Iceland has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the whole world. Known for the Northern Lights, waterfalls around every corner, and the cute little birds known as puffins, Iceland is a memorable country to visit. Aside from all of its beauty, the food is a whole other story. Unique variations of American classics and some local delicacies are definitely worth trying. Here are eight traditional Icelandic foods you must try when visiting Iceland.


If you visit Iceland without trying skyr, you are missing out on eating like a local. Some say it's yogurt, others describe it as similar to cottage cheese, However, it's actually somewhere in-between. With a flavor similar to Greek yogurt, it can be enjoyed at any time of the day, either by itself or with a sweet or savory twist. 

Dried Fish

When driving around the Ring Road of Iceland, every place you see will most likely have some variation of a row of fish hanging out to dry. Dried fish, or fish jerky, is a classic snack for locals and tourists alike—a must-try for anyone in the country.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs? In Iceland? What? That doesn't sound right, but hot dogs here are some of the best. They are made from a combination of beef, lamb and pork, and then topped with both fried and raw onions, ketchup, mustard, and remoulade. The best place to get them would be in the major city of Reykjavik at a stand called Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur. It became famous after former president Bill Clinton visited in 2004. 

Sheep Head

OK, OK, this one might seem odd to those outside of the country and culture, but the history behind the delicacy makes complete sense. It was made a common food when Icelandic people couldn't afford to let any part of an animal go to waste, when long winters made food preservation a high priority.  It's so popular all over the country that it has become more of a tradition to eat than a staple.


There are sheep everywhere in Iceland. I mean, everywhere! So, it only makes sense that a staple in the diet of the Icelandic people is lamb. You can find it on every menu, and every place you go will have its own unique spin on the meat. But most likely, your dish will include cooked lamb and some sort of starch like potatoes and vegetables. 

Ice Cream

Ice Cream, can't you eat that anywhere? Well, yes, but it's just something else in Iceland. Everywhere you go in the country will have its own variation of ice cream, soft serve, or gelato. At Café Loki in Reykjavik, you can try rye bread flavored ice cream, or if that seems a little too extreme, Ísbúð Vesturbæjar (sorry for the complicated Icelandic name) has mastered vanilla soft serve. But, if you are an ice cream lover, take a ride around the Ring Road and make Iceland your ice cream tour dream destination.

Fermented Shark

Fermented shark is a delicacy in Icelan. Known among the locals as Hákarl, this meal is best eaten in small pieces, due to its strong taste, smell and spongy texture. This dish may not be for everyone, but if you're the adventurous (read: brave) type, give fermented shark a try, especially because it's the National Dish of Iceland.  

Rye Bread

Rye bread is everywhere. It's a sweet dark bread and it is usually cooked in a wooden oven in the ground, using the geothermal energy that Iceland is so well-known for. Try it plain or with some butter, or even fish jerky, but either way you can't go wrong with the rye bread.