The Icelandic Vegan & Vegetarian Society
The Icelandic Vegan & Vegetarian Society aims to be a platform for vegetarians and vegans, to promote their interests, project a positive image and increase their numbers. We provide advice to manufacturers and restaurants on how to cater to vegetarians and vegans and encourage retailers and wholesalers to expand the range of animal-free products and goods available in Iceland. The society organizes pot-luck dinners and other events from time to time where vegetarians and vegans in Iceland can enjoy each others company.
If you are planning on visiting Iceland, you need not worry. Eating out in Reykjavík has never been easier for vegetarians/vegans. Many places have vegetarian dishes and most will cater to vegetarians and vegans even if there is not a veg-friendly menu item listed.
Travelling the ring-road or the countryside of Iceland will be a bit more of a challenge so you have to be more creative and resourceful. There are fewer restaurants that offer vegetarian options outside of the capital. Thus we recommend that you stock up on provisions while you are there. Most supermarkets in Iceland offer a fair range of fresh produce but the selection is considerably better in urban areas (principally Akureyri and Reykjavík).
Almost all eateries in Iceland, no matter how rural, will allow for custom orders. If you have a hotel-room reserved with some notice it is also a good idea to call in advance and ask if they can provide you with a meal.
* Icelandic cheese generally contains animal rennet. If you want to buy vegetarian cheese, look for English cheese (Hagkaup has a good selection and Melabúðin in the west part of town).
* Eggs in Iceland are generally not free-range.
* “Veganesti” does not have anything to do with veganism. It is an Icelandic word meaning “roadsnacks.”
* Tofu is obtainable in most supermarkets, some Asian food stores and health shops.
* Many supermarkets, especially Fjarðarkaup in Hafnarfjörður and Nettó, have a decent range of products suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Hagkaup and Krónan are also good and, like Nettó, can be found in various country towns too. If you cannot find what you need, the main places health food shops which sell vegetarian and vegan products are Gló, Góða heilsa, Lífandi markaður and Heilsa. Grímsbær organic bakery in Bústaðavegur also stocks a good range of organic produce.
* If you have a car, you can buy lettuce, spinach and fresh herbs directly from Lambhagi in Grafarholt (find out first where it is), and in summer there are several places in the vegetable-growing town of Flúðir in the South of Iceland that sell their own produce at roadside stalls.
*Helpful words and phrases
Ég er grænmetisæta = I am a vegetarian
Ég er vegan = I am vegan
Ég borða ekki ____ = I do not eat ____
Kjöt = meat
Kjúklingur = chicken
Fiskur = fish
Egg = egg
Mjólk = milk
Smjör = butter
Rjómi = cream
Ostur = cheese
Skyr/jógúrt = yogurt
Hunang = honey