Icelandic Hot Dogs

Endless Road Trip Iceland: The Best Hot Dogs in the World?

Icelandic Hot Dogs

When you think of Icelandic food, you probably think of fresh seafood and exotic delicacies. What you might not think about is hot dogs, but you’d be making a grave mistake. In fact, cheap hot dogs are so beloved over there that they’re often called the Icelandic National Food. I recently returned from a trip to this magical country, and while I ate tons of exciting meals (don’t worry, those will be recapped later on), one of my most memorable culinary encounters was a 2:00am street hot dog. I mean, I love unique hot dog experiences, so how I could I resist seeing what all the fuss was about?

After a night of drinking in downtown Reykjavik we ventured out into the night to find Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik’s most popular hot dog stand. It’s extremely well-known in these parts, named the best hot dog in Europe by the Guardian and a favorite of visiting celebs—most famously, Bill Clinton is a fan.

Here’s how dogs are done in Iceland: for maximum deliciousness you need “ein með öllu” (one with everything): crispy fried onions and raw onions on the bottom of the bun, topped with a lamb hot dog, then topped with three sauces: ketchup, mustard, and remoulade. I’ve read rumors that BBP boils their dogs in beer, which helps to give them their distinctively rich taste. It may not be much to look at, but this was one of the best hot dogs I’ve ever had, and the perfect late night pick-me-up snack. Plus, unlike almost any other dining experience in Iceland, it didn’t break the bank, costing the equivalent of $3.

It just goes to show, even in a country full of bizarre and exciting foods, sometimes a cheap standby is worth seeking out. Find Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur after a night of debauchery in Reykjavik and you, too, will understand the buzz.

For more Iceland travel tips (not to mention cocktails, healthy recipes, and restaurant reviews), check out ES Emily’s individual blog, A Time to Kale, or tweet her @emilyteachout with all your burning food travel questions.

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  • I went to Iceland and LOVED it! I even tried Puffin, AND Whale. One was delicious, one was definitely NOT. If you go to my blog and hit “reviews” you can find my recap of everything I ate.

  • Emily August 15, 2013  

    Nice, a fellow Iceland lover! I tried puffin and whale, too… I also thought one was delicious and one was just okay. (Same opinions that you had, loved your post! I also have been describing whale as “the most tender, lean beef ever” to people!) If you check out the latest posts in my personal blog I go into detail about all my Icelandic eats – and we’ll continue to post some highlights here as part of our Endless Road Trip series next week. I could write about it forever.

    I already want to head back to Iceland for more adventures, let’s go!

  • Kim @ Tranquil Dreams August 15, 2013  

    You had me at hot dogs! One trip to Iceland in the planning 😉 To think, I was just considering it as a potential destination.

  • eemusings September 23, 2013  

    The hot dog stand was our first stop i Iceland 🙂 The sausage itself was a little meh, but overall, a pretty good hot dog.

    We didn’t try puffin, but ZOMG, the whale was deelicious.

  • Ray Davis November 6, 2013  

    OMG!!!! I first discovered Icelandic hotdogs in 1972 as a sailor stationed at Keflavik. They are, without a doubt, the best hotdogs in the world. I don’t know if it’s the mutton & beef in the dog, the sweet catsup/mustard seasoning or the onion mix, but they are unlike anything I’ve eaten anywhere else in the world.

  • Emily November 7, 2013  

    Hey Ray! I’m glad you agree with me… Icelandic hotdogs are the BEST! (And by far the cheapest thing to eat!) I totally think it’s something to do with the beef/mutton combination. Plus all those sweet, delicious sauces. When it comes to hot dogs, the more condiments the better, as far as I’m concerned.

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