Iceland: Land of Fire, Ice & Fabulous Food

Monday, 3rd April 2017

Destination Specialist

iceland reykjavik restaurant dill ragnar eiriksson

Just Why is Iceland Hot for Foodies Right Now?

Having recently been awarded their its first Michelin-starred restaurant, find out why Iceland is hot for foodies right now as we talk to Ragnar Eiriksson of Reykjavik’s  DILL

Ragnar Eiriksson is cooking up a storm in Iceland. “We’re definitely up and coming on the world’s foodie hotlist,” says the head chef at Reykjavik’s DILL restaurant – the recipient of Iceland’s first-ever Michelin star last month. “It was obviously a huge honour and I am very chuffed, but it should be kept in mind that this is not something achieved by one little hairy dude from Reykjavik; it is the combined effort of a small but awesome team at DILL. I am just very excited to see Iceland finally on the culinary map.”

That’s right, Iceland – where hundreds of years ago hardy settlers established a gastronomic legacy of dried fish, smoked puffin and fermented shark – has become one of the world’s most desirable destinations for food lovers.

“There are nice restaurants popping up all over now, and so many young and talented chefs graduating from culinary school every year.”

iceland reykavik dill restaurant mikael axelsson

The dishes at DILL look stunning. Every week the restaurant devises a new seven-course menu, each dish paired to perfection with a fine wine. Expect little clay pots housing mouth-watering delicacies such as Arctic char with fennel or pork belly with honey and parsnips.

“Flavours, it’s as simple as that,” says Eiriksson when we asked him where he found his inspiration. “I try not to spend too much energy on plating. Let the ingredients keep their natural shape and allow them to shine.”

You can never go wrong with seafood in Iceland – the coastline is riddled with fishing harbours where lobster, sea trout and cod are landed daily – but the Iceland’s volcanic interior is also a source of delicious ingredients. Grazed on mountain slopes where wild herbs infuse their meat with rich flavours, organic lamb and reindeer frequently appear on menus, along with wild berries plucked from the tundra and freshwater fish like Arctic char and salmon.

Combining traditional recipes with state of the art methods, Eiriksson and his team are on a mission to rediscover their Nordic culinary roots while exploring new ways to create their dishes. Seasonal ingredients are top of their agenda.

Spring is long awaited in Iceland, I’m looking forward to going foraging for wild herbs and mushrooms; it’s my nerdy little hobby! One of my favourites is angelica, a hardy northern plant that has a taste profile somewhere between fennel and celery.

And what culinary highlights can guests look forward to at DILL this summer? “We will just be carrying on using our weird local ingredients that will probably include dung-smoked trout, caviar ash egg, seaweed and of course angelica.”

hotel ranga gourmet dining

Four more great places to eat in Iceland this summer:

Jamie’s Italian Iceland Hotel Borg, Reykjavik

Jamie Oliver’s new Iceland venture offers ‘Fantastic Fried Gnocchi’, ‘Truffle Shuffle’ pizza and other Italian favourites at Hotel Borg – a 1930s Art Deco hotel set on one of Reykjavik’s beautiful city squares. According to Oliver, Iceland is the perfect spot for his latest restaurant “with a rich heritage, fantastic food scene and real passion and love for locally sourced ingredients”.
We recommend: Reykjavik City Break

Hotel Ranga near Hella, South Iceland

Ranga’s gourmet restaurant is based on the concept of a farmer’s market. “My main goal is to use local ingredients that are in season,“ says head chef Karl Johann Unnarsson. Modern Nordic in style – with a hint of French and Italian – beautifully presented dishes include melt-in-your-mouth seafood and mountain-reared lamb. The restaurant‘s floor-to-ceiling windows provide spectacular views across Iceland‘s beautiful south.

