Gluten-Free Iceland Guide | 5 Delicious Gluten-Free Restaurants

One of the best gluten free spots in Iceland. Akureyri is one of the biggest towns in Iceland.

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One of the first things I consider while traveling abroad is food. Having many dietary restrictions has made certain countries difficult to travel to Yet, other countries can have a multitude of options. Eating gluten-free in Iceland had a couple of challenges, but nothing that should deter someone from visiting!

Thankfully, gluten-free options ARE increasing in countries around the world. Not only are there more options, but they also taste a LOT better.

Does anyone remember back in 2012 when the majority of gluten-free breads tasted like cardboard? Y-U-C-K! Knowing some restaurants and stores accommodate dietary restrictions can truly make or break a trip for many travelers.

Jokulsarlon in Iceland is a top tourist attraction. We ate delicious gluten-free soup in Iceland after this.

Thankfully there are not only gluten-free options, but many have lactose-free and vegan options too! Keep scrolling to see the top 5 gluten-free restaurants that I ate at while exploring Iceland.

5 Delicious Gluten-Free Restaurants in Iceland

I was a little nervous before arriving in Iceland when it came to my dietary restrictions. Happily can report that there ARE gluten-free options in Iceland. I had the best lemon curd macaron, oat milk latte, and Lebanon/Moroccan-influenced dinner while visiting. Continue to scroll to see where you can find each of these treats and dishes!

1. The Soup Company – Vik

Both “Icelandic Lamb” (yum!) and “For the Vegans” soups are perfect after a day full of driving or a chilly day visiting Iceland’s waterfalls! The flavor profile for each of these is delectable and full of delicious spices. As someone who is not a big soup eater in general, I would happily sip these soups a couple of times a week! Additionally, the herbal tea pairs nicely with the soups.

Note: They also sell Artic Macarons here that are all gluten-free! Some of the flavors I would have never thought of putting together. Each flavor being very unique made the box of 6 a little more fun!

Amazing herbal tea and gluten-free macarons in Iceland. The Soup Company has the best soup on the island.
Each of the soups was around $21 USD.

2. Salka Restaraunt – Husavik

Located in one of the oldest buildings in Husavik is Salka! The menu has a couple of different gluten-free options. We went with the freshly caught fish of the day with potatoes and vegetables. The dish was very light, yet filling. This meal was a little more expensive (around $40 USD) due to it being right off the boat! A big win for Salka is that they have gluten-free desserts. The photo below shows some of the BEST sorbet I have ever tasted (and they give you a lot).

Gluten-free sorbet in Iceland. Salka has incredible gluten-free desserts.

3. Sykurverk Cafe – Akureyri

Do you love lemon curd? Do you love pink? Do you love unicorns? If yes (or even no), this is the place for you! I have never had a lemon macaron that was so good. We started to drive down the road and it was saddening that we didn’t purchase about 50 more. Also, pretty sure I tried to find a way to get them sent back to the U.S. because of the cravings!

Sykurverk has the BEST gluten-free macarons in Iceland. The lemon curd macaron is my favorite gluten-free treat ever.
A box of 12 macarons was around $22 USD.

4. Sandholt Bakery & Eatery – Reykjavik

Conveniently tucked on the main road of Reykjavik is Sandholt Bakery & Eatery. If you enjoy savory meals, the shakshuka with eggs and Italian sausage is a must! The menu lists that it normally has a side of bread. However, I politely asked for a different side to accommodate my dietary needs.

There are many delicious sandwiches on Sandholt’s menu too! This is noted because having a creative mindset at restaurants can increase the availability of different options. By creative, I mean that an increasing amount of restaurants offer gluten-free bread or lettuce wrap options. If the options aren’t notated on the menu, kindly ask your server if they have gluten-free options. Alternatively, eating the sandwich without the bread is an option to create a simple modified version.

We visited Sandholt two mornings in a row because of their menu and service. The atmosphere is lively, and a fun place to have a coffee before exploring town. For all the sweets lovers out there, the macarons and fresh pies will have you drooling! In the photo below it is clear how much we enjoyed these treats and did not skimp out.

