Eating in Reykjavik on a Budget
Everyone will tell you how expensive Iceland can be. However, it is possible to eat here relatively cheaply. Here are a few great options we found.
Stop in at the grocery – even if you aren’t able to cook where you are staying. The city is fairly small and there are an abundance of grocers. One that we found to be a great deal is Bonus. For around $25 we were able to grab a few sandwiches, drinks, and snacks for the day. For breakfast, check out skyr or kleinur. Dried fish makes a great, carry-along snack. Their pre-packaged sandwiches were a tasty, cheap lunch. If the weather is a bit dreary, take your food inside at the local hostel.
If you are in Reykjavik on the weekend, check out the Kolaportið Flea Market. They have outstanding deals from local vendors. We were able to sample Hákarl (fermented shark) and a few other local favorites for free.
Right across the street from the market, you will find one of the most famous restaurants in Iceland – a hot dog stand. For a short wait in line and only 500 ISK (about 4 USD), you can have one of their famous dogs and a Coke.
It is even possible to try Icelandic delicacies while watching the budget. Check out Saegreifinn (Sea Baron). It’s a small, mom-and-pop kind of place right on the harbor. We tried their lobster soup and a Minke Whale kabob. Both were quite good. Expect to spend around 3000 ISK (24 USD) for both.
For some cheap native beer, give Gull a try. We found it on tap at the hostel bar for 750 ISK (6 USD) but it is prevalent throughout Reykjavik.
It would be possible to eat here for about $20 a day for one person if you’re willing to cut even more corners than we did. We found that spending about $25 a day per person (plus splurging on a few nicer, more expensive meals) was a great balance for us.
How did you come up with a daily budget for your trip?
We really just started with the amount we have saved divided by the number of days we expect to be traveling. From there we created a spreadsheet breaking out costs by category, such as transportation, food, and lodging. There were also some estimates that we could research and plug in, such as travel costs. Others, like food, can be a bit harder to estimate where it is very expensive.