16 Apr

Parker O'Halloran

4 minute read

Somebody Feed Phil Food Trail

Somebody Feed Phil Food Trail

Looking for those places where Phil ate? Here are the stops he made while in Iceland.

Philip Rosenthal of "Somebody Feed Phil" having a picnic with Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson, aka, @icelandic_explorer

Philip Rosenthal of "Somebody Feed Phil" having a picnic with Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson, aka, Icelandic Explorer

Phil's Food Trail

Looking for those quintessential places where Phil ate? Here are the culinary stops he made while in Iceland.

Those of you who follow Phil's culinary journies know that he brought his family to Iceland in the most recent season of his hit Netflix show (Season 7, Episode 4). 

As usual, Phil charms the locals and naturally puts his good humor to work for this delectable episode. Thankfully, Phil does not focus on the well-tread fermented, salted, and pickled traditional foods of Iceland that have been covered thoroughly. Instead, he samples some of Iceland's best foods, including reinventions of salted and pickled foods. Along the way, he meets some compelling Icelanders who share their favorite foods and the story behind the cuisine. 

The adventure begins: Hot dogs!

It is not all haute cuisine for Phil! One of his first stops is for an Icelandic staple: a pylsur or hotdog at Vikinga Pylsur. These dogs can be enjoyed plain or fully loaded with various extras such as raw and crispy onion and remoulade. Phil appeared to enjoy his hot dog—and everyone else's. 

 Vikinga Pylsur, Frakkastígur 25, 101 Reykjavík

Philip Rosenthal enjoying an Icelandic hot dog with his family.

Photo: Phili enjoying an Icelandic hot dog with his family.

Capturing the essence of Iceland: Lake Kleifarvatn with Gunner Freyr Gunnarson

Not far outside of Reykjavík is the protected area of Lake Kleifarvatn. Phil's guide is an Instagram star, a world-class photographer, and a world-class nice guy Gunnar Freyr Gunnarson. (Gunnar is the fellow who contacted Phil and convinced him to come) While we are unsure where the cave is, the lake is beautiful, with many hiking trails and a hot spring area called Seltún. Flatkaka, butter, smoked lamb, saltfiskur, and skyr are found at almost every grocery and convenience store. Having Gunnar hand-pick herbs for your skyr will cost extra! 

Icelandic Explorer

Get in line: Brauð & Co. bakery

Who can resist a warm cinnamon roll? Certainly not Phil! For locals—and travelers alike—the smell of baking bread and delectable pastries will draw people right into the line out the door. Brauð & Co. is a bakery chain with locations around Reykjavík, but Phil stops at the original. 

Brauð & Co., Frakkastígur 16, 101 Reykjavík

Phil and langoustine soup: A match made in heaven

Phil stops at the cozy Seabaron (Sægreifinn) Restaurant, which many would consider a seafood institution. Situated right on the harbor, next to the fishing boats, Seafood does not get much fresher than this, with some classic and timeless fish dishes. 

Seabaron (Sægreifinn), Geirsgata 4a, 101 Reykjavík

Culinary fusion: Sumac Grill & Drinks with architect and food writer Shruthi Basappa

Phil meets architect and food writer Shruthi Basappa for his next meal. Confusingly, the exterior shots are of Rok Restaurant, a building that Shruthi's architectural firm designed before showing them at Sümac eating. Through some of her favorite dishes, Shruthi explains to Phil the recent fusion of outside influences and techniques with traditional Icelandic ingredients. The results are not only delicious but are gathering the attention of gourmets worldwide.

Sümac, Laugavegur 28, 101 Reykjavík

Italian food in Iceland!?

Most interestingly, Michelin-starred Chef and owner of Dill Restaurant, Gunnar Karl Gíslason, takes Phil on a date to La Primavera Marshallhúsið. Here, they meet up with Chef and founder of La Primavera Leifur Kolbeinsson, who pioneered Italian cooking and importing ingredients to Iceland in the early 1990s—a time when Icelanders paired potatoes with every main course. 

La Primavera Marshallhúsið (Marshall House), Grandagarður 20, 101 Reykjavík

Philip Rosenthal of "Somebody Feed Phil" looking through the bakery window of Brauð & Co. in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Photo: Philip Rosenthal of "Somebody Feed Phil" peeking through the bakery window of Brauð & Co. in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Down to Earth bread at Laugarvatn Fontana Spa with baker Siggi

For the first time, Phil enjoys a slice of geothermally baked rye bread hot from the ground. He joins baker Siggi at Laugarvatn Fontana Spa & Wellness and explains how Icelanders have used the earth's abundant heat to cook for centuries. Siggi tops the bread with some delicious smoked Arctic char from Reykhúsið Útey. 

Laugarvatn Fontana Spa & Wellness, Hverabraut 1, 840 Laugarvatn

Skál with Chris Burkard

Phil meets Instagram legend Chris Burkard, a world-class nice guy too, and a recent transplant to Iceland. They meet at the Hlemmur Food Hall for a few courses at one of Chris's favorite restaurants, Skál. The chefs at Skál whip striking small dishes with local ingredients that leave you wondering, "How did they ever come up with this?" Not only do they taste great, they are perfect for sharing. 

Skál, Hlemmur Mathöll, Laugavegur 107, 101 Reykjavík

Comfort foods with an Iceland twist: Le Kock with Chef Markus

Phil meets up with his family again at Le Kock for an Icelandic take on foods he is all too familiar with. Icelandic/American Chef Markus cookies up an array of tasty dishes for Phil to share, including Smoked salmon on pretzel bagel sandwiches, a smash burger with truffle ketchup, a cheeseburger with Icelandic cabbage, and grilled cheese with soup. To top it off, a sumptuous creme brulee doughnut and a jelly doughnut brings Phil back to his childhood neighborhood. 

Le Kock, Tryggvagata 12, 101 Reykjavík

Philip Rosenthal of the Netflix show "Somebody Feed Phil" enjoying wolffish on a skewer at the Sea Baron restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Photo: Phil enjoying a wolffish skewer at the Sea Baron restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland.

A farewell feast: Matur og Drykkur

For his last supper in Iceland, Phil headed to Matur og Drykkur (Food & Drink) for Chef Helga Sigurðardóttir's modern take on some traditional Icelandic foods with the best local ingredients. This time, Phil brings along the folks he met along the way and shares while reflecting upon his experience and the warmth of Icelandic hospitality.

Matur og Drykkur, Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavík

Moving on to the next menu

No matter where in the world Phil goes to eat, he finds excellent food and fantastic people to share it with. Iceland is no exception. He is the kind of person you would not mind taking home to your mother's place to eat! It was certainly fun to see him enjoy himself on our home turf.

We hope this "Somebody Feed Phil" episode will encourage readers to get out there to explore Icelandic cuisine, Iceland, and interact with locals. 

This article was written by Parker O'Halloran

Parker is a seasoned writer and editor living in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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