Are you planning a trip to Iceland and eager to bring back some tasty souvenirs? Look no further! In my travels to Iceland, I discovered many delicious treats that make fantastic food souvenirs from Iceland.
Iceland is famously known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich culture. A lesser-known fact about Iceland is its yummy food and treats.
Whether you’re a food enthusiast or seeking the perfect gift for a loved one, this article will provide valuable information and buying options to ensure you return home with unforgettable flavors.
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Why Food Souvenirs Are The Best Souvenirs
My favorite items to return from traveling with are edible souvenirs.
Bringing these home will allow you to share the tastes and stories from your trip with family and friends.
Preserving travel memories with food souvenirs is a delicious way to reflect on the places you’ve been.
We took a food tour on our first day in the city to get an overall view of what people eat in Iceland. If you have never tried a food tour, you should venture out in Iceland.
Food tours are a great way to orient yourself to a new city and learn about the local food culture. Also, the guides are usually more than happy to share local favorite restaurants and fun spots.
The tour we took was The Reykjavik Food Walk, and it was a high-quality experience. The food was delicious, and our guide gave us a lot of information about the cultural significance of everything we ate.
Others in our travel group had taken a different food tour and were disappointed. After comparing their experience, I was glad we had chosen the one we did. That conversation confirmed that we had taken the best food tour in Reykjavik.
Where Can I Get The Best Food Souvenirs in Iceland?
You can shop in typical souvenir stores for many items on this list. You can often find things at a better price point in grocery stores like Bónus.
My tote bag from Bónus is one of my favorite non-food souvenirs from Iceland.
If you are driving Ring Road to explore towns and villages outside Reykjavik, I suggest shopping in the gas stations and local shops. I found the variety was fantastic and prices much better in the countryside.
The Kolaportið Flea Market is a fun place to shop. Open on Saturdays and Sundays, near the Harpa Concert Hall, and you’ll find a wide variety of things, including food items.
If you need to purchase after your travels or have just run out of your favorite Iceland treat, I’ve added links to websites offering online purchases.
Icelandic Food Souvenirs
The best food souvenirs from Iceland are the ones that reflect the people and culture of the country. The incredible landscapes’ beauty, harsh weather, and often isolation have helped shape Iceland’s culture for centuries.
Sweet Icelandic Brown Mustard.
We ate a delicious lamb hot dog, eina pylsa, on our food tour. It comes dressed with a traditional sweet mustardy sauce called Pylsusinnep.
In addition, they add raw onions, crispy fried onions, ketchup, and remoulade.
The most famous place to get one in Reykjavik is at the kiosk of Bæjarins Beztu Pylsurs. Even Former President Bill Clinton has eaten a hot dog there!
The best way to describe Harðfiskur is fish jerky. This dried fish is a high protein sustainable food source in a country with harsh climate conditions. It is made using cod or haddock.
The best way to try it is the traditional way. Spread a bit of butter on it.
Here is a word of warning from my own experience bringing this home from my travels.
It is stinky! Even though I hadn’t opened the packaging, the bag I had it wrapped in really smelled fishy. If you are considering this as a food souvenir from Iceland, plan on having a few sealed baggies and double up on them.
3. Rye Bread
Icelandic families have been baking rugbrauð for generations. The dense sweet rye bread is an Icelandic diet staple.
Thin slices topped with smoked fish or butter is how you will find it served. A lovely platter sat in the middle of the table during one of our tastings on the Reykjavik Food Walk.
We tasted it again at the Hvergardi Geothermal Park while stopping in for a visit. There they bake it in the traditional way of burying it in the sand for 24 hours to be steamed in a pot from the heat of the spring. They even provide you with the recipe to try at home.
I was able to pick up a loaf of Hverabrauð, hot spring bread, right in Bónus to bring home with me. It was definitely the favorite of the family!
Icelanders love candy, especially licorice!
You can find multiple licorice-flavored items and dishes throughout the country.
Every gas station stop around Ring Road will offer rows and rows of chocolate-covered licorice in various forms.
Head to Bónus to fill your bag with this candy for the best prices.
5. Turkish Peber
A salty, sweet, licorice-flavored candy that originated in Denmark and is widely popular in Nordic countries. And since Icelandic people love licorice and sweets, it’s no surprise to find Turkish Peber all over Iceland.
I had never tried or heard of it before I visited, but It was love at first bite.
I even found the flavor at the ice cream shop Valdis in Reykjavik and tried it. It was even better than the candy.
Did I mention Icelanders love sweets?
Chocolate is part of that as well. Of course, as mentioned, you will find plenty of licorice-laced chocolate.
Try OmNom brand chocolate. They make their candy only in small batches in Iceland.
The candy labels and packaging designs are the coolest.
Specialty Salts are excellent food souvenirs from Iceland.
They only take up a little space to travel with, and you can use them numerous times once home again.
You can choose from various salts, such as black lava salt, sea salt, birch smoked salt, and licorice salt.
8. Crowberry Jam
Crowberry jam is crafted from the wild crowberries that grow abundantly in Iceland’s lava fields. This deep purple preserve balances sweetness and tartness and pairs perfectly with cheese.
A jar of crowberry jam is a perfect food souvenir from Iceland to gift a friend.
Best Drink Souvenirs From Iceland
Your best option for bringing home liquids from Iceland would be to pick them up at the duty-free shop in Keflavik Airport as you depart.
Not only can you buy the suggested items below at the airport, but you can pick up some Icelandic craft beer as well!
If you buy them elsewhere, use padded bags for traveling with bottles of liquid. Remember, you will need to check your bag for the flight.
Appelsin is a carbonated orange soda found all over Iceland. If you were wondering if you can bring carbonated beverages on an airplane, the answer is yes.
According to the U.S. TSA website, you can bring soda through security as long as it is in your checked luggage.
I suggest bringing several large resealable bags to place them in just in case some is leaking due to air pressure changes. I use specific travel bags for liquids (like wine!) just for peace of mind. I’ve purchased a few and always bring them when we travel because you never know.
10. Crowberry Liquor
Made from the same berries as the jam but used in a whole different way. Perfect for an Iceland-inspired Negroni, or add it to some Prosecco for a lovely Nordic Spritz.
Nicknamed “Black Death,” the uniqueness of Brenninvin is that it is made only in Iceland.
It is a clear-colored Schnapps flavored with caraway seeds but with the licorice taste that the people of Iceland love.
This beverage is the signature spirit of Iceland.
While collecting food souvenirs from Iceland, remember to immerse yourself in unforgettable experiences and create cherished memories.
By choosing these edible souvenirs, you can bring home the authentic flavors of Iceland and share them with your loved ones. So, get ready to embark on a delicious journey and savor the taste of Iceland wherever you go!
Fríhöfnin – Duty-Free Iceland. https://www.dutyfree.is/. Accessed 5 June 2023.
KEF Airport. https://www.isavia.is/en/keflavik-airport. Accessed 5 June 2023.
Soda | Transportation Security Administration. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/soda. Accessed 5 June 2023.