In this short post, I will walk you through the vegan food we ate in Iceland. A few points before we begin:
There are vegan restaurants in Iceland and Reykjavik specifically; however the nature of our trip did not afford us time to explore any of those as we almost immediately set out for the countryside.
Something I was delighted to discover is that in Iceland, no restaurant or gas station had any plastic utensils. All utensils appeared to be made from wood or bamboo. This country is decades ahead of the USA when it comes to sustainability.
Restaurant meals in Iceland are...expensive. If purchasing for two, you can expect to pay $40-$60 for a full meal with sides and drinks included. Again, this ain't no fancy meals...just your basic burger with fries. Plan accordingly!
Lastly, we stopped by Costco on day one in Reykjavik (the only one on the island) and stocked up on granola, quick oats, oat milk, granola bars, fruits, nuts, and a few chips. This was a lifesaver for the days where we stayed in places that had no restaurants and when we couldn't cook our own meals due to lack of a stove or microwave in our lodging. I highly recommend pursuing the same course of action and not solely relying on finding a restaurant for your meals.
The two most prevalent grocery stores in Iceland are Kronan & Bonus. At one of the Bonus stores in Reykjavik, we found some delicious vegan kebab and enchilada wraps. After heating them up, we were treated to a delicious meal!
I honestly don't understand why we don't have these in the States, which is a much more diverse country! We searched for them in every other Bonus & Kronan store we visited but alas...we didn't find them again for the rest of our journey.
We were jetlagged and delirious, so the only picture I have is this one to the right...sorry!
At the gas station in Gulfoss, I was very surprised and pleased to find some vegan chicken and cheddar sandwiches by Somi.
There's nothing particularly special about this sandwich, but it was a great little snack to eat and I'm again very pleased that a vegan sandwich was present at a gas station. Something I've yet to see in most American gas stations.
We ate these after seeing the amazing Gulfoss waterfall. Fun fact: saying 'waterfall' after saying 'foss', is like saying 'tea' after 'chai'. Because 'foss' means waterfall in Icelandic.
Wok on Vik - a 'Vietnamese' restaurant (and I use that term lightly) that has two vegan noodle options. One made with rice noodles - shown - and one made with zucchini noodles.
I highly suggest tempering your expectations if authentic Vietnamese food is what you're looking for cuz this ain't it. At all. Still, we'd gone about 4 days without eating cooked food so we were just happy to have something cooked.
The Sriracha sauce definitely helped make it a bit more palatable...
We found this yogurt by The Coconut Collab in one of the Kronan stores during our journey. I must say, this is my favorite yogurt! It has just the right amount of sweetness and a strong coconut flavor.
If you're a lover of coconut, this is the yogurt for you. Stir it up to dissolve the lumps, toss a couple almonds in there, and enjoy! I so wish I could get this here in the States!
Another sustainable bonus of this yogurt is that it's packaged in paper instead of plastic! Win-win!
If it's along your route, check out the vegan burger at Vetingasala restaurant on the way from Vik to Diamond Beach. Get white pepper and worscetishire sauce for some seasoning because it comes with pretty much just lettuce, onions and a patty.
This burger was made from plants and not from the Beyond or Impossible patties so it has more of a natural and not lab-like flavor.
Bonus - for my vegetarian friends, they do have veggie burgers with mozzarella sticks :-)
Also, whatever you do - stay away from whatever this is...seriously, this translation error cracked me up! Unless of course it truly is what it's advertised to be...in which case, EWW!
In the town of Laugar, we had what turned out to be my favorite burger with fries of the trip. This occurred at Dalakofinn Utibu restaurant!
Both the regular and sweet potato fries were perfectly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with just the right amount of salt. The burger itself was well seasoned, and the vegan mayo slathered on top of the cucumber and lettuce was oh so yummy!
How I wish we could've returned to this restaurant. But we had to keep marching along.
We also partook of burgers and non-alcoholic beer in Fljotsdalsherao (try saying that 3x fast) - at rest stop with a small restaurant within it. These burgers and fries served to quench our hunger, but definitely left our tastebuds not quite satisfied.
Quick aside on the subject of non-alcoholic beer (and probably all beer), this crap tastes like it was made by slowly broiling a demon's gonads and then dipping it in fermented urine. The fact that the love of my life absolutely loves this crap, really makes me question our relationship!
But back to the topic at hand...
In the city of Akureyri, we were able to stock up on some vegan sandwich-making supplies to nourish us as continued our journey around the island.
These deli 'meats' and 'cheeses' made for no gourmet meals, but they certainly helped curb our hunger on some of the long 3-5 hour drives we made.
After we had that 4 day stretch without cooked food, I decided to grab some noodles and a few spices at a couple grocery stores. This helped us make our own noodle soup - that way, when we got tired of our granola and fruit and had no access to a restaurant with vegan options, we were able to make hot noodle soup in just about every place we stayed.
I was astounded to discover Biona extra firm Tofu packaged in glass jars (brilliant) by at one of the grocery stores we stopped at. We used the tofu and other condiments such as toasted seaweed to make our own ramen bowls which were absolutely delicious!
To be completely honest, I was expecting there to be zero cooked food options for vegans in this stunning Island nation but to my complete surprise and delight, I was proven quite wrong. From the airport in Keflavik to the rest stops and gas stations and grocery stores, we were able to purchase ready made meals and groceries that were fully vegan. In fact, I had a much harder time finding vegan food in the Seattle airport than I did at the Keflavik airport.
Having said that, I will admit that just like the US of A, it's not easy to find something that is not wrapped in plastic. Everything in Iceland has to be shipped from overseas, therefore plastic wrapping is often the easiest route chosen by most suppliers. Hopefully, this will change in the future.
All in all, discovering vegan food options in Iceland was an adventure, but not quite the difficult treasure hunt I had envisioned. The vegan options were mostly delicious and well seasoned, and the grocery stores provided many of our other culinary needs.