I do love solving a good old-fashioned mystery, and that is exactly what I have just done! Whilst out exploring Reykjavik, I saw probably the biggest line of people lining up outside a hot-dog stand (without being drunk) that I had ever seen in my life. It was so long in fact, I merely took a few snaps and walked away, intending to perhaps go back later.
I did go back after a while and seeing merely a few people in the queue (all taking photos), I decided I would line up and give it a crack. I asked the guy for his photo (before asking why it was famous), from where he pointed to a picture behind him of Bill Clinton, who apparently has been to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – which as you may have guessed means the best Hot Dogs in Town, although the server insisted in his opinion it was the best in the world.
The story goes that in 2006 The Guardian described it as the best hot-dog stand in Europe, and from there, well, things seemed to have gone bat-shit crazy. Apparently, it has been open since 1937 and according to the website, almost every Icelandic person has eaten there at least once. That sounds like a broad statement, but to be fair Iceland is so small that they have an app to help you make sure you don’t sleep with a relative.
So, what is the menu? The menu is hotdog, so I asked for a hot dog, he replied “do you want the works”, I obviously wanted the works.
“The works” consisted of a Hot Dog with mustard, ketchup, fried and raw onion, and something called remolað which is a local mayonnaise.
Was it the best hot dog I have ever tried? Or indeed the best I have had in Europe? In short, no, no it was not, but it was pretty decent (and also the first thing I had eaten all day).
But, what I really loved about this was the price, around 475 Krona, or $4, which pretty much makes it the cheapest snack in Reykjavik, and perhaps the whole of Iceland.
Definitely worth a try, but go when there isn’t much of a line, or you might be disappointed.
Overall though a good start to my Icelandic Street Food odyssey.