Published August 1, 2017
A puffin fridge magnet won’t get you drunk, or enlighten you to the Icelandic national character, will it?
Independent People by Halldór Laxness
If you want to know the nature of a man, pay attention to his words; if you want to understand a nation, read its literature. Possibly this is nowhere more relevant than in regards to Icelanders, and there’s no better place to start than with Iceland’s only Nobel laureate in Literature, Halldór Laxness. His epic novel ‘Independent People’ is a humorous take on the misery this inhospitable land has heaped on its people—as the cow dies, so do we.
Icelandic Design at YPSILON
If you want to pick up something unique to Iceland, you should drop by the brand new YPSILON store on the upper tier of Aðalstræti 2, run by a collective of emerging designers who are just spreading their wings. You could pick up clothing with tropical maximalist prints by Tanja Levy, interesting objects by And Anti Matter, eco-conscious clothing by KOLBRÚN, and “upcycled rave-wear” from the USEE studio.
Pallett Veggie Sausage Roll
Any British immigrant to Iceland will bemoan the chronic lack of pies and pastries. But British cook David Antony has got this absolutely covered. He bakes decadent and mouthwatering veggie sausage rolls for the Pallett café in Hafnarfjörður, but if you’re in downtown Reykjavík, you can get one warmed up at the IÐA café and bookstore on Ingolstörg. Warning: after one of these, you’ll never see Greggs in quite the same way.
Local Craft Beers
Iceland has recently developed a thriving scene for craft beer. Whereas, in the past, basic local lagers were pretty much your only option, today there are all sorts of brews to try from breweries like Steðji, Kaldi, Einstök, Gæðingur, and more. Some offer seasonal selections, so at the state-owned Vinbúðin off-license you’ll currently find summer beers you can only get at this time of year. Throw a selection in your case for a post-holiday comedown party.
Buy more shit.