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Iceland: A bright future for a national cusine

Iceland: A bright future for a national cusine
Image credit: Hotel Ranga
Innovative chefs, cooking with unique local produce, are shaping the future of Iceland's cuisine.

From wild salmon under the Northern Lights to stunning fusion food in Reykjavik, and the world’s best hot dogs, Iceland is a cornucopia of culinary delights.
When people think of Iceland and food, the first things that spring to mind are often whale meat and rotten shark. While these traditional dishes continue to be served, tastes and chefs in the country have developed massively and Iceland is forging its own culinary identity, at home and abroad.
Visitors and locals dine on sparkling fresh seafood, often combined with globally-influenced  cuisine to create original and sumptuous fusion food. Where else does dining out involve overlooking glaciers, rivers and the Northern Lights; eating in Iceland has never been better.
As Arnold Jansen, a Dutchman who has been to Iceland 35 times put it, “Every fish really tastes much better than anywhere else: no pollution, very healthy and very, very fresh.”
Perhaps the most famous place to buy food in Reykjavik is the Bæjarins beztu pylsur, (‘the best hot dog in town’). Most Icelanders have eaten the traditional sausages, which have been on sale here for over 60 years. The Guardian newspaper named Bæjarins beztu as the ‘best hot dog stand in Europe’ in 2006, and Bill Clinton and Metallica are just some of the famous faces who have sampled the pylsur here.
But even more exciting is Iceland’s growing and buzzing restaurant scene. Chefs are really taking advantage of the fantastic produce in Iceland and putting their own twists, with world influences, on great local ingredients.
At the Seafood Cellar, the fresh
Iceland: A bright future for a national cusine
Image credit: Hotel Ranga
fish dishes bear testament. Using classic Icelandic produce such as cod and salmon and then given a uniquely modern, Asian twist. Dishes like Salted Cod “kurllað” and Tuna “purple” are fresh, original, beautifully presented and are full of flavour.
The myriad of wonderful ingredients aside, Iceland has something truly unique to offer - dining in incredibly scenic locations with views of glaciers, volcanoes and lakes accompanying your immensely fresh and beautifully cooked fish and meat.
Take Restaurant 4 at the Hotel Ranga, where you can tuck into wild salmon from the neighbouring River Ranga, one of Iceland’s best salmon rivers, while taking in the spectacular views of Mt. Hekla, volcanoes, glaciers and if you’re lucky - the Northern Lights.
Dining in Iceland can be adventurous, unique as well as sublime, and the rest of the world is now waking up to this, and the talent of the country’s chefs. Agnar Sverrisson is the co-owner and chef at the Michelin-starred Texture restaurant in London. He has brought Icelandic-style cooking and ingredients to one of the culinary capitals of the world. The menu even includes perennial favourite Skyr, a special Icelandic dairy product.
The quality and diversity of Icelandic food is so great that it is surely only a matter of time before Sverrisson’s success is replicated the world over.
If you’d like to find your own Icelandic gems, you can find all the information you need at the official information site for tourism in Iceland - Visit Iceland.
Visit Inspired by Iceland on
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Iceland: A bright future for a national cusine
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28 February 2011
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