September 26, 2011

Last but not least from my tour of Iceland, this organic cafe in the town of Eyrarbakki might possibly be my favorite place to start your morning– or spend your afternoon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open the day we were there, but I was able to explore. The entire surroundings were so amazing, just untouched natural beauty with a small, welcoming organic cafe dropped in the midst of it all. I could have sat out on the deck all afternoon. Like taking a step out of reality, it’s as if you’re entering a children’s fort in the backyard, a place to forget about your worries, breath in some of the freshest air possible and take it all in, realizing how exhilarating and beautiful life really is. I wish so badly I could have tried one of their drinks, but as my father has always told me, “You’ve got to save something for the next time.”

Because I was so intrigued by this place, I did some research, and here’s a great article about Bakkarbrim from a very cool Icelandic website. Check it out!

Organic Cafe

The deck

The view


September 23, 2011

It’s said that people risk their lives in bad weather en route to the village of Stokkseyri for just a few spoonfuls of lobster soup from Fjorubordid. So of course, we decided it would be the ideal place to have lunch on a quiet Monday afternoon. With little more than a few neighborhoods, a closed gift shop and a church, surely this charming coastal town’s restaurant is the spotlight. Offering stunning views and a menu of delicious breads, soups, salads and seafood, we left town stuffed as can be and checked off Stokkseyri on our to-do list.

Lobster soup and sides


Some of the best bread dipping sauce-- sundried tomato, sweet garlic and tzatziki


Country side salad-- Mozzarella cheese & tomatoes, fresh green salad & slices of marinated beef


Lobster soup


Fresh homemade bread with tomato spread

Hotel Ranga, one of the world’s top destinations for viewing the Aurora Borealis and Southern Iceland’s only 4 star resort, has everything you could possibly want for a relaxing stay in the countryside, not to mention an outstanding dining room and extremely friendly service from everyone. The hotel’s rustic luxury accomodations sit on wide open land overlooking the East Ranga River. Their chef prepared his modern Nordic cuisine with local ingredients of only the freshest quality, and brought out a beautiful array of dishes.  Although the weather conditions weren’t conducive to check out the Northern Lights, on the positive side, it’s just one more reason for me to start planning my return trip.

East Ranga River at the hotel

Dining room at Hotel Ranga

Smoked Puffin served with beerbread crumble and "cumberland" sauce

Hotel Ranga's Wine bar

Icelandic Cod served on a bed of nuts and local barley with whitewine sauce

Local wild salmon with sweet potato and white chocolate puree, lobster foam and local strawberries

Local wild salmon with sweet potato and white chocolate puree, lobster foam and local strawberries

The hotel's porch

The best chocolate cake dessert

Icelandic Mountain lamb and lobster combo with potato terrine and blueberry demiglaze

Icelandic mountain lamb and lobster combo with potato terrine and blueberry demiglaze

International Suites

Picnic at the Falls

September 16, 2011

You don’t feel much more freedom than driving along the wide open roads of South Iceland’s countryside. Passing through one of the few small towns, consisting of a mere two or three buildings, we stumbled upon a farmers market that had fresh pastries, veggies and homemade breads. Perfect for an afternoon picnic at at the foot of the waterfalls. With limited supplies it was more of a random food sampling than lunch menu, but you don’t need much to satisfy your tastebuds with that kind of scenery. Fueled up we were ready to explore the glaciers.

Happy Friday!

Kleinur, Iceland's answer to doughnuts and Kryddbraud, their answer to a cinnamon spice bread

Traditional Icelandic flatbread with fresh tomatoes from the market


Pizza-style pastry

Cinnamon glazed pastry


September 14, 2011

Kex, unlike your traditional Icelandic dining or bar establishments, is the new and trendy place to go. Reminding me of home, and a place I’d frequent around the Lower East Side, I couldn’t resist making this my go-to place for the weekend. It’s an old biscuit factory turned hostel and bar, but more taking on the resemblance of Ace Hotel than your typical first impression of bunk beds in an old, unwelcoming building. The photos speak for themselves on the impeccably cool style of the place, as their concept is a vintage industrial feel with an eclectic, contemporary touch. The kitchen offers a range of dishes, like the Kex Platter with a sampling of meats, to the vegetable quiche, and their beer selection far surpasses the standard Viking lager that is found elsewhere.

Kex Platter with potatoes, salami and olives

Lounge area

Salad with Icelandic vegetables

French Press coffee and good books

Sitronukjuklingur med Klettasalati or simply Lemon Chicken with Ruccola

Salami on the Kex Platter

Pylsur med Kartoflumauki og Sterku Sinnepi ... aka Pan Fried Sausages with Potato puree and mustard

Every book I read about Reykjavik told me the best lobster soup around is at Saegreifinn, so we made it top on our list of things to do. The Old Harbour is a beautiful little area tucked into the city, and after spending a morning walking around we took a lunch break to fill ourselves up. It was just as good as everyone had said. The seafood shack, started by a retired fisherman, served top notch lobster soup, fresh homemade bread, and delicious grilled scallop kebabs.

Lobster Soup


Lobster Soup

Fresh bread and butter


Grilled Scallop Kebabs


Lobster & Scallops

Café Babalu

September 8, 2011

Reykjavik’s streets are filled with so many cool, laidback cafés, it’s rather difficult to choose, but with Café Babalu’s bright colors and welcoming roof terrace, it’s hard to deny. Saturday afternoon my friend and I enjoyed the sunshine and crisp autumn-like temperatures while sharing an amazing pesto, tomato and mozzarella panini and nutella crepe for dessert. The decor is mismatched retro findings to give it that unique yet warm character. It’s the kind of place that serves white wine in a chipped souvenir mug from Germany, but you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Nutella Crepe

Pesto Mozzarella Panini and salad

Nutella Crepe

White Wine

Pesto and Mozzarella Panini and salad

Café Babalu

Blue Lagoon

September 6, 2011

Our first stop in Iceland was to the famous Blue Lagoon for a spa day. In a dream-like setting, you can’t get more relaxing than bathing in their natural geothermal pools, getting in-water massages and putting on mud masks from scooping up the natural minerals. For lunch, my friend and I tried out their restaurant’s buffet. Being in a country known for their seafood, we sampled a variety of dishes ranging from minke whale sashimi to herring and dill cured salmon before heading back to the pools for more relaxation.

Minke whale sashimi and the spa's natural geothermal seawater pools

Dill cured salmon

Skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt


White pasta with chicken and carrots

Sushi of the day

Braised Cod