Dairy Free Restaurant Guide – Reykjavik, Iceland
Heading to Reykjavik, Iceland? Grab our guide for all the best dairy free options at local restaurants! From hotel breakfasts to quick lunches to relaxing dinners, I’ve got you covered if you’re traveling to this beautiful city.
Disclaimer: As always, please be sure to carefully read all restaurant menus and double check with your server / restaurant manager to confirm that a dish is dairy free. While the listed options were dairy free at the time of writing, recipes can change, menus can change, restaurants can change. It’s up to you to confirm before dining!
Traveling to Reykjavik, Iceland? Let’s talk about different options for dining out.
I was recently able to take a quick trip to this beautiful island and will admit that I was a little nervous beforehand about what I would be able to eat.
Dairy allergies can be difficult enough to navigate here in the states and I had no idea what it would be like in another country. Would Iceland be good with food allergies? Would I have many options?
I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised – I enjoyed plenty of delicious food on the trip and didn’t have any trouble communicating needs with servers (thankfully english is widely spoken!).
So, let’s get to all the nitty gritty details.
Air Travel + Breakfast
IcelandAir – Alright, let’s start with the one portion of the trip where I would suggest bringing your own food (or eating ahead of time at the airport). We had some extra credits that we needed to use up and were able to upgrade to IcelandAir’s business class (or Saga Premium).
My husband pre-ordered the lactose free meal just to see (as he can eat dairy) but it was definitely not dairy free. The only actual dairy free options available were a fruit platter (that you had to pre-order), a snack mix (raw nuts + dried fruit) and an olive snack (which was just olives).
I was really glad that I ate before we boarded and had plenty of my own snacks on hand. It was an overnight flight on the way there so that wasn’t a big deal but on the way back definitely eat beforehand or bring something yourself.
Sidenote – we did stop in the Saga Lounge in Keflavík Airport on the way home. It was also very limited in options – I was able to eat some grapes and raw cashews.
Sand Hotel Complimentary Breakfast – This is the hotel that we stayed at and they offered a buffet-style breakfast every day that had plenty of dairy free options.
There were two types of dairy free milk (almond milk and oat milk), an array of fresh breads (most were dairy free but not all), peanut butter + jams, fresh veggies and hard-boiled eggs. There was also muesli and cold breakfast cereals with lots of different topping options – think raw nuts, fresh fruit, coconut chips and the like.
My personal favorite? They had two types of dairy free / vegan chia pudding topped with a layer of fruit puree – super yummy and, um, also helpful for staying regular while traveling!
Sidenote – there were a number of pastries and cold meats that were not dairy free but easy enough to avoid (and were kept on separate plates from everything else).
Lunch + Snacking
Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa Restaurant – After landing at Keflavík Airport, we immediately went to the Blue Lagoon (highly recommend this as it’s really nice to be able to shower after sitting on the plane overnight!).
After spending some time in the actual lagoon, we enjoyed lunch at the Retreat Spa Restaurant. They were excellent about checking on menu items and modifying things as needed (they had a few vegan dishes but I chose to alter a meat dish instead).
We had some delicious lattes (there were several different dairy free milk options), crusty bread with olive oil and salt for dunking, seeded crackers with an avocado dip and burgers without cheese / modified toppings.
Salka Valka Kitchen – We absolutely loved this adorable little spot for a quick lunch and they had a solid amount of dairy free items on the menu.
We tried and enjoyed their creamy coconut chickpea soup (we chose to add fresh fish) + sourdough (without the butter). We also really liked their sourdough vegan pizza – it was loaded with veggies and had dollops of a dairy free cheese – it reminded me more of a cashew cream / vegan ricotta and was quite tasty.
Sandholt Bakery – This restaurant was right next to our hotel and we popped over one day for a quick lunch. As far as regular food (think salads and sandwiches), they offered a decent amount of dairy free and vegan options, as well as dishes that could easily be made dairy free. We both enjoyed open-faced sandwiches with avocado, salsa and a fried egg.
They also had dairy free lattes and an array of teas. The only bummer was that none of their pastries (which all looked delicious) were dairy free. It was a little surprising considering the number of dairy free / vegan items on the actual food menu.
Perlan Museum Cafe – We spent one morning at the museum checking out the ice cave / other exhibits and stopped for a snack at their cafe (which offered a really pretty view of the city).
At the coffee shop, they had several different dairy free milks and a dairy free / vegan chocolate peanut butter bar – it was kinda sorta like a granola bar topped with a layer of chocolate and was quite tasty / not overly sweet.
There was also an ice cream shop on the premises – we didn’t have anything but I asked and they offered a dairy free vanilla ice cream along with several different sorbets. The actual restaurant in the museum looked very limited as far as dairy free options go (but we didn’t eat there and I didn’t specifically ask).
Dinner + Dessert
Apotek Kitchen + Bar – We had an awesome dinner at this restaurant. They had some items on their menu that were dairy free and / or vegan but they were also happy to customize others to make them dairy free.
We enjoyed some fun cocktails + roasted rosemary nuts to start. I had a salmon dish for my main meal that had plenty of veggies and a really tasty dairy free sauce. My husband had a dairy free version of their lamb dish – I believe they just changed / customized the sauce – so that I could try a few bites.
We finished the meal with their “vegan magic apple” – it was a salted caramel and chocolate mousse type dessert with some sorbet and fruit on the side.
Sumac – This was probably our favorite meal of the trip. The food was so good and they were great with my allergy. The vast majority of the menu was dairy free or easily made dairy free (which was really nice).
They serve tapas style dishes, so we started with some grilled oyster mushrooms and grilled okra. For the main course, we tried the shrimp skewers and beef skewers along with the grilled endive and saffron couscous for sides. Everything was excellent.
Meze – We had a really solid dinner at this restaurant. There were not a ton of dairy free options straight off the menu but they were able to leave off sauces / customize to make things dairy free.
We enjoyed the harissa chicken wings to start (the hummus appetizer also looked delicious – someone next to us ordered it). I had the salted fish (cod) for my main meal and my husband had the salmon (without the sauce so I could try some). Both were great and served with plenty of fresh veggies and potatoes.
Saeta Húsið – We stopped at this cute little cafe for dessert one night. They serve rolled ice cream and have a vegan base option, along with a really nice amount of vegan / dairy free flavors and toppings.
I did oreo peanut butter topped with crushed oreos and chocolate sprinkles (which were more like chocolate shavings – super good). My husband had oreo salted caramel (also dairy free) – the salted caramel is quite salted compared to the version found here in the states but I thought it was delicious.
They can also do a dairy free / vegan hot chocolate – we didn’t have any but were just chatting with the workers while ordering.
As we were only in Iceland for a few days, we were limited in how many restaurants we could try … so I’m sure that there are plenty I’m missing.
If you are local to the area or visited and found a dairy free spot that I didn’t mention please share in the comments below!