Heading to Iceland in May and we were wondering what food is truly like. We're also going to be driving the Ring Road and we were wondering if we'll need to have food on hand in case there aren't any stops along the way.
There are lots of great places to eat along the Ring Road, and you'll likely have more fun stopping in the various towns and trying the regional fare.
We drove half the ring road last fall and had an amazing time. Food (well everything for that matter) can be pretty pricey in Iceland. Our strategy was to pick up a good amount of snacks (meat, cheese, buns; Skyr (aka Icelandic yogurt); drinks; etc) at cheaper grocery stores (the best priced was probably Bonus - the one with the piggy bank on the side, but Kronan and Netto were also pretty affordable).
We would use our groceries for lunches and snacks throughout the day. We usually ate at our guesthouse or hotel for breakfast as it was often included, and then usually only ate out for dinner. We tried to book places with at least some sort of kitchen (which was actually pretty common there) so we could cook meals ourselves.
Sometimes opening hours at places can be a bit strange. Grocery stores tend to close at 6pm-ish, so we tried to make sure we were always fairly well-stocked.
A map with grocery stores can be found here: http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/2013/07/the-ultimate-guide-to-food-shopping-in-iceland/
As for restaurants, it's not too hard to find good restaurants at fair prices. Anything that remotely resembles a town will have at least a couple places to pick up some warm food.
While in Reykjavik be sure to have an Icelandic hotdog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur and grab some seafood and lobster soup at Saegreifinn on the docks.
Hopefully this all gets you started. We were worried about making sure we were not going to end up at our hotel for the night starving with no place to eat, but our fears were unfounded and with a little planning we had an amazing time.
My favorite food stop in Reykjavik is Café Loki where you can get true Icelandic delicacies like Fermented Shark, Rye Bread ice cream and Brennivín a local liquor distilled from wood.
When you are out on the road stopping at gas/service stations ask if they have Rugbrauð (rye bread cooked underground over many hours with geothermal heat) pair it with some Skyr (Iceland fresh yogurt) and enjoy!
Mentioned in this answer:
Iceland offers great cuisine and has great mix of restaurants offering both unique Icelandic dishes, like Lamb soup, Whale, and variety of seafood dishes. Also you can find great variety of International cuisine at various price points.
On the Ring road you can be assured to hit food stops on the way. However, if you are traveling at night you might want to have some snacks on hand in case Restaurants/fast food places are closed during the late evening in more rural areas primarily eastern Iceland and Western tip.
The food is probably among the best in Europe. The icelandic lamb and the fish is on the top ten list to try. There are many many restaurants on the ring road as well as supermarkets and stores. Nobody has to starve in Iceland :)
I could eat at Icelandic Fish & Chips in Reykjavik every day. But when you're outside the city, you'll still find plenty to eat. Most hostels and hotels will include breakfast, so that's one meal down. And you won't believe how much decent food you'll find even at the roadside service stations.
The local lamb and seafood is first-rate, too. So get some whenever possible!
Icelanders know how to eat, so you'll have no problems. If you stop at Glacier, be sure to get some of the tasty soup. It'll warm you
Mentioned in this answer:
There are plenty of gas stations and smaller shops on the ring road, so you don't have to worry about that.
Regarding the food, we have plenty of excellent restaurants both in Reykjavik and Akureyri and many good restaurants are in the smaller areas as well. You can find all sorts of restaurants, Authentic Icelandic food, Mexican, Indian etc...
If you need anything specific, just ask.