The Icelandic Hot Dog
Where is the famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik? What’s so special about the Icelandic hot dog? What is the Icelandic hot dog made of? Where Can I have an Icelandic hot dog?
This blog is dedicated to one of our most beloved spots in Iceland. The spot is no bigger than 5 square meters and hasn’t moved an inch since 1937. It has filled our bellies with an outstanding and simple cuisine since childhood and we hope it will stay with us forever. I am of course talking about our famous Hot Dog stand on Tryggvagata, or Bæjarins Beztu (Translated to The bezt in Town!)
Note: Another Hot Dog vendor has recently opened on Austurstraeti and many visitors have confused that one to be the one and only. It’s not. Check the picture to make sure to visit the right one!
What makes these hot dogs so darn good? It’s a hot dog! How good can it get? Well I’ll tell you, it can get pretty unbelievable good. It hasn’t been voted as the best hot dog stand in the Europe for no reason!
What is so special about the Icelandic hot dog?
The chain (You can also find these delicates in other places too, see below) has been in continuous operation since day one. It’s been open in every weather, any day of the year for almost 80 years! If you visit it today, you might notice unbearable constructions all around it. But the stand won’t move, and I think it never will!
The ingredient of the hot dog is interesting. While most hot dogs in the world are made out of pork or beef, the hot dogs here are made from lamb meat.
The sauces and sides are also something to shout bravo for! You can have a hot dog with homemade crispy onions and sweet mustard, along with raw onion, ketchup and remoulade. The ketchup is actually made from apples instead of glucose, which makes it so nice and kinda sweet!
Oh man, my vegetarian mouth is seriously watering while writing this! I hope they will make one vegetarian soon!
… and if you would like to hear something crazy: They used to use Skyr as a sauce before mustard made its way to our culture! Thank god that’s over now, ha!
Moving on to their staff. You may notice that the vendor only fits two humans at the time and there is always a long queue waiting outside (Even if it’s below zero outside) but the queue still moves very fast. That’s because the employee gets paid by the hot dog. The more hot dogs, the more cash money in the bank. That explains the super fast (But very friendly) service!
Next, I would like to pop in a little myth on the cooking method. It’s true that they are super careful on how long they boil the hot dogs- the ones that are too long in the water are never served. You will never ever ever get a bad hot dog! But there is another myth lurking around on why they are so good, and that is that they boil them with beer. We don’t know if its true or not, and we have asked many times without getting a straight answer! So it remains a myth.
….Why don’t they just tell us!
Some famous people have made their way to the vendor, of course. Famous people aren’t stupid. They know how to fiest like champions! In 2004, Bill Clinton visited the hot dog stand and enjoyed- That is before he became a grass eater of course. In 2016, the vendor had to close for 30 minutes as the Kardashians graced us with their presence. Other famous people have made their stop at the vendor, like Charlie Sheen and Metallica frontman James Hetfield, but we don’t have all day for the complete listing.
You can get Bæjarins Beztu hot dogs on many places around Reykjavik, but the one in 101 Reykjavik is the first one and most people’s go-to stand. You will always get a good service wherever though and of course, the perfect one each time.
My personal favorite hot dog order was “Ein með öllu” or One with Everything. My go to drink was ice cold chocolate milk. Might sound weird!! But it’s not!
So! To finish it up, I would like to point out that we do of course visit this famous hot dog stand on our Reykjavik Food Walk!