From Iceland — Festival Fuel For Body And Soul

Festival Fuel For Body And Soul

Published November 2, 2023

Festival Fuel For Body And Soul
Photo by
Art Bicnick
Tim Lambrecq

The Grapevine’s picks for staying fed while running around town

Unless this is your first Iceland Airwaves, you know the drill and you’re likely reading this during a quick respite before running off to the next off-venue or official gig. It’s the busiest weekend of the year in Reykjavík! When stamina is the name of the game, the last thing you want is a grumbling tummy distracting you from enjoying the spectacle on stage.

We put together this definitive guide to staying fed and fuelled as the festival rages.

Pierogi Power at Kemuri

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It’s cold out and you want something hearty. Nothing fits the bill better than the humble pierogi. Luckily, there’s a brand new spot in town serving up these scrumptious dumplings to the masses – or the handful of people able to fit at any one time within its dichroic glass walls. Lest you fear that loading up on carbs will drag you down, Kemuri also serves up sick beats, so you’ll keep the party going while you nosh.

Photo by Art Bicnick

The Humble Hotdog at Bæjarins Beztu

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There is a reason there is always – and we mean always – a line at the hotdog stand. It’s consistent. You know what you’re going to get and you know it’s not going to set you back too much money. It also won’t take a long time to chow down if you’re pressed for time between concerts. Bonus points for its location smack dab between Grapevine HQ and the IA Centre.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Legitimately Good Food at Arabian Taste

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“The service is so friendly!” seems to be the common refrain one hears about Arabian Taste. The Syrian family-run restaurant has been serving joy to hungry Reykjavíkings through plates of torpedo lookalike kibbeh — pounded bulghur wheat stuffed with spiced minced meat, deep fried to crusty goodness — smokey lamb kebabs, chopped baba ghanoush and fresh tabbouleh. We strongly recommend getting a side of pickles, and some extra spicy sauce alongside your falafel wrap. Late nights don’t translate to a grift here; the family is all smiles no matter the time of day.

Doughy Delight of Devitos

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Even bad pizza is good pizza and Devitos is better than bad, it’s good. Another staple of the Icelandic late night bites for over 25 years, this place is sure to sort you out at the end of a long shift at the hotel or a long line at the bar bathroom. Now stop your yapping and grab a slice with pepperoni, pineapple and cream cheese like a real native.

Photo by Art Bicnick

Catching the Train at OSushi

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One of the reasons this sushi joint is consistently named one of the best family-friendly joints in town is also a good reason to consider it good festival food: you don’t have to wait to be served. Walk in, take a seat (it’s polite to acknowledge the staff and be told to take a seat), and take your pick of the plates of sushi making their way around the moving track. Just a little peckish? A couple plates will do ya. Monstrously hungry? Stack those plates as high as the eye can see! And do it all on your time. Huzzah.

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