The Westfjords lie entirely outside of the Ring Road’s island-encompassing loop, making them one of the more remote corners of Iceland. The roads are carved into an endless sequence of vast flat-topped mountains punctuated by tiny towns in narrow fjords, often with great pools and hot pots. At the northern edge lies the wild nature reserve of Hornstrandir, only accessible by boat or on foot. To get away from the bustle of the tourist trail, the Westfjords are always a good bet.
Housed in an 18th-century fishing house, it features communal tables, low wooden ceilings, and best damn fish in the country. Every few minutes, a new, different, giant searing pan of fish appears at the buffet for everyone to try. The fish is fresh, and they have classic or internationally-inspired dishes like creamy haddock with grapes and peanut satay. It’s pricey, but think of it as three meals. You’ll eat that much anyway.
Tjarnarbraut 2, Bíldudalur
Bíldudalur doesn’t have any single shop or restaurant, just a building that combines every essential service into one place. Vegamót is one such place, only with a proper chef. As well as a convenience store, there are rustic tables with a fjord view; they serve fish and burgers (one with a pineapple topping—one panellist warned not to let the president know about this.)
Höfðatún 4, Hólmavík
Every seasoned Westfjords traveller knows this place. It’s a long way between Hólmavík and Súðavík and there is one single gas stop along the way, so anybody with a practical bone in their body has probably stopped here. Kaupfélagið is Icelandic for “the everything store,” and this place is exactly that: gas station, grocery store, and diner. Some panellists prefer the classic burgers, while others like the shockingly good sandwiches.
More Best Of Iceland Awards
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