Exploring Icelandic Cuisine: What to Eat in Iceland

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Are you planning a trip to Iceland and wondering what type of food you will find there? Iceland may not be known for its food, but there are many unique and delicious dishes to try. In this article, we will explore traditional Icelandic cuisine and the foods that should be on your list when visiting Iceland.

The history of Icelandic cuisine

Icelandic cuisine has been shaped by the island’s extreme climate, harsh geography and isolation. For centuries, Icelanders have relied heavily on fishing and farming to survive. The harsh conditions and limited resources led to the creation of unique preservation methods, such as fermenting, smoking, and drying, which are still used in Icelandic kitchens today.

What food do you eat in Iceland?


Since Iceland is an island surrounded by the North Atlantic, seafood is a staple in Icelandic cuisine. You can find various types of seafood dishes in Iceland, from traditional fish stew called plokkfiskur to grilled fish like hákarl, which is fermented shark that has a pungent smell and strong flavor. Other popular seafood dishes include lobster soup, smoked salmon, fish and chips, and langoustine.


Icelandic lamb is known for its tenderness and unique taste, due to the animal grazing on wild herbs and grasses. It is a must-try when visiting Iceland. Another popular meat dish is the Icelandic hot dog or pulsa which is made from lamb, beef, and pork and is served with crispy onions, ketchup, and mustard.

Dairy Products

Icelanders are known for their love of dairy products, whether it’s skyr, a type of yogurt that is high in protein and low in fat, or Brennivín, a traditional Icelandic liquor made from potatoes and flavored with caraway seeds. You can also find various types of cheeses and ice creams in Iceland which are made from fresh milk produced by Icelandic cows and sheep.

Breads and Sweets

Icelanders love their pastries, and you will find many bakeries in Iceland that make fresh bread and pastries daily. Try the cinnamon swirls called kanelbullar or pullanteri, a traditional Icelandic sweet bread that is flavored with cardamom. You can also try rúgbrauð, a traditional Icelandic rye bread that is baked in the ground.


Iceland may not be known for its cuisine, but it offers many unique and delicious dishes that are worth trying. From fresh seafood to Icelandic lamb, skyr to pastries, Iceland has something for everyone. So, when planning your trip to Iceland, make sure to add these traditional Icelandic foods to your list of things to try.

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