Eating out in Iceland is not usually a budget option, except for take-out foods like hot dogs, burgers, and fish & chips. For those of us who would like to eat well and affordably, here are some ways to save on food in Reykjavik.
Note: This article is part of our budget travel guide to Iceland.
The Icelandic supermarket will be your best friend if you really want to keep your food costs down. Kronan and Bonus are both discount chains that can feed you for just a few dollars a day.
If your hotel or hostel has kitchen facilities, consider at least a few meals that you can cook yourself, and then you’ll have a little extra left over for the nights you do want to go out. Shopping at the supermarket lets you taste local Icelandic specialties like fish and lamb without shelling out a small fortune. And don’t leave the market without picking up a few types of licorice candy, the local sweet treat that everyone loves!
Reykjavik cheap eats
The prices at restaurants and bars in Reykjavik can add up quickly, but here are some budget options:
- For a delicious local delicacy at a good price, try a bowl of lobster soup at Saegreifinn
- For a hearty and healthy lunch along the main drag in Reykjavik, Glo serves up delicious salads and sandwiches.
- Food halls offer a fun, affordable way to eat out in Reykjavik. You’ll find everything from fish and chips to lamb burgers at Grandi Matholl and Hlemmer Matholl (a renovated bus station).
- Pop into Brauð & co for delicious (and affordable) organic pastries that are so good they usually sell out before the end of the day.
- The student cafe, Háma, at the University of Iceland is a good spot for lunch with daily specials for under $10.
- Coffee shops we like include Reykjavik Roasters and the classic Mokka that’s been serving espresso since 1958.
- For a hot dog, try Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a very popular stand in the center of town that has been open for decades.
Iceland is famous for consuming large quantities of beer — and the even larger price tags that come with those pints. Taxes on alcohol are off the charts, and a beer can easily set you back $10. However, there are several excellent happy hour deals around town. If you love good beer, check out Skúli Craft Bar during happy hour where you can sip local brews at the outdoor picnic tables. There’s also an app, Appy Hour Reykjavik, that you can download to find the nearest (and cheapest) cocktail.
Even though Iceland is tiny (about 350,000 population), the music scene has produced an impressive number of world-famous acts from Björk to Sigur Rós and GDRN. The nightlife scene is hopping with dance clubs with DJs, bars that get packed on the weekend (like Kaffibarinn), and plenty of live music venues as well as numerous festivals throughout the year like Iceland Airwaves that draw fans from around the world.
The Reykjavik Grapevine offers detailed listings for movies, music, performing arts, and much more. You can pick up a copy around town or check their website before you hit the town.
Our guide to budget travel in Iceland
Read more in our guide to saving in Iceland:
- Airfare: Finding cheap flights from the US
- When to go to Iceland
- Budget hotels in Reykjavik
- Renting a car in Iceland
- Bus tours from Reykjavik
- Budget tips for visiting Reykjavik
The post Reykjavik cheap eats: Save on restaurants, cafes and bars appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.
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