This week’s Wanderlust Wednesday post has turned into a Travel Thursday post! Let’s call it baby brain! This week I’m continuing our adventures through Iceland with one of the most important parts of travel…the food! One of my favorite things to do in any new country is to dive in and try the local dishes. Based on tripadvisor research & several recommendations from people, we opted to head to dinner at Grillmarkadurinn. It was hidden down an unmarked alley off of the main street, making it very hard to find, but well worth it once we finally stumbled upon it!
2a, Lækjargata, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Our phone’s gps kept telling us we were there, but it was no where to be seen! Finally Ben spotted the little gold emblem on some gates & suggested we explore further.
There was an adorable little outdoor space that was packed with people as we were leaving, but we headed straight in.
Grillmarkadurinn is worth the hunt! The stunning architecture & use of lava rock alone is worth a visit. We were heading out to search for the Northern Lights later that night so we stopped in for dinner at around 6:30pm. This was obviously too early for Icelanders as we were the only ones there! We didn’t have a reservation (TIP: Make a reservation before heading here. They were booked out for the night!), but because we were so early, they let us snag a table before reservations came in!
Right off the bat I was in love with Icelandic food. They brought out a rustic bread with whipped sheep’s butter coated in volcanic salt. Yum! This alone made me go over board buying volcanic salt to bring home. I picked up at least 10 different flavors!
Ben jumped in to try their locally brewed beer. Pretty good!
Now lets dive into the three traditional Icelandic items: Lamb, Puffin, and Minke Whale. I had very mixed feelings about eating things that I like to visit at the Aquarium, but I wanted to get the full experience so we ordered the slider appetizer that had one of each! Lamb I am used to, but find it hard to get in high quality in the US. This one was delicious! Next slider, the puffin tasted like a beef jerky. It was very sweet but tough. Finally, the Minke Whale was almost like an ahi tuna. It had a sushi like consistency and mild taste. We also tried it in a traditional sweet sauce, almost like how we eat bbq wings!
Our final dish was a rack of lamb with a berry sauce & fresh root vegetables grown in geothermal heated green houses. The weather in Iceland is too cold for cows. They do have some cattle, but they have to stay inside barns for 8 months out of the year so lamb is a much more common dish than beef. The lamb here is a much higher quality than any I’ve tried in the US. I can see why they enjoy it so much!
For dessert, we swung by a little donut cart. We had to walk by it every time we walked downtown from our hotel. It always smelled heavenly and had a long line of locals. After dinner we lucked out that the line had died down so we popped by to sample them! I don’t know what makes these Icelandic donuts any different than American ones but standing there in the cold snow, watching the girl roll & fry donuts from scratch was so much fun. Even better once we had the hot, sweet little treats in our hands!