Do you know how to make a hot dog? You’re probably giving me a strange look, thinking “Of course! Who doesn’t know how to make a hot dog! It’s basically the simplest thing ever”. Well, maybe my question isn’t the right one. Do you know how to make a DELICIOUS hot dog? That’s a different debate. Hot dogs might be simple, and when done properly, they are a tasty, savory treat. Today, we’re here to discover Iceland’s world famous hot dogs. Also known as the country’s unofficial favorite food and a national treasure.

Iceland's hot dogs are its unofficial national food

In Iceland, we have our own special way of making hot dogs. Ingredients vary and make them mouth-watering and unique. Once you get a taste, you’ll keep wanting more. In Iceland, you can forget about the New Year’s resolution of losing, weight. January is one of the coldest months of the year, and we need some calories to keep our bodies going. The remoulade and the onions are more than welcome!

Icelandic Hot Dogs – The Ingredients

From travel forums to blog posts and articles about Iceland, everyone talks about them. Recommendations are everywhere: try the hot dogs! But, what’s behind all this food-related chatter? Let’s find out!

The Bun

I’ll be honest, there’s nothing extremely magical about the bun. Like many hot dogs around the world, it’s soft and spongy yet strong enough to hold all the toppings and the condiments that make this Icelandic treat, a great one. We heat them in steam for a few seconds until it is light and soft.

The Sausage

Now things get a little more interesting. The flavor of the meat is crucial when it comes to a hot dog, and our Icelandic version is no different. The hot dog sausages are mainly made from Icelandic lamb along with beef and pork.

Icelandic sheep are free-range, so they grow wild and worry-free. If you have ever visited Iceland, you will notice that all across the country there are sheep and lambs wandering everywhere (even on the Ring Road). They graze in our green, fresh pastures so everything they eat is natural and right from the fields to their tummy. That means that the final product is meat of a superior quality of strong and intense flavor.

The Condiments and Toppings

We need to find the perfect companions for a succulent sausage. In Iceland, we have plenty to choose from: raw onion, crispy fried onions, ketchup, Pylsusinnep, and remoulade. Or maybe you don’t even have to choose, have them all!

Remoulade is like ambrosia to me. It’s a sauce made of relish mixed with mayonnaise, and it’s absolutely delicious — the perfect touch for our Icelandic treat. Pylsusinnep translates to “hot dog mustard,” but it’s unlike any mustard you’ve ever tried, from ingredients to consistency. The sweet, brown, concoction is a mix of mustard powder, beer, and honey among other ingredients. Its flavors go perfectly with everything in the bun.

Get one of Iceland's famous hot dogs

What about some extra crunchiness? Well, crispy fried onions to the rescue! I love to hear the sound of crunchy onions when I bite that spongy bread. I wouldn’t have it any other way! Now, it’s time for a little controversy. Many people do not like raw onion, but I promise that in this case, you will love it! Each ingredient provides the perfect balance to the Icelandic hot dog; every single condiment plays its own role. Just give it a go, if you don’t like it, that’s fine. Thank God they are one of the most affordable foods in Iceland. You can just order one without raw onion, and either way, I bet that you will love it.

Icelandic Hot Dogs – Where and How to order them

Luckily, hot dogs can be found just about anywhere in Iceland. For many of us, it is comfort food. Winters are cold. Wind is constantly blowing across the country. Heading to a hot dog stand and having a bit of cheap yet high quality, delicious food is just absolute happiness to me. It always hits the spot.

There are plenty of hot dogs stands in Iceland. We call them Pylsur in plural or Pylsa when referring to just one hot dog. These stands are easy to spot as there is usually a queue there. Besides hot dog stands, you can also purchase them at any gas station, and they taste as good as anywhere else. On our small Nordic island, gas stations serve up some really appetizing food at great prices; among them, our beloved Pylsur.

The most famous hot dog stand in Iceland is located in downtown Reykjavik. It’s called Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which literally means the best hot dogs in town. This stand has been serving hot dogs since 1937, and many celebrities have visited it. Its most notorious visitor was Bill Clinton. The whole world witnessed that historical moment when he commented on how good these hot dogs were.

When ordering a hot dog, you can choose each ingredient separately, but the best way to try an Icelandic hot dog is having one with everything. If you are adventurous enough, you can try ordering that in Icelandic. Just say Ein með öllu! (sort of like “an meth alt”). Everybody will understand what you mean, and locals will love the fact that you attempted to speak Icelandic.

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur has the best hot dogs in Reykjavik

Icelandic Hot Dogs – A Great Way to Save Some Bucks

As I mentioned before, hot dogs in Iceland are one of the cheapest dishes one can find across the country. The price is around 350 ISK or $2.97. They usually come in combos as well, so you can have a hot dog and a soda for approximately 500 ISK, or around $4.25.

I know that hot dogs are not a whole, complete meal but if you feel like having a light snack, or even a light dinner, you can save a lot of money compared to any restaurant in Iceland. No wonder why it has become Iceland’s unofficial national dish. Local and visitors love it equally.

The World Famous Icelandic Hot Dogs

No visit to Iceland is complete without having a bite of one of its most famous dish. They are available all year round; you can have them the way you want. Whether you’re on a budget or not doesn’t really matter. You absolutely have to have one! I don’t know if they are the best hot dogs in the world, but they are definitely great. Verði þér að góðu! Enjoy your meal!

 

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