Icelandic food tour with Wake Up Reykjavik

In April 2016 I spent a few days travelling, keen to see new countries for a complete change of scenery. The schedule was set for Germany, Iceland, Norway and Italy before returning to London.

Whilst spending a few days in Iceland, I wanted to experience a food tour and Wake up Reykjavik was my first choice. 

Having previously joined other food tours on my travels, I couldn’t wait to experience authentic, Icelandic cuisine in the professional hands of an Icelandic local. A tour with Wake Up Reykjavik allows guests to enjoy no less that 13 delicious traditional dishes.

My tour group was led by Egill (or Gilly for short) of Wake Up Reykjavik and consisted of 10 people from all over the world. It was easy to feel comfortable and have a chance to talk with the rest of the group about their opinions of the food and Gilly did a great job of explaining the cuisine to us whilst showing us around the city.

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The meeting point is at the front of the Harpa building, Reykjavik’s concert hall which dominates the harbour with its iconic design. If you get there early then it’s a good opportunity to explore this landmark before the tour starts.

The tour provided my first introduction to Icelandic lamb stew – perfect for overcoming the chilly weather of Iceland. I loved the taste of the stew which reminded me of Caribbean mutton soup – a Jamaican favourite!
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Part of the tour also includes a stop at a local deli to try a selection of cheese and meats including cured lamb and horse meat, as well as goose with strawberry sauce.

We strolled around the city for around 3 hours enjoying generous portions of food whilst learning about family-run businesses, local hangouts and enjoying a range of new tastes.
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There’s also an opportunity to try a portion of Rye bread ice cream – a first for me but something that certainly won’t be the last.

Other foods enjoyed on the tour included strawberry flavour ‘Skyr’ (similar to natural yoghurt) and a chance to indulge in the world famous lamb hotdog of Iceland. Tip: be kind to yourself and have the lamb hotdog with everything. The combination of sauces with crispy onions and raw onions is a winner!
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The tour also provides an opportunity to sample mink whale. I found it more difficult to enjoy the whale meat with a slight, unappealing flavour, but this didn’t detract from my experience at all.
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It’s an exciting experience as we literally had no idea what we would be trying next, although thankfully, we skipped the fermented shark, sheep head and rams testicles!

If you’re heading to Iceland then I’d recommend trying the Reykyavik Food Walk with Wake Up Reykjavik for a fun and alternative way to see the city, whilst filling up on excellent food.

The tour costs 12,900 ISK (equivalent to £72 – May 2016) and spaces for the tour can be booked online via the Wake Up Reykjavik website.

Many thanks to Wake Up Reykjavik for the opportunity to join the tour on a complimentary basis.

2 comments

  • Totally adding this to my upcoming Iceland trip itinerary (I’m going to have to stay for about three months to do everything on my list…) Not sure about the whale meat though!

    • I was a little hesitant with the whale meat but everything else was great. Highly recommend taking the tour, I hadn’t expected Iceland to be such a culinary delight!

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