Food. Eating. You can't avoid it, you need to eat. When traveling sometimes it's hard to find a budget friendly option. This was the number one biggest thing I was struggling with when planning my trip to Iceland, I was told eating out was SO expensive.
After going and trying a few different things to try to keep costs down, I have a major opinion on this - it's not true!
We thought we'd keep our budget tight by grocery shopping and preparing food in our hotel. Aside from some fruit, chips and salsa, and ham sandwiches, there's not much more you can make in a hotel room. But this was a great way to not eat out for breakfasts and lunches, especially when on a full day tour.
The concierge recommended we head to the "Food Court". For those of you from North America, it's not what it sounds like. Don't expect to see 16 year olds flipping burgers at McD's or getting some crummy Taco Bell. The food court was actually a courtyard with some small chick bistros inside, most of which served alcohol too. Add to this, the prices were comparable to a high end burger joint in Toronto. For example, my lamb burger and fries (which were scrumptious) came to about $25 CAD, beers for about $8 CAD. The next day we ordered a pizza (stone oven, fresh toppings, thin crust) and it was about $17 CAD - for the same type of pizza on Danforth in Toronto I've seen going for $17-20 before tax and tip.
And there's the kicker: taxes are already in the prices you see, and tipping isn't part of the culture. So when you compare to "at home pricing" I would actually say, eating out was the same in Reykjavik as it would be in Toronto. Dinner for $30 at home (add tax, tip, etc) would actually be around $38-40CAD. Most main courses around this price in town.
What do you think? Were you able to keep your food costs down?