I love me some good food. Seriously, #AllIDoIsEat! Eating delicious food is a big part of what I do on holidays and it plays a HUGE role on where I choose to visit. I heard from a few people that the food in Iceland is absolutely amazeballs and I knew that I wanted to try to knock seeing the northern lights and dog sledding off my bucket list, so after extensive research, I chose Iceland as my winter 2015 destination. I was told that there were three must eat restaurants in Reykjavik so I made reservations for Fish Market and Grill Market (both came highly recommended by those I trusted to have excellent tastes). I was also able to squeeze in a dinner at Höfnin thanks to our flight back home being delayed because of Winter “Storm” Juno hitting NYC. They were all belly bursting delicious, but there were many other delightful meals that definitely deserve attention.
Sandhold Artisan Bakery & Coffee House
There is a coffee fiend living inside of me and she heard that Iceland had some great coffee so you know I had to find a coffee shop near my hotel to calm the beast when she wakes up in the morning! I decided on Sandhold because, well, not many places near our hotel was open early in the morning. That was really the only deciding factor, but boy, was I happy with the decision. The atmosphere was super cute and the seats were comfy with huge fluffy pillows. The servers were friendly and fast, coffee was hot and tasty, croissants were SOOOO buttery and flaky, their homemade raspberry jam was addicting and the BF claims that they had THE BEST DONUT IN THE WORLD. Nothing makes the coffee fiend go to sleep for the rest of the day like a good cup of espresso, cozy cafes and scrumptious baked goods. We were such fans, we went back the next morning instead of bothering with the other cafes I had planned on checking out.
There is no better recommendation than a local’s recommendation so I didn’t hesitate to ask our hotel concierge where he likes to eat in Reykjavik. He told us of Snaps, his “favorite restaurant”. Can I just say that Snaps that the best MFing mussels I have ever had in the history of ever? It was so fresh and that sauce, oh my gawd, that sauce. We also had the french onion soup (perfect for a cold winter day), calamari fritti (batter was too heavy for my palate) and the club sandwich with fries (the BF just wanted a light dinner. He finished the whole thing. light dinner FAIL).
There is no amount of words I can say to express how much I loved this little hole in the wall named Noodle Station, but I will try my very best. It was a cold and rainy winter day when the BF and I decided to explore the city of Reykjavik. We spotted a tall phallic building off in the distance (Iceland has quite an… interest… in phallic imagery) we recognized as Hallgrímskirkja. I was walking towards the Lutheran Church, hoping that it would provide me with some much needed warmth and shelter from the brutal Icelandic wind and rain, when my nose caught a scent in the air that I can only describe as heaven. I decided that having the knowledge of who was serving this dish was is my destiny and I vowed to never give up searching for the source of this divine fragrance. When I spotted the red and yellow sign for Noodle Station, I KNEW I had reached my destination. It was as if Edesia (Greek Goddess of food) herself was standing there, opening the door for me to enter this fine establishment. Upon entrance, I was greeted with a warm humid air that begged me to remove my heavy winter coat and worn down bar stools to rest my cold, tired legs. Out of the three noodle soup choices, beef chicken and veggies, I chose the chicken soup and the BF chose the beef soup. The gentle lad holding a beautiful ladle asked if we would like our soup spicy (yes!) and topped the bowl with fried scallions, green onions, chillies and minced peanuts. To make the already long story a tad bit shorter, IT WAS THE BEST ASIAN NOODLE SOUP I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE! Maybe it was the warmth it provided me when I most needed it, or maybe it was some brainwashing scent technique, or maybe it was really that good. All I know its, I went back for another bowl the next day, when I wasn’t cold and tired of walking, and it was still the best damn noodle soup I have ever had.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Supposedly, this humble hot dog stand is the “The Icelandic National Food” and a must eat spot in Reykjavik. I’m not a fan of mystery meats other than spam (give me a break, I was raised in Hawai’i!) but the BF loves them, so I knew we had stop by during our tour. He stood in line to order one while I took pictures of these cute little birds begging for a crumb. He got his hot dog with “the works” and took one bite then handed me the uneaten portion and insisted that I try just one bite before getting back in line. Living by the golden rule, “when in Rome”, I took that one bite and understood why he went back in line. He knew that was not getting this hot dog back from me so he went to buy a new one (or two) for himself! I don’t know if I have enough hot dog street cred to have the right to be able to recommend this place, but don’t listen to me. Listen to Anthony Bourdain! He’s been here and I heard he loved it.