Sandholt has many gluten-free options in Iceland. The gluten-free pie and macarons were sweet and delicious.
The Shakshuka portion of the meal was around $21 USD.

5. Sumac Grill + Drinks – Reykjavik

They say to save the best for last… for the ultimate food lovers, stop looking and reserve a table. Visiting this restaurant is already a must for any future trips I may go on to Iceland. Sumac’s menu is inspired by Middle Eastern and North African regions. The flavor profile of the menu here will make your mouth melt. From the moment you walk through the door, you are immersed in an intimate atmosphere and welcoming staff.

My friend and I both mentioned that we were gluten-free while ordering appetizers. Our waitress gave us her top recommendations and knew what exactly was included with each dish to meet those dietary needs.

I do want to note that this was our final night, so we decided to go all in with wine, appetizers, main courses, and dessert. Being a typically fast eater, that was not the case for this night. Each bite made both of us speechless by how incredible and powerful each one was.

Sumac has the best gluten-free dinner options in Iceland. Eating gluten-free at Sumac was easy with a knowledgable staff.
The chicken shwarma was around $32 USD.

Is it easy to eat gluten-free in Iceland?

Short answer: For the most part, yes.

Not sure about you, but I spend a large amount of time researching destinations. My primary research includes what I can eat (and what active activities there are to do). We did a bit of research in each of the towns we traveled to beforehand. Thankfully, we were able to find gluten-free options throughout Iceland.

Please be mindful and respectful of the employees and staff at each of the establishments. Occasionally there may be language barriers or confusion, but when we treat others with respect, we often get that in return.

Beautiful gluten-free latte in Iceland. Reading my kindle at a gluten-free bakery in Iceland.

Are there gluten-free grocery stores?

The leading grocery stores around Iceland are Bonus, Netto, and Kronan. There are gluten-free options at each of these stores, and some are marked in English too!

Planning our gluten-free trip in Iceland.

Equally important, if you are traveling during the summer, keep an eye on the time… it is easy to drive around at 1 am and think it is the afternoon still due to the sun not setting. Most of these grocery stores are open from 10 am-8 pm.

Important Tip: Gluten-free in Icelandic is “glutenlaus” and in Swedish it’s “glutenfritt”. This was super helpful while reading the ingredients on the packaging!

Gluten-free snacks in Iceland. Delicious peanut butter and rice cakes for a gluten-free snack in Iceland.

Something about eating peanut butter out of a squeezable container made so much sense. Highly recommend grabbing that and rice cakes for an easy and tasty snack!

Are any Icelandic traditional foods gluten-free?

The traditional lamb soups are gluten-free and have a savory flavor, with vegetables and rice! Always be sure to politely ask the restaurant staff if there is gluten in their version. Being someone who doesn’t typically enjoy soup, this one changed my opinion!

What type of accommodations are best for gluten-free?

One of the best parts of Iceland is the options of accommodations for all types of travelers. There are hotels with restaurants, Airbnb with kitchens, or camper vans with stove tops, fridges, and utensils!

If you do like more of that nomadic travel, renting a vehicle is a wonderful way to see the entire island. As someone who lives a part-time van life, I chose Happy Campers for a camper rental and could not recommend them more!

Renting a camper van is a great way for gluten-free travel in Iceland.

Important tip: Not all roads are suitable for all vehicles. When reserving a vehicle, pay attention to 4WD capabilities, and if the vehicle is allowed on any F-Roads. Different rental companies will have different restrictions/policies, please follow company guidelines appropriately.

Happy Campers van allowed us to make gluten-free meals in Iceland.

Comfy tip for van travels: Bringing a Kindle Paperwhite and North Face Insulated Slippers made my early mornings and evenings even more cozy!

Traveling Gluten-Free to Iceland:

Most airlines have included snacks which typically consist of either pretzels or crackers. Not great for gluten-free individuals! I typically fly with these healthy snacks to ensure I have something to eat during the flight:

🌟 Jerky
🌟 Healthy protein bars
🌟 Dried fruits
🌟 Raw nuts

Some of my favorite brands are Epic Jerky, RXBAR, GoMacro Bar, ALOHA Bars, and unsalted or unsweetened nuts. For the dried fruits I look for brands that have one ingredient, aka the fruit itself.

