Dining in Iceland with a Four Year Old: Part 1
Editor’s Note: After being my adventure partner since the inception of this blog (and well before!) my amazing wife Ariel decide to do her own post about some of our dining experiences in Iceland, specifically from the perspective of finding food that would work for our rather picky eater of a son, Jacob. Here’s hoping she’s inspired to contribute more posts like this in the future! Just note, we’re not really your typical food bloggers, so we didn’t take a lot of pictures of what we ate!
This is Ariel, Liran’s wife, guest writing a post on one of my favorite things to plan for all of our travels – restaurants! For every adventure we take – from New Zealand to Alaska to Iceland to everywhere in between – I plot out our days on google maps and then spend hours searching for the “best” places to eat on our routes. This was already a bit of a challenge to do with kosher dietary restrictions, and now with a “selective eating” kid even more so. But nothing makes me happier than a day of adventuring accompanied by a fantastic meal with food that I simply cannot get when living in central New Jersey.
To help other parents with plotting out Iceland food stops, here’s where we ate over 6 days in Iceland! We ate a lot of fish and some vegetarian options, and our son ate fish and chips in several places, plus typical kids options (like grilled cheese, pizza, etc). The texture of fish in Iceland is more similar to what we’ve had from the Pacific than the Atlantic Ocean, and it was universally excellent. The breads, baked goods, and soups were also amazing everywhere we went – definitely a speciality.
We arrived in Reykjavik late on day 1 thanks to a 4+ hour flight delay courtesy of Delta, so we only had time for two meals. Thankfully, both meals were great and definitely refueled us for the road trip ahead.
Dinner – Fiskfélagið / Fish Company
This spot was easily walkable from where we stayed, Reykjavik4you Apartments Hotel. Although there was no kids menu, I read in a review that they would make a plain fish and chips for children. Jacob ended up loving this! We started with a tuna tartar, and for entrees we had the fresh fish of the day platter featuring three different locally caught fish (one of them was a cod) as well as the arctic char (which the restaurant happily accommodated our request to be made without scallops). Everything was fresh and delicious – we couldn’t even decide on a favorite out of the fish because they were all different.
Breakfast/Brunch – Sandholt
Iceland generally is known for excellent fresh baked breads and baked goods, and Sandholt is consistently reviewed among the best in Reykjavik. It did not disappoint. There was a kid’s menu with crayons for Jacob, and even though he ended up wanting a waffle from the main menu with blueberries on the side which was not a kid’s option, they were happy to accommodate this and still gave Jacob the included apple juice! Liran and I had a salmon mousse sandwich and a savory waffle with cheddar cheese, chives, a fried egg, and jalapeno maple syrup, which the restaurant made without bacon for us. Both were so good and very different. We also took some pastries to go with us. Pro tip for Sandholt – make sure you make a reservation and don’t wait on the long line when you enter, let a staff person know that you have a reservation! Otherwise you will be waiting, even on a Monday morning.
Between Reykjavik and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
If you find yourself on this route, one place to stop on the way is Bogarnes, where I had read that La Colina had very good pizza, and there was also a playground to stop for some playtime. However, we found ourselves needing to find a late lunch and with an hour to go before Bogarnes, we decided to try to find something closer to where we were driving from (Þingvellir National Park). We ended up at Mr. Kebab. Falafel and hummus is pretty far from Icelandic food but this place offered a good option for all of us, with chicken nuggets and french fries for Jacob and falafel pita sandwiches for us. Given the general lack of food options in this area, we were glad to find this stop.
Snæfellsnes Peninsula Dinner
I read in advance that dining options were limited near where we stayed the night here, the Lava Water Resort (Miðhraun). Luckily, during the tourist season this hotel offers a buffet dinner for guests and we were pleasantly surprised to find how good it was. Not only do kids under 6 eat free here, but Liran spoke with the chef when we checked in and the chef made two special grilled cheese sandwiches just for Jacob. He was so excited to eat his favorite food after we told him that we may not find any grilled cheese in Iceland. Meanwhile, Liran and I had tons of options – two kinds of soup (the mushroom soup was outrageously good), salad, a vegetarian curry and rice, roasted root vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower, and panko crusted cod with tartar sauce, plus a traditional Icelandic skyr dessert. There was also chicken, lamb, and pork for meat eaters. All of this for about $50 USD per adult. Although we had a full kitchen in our two-bedroom cabin here, this was a far better option!
Editor’s Note: This is part 1 of 2 on our dining experiences in Iceland with a 4 year old. In part 2, Ariel reviews some real hidden gems in the Golden Circle, Vik, and beyond!
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