restaurant just when you want.
- All hotels usually provide free breakfast – make sure to have a good breakfast that keeps you full until lunch
- Soup is an integral part of Icelandic cuisine (thanks to the cold weather!). Make sure to ask for soup of the day wherever you eat. Even gas stations usually serve hot soups.
- There quite a few SUBWAY, Quiznos and McDonald’s all around Iceland.
- Pizza and hot dogs are very popular in Iceland. In fact we had one of the best veg pizza in Hofn.
- Reykjavik and Akureyri are the biggest 2 cities in Iceland where you can find a lot of other cuisines other than Icelandic.
Bakarameistarinn Bakery, Reykjavik
It had been more than 10 hours since we had a proper meal and the aroma of fresh bread and cake here was all the more enticing. We ordered omelette with some fresh straight-out-of-the-oven bread and fresh coffee. This kept us pretty full until our Silfra snorkeling trip.
Hotel Skogafoss Bistro Bar
We didn’t find any restaurants near Thingvellir National Park so lunch was some chickpeas and salad from our stocked up food. Situated right by Skogafoss waterfall, this hotel has awesome views with good ambience. We ordered Lamb soup, Broccoli soup, Arctic Char, Lamb chops and Pasta. It was the most delicious lamb we ever had. Locals attribute it to the nutrient rich grass from the volcanos that the sheep graze on! Everything was pretty good except pasta which was very bland!
Soups, in particular lamb soup, are an integral part of Icelandic cuisine available at every single restaurant. We ordered lamb soup, pumpkin soup, veg burger and a lamb entree. Everything was delectable especially the veg burger – much needed after our 3 hour glacier hike!
Much needed lunch after glacier hiking
Hofn town has ample restaurants, we must have seen atleast 10 which was pretty good by Iceland standards 🙂 We picked Pakkhus as it was pretty close to our hotel saving us some time coz dinner was going to be followed by Aurora borealis hunt! Read about our experience of Northern lights here.There is a lounge downstairs which is pretty decked up with antique lanterns, wooden furniture and giant sized playing cards that we played while waiting for our table to be ready.
Located right by the Hofn bay, the decor consists of recycled wood and antiques. If you are a vegetarian make sure to order their veg pizza, one of the best I have had in a long time! Also ordered langoustine (lobster) soup a delicacy of this restaurant. You cannot leave Pakkhus without having their special dessert Skyr Volcano.
Alta Cafe, Borgafjordur Estyri
After our unsucessful attempt to have reindeer meat in Egilsstaðir we came to Alta cafe – the only restaurant in Borgafjordur, a town of 70 people! It is known for unlimited serving of Fish/Veg soup served with bread. The bread is served on stone plates! Nice place and friendly staff – they gave us a lot of pointers on nearby hikes and best place to go in search of northern lights.