Part of many travellers’ planning before coming to Iceland is to estimate the cost of the trip, including how much they can expect to pay for meals during their stay. We took a look at meal prices in Iceland, mainly focusing on some of the most popular restaurants and fast food places but also briefly covering options from the grocery stores.
The Cost of a Meal in Iceland
How much can you expect to pay for eating out in Iceland? Let’s start by looking at the price range for eating out at restaurants in Reykjavík. Many restaurants will have lunch offers and generally it will be more expensive to eat out for dinner.
The most basic and classic fast food in Iceland is a hot dog and the most popular hot dog place is called Bæjarins Beztu, located downtown Reykjavík. The most common version is ein með öllu referring to “a hot dog with everything” (where everything means ketchup, mustard, remoulade, raw onion and fried onions. The price of ein með öllu in March 2023 is 690 ISK (5 EUR/5 USD) and a soda to go with it costs 340 ISK (2 EUR/2.5 USD). One hot dog is hardly a meal though, so some people take two if they want to get full.
Another widely popular fast food in Iceland is from the Syrian restaurant Mandi. One of the best items on their menu is lamb shawarma, which now costs 1590 ISK (11 EUR/11 USD). Drinks cost 250-490 ISK (2 to 3 EUR/2 to 3 USD) except tap water, which is always free of charge.
Subway has been popular in Iceland since it first opened in 1994. The price of a Subway sandwich (6 inch) ranges from 1249 to 1499 ISK (8 to 10 EUR/9 to 10 USD) while a 12 inch sandwich will cost from 1849 to 2049 ISK (12 to 13 EUR/13 to 14 USD). “Meal of the day” offers have lower prices on selected sandwiches and include a drink, 6 inch meal of the day costs 1399 ISK (9 EUR/10 USD) and a 12 inch sandwich meal costs 1899 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD).
KFC meals cost between 1909 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD) for a Zinger Twister meal to 2199 ISK (14 EUR/15 USD) for a Bacon Tower burger meal. KFC has several offers, including a family pack for four costing 6799 ISK (44 EUR/47 USD) including eight bits of chicken, fries, hot brown sauce, cocktail sauce, coleslaw and 2 L of soda.
Domino’s Pizza is the most popular fast food in Iceland and has branches around the country. Their most popular pizza (Domino’s Extra) costs 2290 ISK (15 EUR/16 USD) for a small one and 3840 ISK (25 EUR/26 USD) for a medium sized. A soda with it costs 399 ISK (3 EUR/3 USD) for half a litre or 550 ISK (4 EUR/4 USD) for 2 L. There are various offers there, 2 for 1 being the most popular but that requires buying breadsticks with the order.
The food halls are somewhere in between fast food and casual dining. In Pósthús Food Hall & Bar, you can get a main course for around 3000 ISK (19 EUR/21 USD), e.g. a pizza or a sushi poké bowl.
Forréttabarinn offers a range of appetisers and desserts of various sizes and is among the most popular restaurants in Reykjavík. The menu consists of fresh local ingredients with South European influence. It also includes a range of vegetarian dishes and a choice of four-course set meals. Classic appetisers cost 2250 ISK (14.5 EUR/15.5 USD), e.g. a langoustine soup with bread, a crispy duck wrap and chicken quesadillas. Grand appetisers cost 3450 ISK (22 EUR/24 USD) including fish of the day, lamb ribeye and grilled horse fillet. For drinks, small beers on tap cost 1100 ISK (7 EUR/7.5 USD) and large ones (half litre) 1500 ISK (10 EUR/10 USD).
Kopar by the old harbour in Reykjavík combines old Icelandic traditions with modern cuisine. Main courses cost from 4850 ISK (41 EUR/43 USD) for fish of the day to 7090 ISK (46 EUR/49 USD) for a rack of lamb.
Salka Valka is a small and cosy restaurant in Skólavörðustígur (rainbow street) which offers main courses for 2250 ISK (14.5 EUR/15.5 USD) for a soup with fish or vegetables & bread to 3800 ISK (24.5 EUR/26 USD) for a lamb shank.
Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar is located across the street from Hlemmur Food Hall & the bus station. It has fish of the day for 3690 ISK (24 EUR/25 USD) and Icelandic lamb with baked potato and vegetables for 5890 ISK (38 EUR/40.5 USD).
Snaps Bistro is one of the best restaurants in Reykjavík and famous for their fish of the day and friendly atmosphere. Fish of the day costs 4930 ISK (32 EUR/34 USD) and a beef ribeye 250 g is available for 7370 ISK (48 EUR/51 USD).
Fiskmarkaðurinn or the Fish Market has their specials from 5500 ISK (36 EUR/38 USD) for vegetable spring rolls to 6900 ISK (45 EUR/48 USD) for fish gourmet while lamb prime costs 7400 ISK (48 EUR/51 USD).
Grillmarkaðurinn offers main courses like lightly salted cod for 6490 ISK (42 EUR/45 USD) and beef tenderloin for 9990 ISK (65 EUR/69 USD).
Apótek has fish of the day with soup of the day for 3890 ISK (25 EUR/27 USD) and rib-eye danish crown for 8990 ISK (58 EUR/62 USD). Their lunch offer is two courses for 5990 ISK (39 EUR/41 USD) and three courses for 6990 ISK (45 EUR/48 USD).
Geiri Smart has fish of the day for 4400 ISK (28 EUR/30 USD) and beef fillet for 6500 ISK (42 EUR/45 USD). A three course menu of the day costs 9500 ISK (61 EUR/65 USD).
