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Ring Road Restaurant Guide – The Best Food Around Iceland

Fridheimar Farm - the best tomato soup ever! Ring road restaurant guide - Best stops in Iceland | Life With a View

Sometimes Iceland can be known for some pretty unappetizing foods – fermented shark, sheep head, hot dogs! But it’s not all like that, I promise.

You guys are in luck because for the past two years I’ve been on the hunt to find the best restaurants throughout Iceland! And I’m happy to report that I’ve found some pretty delicious places.

Iceland has a cuisine all its own, and that is fresh, local food. You see, this tiny island in the Northern Atlantic either has to use what’s already here, or pay a lot to import foods.

Yes the rumors are true, its expensive – but more than worth it to experience the food culture of this amazing country!

So if you like the sound of fresh fish soup, grass fed lamb, and geothermal baked breads then you will be eating like a king in Iceland!

Friðheimar Farm

Friðheimar is a huge greenhouse that grows tomatoes and cucumbers. Their growing methods are completely sustainable and eco-friendly. This is the ultimate farm-to-table experience, I love the concept of this place!

*Even though Friðheimar isn’t technically on the Ring Road proper, very few people travel around Iceland and don’t drive the Golden Circle. So I decided it deserved a spot on this list!

Do not miss their most popular dish – all you can eat tomato soup served with an assortment of homemade breads. This is not your average tomato soup, this is hands down the most delicious tomato soup I’ve ever tasted! Don’t forget to add fresh basil from the plant on the table. I also like to pair it with their cheese flatbread. They also have a delicious sounding dessert menu, featuring – you guessed it – tomatoes! 

Location: Road 35, Reykholt
Hours: 12-16 daily
Websitehttp://fridheimar.is/en
Reservations: +354 486 8894, essential to book ahead!
Pro tip: Try the Healthy Mary – a twist on the bloody mary – made with green tomato and gin. Sooooooo good!

Fridheimar Farm - the best tomato soup ever! Ring road restaurant guide - Best stops in Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

Suður-Vík

Most people who travel in Iceland will be headed towards the black sand beaches, so this restaurant is perfectly placed!

On top of the hill in Vík you will find an old aluminum house and the parking lot will likely be packed. That’s because Suður-Vík is an amazing place for a meal after a full day of exploring.

They just expanded offering additional seating upstairs and great views towards Reynisfjara beach!

Location: Suðurvíkurvegur 1, Vík
Hours: 12-21
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/Sudurvik
Reservations: +354 487 1515, gets VERY busy in peak season
Pro tip: I love their Thai dishes and pizzas!

Menam guesthouse - Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Stops Around Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

Systrakaffi

The food selection around Kirkjubæjarklaustur is a little slim, but Systrakaffi saves the day. Their menu covers the basics of burgers and pizzas, and stocked with a full bar.

Location: Klausturvegi 13, Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Hours: 12-21
Websitehttp://www.systrakaffi.is
Reservations: +354 487 4848
Pro tip: You have to try an Icelandic favorite – cheese pizza with jam. It’s delicious, I promise!

Systrakaffi in Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Stops Around Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

Humarhöfnin

Humarhöfnin translates to lobster harbour, and is an absolute MUST stop while driving along South-East Iceland.

Humarhöfnin is the langoustine captial of the WORLD, and everything is caught by local fisherman.

I was so impressed by this place – the decor is adorable, the staff is incredibly helpful, and the food is unbelievably delicious!

Location: Hafnarbraut 4, Höfn
Hours: January 15th – December 13th 12 – 21 | December 14th – January 14th closed
Websitehttp://www.humarhofnin.is
Reservations: +354 478 1200
Pro tip: Go all out and get the Grande mix – it’s a lot of food but since the langoustine is so light it”s not too much! If I can do it, you can too 😉 Also the langoustine bisque off the starter menu is out of this world!

Humarhofnin - Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Stops Around Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

Café Nielsen

Café Nielsen is the oldest house in town in the heart of Egilsstaðir, East Iceland.

This is probably one of the cutest places I’ve ever been to! And I can’t even THINK about the reindeer platter without salivating.

Bonus! There’s a nice terrace to enjoy a meal outside in the summer.

Location: Tjarnarbraut 1, Egilsstaðir
Hours: 11:30-23:30 M-F | 13-23:30 S-S
Websitehttp://www.cafenielsen.is
Reservations: +354 471 2626
Pro tip: Without a doubt, you have to try the Reindeer! East Iceland is the only place that reindeer can be found, so it’s best to try it locally. They cover it in wild blueberry sauce and it is TO DIE FOR!

Vogafjós

Vogafjós is my definition of a perfect restaurant – farm to table in North Iceland. Everything they serve is either directly from their farm or locally sourced around Myvatn area.

Dining at Vogafjós isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. You can enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Myvatn, or watch the cows being milked (at 7:30 and 17:30!)

Bonus! Need accommodation? They also a guesthouse!

Location: 11:30-21:30 M-F | 11:30-22 S-S
Hours: 10-21 | Winter hours vary
Websitehttp://www.vogafjos.is/en/restaurant
Reservations: +354 464 3800
Pro tip: You absolutely have to try the lamb shanks for the main entree. It’s SO tender and delicious, and of course local! For dessert do NOT pass up the homemade Geysir bread ice cream

Vogafjos - Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Stops Around Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

 

Bryggjan

If you are looking for a casual meal in a charming location, Bryggjan is your place.

Located right on the harbor in a historic building, the atmosphere is very cozy and relaxed. The service was fantastic.

