Where to Enjoy the Best Icelandic Ice Cream
Updated: Jan 24
It may come as a little bit of a surprise to some but ice cream is extremely popular in Iceland. Of course it goes without saying that everyone loves ice cream in summer. However, it is a definite year-round obsession in Iceland. Come snow, come blizzard. Whatever the weather in Iceland a sweet ice cream cone goes down a treat with the locals.
Much like a regular social gathering at the hot springs is an integral part of life for many Icelandic people. So too is meeting up for an ice cream. In fact a soak in a hot spring followed by an ice cream is the best way to play it. In this article we will explore where to find the very best Icelandic ice cream. Here comes the where, the why and the what of this much celebrated sweet treat.
Iceland ice cream – typical flavour combinations
So here come the particulars of the Iceland ice cream fascination. There are all sorts of ice cream choices for you to deliberate over. From Italian influenced gelato to soft serve to skyr based ices that are similar to a frozen yogurt.
Some of the most popular favours in Iceland revolve around liquorice and chocolate combinations. Liquorice candy and chocolate covered liquorice is a really popular flavour in Iceland. You might find it an acquired taste but think of it like the sweet and savoury of salted caramel. If it’s all too strange then you can easily get hold of all the classic ice cream flavours too. And for the adventurous there are many more unusual ones besides.
Those with a sweet tooth get ready to rejoice. When it comes to toppings and sprinkles there is a whole world of choice. In most ice cream parlours you will have the choice of either soft serve or regular scooped ice cream. You will then usually need to make the choice between a waffle cone and a wafer cone.
When it comes to soft serve things can get quite elaborate indeed. You might choose to dip your ice cream in dark or white chocolate. This forms a crisp shell to bite through. After that the cone could be rolled in sprinkles. These can take many forms including liquorice, nuts, corn puffs or any number of chocolate covered sweets.
Another option is a flurry or for a more direct translation a ‘Tastefox’. This is a soft serve flurried with several different flavours. You might go for berries and caramel sauce or for liquorice and dark chocolate. The choices are many. You can either get creative with your own combinations or go with a tried and tested recommendation.
Where to enjoy Icelandic ice cream in Reykjavik
Valdis ice cream Iceland
This one tops many people’s lists and it is probably the most popular ice cream shop in the capital. Valdis is a relative newcomer but they have really gone to town on the flavours here. From black pepper to pistachio and all sorts of delicious sorbets too. This is one to visit with an open mind and plenty of space to sample the delights. Of course most people have a separate stomach for ice cream anyway.
This is a very popular chain of ice cream parlours in Reykjavik and throughout the rest of the country too. If you see their sign you know you are in safe hands. This is where to come for excellent ice cream shakes or soft-serve with all the trimmings. From chocolate shells to sprinkles, swirls and sweet sticky sauces galore. You’ll be like a kid in a candy store – quite literally!
This is an interesting one located inside the health food store Mother Knows Best. The ice cream here is frozen right before your eyes using liquid nitrogen! So there is a spectacle to enjoy as well as scrumptious vegan options made with coconut or almond milk.
This is the spot to come for the very best soft serve flurries. Be warned though that you may well experience overwhelm here. The toppings and flurry ingredient choices are almost too many to count. From kinder egg to daim bar to gummy bears and back again. If you are struggling just ask your ice cream mixologist for advice. They will whip you up an out of this world flavour combination in no time.
The best ice cream in Iceland beyond the capital
Of course, eating ice cream is not confined to the capital. There are ice cream outposts all over Iceland and you won’t have to drive far to find them. If headed to the Snæfellsnes Peninsular then a pit stop at Erpsstaðir is very much recommended. They also sell some delicious skyr and sweet chilled take-away treats. So if you are hiring a motorhome you’ll be able to stock up the fridge and enjoy more later.
On the Golden Circle route there are several farm outlets where they combine dairy farming with an ice cream parlour. If you are road tripping around the Golden Circle route then call in at both Efstidalur and Brunhóll. Both make great stops for a leg stretch with beautiful rural settings to enjoy your ice cream break in.