Iceland: An Update

Back in 2012, when we took our two week vacation in Iceland doing the Ring Road, there wasn’t a whole lot of English-language food information on the web, so the various reviews I wrote in my set of Iceland Reviews still get quite a few hits. But, since 2012, the traveling world continues to discover Iceland, indeed, in 2015 almost twice as many tourists visited Iceland as in 2012, and it’s shifted from “terra incognita” into “interesting Transatlantic Stopover”. And heck, in the summer of 2016, no few than 10 of my friends and colleagues visited Iceland, including several visiting at the same time I was passing through. And our exploration gave us a great chance to try out some new places and see some new sights, like swimming in the North Atlantic (really!) at Nauthólsvík, seeing the new Harpa convert call, and even checking in on some food favorites like Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur.

Meanwhile, while many favorites remain, the culinary landscape has changed as well, so I figured it was time for a bit of an update. In addition to my recent reviews, for Reykjavik, I have a few updates:

  1. While the neighborhood around it has seen a tremendous amount of development, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is still the place in Reykjavik to score a proper hot dog.
  2. Grái Kötturinn remains a godsend for the inbound international traveler, serving up hearty breakfasts to travelers well before most other places in Reykjavik open up.
  3. Reykjavik Roasters remains one of my favorite coffee shops anywhere in the world.
  4. Sjávargrillið is still serving up some excellent upscale Icelandic fare with some great seafood.
  5. One sea changed I noticed is that while Reykjavik didn’t really have a laundromat in 2012, they do now. And it’s now a cafe as well.
  6. Rub 23 has closed their Reykjavik location. Their Akureyri location remains open and popular.
  7. Noodle Station, who provided some quite inspired Laotian noodle bowls upon our arrival back in Reykjavik, is no longer operating their restaurant just down from Hallgrimskirkja. However, they are still operating their Hafnarfjörður location. However, aside from driving by it on the bus, that’s likely outside most tourists’ travels. Still, glad to see they are still around in one form or another.
  8. Tapas Húsið has closed, and the location has since held several unsuccessful restaurants. For those still looking for Icelandic-inspired tapas dining, Tapas Barinn downtown is still alive and well.

For the rest of Iceland, I got a few travel updates from my high school friend Shane Barnhill, who did a 2016 Trip to Iceland that you can read about that was similar to (and at times inspired by) my 2012 trip. From his updates, I can give a few more updates to the culinary sights of greater Iceland:

  1. Brynja is still serving up some excellent Iceland soft serve ice cream in Akureyri.
  2. The Vogafjós Cowshed Cafe remains an excellent little inn and restaurant in the Myvatn region.
  3. Gamli Bærinn remains another fine pub in the Myvatn region.
  4. Humarhöfnin in Hofn remains a great place for langoustines, although Shane prefered nearby Pakkhus.

In other words, in Greater Iceland, most of the culinary sites are still there, and still quite good, and Shane discovered a few new places. If you are planning an extended Iceland trip, his writeup is a good reference.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply