Dining in Iceland with a Four Year Old: Part 2
Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of a short series of posts by Ariel on our dining experiences in Iceland. For Part 1, covering the Reykjavik and Snæfellsnes Peninsula area click here!
We stayed right outside of the town of Laugarvatn on our third night, and down the road from where we stayed was the Efstidalur farm, which includes hotel accommodations and a casual restaurant and ice cream shop. Dinner was only OK here – definitely more meat options. We had a disappointing veggie burger and an OK fish, but the sweet potato soup we started with was really good. Jacob enjoyed his kids hamburger and french fries. The ice cream was definitely the highlight
You simply cannot drive around the Golden Circle area without stopping at the tomato farm for lunch, but make sure you make a reservation. When we arrived for our 12:00 reservation, I heard the host tell a would-be customer that they had no tables available until 8:45 that evening. The all you can eat tomato soup and bread alone is enough to make a meal out of – this is served with a cucumber chutney and delicious butter as well as fresh table-side basil from the greenhouse. But there are also great add on’s too, and we decided on the burrata and tomato salad and the ravioli pasta. Jacob had a plain kids pizza (they were kind enough to not include whole tomatoes on this). Everything was bursting with flavor here. Reserve well in advance!!
Vik was the only place we stayed for more than one night, so we got to have two dinners here. Both were great options with kids.
Ströndin Bistro and Bar
This place was excellent! We absolutely loved the Icelandic fish stew which is a great local option to try here. We also had the arctic char. Jacob had the kids fish and chips and we all really enjoyed the chocolate brownie dessert. An excellent dinner. Also a really cool “bar at the end of the world” vibe – with awesome views of the crazy rock formations off the coast of Vik.
This place was a bit more upscale than Strondin, although between the two I actually preferred Strondin. Still a good meal for all. Liran and I ended up splitting one entree and three starters/small plates – a baked brie, smoked local char, and a crispy cheese platter, with a local char entree. They also had a plain kids pizza for Jacob.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
If you are in south Iceland, you must visit the glacier lagoon. There’s really nothing else like it, or at least not that we’ve found in our travels yet. And if you’re here midday, definitely try the fish and chips from the Nailed It food truck – they were excellent. There were other food trucks here too, but we were pressed for time and didn’t see what the other options were.
Another tip – whether you are driving to or from Vik, stop at Cafe Vatnajökull, which is also the closest gas station to the glacier lagoon. We had a delicious brownie and hot chocolate from here, but they had sandwiches and other food as well. Not what you would expect from a gas station. Editor’s Note: This is Liran again – folks, no joke, the brownie we had at Cafe Vatnajökull was probably the best brownie I’ve ever had!
Finally, don’t miss the food truck at the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, which has donuts that we all loved, good coffee, and sandwiches which we took on the road with us for lunch later in the day. The highlights were the donuts though – Jacob really liked his strawberry donut, and Liran and I were blown away by our caramel donut, which to our surprised was FILLED WITH CARAMEL even though it had a hole in the center!
And that was really it for the highlights of our dining experiences in Iceland. We did eat at a few more places, but we wouldn’t recommend them. Even so, nothing was particularly BAD. Before going we had been told “oh watch out for the food in Iceland, which is weird” or “there’s nothing for kids” – rubbish! Sure, some restaurants had horse and whale on the menu, which we of course did not eat. But everywhere we went had something for us with our out-of-the-ordinary needs, as well as for our 4 year old. Iceland, in addition to auroras, waterfalls, and more, is also an excellent culinary destination!
Final Verdict: A delicious, and somewhat surprisingly accommodating culinary use of the time you are given!
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