They say the best way to get to know a place is to eat it.
The distinctive taste of the fruit, the warmth of traditional sweets and the aroma of free range meats infused with local herbs will tell you amazing stories of heritage, culture, survival, resource management, creativity and love.
The cuisine of the Westfjords is as singular as the region, something every foodie will discover to their delight. Free-range lamb and some of the freshest fish you will find in the world dominate the menu. Fresh local herbs like the arctic thyme, local kelp and sea salt; Icelandic barley and wild Icelandic mushrooms elevate the experience some more! The baked goodies are distinctive coupled with homemade jams like rhubarb and blueberry. And in the autumn, wild berries are plentiful and find their way on to the table in myriad preparations.
As the saying goes: Think global, but eat local! In that spirit, here’s a count of some of the finest restaurants in the region.
Fish at Tjoruhusid
Most would agree that it is Iceland’s best fish restaurant. A family owned set up in a traditional wooden log house dating to 1781, there is atmosphere in spades here. They stand out for the fact that they only serve the catch of the day (which could explain the absence of a pre-decided menu).
During the peak season, especially for dinner, they offer a buffet with a delightful fish soup and a variety of fish including cod, plaice, halibut, red snapper and wolf fish. If you’re lucky, you might also sample the traditional Icelandic plokkfiskur (fish stew).
The food and the rustic charm of dining there is not something you’re likely to forget soon.
Buffet lunch – 2000 ISK for soup, 2500 ISK for fish
Buffet dinner – 6000 ISK for soup & fish
Tea, coffee and chocolate complimentary.
Open from around Easter until October (exact dates are random). Since they’re usually full, reservations via phone, FB or email are a good idea!
Heydalur – Organic, Local Food in Mjoifjordur
Go East or West, home cooked food is the best.
An old barn that has been redone done as a restaurant with a turf roofed house; the Heydalur menu features lamb meat from the farm next door, wild blueberries and mushrooms from the valley, and locally caught trout and salmon. Most significant is the location- a detour off the road in the middle of nowhere!
Come, let Stella and Gisli’s cooking do the talking. And if you’re staying with them, they have a geothermal hot spring that is perfect for a dip and complimentary for guests.
The starters (served with bread) are anywhere between 1000 to 1300 kr with a salad supplement thrown in for an extra 200 kr; the vegetarian course around 1800 kr, fish between 2800 kr to 3600 kr, while meat preparations could range between 2000 kr to 4500 kr. The desserts are creative and varied-and priced at 1200 kr.
They’re open right through the year.
Waffles at Litlibaer, Skotufjordur
For the best waffles in Iceland, walk into Litlibaer in Skotufjordur – the nicest place to enjoy an afternoon cuppa coupled with a little tour of the property for a touch of history.
Built in 1895, this warm and welcoming turf roofed farmhouse was lived in until 1969 and today hosts an exhibition by the Folk Museum of the Westfjords, which together with the well-preserved ruins around the house, will give you an insight into life back then.
The charming hostess serves up some truly memorable waffles, blueberry cakes and a host of desserts that you can chase down with coffee. The views are some of the best and you may be lucky enough to watch some seals frolicking in the fjord.
It’s 1200 kr for a portion of waffles with tea or coffee.
Open from mid-May until mid-September. If you’d like to visit out of season, we can check if it’s possible to arrange a time in your itinerary.
Kaffi Sol, Onundarfjordur
Just over a year old, this place is a favourite with the locals and with good reason – great views of one of Iceland’s prettiest fjords and a taste of local specialities.
Lump sucker fish with rye bread; smoked lamb and flatbread; and Icelandic crepes with rhubarb jam are just some of the goodies you can find at this dear little cafe.
In the evenings there is Icelandic vegetable soup with plokkfiskur (a traditional fish stew).
Small bites start from 500 kr and the dinner is 2100 kr.
Season time is mid May to mid September.
Cafe Dunhagi, Talknafjordur
More than a restaurant; this cafe is a cultural centre that specialises in local cuisine. Located in one of the oldest buildings in the fjord, the cafe boasts of a wonderful collection of old photos that tell of the people, their lives and their grit to survive against all odds. Plus, the hostess simply loves telling stories – so it’s the perfect place for a flavour of local culture and history in the midst of nature with a variety of music (the hostess loves good old country music but you’re welcome to be the disc jockey).
Various fish, lamb and vegetarian preparations spiced with the freshest local herbs and accompanied with homemade breads and desserts; they also have a great selection of wines and beers. So be it coffee, lunch or dinner, any time spent at Cafe Dunhagi is time well spent!
A fish preparation with rye bread or salad are between 2200 to 3200 kr and lamb around 4000 kr.
Season time lasts between mid May and mid September.
In the heart of Patreksfjordur overlooking the fjord, this local restaurant is a great place to dine in the southern Westfjords.
Pride of place is accorded to the speciality of the day with freshly baked bread and assorted goodies – all homemade of course, along with jams made of rhubarb and fresh berries. For starters, you have a choice of salmon or the soup of the day. Main courses offer a selection of fresh fish of the day, fillet of lamb or rib eye with roasted potatoes, vegetables and pepper/béarnaise sauce. There is an assortment of light dishes for a quick meal, and they also make their own chocolates.
Season time is from 1st June to September 30th, though September has shorter hours.
We can customise any of our trips to add in local insights on food. So if you want to taste your way around the Westfjords or Iceland, just send us an email and we’d be happy to share our favourite places with you!
After all, the holiday of your life is only scripted on a full stomach.
A note of caution though: Dates and timings change from year to year and the restaurants could be closed on certain dates, so it’s best to double check and also book in advance.