By Expedia Local Expert, on March 24, 2017

Foodie forays in Reykjavik & beyond

With stand-out delicacies like fermented shark, sour ram’s testicles, and sheep heads, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of room for those who haven’t grown up with these more…adventurous… flavors. But beyond the dishes that garner the most attention there is a vibrant food scene full of exciting cuisine that still pays tribute to Iceland’s culinary heritage.

For foodies looking for things to do in Reykjavik, there’s plenty to find if you’re willing to look. Visit picture-perfect farms raising grass-fed lamb and fresh produce, tuck into world-class creations at award-winning restaurants, and explore the bounty of the sea with a delicious variety of fish, from flaky cod to delicate halibut.

City Walk & Food Tasting

Get a lay of the land as you head into town with a knowledgeable guide to check out Reykjavik’s sights and learn about Iceland’s history, from settlement to city. Enjoy sweeping views from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja church, brush up on the island’s volcanic past at City Hall, and then head to a pub in Old Harbour to take a tastebud tour with tapas-style treats. From succulent bites of lamb to freshly caught fish, bites of the country’s best fare pair perfectly with glasses of locally made beers. It’s the perfect place to continue chatting about Iceland’s past and get tips on other places to eat. If your time is limited or you’re feeling a bit hangry, skip the city walk and join up with Reykjavik Sightseeing to jump right to the food.

Smoked salmon and bread on a table in Reykjavik

Golden Circle Farms

Leave the city behind with Gray Line Iceland and embark on a tasting tour of the Golden Circle, the name given to the route that passes around Iceland’s rugged perimeter. Pass through harsh volcanic landscapes of black rock, cruise past sprawling pasturelands dotted with grazing sheep, and check out dramatic headlands and coastal areas. Along the way, pop into a dairy farm to try yogurt-like skyr served alongside homemade bread, roast beef, and river trout. Enjoy bruschetta and tomato schnapps at an organic farm, and cap off your day with adventurous bites of dried fish, followed up by smoked lamb, and sweet tooth-satisfying servings of pancakes with whipped cream, rhubarb jelly, and honey.

Plate of pancakes and preserves in Reykjavik

Olgerdin Brewery

Open since 1913, Olgerdin Brewery is the oldest in Iceland and they’ve spent the last 100 years perfecting their best recipes, plus adding a few new ones along the way. Taste their finest creations as you team up with an experienced guide from Gray Line Iceland and head inside for a spirited tour sure to warm you up on even the coldest days. Sip sweet glasses of mead made from local honey, compare frothy pints of dark ales and light lagers, and take a shot of Brennivin, the potent herbal schnapps that still carries the nickname ‘black death’ because of the skull that once graced its black-and-white label.

Men toasting with beer on the Reykjavik Guided Food Walking Tour

Kopar Restaurant

Explore Iceland’s finer side with a delicious dinner at Kopar. Let Special Tours make all the arrangements at this award-winning restaurant keen on elevating the country’s rustic fare to the highest level of international dishes. From delicate scallops with dill cream and salmon roe to blue ling with a lobster-infused sauce, let each dish lead you through Iceland’s tastes in a serene environment overlooking the Atlantic with views of the Esja mountain range nearby.

Outside dining at Kopar Restaurant in Reykjavik

Catch of the Day

Why let the fisherman have all the fun? Cut out the middle man and get an up-close look at the country’s maritime heritage as you head out to sea with Special Tours to cast your line into the deep blue waters of the Atlantic. Climb aboard a classic Icelandic fishing trawler and help setup your line to fish for cod, catfish, Pollock, and halibut. When you’ve landed your day’s catch, hand it over to the ship’s chef and let them turn your keepers into a memorable meal, served right on the boat surrounded by the open sea.

What will be your first bite of Icelandic cuisine in Reykjavik?