We, at Happy Campers, understand the importance of a good, quality meal at budget-friendly prices. We also understand you may prefer a more cultural food experience versus relying solely on supermarket fare because that’s just boring! For a good ratio between quality and quantity, I’ve compiled a list of establishments around Reykjavík that won’t break the bank and will tickle anyone’s appetite from morning ‘til night.
Sourdough loaves, pastries, and cookies, oh my! Brauð & Co. provide some the most delicious baked goods I’ve had the opportunity to taste since moving to Iceland or…ever. Be prepared to pay a little more than usual for a croissant or Danish, but let me tell you one is more than enough to share or to satisfy a big appetite.
Nothing can compare to their cinnamon bun straight out of the oven, and everyone knows it. So get to the bakery early and grab one for under 500isk before they’re gone! They’re the perfect snack accompaniment to a long day ahead. It’s also your duty to pick up a loaf of bread. One can easily make several sandwiches to fill you up for the entire day. And it’s mighty delicious.
Anyone who’s ever asked me about the best brunch spot in town will know I love Coocoo’s Nest. They are all about a laid-back, lived-in atmosphere focusing on quality over quantity. Each brunch item is served beautifully as well, ensuring the diners’ experiences touch all the senses.
They serve their scrumptious brunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays between 11:00-16:00 with options like green eggs and bacon for just under 2000isk, a quite reasonable price for this dish including fried potatoes and a slice of their heavenly sourdough bread.
My boyfriend introduced me to Ginger, an underrated take away counter found in a few 10-11 convenience shops around the city. Their menu focuses on fast food that happens to be healthy and wholesome wraps, sandwiches, salads, and bowls, perfect for a Happy Camper who needs to replenish their nutrition.
My go-to is the sweet chili chicken bowl filled with pan-fried sweet potatoes, salad, a nice portion of chicken with wasabi nuts, and- you guessed it- sweet chili sauce. All of this costs 1759isk and most of the time I can’t finish the whole portion, so it’s safe to say it’s shareable as a smaller meal. You are also able to order a double portion for a little extra.
There’s nothing like a piping hot bowl of noodle soup after a long day gallivanting around the country or exploring the city. So just follow your nose on Laugavegur to locate the ever so popular Noodle Station. Yes, sometimes the place is packed, but the wait is worth it!
This shop offers a no-fuss menu: chicken, beef, or vegetable (vegan) served with rice noodles, flavourful broth, and topped with classic Thai condiments. A normal order will put you back 1590isk and is quite filling. And try the Noodle Station hack: If you can’t finish your serving, just ask the staff to pack it for you and they’ll top up the container with extra broth. Extra. Broth.
If you’re a hamburger lover like I am, you’re certainly going to enjoy your experience eating at Hamborgara Búllan. Their greasy burgers and fries remind me of the classic American diner style meal back home cooked on top of a gas grill to pink perfection and topped with iceberg lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, mustard, and mayo.
You can find Búllan inside B5 on Bankastræti, but you can’t miss the main location at Geirsgata 1 with their novelty sign “Burgerjoint”. The “Offer of the Century” meal is 1890isk and includes a 120g burger, fries, and a soda. Go ahead and order the béarnaise sauce as an extra. You won’t regret it!
Although these are some of my favourite picks, there are considerably more restaurants, fast food joints, and food trucks around downtown and the surrounding areas comparable to this list. There are also options for fine dining whether you fancy local delicacies or exotic dishes. Look out for another post in the future about more great locations to grab some grub. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Which of these food destinations are you excited to try? Let us know in the comments.
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To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:Snorkeling in Silfra with Scuba IcelandWhat to Do in Reykjavik on a Rainy DayHappy Campers’ Basic Guide to Icelandic