Iceland is unfortunately not known for offering vegan and vegetarian options, but as time progresses, so does this nation. You will be able to find the produce to cook your own vegetarian food in Iceland if you want to do that. The Iceland vegan restaurants and Iceland vegetarian restaurants are plenty, though, so don’t be shy to go out to eat your cruelty-free meals.
Let’s face it: Iceland is basically built on fishing industries and sheep farms. It’s an amazing country with an extraordinary story and some of the hardiest people you can find. Eating vegetarian food in Iceland has not been the norm, but the options of finding produce and eating out are steadily increasing for the plant-based community.
Can You Get Vegetarian Food in Iceland?
Iceland isn’t traditionally a country that promotes a vegan or vegetarian diet. Fish and dairy are staples, and sheep meat is very common to eat in the country. Very few types of greens are cultivated here, so you won’t find many orchards or vegetable fields. Any guide to food for visitors in Iceland might feel disheartening due to this narrative.
Despite the abundance of sheep farms and the thriving fishing industry, you’re not doomed if you don’t want to eat meat. Luckily, eating vegetarian food in Iceland has become easier and easier in the last couple of years. You will find that there are alternatives to meat in the stores, and restaurants will often have both vegan and vegetarian options. There are even restaurants and stores that specialize in vegan and vegetarian foods, so gourmet is not out of the question.
Getting into the gourmet side of things, food is generally expensive in Iceland. However, the non-conventional options (by Icelandic standards) often come at a higher price. So keep that in mind when ordering something other than the non-vegan or non-vegetarian food. Be sure to budget for this when you plan your visit.
If you are really picky with your food, and you want to keep your spending down, you can always bring some food from home. You’re not allowed to bring raw meat, dairy, eggs, or other, similar raw products. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about that as a vegan.
Good Places to Get Vegan Food
If you know your diet, and you’re ready to do some of the cooking yourself, eating vegan food in Iceland won’t be a problem. A good rule of thumb is to either go to the large stores or focus on any specialized place like a health store or something similar.
Krónan keeps a good selection of vegetarian and vegan food options. It’s maybe not the cheapest grocery store to shop in, but it will provide if you are looking to cook some vegetarian food in Iceland.
Bonus is by far the cheapest grocery chain in Iceland and has a large selection of vegan foods as well. They keep the regular stock of vegetarian bases, just like Krónan, but you might be able to get away with some cheaper alternatives.
Most gas stations around the country will have some vegan and/or vegetarian options at an in-house Subway or café. The options won’t be that many, in some cases, honestly, just one option. Still, they come in handy when you’re on the road and don’t have time to stop and cook your vegetarian food in Iceland.
Iceland Vegan Restaurants
For those who don’t want to cook their own food, restaurants will be the safe bets on your trip to the Land of Fire and Ice. This island nation is well-known for its good cuisine, so finding a good place to eat vegetarian food in Iceland won’t be a mission.
When checking the vegan food options in Iceland, most vegan and vegetarian restaurants can be found in Reykjavík. It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Home to almost half of the Icelandic population, restaurants in Reykjavík are many and versatile.
This crowd-funded vegan-only restaurant in Reykjavík is at the top of the list of the best vegan places in Reykjavík. The chef who opened Veganaes decided to take a few steps away from the health-craze of the vegan world. He then made sure that the people of Reykjavík (residents and visitors) can enjoy the decadent hangover-friendly vegan food. Let’s just say the food is cruelty-free for everyone involved.
There is something special with dining with a view over the ocean, and Reykjavík does not let us down. Bryggjan Brygghus is the place to go for a seaside sit-down with a wonderful vegan menu, that also dares call mussels vegan. It’s a controversial topic, so we won’t dig into it further.
Stepping away from the Icelandic ways of eating vegetarian in Iceland, Burro offers amazing opportunities to explore the more southern-European way of eating. The menu is tapas-style, and all vegetarian and vegan options are labeled clearly and correctly to avoid any mistakes. We strongly recommend this fine-dining establishment if you have the time (and budget).
