Iceland has an immensely rich cuisine, something most people don’t realized when planning to visit the island country. But if you go, you will soon find out lamb is a staple in Iceland, especially as they have more sheep than people residing on the island. In fact, they chose to have the lamb hot dog as the country’s national dish! Fish is also a staple, being surrounded by the ocean, and their fish dishes are the freshest you will ever taste.
One standout restaurant in Iceland is Islenski Barinn, due to such delicious food. Literally translated, it means The Icelandic Bar. The interior of Íslenski Barinn is a little rustic and cozy, creating a very friendly atmosphere.
Order the Traditional Icelandic Meat Soup (ISK 1.970, approximately $16 USD), made with chunks of lamb and some vegetables. This traditional soup is available at many other restaurants in Reykjavik, but the Íslenski Barinn’s meat soup is among the best. The flavour of the broth is so rich and the lamb very tender. In summer, farmers let their sheep roam free in the highlands to eat whatever they want, which leads to their meat being incredibly tender and juicy.
To accompany the mean, try a blonde fruity beer. Because beer was only legalized in Iceland around 30 years ago, every season a different kind of beer comes into trend. Summer leans toward fruity beers. Íslenski Barinn has one of the largest selection of beers in Reykavík.
Íslenski Barinn also has a few original twists on their national dish such as their Lamb “Dog” (ISK 1.920, approximately $16 USD). This pylsur is made up of shredded slow cooked lamb, Béarnaise sauce, pickled cucumbers, fried onion and chives. The lamb is incredibly tender and flavourful, and the combination of toppings created a contrasting crunchy texture.
As a starter, try the Fin Whale Crumpet (ISK 1.820, approximately $15 USD) with grilled fin whale, remoulade, pickled cucumber and onion rings on two crumpets. You likely will be surprised by how meaty it tastes.
Everything at Íslenski Barinn is absolutely delicious and full of flavours. The dishes are quite affordable as well; in US dollars, they are generally between $15-$25.
Íslenski Barinn is formally recognized as an establishment that serves Icelandic bred lamb. Many restaurants around Iceland have this recognition and can be identified by an official plaque. Icelandic farmers use traditional methods to breed sheep; therefore, earning this plaque is a way of preserving this practice. You can learn more about this mission at https://icelandiclamb.is/.
You can see Íslenski Barinn’s full menu online at https://www.islenskibarinn.is/en/.
Lead Photo via Public Facebook Profile