Something I noticed in Iceland and quickly embraced was the ice cream culture. It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is or if the weather is crappy, you’ll always find a group of locals queuing for this sweet treat. The most important rule to remember- if you want to blend in with the locals- is to drive to an ice cream shop of choice, order, and then sit and indulge in the car. And the convenience of driving to the front door in your Happy Camper couldn’t make it an easier decision!
As an ice cream fanatic, you can bet your sweet tooth I’ve tried and tested some of the coolest ice cream Iceland’s capital has to offer. Here’s my shortlist for the ultimate ice cream experiences in Reykjavík.
With bang-for-your-króna portions and long opening hours, there’s no shock as to why this ice cream shop has been extremely popular since the company began serving in 1971. This small, no-frills institution has a surprisingly large menu pleasing anyone who loves a simple soft serve cone or a beautifully crafted þeytingur, a “blizzard”-like mountain of endless flavours and toppings.
Once you’ve established what you want, your server will then ask for your preference of gamli or nýi ís (“old” or “new” ice cream, which is creamier). After this decision, the next step will be the most difficult of the day: do you want to dip your cone in sauce? Or, what mixings would you like in the þeytingur? Trust me when I say there are too many options from licorice bits to gummy bears, cookie dough to peanut butter, and even chocolate bars. If you’re as indecisive as I am, though, you’ll probably be going back anyways, so order your go-to flavours!
Lea’s go-to: Ég ætla að fá einn lítinn þeyting með nýja ísnum, Nutella, hindberjum og kökudeigi takk (I intend to get a small “blizzard” with new ice cream, nutella, raspberries, and cookie dough, thanks).
Since opening in 2013 along the Old Harbour of Reykjavík, Valdís has taken the ice cream world by storm. And it’s highly evident with its long lines day and night. Selling gorgeous scoops of artisanal gelato on homemade waffle cones, this shop is easily one of the best-ranked in the land. And I couldn’t agree more! So take a number at the door and heed my advice: order two tasty scoops. One is never enough!
If you enjoy the classic flavours, Valdís has vanilla and chocolate impressing even those who adore the more unique options changing on a consistent basis. Flavours like Turkish Pepper, Danish Salted Licorice (Icelanders love their licorice!), White Chocolate, Oreo, and Banana-Nutella just to name a few. They also offer vegan, fruity selections like lime and pineapple so everyone will be happy.
Lea’s go-to: Oreo and dark chocolate on a waffle cone
The very first shop was opened in Selfoss, a town close to the Golden Circle. The location I favour, though, is in a large food and shopping plaza in a suburb of Reykjavík named Spöngin. There is also one closer downtown. Huppu is easily recognized with the logo of a lady cow wearing a pink tutu, cow spotted walls, poems, and several families gathered around the main counter any day of the week.
Similar to Ísbuð Vesturbæjar, you are able to order a cone, þeytingur, and even milkshakes. What stands out to me is their sveita ís that I dare say is creamier than Vesturbæjar! On top of that, they have pre-determined flavours for milkshakes and þeytingur if you just don’t feel like making all the decisions. Finally, I am impressed by their competitive prices, so this is a great option if you have a big appetite for an icy dessert!
Lea’s go-to: Anything with sveita ís!
Now that you’ve gone through this mouth-watering post, get out there and go ice cream crazy! Let us know your favourite ice cream shop in Iceland in the comments below.
Ready to book your Happy Camper?
To read more about Lea’s Happy Camper Adventures in Iceland check out these articles:5 Quality Meals in Reykjavik That Won’t Break the BankWhat to Do in Reykjavik on a Rainy DayHappy Campers’ Basic Guide to Icelandic