Traditional Icelandic Cuisine
Do not get fooled by the name of Íslenski barinn or the Icelandic bar, because it is a lot more than a bar. They have a simple menu and their fish of the day is usually one of the best you can get in the city for 3150 ISK (20 EUR/22 USD). If you are feeling more traditional Icelandic, you can get a singed sheep’s head for 3750 ISK (24 EUR/26 USD) or a slow cooked lamb shank with mashed potatoes, green ORA peas, caramelised red cabbage, rhubarb jam & gravy for 4150 ISK (27 EUR/29 USD).
Café Loki specialises in classic home style Icelandic cuisine, including the Icelandic lamb meat soup for 2300 ISK (15 EUR/16 USD) and gratinated mashed fish with rye bread and salad for 3100 ISK (20 EUR/21 USD).
In the supermarkets of Iceland, you can find various traditional food items from the Icelandic Cuisine, including lamb meat soup in Bónus for 1895 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD) and fish stew (Gríms plokkfiskur) in Krónan for 699 ISK (5 EUR/5 USD).
Restaurants Outside the Capital
So far, we have been focusing on restaurants in Reykjavík. What about restaurants in the rest of Iceland? Let’s take a look at a few restaurants outside the capital area, one for each region.
Nielsen is located in Egilsstaðir in East Iceland and I’ve never got a better meal in an Icelandic restaurant than I got there in 2021, a tasting menu of five or six courses, made from local ingredients including reindeer. Currently, they are open from 11:30 to 14:00 an their lunch menu includes fish of the day for 2790 ISK, grilled pork belly for 2890 ISK and for the same price you could get a slow cooked beef cheek or a hamburger with fries.
Suður-Vík is located in the town of Vík in South Iceland, close to Reynisfjara (the Black Sand Beach). Main courses include a fillet of lamb for 5690 ISK and chicken breast for 4490 ISK. The Suður-Vík burger with fries is available for 3290 ISK.
Vogafjós Farm Resort is located by Lake Mývatn in North Iceland. They have pan fried arctic char for 4850 ISK, a slow cooked lamb shank for 5650 ISK and lamb of the day for 6400 ISK. While you eat, you can watch the cows in the next room through the windows.
Krauma geothermal baths in West Iceland have a restaurant where you can get a grilled fillet of lamb for 6200 ISK, baked cod for 4600 ISK and barley risotto (vegan) for 3200 ISK.
Hótel Heydalur in the Westfjords has the most remote restaurant we cover here, located in an old barn 130 km from Ísafjörður and around 330 km from Reykjavík. They have the house burger (Heydalsburger) for 2200 ISK served with rosemary potatoes. Lamb fillet with wild mushroom sauce is available for 5000 ISK. I can recommend the Heydalsburger, it was a positive surprise.
Offers and Discounts
As mentioned earlier, many restaurants have lunch offers, including Apótek in the fine dining category with their two course lunch offer for 5990 ISK (39 EUR/41 USD). Geiri Smart has a three course menu of the day for 9500 ISK (62 EUR/66 USD).
In the fast food category, Subway has their meal of the day with a 6 inch sandwich for 1399 ISK (9 EUR/10 USD) and 1899 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD) for a 12 inch sandwich.
If you want to get a meal in Iceland for the lowest possible price, head to the next supermarket, ideally Bónus or Krónan as they have the lowest prices and most branches. In Bónus you can get one kg of Icelandic lamb meat soup for 1895 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD) and in Krónan you can get fish stew for 699 (5 EUR/5 USD).
There was a recent Facebook discussion among tourists in Iceland about sandwiches and wraps from the supermarkets, that many of them seem to like. It surprised me as a local, because I’ve grown tired of these sandwiches long time ago and have heard the same from many other Icelanders. But I can imagine there is a big difference in trying them for the first time and having had them regularly since childhood. The long sandwiches (langlokur) are available with various tastes, e.g. egg and ham, chicken and bacon or ham and cheese. They are convenient to grab in the car or to put in the backpack for a hike. The price for a long sandwich from Sómi in Krónan is 698 ISK (5 EUR/5 USD).
- What’s On in Iceland Facebook group where you can ask locals and other travellers anything regarding Iceland
Now you hopefully have a clearer idea of what you can expect to pay for a meal in Iceland, depending on your preferences. To sum up, here is what we found out from looking at the restaurants mentioned above:
- The cheapest fast food item we covered is a hot dog from Bæjarins Beztu for 650 ISK (4 EUR/4 USD). That is unlikely to get you full if you are hungry though, but a lamb shawarma from Mandi should and costs 1850 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD)
- In the casual dining category, you could for example get a sushi poke bowl at Pósthús Food Hall & Bar for 2990 ISK (19 EUR/21 USD) or fish of the day at Snaps for 4930 ISK (32 EUR/34 USD)
- In the fine dining category, you could get a rib-eye Danish crown for 8990 ISK at Apótek or beef tenderloin at Grillmarkaðurinn for 9990 ISK (65 EUR/69 USD)
- If you are looking for traditional Icelandic food, you could head to Íslenski barinn and get a singed sheep’s head for 3750 ISK (24 EUR/26 USD) or to Café Loki to get Icelandic lamb meat soup for 2300 ISK (15 EUR/16 USD)
- Fish of the day is usually a safe choice in restaurants in Iceland and Íslenski barinn never fails with theirs for 3150 ISK (20 EUR/22 USD).
- If you want to pay less for the meal than in the restaurants, head to local supermarkets, where you could get e.g. a kg of Icelandic lamb meat soup for around 1895 ISK (12 EUR/13 USD) in Bónus or a fish stew (Gríms plokkfiskur) for 699 ISK (5 EUR/5 USD) in Krónan
- How Much is Food in Iceland?
- How Much is a Beer in Iceland?
- Supermarkets in Reykjavík and Around Iceland
Get familiar with food in Iceland by joining a guided tour: