Iceland: What do you eat when fast food cost $20?

Updated: Aug 9, 2018

Our second day in Iceland, Matt and I decided to see what it would cost to grab a fast-food burger and fries. We found what looked like a McDonald's equivalent: Aktu-Taktu. Crazy enough, there are no McDonald’s in Iceland! A burger and fries was equivalent to around 20 USD. We had heard that a regular sit down meal could cost more than 50 USD per person. So we definitely weren’t interested in that.

Side Note: to convert the price of Icelandic Króna to the United State Dollar, just move the decimal place over two places to the left and that’s very close to what the price is. So ISK 1000 is about 10 USD. In reality it is actually a bit less than $10 at $9.32.


Thankfully there are groceries stores. And this is also why I recommend staying somewhere with a kitchen. It’s much cheaper if you cook. The most popular grocery stores we saw were Bónus and Krónan and we visited both. Oddly enough, the groceries were not outrageously priced. We were just smart with what we got to not waste food and to make it last a long time and also be healthy. Although cooking can be annoying, for someone who enjoys being healthier, it’s a better option. And cheaper. While shopping, although some products were labeled in English, most of the food was just labeled in Icelandic. We found it very hard to understand what we were looking at. For example, you may be able to tell that you’re looking at meat, but what type of meat? Or we wanted to buy a spice to cook our fish in, but couldn’t tell what spice was what. We ended up buying fish, a frozen pizza, eggs, avocados, a tomato, an onion, garlic bread, sliced bread, chips, olive oil, hummus, frozen veggies, red pepper, and mushrooms. This worked out perfectly. We were able to make eggs for breakfast and guacamole for a snack any time we wanted. Then I would make paninis on the stove and package them to last all day on our road trip (I bought some extra zip-blocks from home). We had pizza and fish for dinner one night. When you go on road trips, there aren’t many food options, so I would recommend cooking and packing food. Have lots of healthy snacks. The nice thing is Iceland is so chilly so you don’t have to worry about your food getting too hot in the car.

When you aren’t cooking:

Sometimes you can’t always cook. We found a few other options and there are probably more we just didn’t stumble across. While doing our southern border trek along Iceland, we stopped at Selfoss and needed food. We came across a KFC attached to a sandwich shop. Matt got some KFC for around 15 USD and I got a sandwich for around 12 USD. One day while we were in Reykjavík and hungry, we stopped at Costco. You do not need to have a membership to eat there. The food is right when you walk in the door. We were able to get some cheap pizza and drinks. I highly recommend if you need quick, cheap food.

- Kaleigh


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