Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is a haven for food lovers. If you’re planning to embark on one of the fantastic Northern Lights holidays that include a couple of days in the city, you’ll be blown away by the gastronomic delights on offer.
In an interesting twist, when (in 2009) the country was at the mercy of bankruptcy and the economy suffered greatly, it meant that imports of expensive food were no longer possible, so the people of Iceland had to look closer to home for their ingredients. This was no bad thing, however, and the creative culinary offerings you’ll encounter today include diverse ingredients like Arctic char, blue mussels, lamb, and herbs such as sorrel.
While experts are saying that it’s a great time to be a farmer or a chef in Iceland, to be a diner is the ultimate experience!
Best Foodie Haunts
While visiting Reykjavik on Northern Lights holidays, make sure you head down to the excellent city market, which is definitely the best place to discover some of the country’s most delicious ingredients. You can get everything here – from the notorious pickled lamb’s testicles and fermented shark, to the more conventionally appetizing delicacies like pastries and cheese. Food vendors at the market offer plenty of free tastings and this is a great place to start your culinary tour of the Reykjavik city.
Understandably, seafood is a staple in Iceland, and you’ll be able to sample plenty of fantastic seafood based dishes in the course of your Reykjavik Northern Lights holidays. The capital, however, excels in its range of incredible dining establishments.
Icelandic Fish and Chips is a restaurant that serves up what is (arguably) the best fish and chips in Reykjavik. At this friendly family run establishment, you’ll be treated to sustainably caught fish fried in spelt and barley batter. Depending on the day’s catch, you can enjoy a wide variety of seafood options, accompanied by thick-cut, dill infused fries, the quintessentially Nordic pickled vegetables and plenty of dipping sauces. This is definitely a gastronomic experience not to be missed.
When sightseeing around the city you’re bound to yearn for a coffee break (or two), so Reykjavik Roasters is a great place to head to. Said by locals to serve the best coffee in the country, the owners are international award winners who love their work so much they consider it an art. One of the owners was the only non-Danish person trained to roast beans at the world-famous Coffee Collective, in Denmark.
For traditional Icelandic fare, make your way to Frakkar, where the chefs pride themselves in their authentic cuisine. Here you can taste the specialty of fermented shark, amongst other unusual dishes like whale, puffin, and seal. Boasting a somewhat nostalgic feel, this restaurant reflects what life was once like for the people of Iceland when food was a necessity, not a fashion.
On Northern Lights holidays, the main attraction is, of course, the Lights themselves, but make sure you take the time to experience the culinary delights of the capital city as an added bonus.
Abigail Collins is director of Aurora Nights, who offer a select range of trips to see the Northern Lights. For Northern Lights holidays, Iceland and Swedish Lapland offer an excellent chance to encounter the Aurora Borealis. Aurora Nights is part of Weekend a la Carte, a family-run company passionate about client service, with a vast in-depth knowledge based on extensive travels to region of the Aurora Borealis.
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