Food: Westfjords, Iceland

Journey to the Westfjords, Iceland — a windswept peninsular, blessed with a rich natural larder — and delve into its organic local food scene

By Helen Warwick
Published 22 Mar 2015, 10:00 GMT, Updated 1 Jul 2021, 16:52 BST

By day, guests head into the valley on horseback or kayak, past black-sand beaches and lofty waterfalls trickling like threads of white silk down looming bluffs. By night, punters hunker down in this guesthouse's restaurant to enjoy farm-to-fork dishes: thick slices of smoked trout with a mustard skyr (low-fat yoghurt); tender lamb fillet with a wild mushroom sauce; and lobster soup with homemade bread… All are guaranteed to warm the cockles.

Tjöruhúsið, Ísafjörður
Swing by this timber-frame fixture beside the harbour and tuck into its faultless menu of fish dishes. Fresh and fantastic in variety, there's cod cheeks with sweet chilli, garlicky bouillabaisse, buttery langoustine with lemon, and monkfish in a rich mushroom sauce. T: 00 354 456 4419.

Braedraborg Café
Hungry hipsters head here from morning till night — it serves the best coffee in town, according to locals, while wedges of sourdough bread with Parma ham, Parmesan and pesto are divine. The headquarters of Borea Adventures — hiking, skiing and kayaking tours — it's a heartwarming spot to dose up on soups, sandwiches and sweet pastries while catching up on local gossip.

Make a beeline for this cafe-bar at nightfall. The food ticks all the boxes (the lamb and soups, in particular), but it's the late-night antics that aren't to be missed, when the whole bar croons along to Icelandic bands and DJs. T: 00 354 456 5555.

Whale blubber

One to miss: according to wildlife charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation, up to 40% of the meat from Icelandic minke whales is eaten by tourists.

Published in the April 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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