Iceland is a harsh yet beautiful island where culture and nature reign supreme. In this beautiful subarctic climate, hardy people have been flourishing for centuries. The key to thriving in this cool land is starting the day with a perfect Icelandic breakfast. Discover delicious and authentic breakfast in Iceland to start your subarctic adventure out right!
What Is Special About Icelandic Breakfast
Breakfast in Iceland is based on simple and healthy flavors in perfect balance. Most local Icelanders love to eat humbly in the morning, favoring simple breakfast staples like oats, berries, and lean proteins.
While Icelandic breakfasts may be basic in ingredients they are anything but basic in flavor; Icelanders develop wonderfully balanced flavors to begin their cool mornings.
Breakfast is essential to making it in such a cool place, so locals like to focus on dishes that will sustain them through the tough climate. Morning meals are all about bringing a little flavor to a necessary refuel. They are great before embarking on your day of exploration to the famous Icelandic landmarks.
Icelanders love to pair their breakfast with strong coffee or a glass of their world-renowned clean tap water. They might not be as unique as traditional Icelandic food but don’t let them fool you.
Most Famous Breakfast In Iceland
Lýsi (Cod Liver Oil)
Iceland is the world’s lead consumer of cod liver oil. The locals love to consume this supplement in the morning as an essential part of their breakfast.
The tradition of drinking this supplement for breakfast in Iceland starts young with even toddlers taking cod liver oil. No matter your age, if you are from Iceland it is probable that this is part of your morning routine.
Cod liver oil is made by extracting and refining the natural oils present in cod. This has been practiced in Nordic countries since the era of the Vikings. The oil has beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, so it is considered by locals to be a healthy staple.
Traditional Icelandic Breakfast Foods
Skyr með Bláberjum og Rjóma (Skyr with Blueberries and Cream)
Delicious Icelandic yogurt, skyr is a mainstay of Icelandic breakfast. Locals enjoy eating skyr at all times of day, but especially in the morning.
One irresistible way to eat this dairy is with cream and local Icelandic bilberries, a bog-hardy variety of blueberries. Vibrantly colored blueberries are smaller than typical blueberries, but they’re packed with sweet and tart flavors that balance the tangy skyr. A splash of the cream helps make this breakfast smooth and dreamy.
Oats are a hardy grain that can survive even in Iceland, so Icelanders love to break their fast with filling oatmeal. Traditionally oatmeal in Iceland is made with oats and dairy, typically cow’s milk.
This basic but beautiful Icelandic breakfast is topped with brown sugar for a touch of sweetness and served with fruit, eggs, or skyr.
Rúgur með Bleikju (Rye with Arctic Char)
Rye bread is a staple in homes and bakeries across Iceland. Home bakers and chefs all have their own variation of Icelandic rye, but the typical rye here is dense and lightly sweetened. This bread becomes the base of all sorts of tasty Icelandic breakfasts, including rye with arctic char.
The arctic char is a favorite fish of locals and it shines atop a warm piece of toasted rye. Rich proteins and hearty grains give you enough substance to explore this beautiful country!
Locals love a little sweetness to lighten up the dark mornings in Iceland, so the perfect sweet breakfast in Iceland is delicious vöfflur, or waffles. Icelanders prepare their waffles in the traditional Nordic heart shape.
The sweet gridded cakes have an airy texture that makes them irresistible. Top these sweet breakfast treats with whipped cream and local berries for the perfect sweet spin on Icelandic breakfast.
Discovering Traditional Breakfast In Iceland
Iceland is an island full of surprises and wonder. It is impossible not to love this Nordic island, and one thing that is sure to charm you is the simple satisfying breakfast in Iceland.
Fuel your adventure authentically with delicious local breakfast fare, because in the cold climate you need every calorie! If you prefer a sweeter start, you can also consider having some of these desserts in Iceland as your breakfast food.
While breakfast food in Iceland is overshadowed by tons of other things that Iceland is famous for, don’t miss out on the food here.