Discover the Best of Icelandic Street Food in Reykjavik

Icelandic Street Food

When you think of Iceland, stunning landscapes and unique natural wonders probably come to mind. However, Reykjavik’s burgeoning street food scene offers another compelling reason to visit the Icelandic capital. This guide will navigate you through the best places to savor Icelandic street food, highlighting what makes each spot special.

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The Evolution of Reykjavik’s Street Food Scene

In recent years, Reykjavik has seen a notable increase in street food offerings. Previously limited to a few food trucks catering to late-night revelers, the scene has blossomed with the advent of permanent food halls and seasonal markets.

Hlemmur Food Hall: A Culinary Hub

Hlemmur Food Hall was the first permanent food hall to establish itself in Reykjavik, opening its doors in August 2017. Located in a former bus terminal, Hlemmur offers an array of culinary delights ranging from fresh Vietnamese spring rolls to upscale charcuterie platters. This indoor market is a perfect spot for travelers to sample diverse cuisines while staying warm.

Hlemmur Food Hall

Grandi Mathöll: Diversity by the Harbor

Following closely on the heels of Hlemmur, Grandi Mathöll opened in June 2018 in the Grandi area near the harbor. This food hall features a variety of stalls, including:

  • Kore: Korean cuisine with an LA twist, offering dishes like spicy fried chicken tacos.
  • Lax: Focused on seafood, serving gin-marinated salmon and ceviche.
  • Fjárhúsið: Specializing in Icelandic lamb steaks.
  • Micro Roast Vínbar: A mini brewery offering local beers.

Grandi Mathöll not only provides great food but also a vibrant atmosphere with occasional live entertainment.

Grandi Mathöll

Box Street Food in Skeifan

Box Street Food is a pop-up market located in Skeifan, a short distance from Reykjavik’s center. Open from Thursday to Sunday, Box Street Food brings together various cuisines, including Filipino, Indian/Mexican, and traditional Icelandic dishes. With a giant TV screen for sports events and live music performances, it’s a lively spot to enjoy diverse street food options.

Hjartagarður Square: Reviving a Historic Spot

Hjartagarður Square, once a popular hangout for street artists, is now a venue for seasonal street food markets and events. Despite the urban development around it, efforts are ongoing to maintain the square’s vibrant atmosphere with food stalls and cultural events.

Iconic Icelandic Street Foods

The Classic Icelandic Hot Dog

A staple of Icelandic street food is the hot dog, best enjoyed at the iconic stand, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. Topped with ketchup, sweet mustard, remoulade, raw onions, and crispy fried onions, these hot dogs are a must-try for any visitor.

The Classic Icelandic Hot Dog

Traditional Icelandic Dishes

For those seeking a taste of traditional Icelandic cuisine, Icelandic Street Food offers meat soup, fish soup, and fish stew. The friendly owners often share samples of fermented shark and shots of Brennivín, providing a truly authentic experience.

Icelandic Fish Soap

Lamb Street Food: Icelandic Meat with a Twist

Lamb Street Food in the Grandi area serves Icelandic lamb with a Moroccan twist. Their menu includes kebabs with fresh salads, dates, apples, and various sauces like mango chili and yogurt dips. The accompanying salad bar features quinoa, seasoned potatoes, carrot salad, mozzarella, and falafels.

Fish and Chips: A British Classic with Icelandic Flair

Though not traditionally Icelandic, fish and chips have become a popular street food option in Reykjavik. These trucks offer fresh, locally caught fish with crispy fries, perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.

Seasonal and Pop-Up Markets

Christmas Markets

During the holiday season, Reykjavik hosts several Christmas markets, where you can enjoy festive street foods and shop for unique gifts. These markets add a magical touch to the city’s winter atmosphere.

Summer Food Markets

In the summer, food markets like Krás Food Market offer a variety of dishes from different vendors. Though Krás is no longer operational, it set the stage for future markets, and new ones continue to emerge each summer.

Food Markets In Iceland

Reykjavik’s street food scene is a dynamic blend of traditional Icelandic flavors and international influences. From permanent food halls like Hlemmur and Grandi Mathöll to seasonal pop-up markets, there’s always something new and exciting to try. Whether you’re a foodie looking for the next big thing or simply seeking a delicious meal, Reykjavik’s street food has something to offer.

Explore the best of Icelandic street food on your next visit to Reykjavik and discover the rich culinary traditions and innovative dishes that make this city a must-visit for food lovers.

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