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The Restaurant - Eldur and some more eating and drinking tips


Okay, let's start with the controversial – whale meat.  Yes, many "top" restaurants include whale meat as a delicacy.  Iceland still allows the killing whales for "scientific research", with most of the catch then being eaten.  Some would argue that if this is a local custom we shouldn't interfere, however most whale meat is eaten by tourists rather than locals.  Personally the idea of eating whale or dolphin meat makes me nauseous so I'd avoid any restaurant that had it on the menu – unfortunately some restaurants don't put their menus outside so you may find yourself, once seated, with a difficult decision.  It’s best to have this chat with your fellow travellers beforehand.  You also have to factor in the weather; whatever you had decided, because sometimes gale force winds and snow make it a challenge to walk two feet down the road.


Iceland has a reputation as an expensive destination, particularly when it comes to food and drink, but if you are used to London prices then the prices here will be a lot easier to swallow.  In particular when we rushing from place to place and just had time to grab a £1 slice of pizza (with peanuts on!?) we were pleasantly surprised!  Actually at this place we tried to pay with cash (most are used to everyone using credit cards for every purchase) and they got so confused with figuring out our change that we could have made money eating here (but we are nice and honest!)


Local delicacies; lamb stew (can smell bad, tastes great), fish of any kind, bread (oh my goodness, the bread is heavenly), butter and any kind of dairy, (seriously fresh bread and butter for breakfast is hard to top, especially the bread with fruit and seeds at the Blue Lagoon hotel) are out of this world.  There is also the local Skyr Cake – much like cheesecake, and with fabulous coffee served everywhere an Irish coffee is a must with their super rich cream.  Alcohol is generally on the expensive side, especially brand names like Baileys, but with our busy schedule drinking wasn't really a priority.


Growing fruit and vegetables in this climate is very hard, so most produce is imported and not very exciting, but they work hard to incorporate it into their diets – so you often find a breakfast buffet containing every kind of fruit and veg the kitchen has to hand – including cucumber.  You won't find fresh juice common, but there's usually plenty of long life juice to help you get your dose of vitamin C.


Icelandic cuisine is now serious business, with some very highly rated restaurants, but for me they'd still have to work pretty hard to beat the bread and butter.


For a must visit spot I'd recommend you visit Eldur, on the corner of Skolavordustig and Laugavegur, the main shopping street, which serves wonderful coffee, pancakes, ice cream and other treats, but the best thing about Eldur is its host; Aurelio who made us feel so at home we could hardly bear to leave (enough though it was his birthday!)  He'll also give you tips on where is the best place to go if you're looking for top Icelandic cuisine if you ask him nicely!


For an extravagant lunch or dinner the Lava Restaurant at Blue Lagoon is my top choice (great view too!)


Second I’d put the restaurant at the Northern Light Inn – again worth eating here just for the view (avoid the brown porridge – it’s not chocolate mousse!)


Another lovely place in Reykjavik is Solon (or Kaffi Solon) to relax with top quality Irish coffees and cake (they also serve meals and apparently stay up pretty late!)



Eldur, ice cream shop, pancakes and so much more
Breakfast at Blue Lagoon Clinic (well part of it)
Skyr Cake
Icelandic lamb stew

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