When traveling in Iceland, the truly amazing is often just around the corner. Just a little further and you might actually be in Wonderland; places where trolls roam the beach, whales swim just off the pier and kings have dined. Here are a few tips for those who like to combine good eats and dream locations.
There might be more impressive spots, but when you’re standing here, you won’t remember them. The volcanic black sand beach stretches from the grand rock doors of Dyrhólaey Island on one side to the amazing basalt columns and the towering troll and ship-turned-to-stone on the other. And when the wind and the surf get a bit too much, there is the Black Beach Café making hearty soup and delicious sandwiches served with indoor warmth behind the full size windows.
Even for Iceland this is a magnificent and an otherworldly place; the great lake Mývatn on one side and the spectacular lava formations on the other. After a walk through the mystical land below, around lava formations the size of three story buildings, a cold pint on the natural patio at Kaffi Borgir would be a fine choice. Also, this is a great place for lunch; be it the reindeer-burger or the excellent local trout, Chef Freddi is your man.www.kaffiborgir.is
Between the lagoon at the mouth of Ölfusá River and the open North Atlantic Ocean this place has a spectacular panoramic view of at least four active volcanoes (including Eyjafjallajökull and Hekla), as well as the rugged southern Reykjanes peninsula. A seriously scenic drive (Icelandic style) would be through the lava fields next to the Blue Lagoon, along the south coast, ending up at Hafið Bláa. This popular restaurant serves fresh seafood and a great cream of langoustines, or just have coffee and cake while enjoying the lovely scenery.
Skaftfell is situated in the basement of an old carpenter’s shop in Seydisfjordur, reincarnated as an artist residency and center for visual arts. All kinds of creative people have come and loved hanging out here shoulder to shoulder with the easygoing locals of this beautiful old fishing village turned hipster mecca. Imaginative cooks using local ingredients do a superb job, varying the menu from day to day and the word is: they serve the best pizzas on the east coast. Tip! Go for a whale watching walk after dinner.www.skaftfell.is
Tryggvaskáli’s talented chefs of notable reputation provide fine dining on the beautiful eastern bank of Ölfusá River, just off the great bridge in an area rich with history. A cool menu focuses mostly on local, hand-picked, quality ingredients, complemented by some of their own homegrown vegetables. Any dish is a worthwhile experience, but the wild salmon is a revelation. Be sure to ask the staff about the history of the house since this is in fact the sort of place where families have gathered, lovers have met and a king has dined.www.tryggvaskali.is