Download your free copy now

We recommend: Summer Nights at Ranga

Hotel Husafell Borgafjordur, West Iceland

Contemporary, eco-friendly Hotel Husafell is fast developing a reputation for fine dining in Iceland’s Wild West. Bursting with local flavours, the menu features sophisticated and imaginative dishes using seafood, lamb, wild game and other Icelandic delicacies, while the restaurant’s picture windows frame stunning views of the surrounding fells and woodland of Borgafjordur.
We recommend: Northern Lights, Glaciers & Waterfalls

Hotel Siglo Siglufjordur, North Iceland

Gaze out of the restaurant windows of this stylish new harbourside hotel and you might catch a glimpse of one of its chefs selecting seafood from local fishermen. Freshly-caught fish, simply grilled and served with a light creamy sauce, is a highlight here. Across the marina, and popular with locals, Hotel Siglo’s bright red Kaffi Raudka serves everything from coffee and cake to traditional Icelandic hashed fish.

You can combine all of these foodie highlights in our nine-night Iceland in Style holiday, which includes stays at each of the hotels above, as well as an overnight in Reykjavik’s brand new Hilton Canopy, just a couple of minutes’ walk from DILL restaurant.

Does DILL tickle your tastebuds?

Savour the flavours of DILL on a tailor-made Reykjavik holiday.

Contact one of our dedicated Travel Specialists on 01737 214 250 or send an enquiry.

Popular blog posts

Top Things to Do in Svalbard

An alluring haven at world's end; the Svalbard archipelago is one of the world’s largest untouched wilderness areas and it’s precisely this vast area of raw nature that puts it on the bucket list for many. Read our top favourite things to do...
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me
  • Northern Lights

Thursday, 13th June 2019

Becky Masih

Why We Love Iceland

Over 40 years ago, our managing director, Clive Stacey, himself began a love affair with Iceland and it's diverse landscapes, countless natural wonders and vibrant culture!  To celebrate Valentine's Day, we’ve asked our Discover the World team why they love the incredible land of fire and ice...
  • Inspire Me
  • Travel Stories

Thursday, 14th February 2019

Becky Masih

Top 10 Trips of a Lifetime

From northern lights to safari holidays, we've listed some of our favourite destinations and holidays to spark your imagination. Remember, all of our itineraries can be tailor-made for a trip of YOUR life.

Monday, 21st January 2019

Becky Masih

Cathy Harlow: Hiking in East Greenland Tour Highlights

In summer 2019, Wanderlust award-winning guide Cathy Harlow is travelling again to the wild and remote East Greenland coast to guide our nine-day ‘Hiking in East Greenland’ adventure. There’s so much about East Greenland that inspires Cathy but there are a few truly special experiences that make this trip stand out, read on to find out more…
  • Adventure
  • Inspire Me

Wednesday, 24th October 2018

Cathy Harlow

Other blogs you may like

Best Restaurants in East Iceland

The pristine East Fjords are peppered with fishing villages, herb-smothered mountain slopes are grazed by sheep and reindeer, while fertile valleys shelter some of Iceland’s best agricultural land. Here are some of our favourite places to dine when visiting the east...
  • Food & Culture

Thursday, 21st April 2016

Destination Specialist

5 of the best places to eat in Iceland

After a long day of watching geysers erupt, climbing volcanoes, swimming in geothermal pools, and snowmobiling on glaciers, you'll probably have worked up an appetite. But where to go?
  • Food & Culture

Thursday, 26th June 2014

Destination Specialist

Fine Dining at West Iceland’s Hotel Husafell

Iceland Product Executive, Andy, takes us on a culinary journey at Iceland's stylish Hotel Husafell.
  • Food & Culture
  • Travel Stories

Friday, 1st December 2017

Destination Specialist

Land of Fire, Ice & Raised Eyebrows: Eight things in Iceland you won’t believe!

From French fishing towns with French roadsigns, to troll tantrums in the East Fjords - in light of April Fool's Day, here are some fact about Iceland you may not believe!
  • Discover our World

Friday, 31st March 2017

Destination Specialist