Dare go outside the borders of the capital and explore the vegan world in the countryside.
Orange Streetfood in Reykjanesbaer
The not-so-healthy vegan tracks continue outside Reykjanesbaer to give the vegans what they want. Orange Streetfood is widely regarded as the best place to get a vegan burger in the area! Even outcompeting many Reykjavík street food places when it comes to meat burgers.
Between Akureyri and Myvatn, there is a small family-owned restaurant that offers vegan food for tired travelers. Dalakofinn is a perfect stop on your trip around Iceland, where you can also stock up on some produce (if you are cooking on your travels). This restaurant opened in 1962 and sits right next to Ring Road 1.
Hradlestin in Kopavogur
Let’s face it: when it comes to vegetarian food, the Indian kitchen is simply on another level. Hradlestin has two open locations in Reykjavík. There's also one in Kopavogur where they offer authentic Indian food at reasonable prices. They are sporting both vegan and vegetarian options and promote “vegan Wednesday” for those who want their vegan thali at a lower price.
Iceland Vegetarian Restaurants
If you are not as strict as the vegans, and simply want to eat some vegetarian food in Iceland, then your options are going to increase significantly. You see, you will struggle to find a restaurant that doesn’t have a vegetarian option on its menu, regardless of where you are. You’ll find a vegetarian option, even at that bed and breakfast, that hasn’t changed since the settlement of the island.
Reykjavík is no exception to this, and the restaurant scene in Reykjavík has literally exploded in the last couple of years. It's become quite hard to pick a favorite or say that one is better than the other. We have tried to pick a couple of restaurants that provide good vegetarian food in Iceland. No mess, no fuss.
High up on the list is the beloved Noodle Station. Another family-owned restaurant that holds a secret recipe for their soup that will rock your soup-loving world. You can choose to get the vegetarian, chicken, or beef option, but that’s about it. That is a clear indicator that the owner and recipe-guard choose quality over quantity any day of the week.
Listen, food is the main actor in this play, but no theater is complete without setting the right mood. Vinyl Bistro has been the go-to place in Reykjavík for vegetarian and vegan foods for a long, long time. There is no place with a more shifting and inviting setting than Vinyl Bistro. With a wide selection of vegetarian dishes and an unbeatable atmosphere, this is a must-go for vegetarian food in Iceland.
For all the hungry travelers out there, this is the place to go for vegetarian food that will fill you up! Kruska is inspired by the Indian kitchen and always dishes out generous portions. Make sure you don’t miss this place on your trip through the city.
Reykjavík is fine and all, but vegetarian food in Iceland isn’t limited to the capital.
Modir Jord in Egilsstadir
If you really want to get down to the roots of vegetarian food in Iceland, we suggest you take the time to visit Modir Jord in the Egilsstadir area on the East Coast. This restaurant/shop/farm grows its own produce and has its own vegetarian café. This is the place to go for the freshest vegetarian food in Iceland.
If you ever find yourself in Vik for your holiday, we recommend that you get to the Soup Company as soon as possible. Despite the name, this small company also offers paninis and salads that are all to die for.
When it comes to vegetarian food in Iceland, there is a tomato farm along the golden circle that you should have a look at when you drive the route. Fridheimar specializes in everything tomato and a few other dishes, but they will seat you in the middle of the growing house. This will put you as close to the raw produce as you could possibly come in any restaurant.
Start Your Vegetarian food in Iceland Journey
When you’ve checked out the restaurants you want to go to and realized that eating vegan food in Iceland is not a mission and a half, it’s time to rent a car in Reykjavik to start your journey. Even though you will likely be full and satisfied with eating in the many restaurants in Reykjavík, some excellent and special restaurants will be found in the corners of the country. So, don’t be shy to rent a car and do some exploring yourself.