Americans will feel right at home – with ribs, burgers, and pizza on the menu and 50’s rock playing!

Coming through at lunch? There is a daily pizza buffet for a very reasonable price!

Location: Strandgata 49, Akureyri
Hours: 11:30-21:30 M-F | 11:30-22 S-S
Websitehttp://www.bryggjan.is
Reservations: +354 440 6600
Pro tip: Their fish dishes are delicious, I had the trout served on a bed of potatoes and fresh salad. 

Bryggjan Akureyri - Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Stops Around Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

Hlaðan Kaffihús

The drive from Akureyri to West Iceland (or Westfjords) can get a little slow, and it’s nice to have a place to get out to stretch your legs.

Hlaðan kaffihús in Hvammstangi is a cute little cafe near the harbor. Inside is so cozy and full of vintage decor. You will find the usual coffee and cakes, and a few food items on the menu.

Bonus! Hvammstangi is a very common area to see seals!

Location: Brekkugata 2, Hvammstangi
Hours: 9-21
Websiteon Facebook
Reservations: not needed, +354 451 1110
Pro tip: Their soups are homemade and fresh every day – delicious with bread and Icelandic butter!

Hladan Kaffihus - Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Stops Around Iceland | Life With a Viewsource

 

If you plan ahead, there are plenty of great options for eating in Iceland. I always feel good about the quality of food offering, and without competition from big chains, the cozy atmosphere is always a memorable experience to add to the trip.

Happy eating!

To use this map interactively, click the bracket in the top right corner of the map.


Question: Are any of these places making you hungry?!

 

 

 

 

Pin it for later!

Ring Road Restaurant Guide - The Best Food Around Iceland | Life With a View

Some meals were complimentary in exchange for being part of this guide. No other compensation was received. As always, all opinions are my own!

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  • Emily
    March 6, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    All of this looks so good! Saving for future reference (I really hope I need it one day soon!)

    • Jeannie
      March 7, 2017 at 7:12 am

      Thanks Emily – I hope you need it someday too 😉 Now I’m hungry!

  • Danielle
    March 7, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Well I like the hot dogs – not unappetizing at all! They serve a very good (low cost) purpose 😀

    Halldórskaffi on Víkurbraut 28 in Vik is nice too – or rather, it was the only place still open (serves til 10pm) when I got there and I really enjoyed my meal of Arctic Char 😀

    Speaking of Arctic Char, I had AMAZING char at the Fosshotel in Reykholt way back in 2007 (so I’ve no idea if they still do it) – I didn’t eat a lot of fish then but it was so good and I still talk about it now (as you can see lol)

    • Jeannie
      March 28, 2017 at 9:59 am

      I like the hot dogs goo Danielle! I think they’re better quality here. I have also enjoyed Halldórskaffi, but never eaten at Fosshotel – I’ll have to check that one out!

      • Danielle
        March 28, 2017 at 1:15 pm

        Not sure if they’ll still. Have the same food after all this time so if you go I hope it’s still nice 😀

  • Danielle
    March 7, 2017 at 11:45 am

    I see the hotel is being refurbed and will prob get extra business now from ‘into the glacier’

    p.s. is there a way that the comments boxes retains my spacing and paragraphs – it look so bunched together when I press ‘submit’ & loses the settings

    • Jeannie
      March 28, 2017 at 10:03 am

      It doesn’t keep the spacing in the web format, but in the backend of WordPress (where I answer comments) I can see the formatting. Don’t worry, I always appreciate your comments 😉

  • Sandra crespo
    March 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Wow love your list !!! The lamb chops look amazing 😋 Iceland is on our list ! I am pinning this for reference ❤

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

      I’m getting hungry looking at this list again – LOVE lamb!

  • Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki
    March 7, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Ummm this post is amazing! I never know where to eat when traveling around Iceland, now I want to do the ring road just to visit all of these stops! Thanks for sharing friend.

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Woo hoo, eating is one of the best things about road trips 🙂 Ok, now I’m hungry!

  • Daphne K. Lee
    March 7, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    These look amazing – although I keep hearing about the sky-high pricing in Iceland (like even hot dog is expensive). Will definitely need to save up a bit before heading there to try these dishes!

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Yeah Iceland is very expensive, especially for food. But more than worth it for the nature and scenery!

  • Kay
    March 7, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Very practical, extensive list! I’m pinning it for future reference because now I want to go to Iceland and not just for the scenery. The prices of eating out where I live are also very high, and the food is good, but nothing spectacular. These dishes look like they might be WORTH saving up for. 🙂

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Exactly, Kay! I think eating is a great way to experience the culture – and sometimes just as fun as all the exploring 😉

  • Olivia Thibault
    March 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I don’t know if I could ever eat Reindeer but it sure looked tasty! I love how this post was laid out though with all the details and the contact information for the restaurants. It makes it really easy for someone like me who plans to go to Iceland make a reservation beforehand!

    Awesome post!
    xoxo Olivia
    http://www.ourwanderingmind.com

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Aww, thanks Olivia! That is my whole mission 🙂

  • Krista
    March 8, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    One of my favorite parts about traveling is definitely eating all the fresh, local food. That lamb shank looks so delicious! Thanks for the recommendations!

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Exactly, my favorite part too! Gotta try the local fare 🙂

  • Liliane Fawzy
    March 10, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Love this list! We had difficulties with food in the smaller places but this is a great list! Definitely bookmarking this for another return trip.

    • Jeannie
      March 29, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      Finding food in Iceland can actually be challenging! Especially along the ring road. Happy to help – hope you can get back to Iceland another time 🙂