Reykjavik Food Walk-- Is it Worth It? (Iceland)
Updated: Jun 19
Yes it is and I'll tell you why...
This was our delightful, informative, friendly, easy-going guide, Dagur Larusson. I don't know the other guides, but if you want to guarantee yourself a great food tour, request him! Dagur has been leading food tours here since 2021. The crowd of people behind Dagur are the 13 in our small group--we met people from Nashville, a newlywed couple from Germany, a family in the US military traveling around and a couple where the wife teaches at the high school I attended in Santa Clarita, CA (what a coincidence)! Everyone was outgoing, friendly and fun, and having conversations, getting to know new folks, hearing what they have already done in Iceland and others telling what they plan to do, just enhanced the experience of our own trip.
Our tour hit 5 restaurants, all on foot, all easy, short walks. At each restaurant, they had been phoned ahead to expect us and a private table was set in an unpopulated area of the restaurant, in anticipation of our arrival. Each time we finished at a restaurant, Dagur went to pay the bill and call the next place to let them know we were on our way.
I understand the organization has 10 restaurants they rotate through, but each tour only sees 5.
Here was our itinerary:
Address: Skólavörðustígur 14
- Lobster tacos on chickpie with date puree, picled red onion, lime and permesan
These were my favorite food of the day. Langoustine tacos made the most unusual way. They were tempura battered and oh my gosh. LOVE LOVE LOVE
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur 🌭 Address: Tryggvagata 1
- Icelandic hot dog with Icelandic ketchup, Icelandic mustard, remoulade sauce, deep fried onion and raw onion
This is my son Rhys (above) and my daughter Meghan (below). The Icelandic hot dog is NOT pork or beef but famous for being made from lamb. They were delicious. Our guide recommended we order with everything (apparently NOT the Bill Clinton way and he slighted the Icelandic people by having just 2 things on his dog). It didn't look great...but tasted awesome.
Address: Lækjargata 6
- Arctic char baked in honey, butter and lemon with cherry tomatoes and almonds
- Plokkfiskur: boiled code mashed with potatoes, onion, garlic, celery, lime, white wine, cream and butter
- Icelandic rye bread with butter
I've been wondering about 'Arctic Char' because it shows up on EVERY menu for EVERY Icelandic restaurant...so I was hoping I'd like it. Turns out it's a relative of salmon, which I LOVE! 🎉 The skin has a yellow tinge. You can't actually see my char in the photo below as it is hidden by the lime, but the honey, peppery marinade they used...oh my, one of my favorite dishes of the tour. The fish mash...not so much. It was made of cod and tasted like tunafish. My daughter and others loved it. Oh, the rye bread...was like rye cake....yum!
Íslenski Barinn 🍲🦈🍺 Address: Ingólfsstræti 1a
- Traditional Icelandic meat soup
- Fermented shark
- Einstök White Ale
I forgot to get a picture of the meat soup. It was tasty. Made with lamb. Nothing particularly extraordinary for me.
The fermented shark is an experience! It comes in a little char to contain the stink of the 3-6 months formation. Pieces were cut like cheese cubes and administered with a toothpick. Dagur counted us down, we all said 'skol' (cheers), ate our shark, had to chew it 5 times. Some chased it with a vodka shot, others with orange juice. it smelled worse than it tasted, but I won't be having it again. The Icelandic people eat it once a year to honor the traditions of the old ways they had to eat.
Café Loki 🍨🍞
Address: Lokastígur 28
- Kleina Icelandic Pastry & Coffee with rye bread ice cream
This was a delicious way to close the tour. I needed a cup of coffee since our overnight flight landed in Reykjavik at 6:30am and our tour began at 11:30am.
Rye bread ice cream. Sounds weird right? My daughter Meghan actually had some last year in Ireland, so it's clearly a 'thing' in Europe. It was super good. I finished mine. The Kleina pastry, I only took a single bite of. It didn't warrant the bread calories.
There you have it. The Reykjavik Food Walk, a great way to orient yourself to the city.
I should tell you that someone on TikTok highly recommended this tour which is why I booked it.
The real reason is that I knew we'd be tired the day we landed in Reykjavik...too tired to figure out the city, too tired to figure out food for the day. I strategically though the food walk would:
1) wake us up after our flight
2) feed us 8 hours after our last airplane meal
3) orient us to the city by walking through it with an expert
4) get to ask questions of the knowledgable guide
All of which served to solidly ground the beginning of our trip.
I'll keep you posted in other posts about the rest of our Iceland adventure.