Grocery dinners in Reykjavik

21 Sep


Pretty nice looking for microwave dinners...

Pretty nice looking for microwave dinners…


For the last few days of my trip to Iceland, my travel companion and I stayed at the Galtafell Guesthouse. The Guesthouse itself was full, so we were accommodated in one of their off-site apartments. This was both a benefit and a disappointment for different reasons, but one of the benefits was having a full kitchen, so we could pick up a few groceries and make a few modest meals “at home” to save a few Kroner for dinner and snacks.

Frozen dinners from the Bonus supermarket

Frozen dinners from the Bonus supermarket

One of our meals were “TV Dinners” which we heated up in our apartment’s microwave. We had to guess based on the illustrations on the back about cooking instructions, and still the food didn’t heat up as much as we had hoped – maybe the microwave wasn’t powerful enough?

Either way we split both of the meals; fish cakes, carrots, broccoli, green beans,  potatoes two ways, and meatballs. Not really a glamourous meal like some of our other meals at the lovely hotels we stayed at – but still a good enough meal after long walks around the city centre!

The location of the apartment was on the other side of “the pond” from the guesthouse we had thought we’d be staying in, and was a second-floor walk-up. It was a bit of a pain to have to haul our suitcases (and groceries, and shopping!) up the stairs, as they were narrow, steep, and the railing wiggled – but the apartment itself was very nice – with a large dining room, huge living room (which unfortunately we didn’t use since the TV only seemed to have one channel, and the couches were damp from being deeply cleaned for the entire time we were there!), and a good-sized eat-in kitchen. There was a large master bedroom (which we flipped a coin for, and I won!) and a small second bedroom with two single beds.  The master bedroom had a nice large closet, though the second bedroom didn’t really have a closet, as it was being used to store things. The only real disappointment of the apartment was the bathroom – it was uncomfortably small, with a shower that we needed to squeeze in and out of, without any place to rest shampoo, conditioner, or soap.

Tasty soup!

Tasty soup!


Time to bring out Google Translate!

Time to bring out Google Translate!

Another evening we had packaged soup for dinner instead – made from a mix we picked up at the grocery store, it was easy to make on the stovetop… even without reading the instructions in Icelandic!

This one was Italian Minestrone, but we also picked up another mix… and brought it home with us. We haven’t tried that one yet!  This one was really good though, and after another rainy summer day in Iceland, very welcome!

Other than just having a kitchen to make our meals, our stay at the Guesthouse (or rather, the apartment) also came with a nice breakfast every morning. Our host picked us up at a designated time (determined the morning before) and would drive us back to the guesthouse for bread, cucumber, tomato, cheese, deli meat, coffee/tea, juice, cereal, yoghurt, and a strudel sweet each morning, and from there we’d make our day starting from the guesthouse as we would have if we had stayed right at the guesthouse itself.

Having breakfast at the guesthouse also meant we could chat with the resident cat (who I really liked, missing my dog back home) and with the other guests, some of whom visited from Germany and the UK. The guesthouse is a historical house, and a former home of a well-known Icelandic artist, Guðmundur Thorsteinsson – Muggur. The house was built in 1916, and has tall ceilings in some rooms like the front foyer and sitting room, with lots of natural light pouring in from the windows above. The house was also owned by Bjarni Jonsson (Bíó Bjarni) who opened one of Reykjavik’s first cinemas, and who was also the brother of another famous Icelandic artist, sculptor Einar Jónsson.

Oh, and having Wifi, and a washing machine at our apartment was good too!

Minestrone soup mix

Minestrone soup mix

I’ll leave you with another lovely photo from the shoreline at Reykjavik… looking across a field to a home, to the mountains beyond…

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Guesthouse Galtafell
Laufásvegur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 699 2525


Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Out of town - Europe


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “Grocery dinners in Reykjavik

  1. rachel mevs

    May 4, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Didn’t think about frozen meals when on a budget in an expensive destination. How much were your frozen dinners? Thanks for sharing!

    • Dawn

      March 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      I’m afraid that I don’t recall the cost of the frozen dinners – only that they were very reasonable compared to going out to eat. We also weren’t very inspired by the grocery stores.. perhaps because we only went to as small downtown grocery, rather than going out to the suburbs where the stores may have been larger and with more selection.


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