I am not going to lie. I love food. Such a big part of traveling is experiencing local food and I know what it is like being in a guest in a foreign country trying to find the best places to sample the local cuisine. So I decided to channel my passion for culinary into this article and tell you about some of my favorite places here in Austurland where you can sample local food. It bears mentioning that by no means or standards is this a complete list and that many excellent establishments are not mentioned in this article.
Havarí in Berufjörður
You would not expect to find a vegan/vegetarian café on a farm in Berufjörður. But this is the case nonetheless. What used to be the barn has now been renovated to serve as a café. There Berglind and Svavar offer various vegetarian based dishes made with organic vegetables which they grow on the farm. They also serve their own products, Bulsur, which are vegetarian sausages that they produce. Also keep an eye out for the country snack, chips that they make themselves.
Álfacafé in Borgarfjörður Eystri
Borgarfjörður is known, amongst other things, as one of the best places in Iceland to view puffins. By the harbor in Hafnarhólminn, about 8-10.000 puffins breed each summer. The fjord is also home to about 120 people and god knows how many elves (but that is a whole different story). In the village, you’ll find Álfacafé where the pastries where the pastries are both homemade and delicious. But what they are best known for is their famous fish soup made with the bounty of the surrounding sea. Álfacafé on Google Maps.
Klausturkaffi in Fljótsdalur
Now we have written a few words about how unique and historic the building at Skriðuklaustur is. But the building isn’t the only thing that is unique at Skriðuklaustur. On the lower floor, you will find the café Klausturkaffi. The lunch and afternoon buffets are in particular favorite with the locals here in Austurland. And the food isn’t just tasty. It is also as local as it gets. Whether it is lamb, reindeer, berries or mushrooms, the ingredients come from the surrounding area. The setting is beautiful and on sunny days you can sit outside on the porch and enjoy homemade ice cream. Website of Klausturkaffi and location on Google Maps.
Wilderness Center at the end of the road in Fljótsdalur
If I was to describe the Wilderness Center in a single word, that word would be Authentic. You’ll find the Wilderness Center where the road ends in Fljótsdalur, on the verge of Northern Europes most extensive highlands filled with waterfalls and wild nature. It doesn’t matter whether it is their tours, accommodation, tour packages or the exhibition, the aim is for you to have as an authentic experience as possible. And this extends to the menu as well. Here you can enjoy traditional Icelandic dishes in an authentic setting. See what is on the menu.
Just outside of Egilsstaðir you will find the farm Vallanes. Vallanes has been on the forefront of organic cultivation in Iceland and their products are sold under the banner Móðir Jörð. On the farm, they grow various vegetables and corn, but they are probably best known for their cultivation of barley. And it is safe to say that they have been pioneers when it comes reintroducing growing barley for human consumption in Iceland. In the newly erected Aspen house sits their café where you can enjoy food that is both good and wholesome.
Randulffs Seahouse in Eskifjörður
We have talked before about the historical Randulffs Seahouse in Eskifjörður. But it isn’t just the setting that makes the visit worthwhile. There you will also find excellent food made with ingredients from the area. At Randulffs you can enjoy reindeer meat, mutton or seafood all from the surrounding area. One of the more fun items on their menu is the starters plate consisting of fermented shark, herring and dried fish all from the fjord (as well as a shot of the Icelandic liquor brennivín). If you are brave enough to taste the fermented shark, just remember, there are two kinds of people. People who love it and think it is delicious, and people who are wrong 😉 You’ll find Randulffs by the seaside in Eskifjörður.
Kaupfélagsbarinn at Hildibrand hotel in Neskaupsstaður
There is no denying that the good people Hildibrand in Neskaupsstaður have a passion for food. And there are few things more wonderful but when but when people who love food prepare your food. Their passion extends beyond what happens in the kitchen. At their farm in Norðfjörður, they grow most of the vegetables that they serve. The farm is also the origins of the mutton they serve as well as the eggs. And as far as other ingredients you can rest assured that everything is as local as possible.
Hildibrand is nestled in the heart of Neskaupsstaður.
Hótel Framtíð in Djúpavogur
Sometimes when you come to a town or village you can just sense from the surroundings that the place has a long and rich history. For me, Djúpivogur has always been one of these places. And the atmosphere of the town is well captured at Hótel Framtíð that sits in an original building from 1904. Here you can experience the best local produce available both from the sea as well countryside. Check out the menu.
Eldhúsið restaurant at Lake hotel in Egilsstaðir
The Lake hotel in Egilsstaðir has a long and illustrious story. The guest house has been in operation since 1903 and is still owned by the same family that started it all those years ago. Today, their restaurant Eldhúsið is one of the best places in Egilsstaðir to sample quality local food. Their methods are old, the ingredients are fresh and local, and the food is innovative and fun.
Bókakaffi Hlöðum in Fellabær (Egilsstaðir more or less)
We have no Starbucks or Dunkin in Austurland. But if you enjoy good coffee and food you will find both served in a cozy, relaxed environment in Bókakaffi. This little café/bookstore sits on the banks of the lake Lagarfljótið, and here you will find traditional Icelandic pastries and snacks. More than anything though, you’ll get a sense of what the local atmosphere is like. Location on Google Maps.
If you liked this you might also like Nine unique places and buildings in East Iceland, Five unique things about Austurland, five must-see places in East Iceland, another five must-see places in East Iceland or Austurland – attractions and things to do in East Iceland.