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Eat Cheap in Reykjavík, Iceland

Tourism in Iceland has been increasing rapidly and continues growing. Since 2010, there’s been around 30 percent increase in the number of visitors each year. This year, 2017, looks like being a record season, with government agencies predicting 2.3 million arrivals. Sadly this is changing Reykjavík, extremely quickly.

The cute local bars are torn down to build more hotels and the hipster cafés are replaced by Dunkin Donuts. Tourism changes things and probably what affect all of us the most are the higher prices.

Today Reykjavik dining is insanely expensive unless you know where to go. So today I want to share with you my top recommendations of cheap but good options around the city.  I have come to understand the true meaning of the word “budget.” To me, everything is counted in beer. 300 krónur for coffee? That’s half a beer!

Noodle Station

Just few steps away from the Hlemmur bus terminal is this small, cafeteria-seating style Asian noodle house called Noodle Station. They have a very simple menu: chicken, beef or vegetarian noodle soups. The owner is Thai, and you can get a glimpse of Southeast Asian seasonings in their delicious soup. The service is fast and the food both cheap and jummy. This place is one of the locals absolute favourites!

Price: 1.500 kr

Opening hours:
Every day from 11AM–10PM

Location: Laugavegur 86, 101 Reykjavík

Bæjarins Bestu Pylsur (English: The best hot dogs in town)

By eating at this famous hot dog stand by the harbour you are both saving money and experiencing real Icelandic culture. Every single Icelanders grew up by eating regularly at this famous hot dog stand and the best part is it hasn’t changed since it was opened in 1937. Even The Guardian selected Bæjarins beztu as the best hot dog stand in Europe.

Price: 420 ISK

Opening hours
Sundays to Thursdays  10:00 – 01:00
Fridays to Saturdays  10:00 – 04:30

Location: Tryggvagata, near Kolaportið flee-market

Svarta Kaffið

Svarta Kaffið translates as the black coffee, the place is a cozy café which specialises in bread-soups. I used to go there every Sunday, but then prices were raised a bit and now it’s usually packed with tourists. But still, I have to put them on this list, simply because I love the atmosphere, the super friendly staff and their unique tasting soups.

Price: 1500 ISK

Opening Hours
Monday – Saturday 11:30AM–1AM
Sunday 12–11PM

Location: Laugavegur 54, 101 Reykjavík

NAM

Nam recently opened in the downtown of Reykjavík and I’m already hooked on their edamame beans and tofuballs! NAM is a modern Asian cuisine. From fresh ingredients serving the food that is quick, exciting and different – but still affordable.

Location: Laugavegur 18, 101 Reykjavík

Price: 1500 – 2500 ISK

Opening hours

Tuesday – Friday 11AM–10PM
Saturday – Sunday 12–10PM

Drekinn

Drekinn is a small shop that has a special place in my heart. Drekinn has been open for more than 40 years as a small convenience shop. It carries both basic grocery goods and generously-priced fast food. A full dinner at Drekinn will rarely cost more than 900-1500 ISK. The combo meals are the best steal, which include a grilled sandwich, hamburger or cheeseburger with fries and a beverage. Next to that they sell a lot of random things like electric cigarettes, vaping supplies, socks and a big selection of soft drinks! What a great combo!

Price: They fill you up for only 900-1500 ISK

Opening Hours
Monday to Friday  90:30 – 11:30
Saturdays to Sundays  11:00 – 11:30

Location: Frakkastígur 15, 101 Reykjavík

Mandi

Here you will officially get the best Shawarma in town! First, when you look at Mandi from the outside, you’ll think that it’s just a small candy shop. However when you enter the small shop, you’ll smell the delicious middle eastern food they cook there all day. The staff working there is always super friendly and greet you with a smile. They’re service is fast and I think they are open 24/7, at least I go there both sober and not-so-sober during weekends!

Psst…while there you should also buy they’re hummus!

Price: 1500 ISK

Opening Hours
Always open?

Location: 3 b, Veltusund, 101 Reykjavík

Bread & Co

Bread and co opened quite recently and is one of my favourite bakeries in Reykjavík therse days. It’s maybe not the cheapest one, but at least it’s cheaper then a breakfast buffet at some restaurant. The bakery emphasizes on high quality Icelandic ingredients. Everything they do is in front of you with open glass doors, and guests can watch the process, asking the bakers themselves about the ingredients and their origins. Their pastry is simply delicious and a nice option for breakfast in Reykjavík.

Price: 500 – 1500 ISK

Opening Hours
Every day from: 6AM – 5AM

Location: Frakkastígur 16, 101 Reykjavík

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Victoria @TheBritishBerliner
    October 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

    What a really great list for budget options and very cool photography.

    Would you be able to recommend where you could get “traditional” Icelandic meals too? Sometimes, for the right type of meal, the price is irrelevant!

    Thanks. 😀
    Victoria @TheBritishBerliner recently posted…28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!My Profile

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