Eating gluten-free in Iceland. Fresh fruit is a great option for gluten-free snacks in Iceland.
Remember to wash your fruit!

Pro-Tip: Pack items like oatmeal, gluten-free bread, gluten-free backpacking meals, or gluten-free crackers in your bag so there are options at your ready! Since we did a lot of hiking, having easy meals to put together was important to us.

As an avid backpacker/hiker, the cleanest and tastiest gluten-free meal options that I have tried are Heather’s Choice and Good To-Go brands. These meals can be purchased from the company website, Amazon, or REI.

Gluten-free backpacking means for Iceland. Traveling to Iceland with backpacking meals is super helpful!
Photo location: Switzerland

Gluten-Free Iceland Traveling Tips

🌟 Each restaurant we went to had English-speaking employees. Ask the staff kindly if there are gluten-free options, OR if there are any modifications they can do!
🌟 Gluten-free items were not more expensive choices.
🌟 Paying in local currency in 2023 was a cheaper option!

Is driving the entire ring road (Road 1) recommended?

Driving Road 1 in 7 days was a few days too short. To spend more time at each location and limit daily driving, I would recommend at least 11 days or more.

For itinerary help, I used Wanderlog to plan the itinerary for time distance analysis! Iceland is one of the most breathtaking countries I have been to. Ensuring we could see everything took a lot of planning. Wanderlog additionally has pre-built itineraries for each city if that is easier.

Traveling through Iceland eating gluten-free and stopping to see the lupines.
In July there were lupines all over the sides of the roads. If you stop and take photos, please respect the wildlife and don’t step on the meadows!

We recommend driving the ring road (Road 1) for at least 11 days or more. We spent a lot of time driving, but also made a lot of pitstops to hike, explore, take photos, and more! On our timeline, we would spend up to 7 hours driving. Driving the ring road would have been even better if we could have had extra time to go up to the fjords.

Is Iceland easy for people with disabilities to travel around?

Many options along Route 1 are easily accessible for all types of individuals. As someone who has disabilities, there weren’t any places that I felt I could not see or visit. Many of the waterfalls, lagoons, shopping centers, and towns, are very friendly for all visitors.

Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland. One of the best stops along a gluten-free trip in Iceland.

If you can’t drive, there are also options for transportation. Everywhere we stopped in our campervan, commonly had tour busses parked there too. Many of these tourists from these buses were staying local in Reykjavik and would be able to experience more of Iceland this way.

What are recommended stops along the ring road?

Last, but not least here are some of our favorite stops along the trip:
🌟 Sky Lagoon – Ritual Experience
🌟 Godafoss Falls
🌟 Walking the town of Reykjavik (Lots of tourist shops!)
🌟 Akureyri Botanical Garden (There is coffee and wine inside for purchase with a beautiful atmosphere)
🌟 Silfra Snorkel Experience (We recommend using Dive.IS for this experience! The staff is extremely knowledgeable and you have the option to get shuttled to the destination or meet them there.)
🌟 If you enjoy hiking, the AllTrails app has many options for hikes at all different lengths. There is also an option to download the hike prior, this is a great safety tip to ensure that you have a map available if you lose service or wifi.

A great stop on our gluten-free trip in Iceland. Snorkeling Silfra was chilly and refreshing!

Conclusion: Is traveling to Iceland while gluten-free worth it?

Overall, eating gluten-free in Iceland was absolutely possible and worth the visit. There were many lactose-free and vegan options around the country as well if there are any other dietary restrictions.

However, when I go back to Iceland I will pack more gluten-free options in my luggage. Packing gluten-free options that don’t upset your stomach or make you sick will ensure a sense of safety and comfort.

Gluten-free trip in Iceland led us to stop and take some photos of horses!

Lastly, there is no reason to be embarrassed about any dietary restrictions that you may have. Being your own advocate is one of the most important things.

Happy Trails,

Mindful PNW Travels