Food is a cornerstone of culture, history and identity. Markets stocking imported products are ideal resources for immigrants cooking their favourite comfort foods, as well as important launching pads for curious locals seeking to broaden their own culinary horizons. Luckily, there are several international markets right in Reykjavík.
As once put by a visiting professor in an extracurricular University of Iceland lecture on Polish cuisine, “it’s no wonder there aren’t any Polish restaurants [in Reykjavik]; to get real Polish food, you have to visit a Polish family and eat with them at home.” And there is perhaps no better place to prepare for such a meal than EuroMarket, otherwise known as Polski Sklep, which has various locations around Reykjavík. With an eclectic mix of general European brands hard to find in other capital area stores, and intensely Polish products such as authentic kielbasa and frozen pierogi flown straight from the motherland, it’s about as culinarily close to Warsaw, Kraków, or Gdańsk as you can get in Iceland.
Located in the 108 postal code, Istanbul Market Matvöruverslun has been a staple of the Reykjavík international market scene since 2013. With a wide variety of general Middle Eastern and specifically Turkish treats, ingredients and snacks, this is definitely a place to visit if you’re craving traditional Turkish coffee, Turkish delight, dried Arabic dates, or mouth-watering baklava.
Located at Breiðholt, Afrozone specializes in making a wider array of products available in town. The store receives regular shipments of “exotic” produce like papayas, yams and plantains, as well as African snacks, junk foods and spices. Afrozone also serves as a much-needed spot to stock up on numerous afro-textured hair-specific products and wigs.
Mai Thai Market & Dai Phat Asian Supermarket
Hlemmur and Faxafen 14
Several international markets in and around Reykjavík focus on Asian food products. The Mai Thai Market and Bistro across from Hlemmur, which offers plentiful IAM juices, pad thai and oyster sauces, and imported noodles, doubles as a four-and-a-half-star-rated Tripadvisor restaurant. And Dai Phat Asian Supermarket at Faxafen 14 in Heimar offers a broad range of Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian seasonings, ingredients, and fresh vegetables.
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