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Best grocery stores / delis / bakeries in Iceland?

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I'll be in Iceland most of July, staying in a house about a half-hour from Reykjavik. It's a lounge-y kind of trip: I'm planning on doing some sightseeing, but will be mostly reading books and hanging out, and therefore eating at home.

I've been to Iceland before and I know groceries are expensive and the selection is limited. That said, which are the best places to shop for food? I am looking for basics (but delicious!) like bread, cheese, skyr, pate .. plus fresh vegetables. Prepared food like stews and soups would be great too.

Thanks in advance for any advice you've got.

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  1. Just in Reykjavik? Or will you be exploring?

    And if in Reykjavik, where will you be based?

    2 Replies
    1. re: L2k

      I'll be staying about a half-hour drive from Reykjavik. Exploring a little, but only day trips.

      Since my original question I've done a bunch of research, which I'll post the results of below for future travellers. If anyone's got feedback on this, please add it.

      For grocery stores, I've read that Víðir is the best "ordinary" grocery store, and Nóatún is the best high-end one. Hagkaup apparently is a hypermarket, kind of like Walmart or Target in the United States, and sells some food items. The most basic chain is Samkaup Úrval, and the 10-11s are a chain of 7-11 type stores that are open late, but have limited variety and high prices. Kostur is an expensive grocery store in Reykjavik that sells American products you can't get elsewhere.

      The best deli in Reykjavik apparently is The Deli -- it sells prepared foods for takeaway, plus cheese, deli meats, olives and so forth.

      Bakarí Sandholt is good for croissants and bread, Jói Fei (in a shopping mall) is a celebrity-chef bakery that focuses more on cakes than bread, Mosfellsbakarí sells breads, cakes, pastries and handmade chocolates, and Bernhofts Bakari is cheap and excellent, but has mixed reviews for service.

      Comments and further information are welcome :)

      1. re: spigot

        Sorry to be picky, but 1/2 hour outside Reykjavik could be Grindavik or it could be Hveragerði.

        Answers could be different, depending on where you are going to be.