Eating and Drinking on a Budget in Iceland: A Cost-Saving Guide

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Have you ever wondered if it’s cheap to eat and drink in Iceland? With its stunning landscapes and unique culture, Iceland is a bucket-list destination for many travelers. However, the cost of living in Iceland can be higher than many expect. In this article, we’ll explore the options for food and drink in Iceland and give you some tips on how to keep it affordable.

Food Costs in Iceland

Let’s start with the basics: food costs in Iceland. As Iceland is an island, many products need to be imported, which drives up the prices. For instance, a meal at a mid-range restaurant can average around 3,500 – 4,500 ISK (Icelandic Krona) per person, which is equivalent to 25 – 30 USD. This price can vary depending on the restaurant you go to, but in general, eating out in Iceland is relatively expensive.

If you’re on a budget, you can opt for fast food places that offer burgers or hot dogs. These can cost around 600 – 800 ISK (4 – 6 USD) per meal. Another option is to buy groceries and prepare your meals at your accommodation. Groceries in Iceland can be expensive, but it’s still cheaper than eating out every day. Prepare a simple sandwich or salad and take it with you on your adventures.

Drink Costs in Iceland

When it comes to drinking in Iceland, the options can be limited. Iceland has strict regulations on where and when alcohol can be sold. The price of beer and wine can vary depending on the location, but in a restaurant, a pint of beer can cost around 1,000 – 1,200 ISK (7 – 8 USD). This can be a steep price if you’re drinking more than one or two beers.

Another option is to purchase alcohol at the state-run liquor stores. The prices here are slightly cheaper than in bars or restaurants, but still higher compared to other countries.

Tips for Keeping Food and Drink Costs Down

Despite the high costs, there are ways to keep your food and drink costs down while in Iceland. Here are a few tips:

  • Look for happy hour specials at bars and restaurants. This can save you a significant amount of money on drinks.
  • Buy groceries and prepare your meals at your accommodation. This can be a cheaper option than eating out every day.
  • Opt for fast food places that offer burgers or hot dogs. These can be cheaper than restaurants.
  • Bring your own snacks and water with you on your adventures. This can save you from buying expensive snacks at tourist spots.
  • Choose a hotel or guesthouse that offers free breakfast. This can help you save money on your morning meal.
  • Visit supermarkets like Bonus or Kronan for cheaper prices on groceries.


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