Since Iceland’s tourism began to boom several years ago, tourists from all over the world have commented on how expensive it is to dine out in the island country.

Since Iceland’s tourism industry began to boom several years ago, tourists from all over the world have commented on how expensive it is to dine out in the island country. However, you’ll probably find that dining out in Iceland is no more expensive than a meal in any popular European tourist city like London or Rome, for example. 

This isn’t all to say, however, that you can’t eat well in Iceland for a reasonable price and still enjoy some high-quality meals - you just have to know where to go and what to prepare ahead of time. 

Planning ahead

One of the best ways to eat cheaply in Iceland, of course, is to prepare as much of your food as possible on your own. This could mean taking an ice chest along on your travels in your rental car and packing it with snacks, items for sandwiches, and Icelandic foods like Skyr. It might also mean stocking your Airbnb or hotel refrigerator with as much as you can. 

These are all great to take on the road, and you can stop at supermarkets to stock up on food as you go. Even preparing one meal a day will significantly help to reduce the amount of money you are spending on eating out. 

Street Food

If you’re keen to eat a variety of foods for an affordable price, Iceland’s street food scene might just be the perfect thing for you. Reykjavik has seen a real boom when it comes to street food, with two dedicated food halls offering local and traditional cuisine, as well as different foods from all over the world. 

Our Guide to Icelandic Street Food tells you everything you need to know about enjoying street food in Reykjavik, so make sure to read it for more details. 

Hit the Cafes

Cafe culture is big in Iceland. Reykjavik, in particular, has no shortage of warm and charming cafes with delicious coffee, soups, sandwiches and cakes on offer. And, if you’re looking to dine out on a budget, cafes are also very light on the wallet, meaning that you can eat plenty without having to splurge on the bill too much. Some of our top recommended affordable Reykjavik cafes include:

Reykjavik Rost: Serving croissant sandwiches, soups and grilled sandwiches, Reykjavik Rost in the old Harbour District is the perfect destination for breakfast or lunch in a beautiful setting. 

Svarta Kaffid: Specialising in to-die-for soup bread bowls, this cafe was the original bread bowl spot in Iceland. Soups range in flavour and include vegetarian and vegan options. 

Cafe Babalu: This charming and funky cafe based in central Reykjavik serves an amazing and tasty range of cakes and other desserts, as well as soups, hot drinks and so much more. 

Reykjavik Roasters: One of the city’s best coffee providers, Reykjavik Roasters is the perfect spot for a quick breakfast. The menu also includes quality baked goods, like danish and croissants, as well as sandwiches and snacks. 

Kaffitar: You’ll find this local Icelandic cafe in 5 different locations throughout Reyjavik. In addition to amazing coffee, their menu offers quiche, sandwiches, cakes and more.