Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – Reykjavik, Iceland

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
101 Reykjavik
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Within every food culture is a fast food identity. Foods of convenience. Cheap, quick, and often one of the tastiest experiences you can have. At a minimum, it provides very strong insight into a slice of a nation’s identity. In Iceland, that food is the Pylsur.

Near the Reykjavik harbour lies one of the most famous “hot dog” stands in the world. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur can claim Bill Clinton, and Metallica as some of their fans. But really, morning, noon, and night, this is THE place in Reykjavik to get a pylsur – and you’re likely to meet lots of locals and tourists alike.

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur translates as “the best hot dog in town”, and it really is.

Made of a combination of lamb, beef, and pork, it’s a fairly plain looking to the untrained eye. Served on a soft white bun, rumour has it the Pylsur is boiled in a mixture of beer and beef stock. Regardless, it’s a tender, flavourful 280 ISK snack.

While it is available plain, most people get it “with everything”. That includes ketchup, sweet mustard, remoulade, raw onions, and le piece de resistance, fried onions.

A large bite provides a completely balanced hot dog – flavourful dog, with a nice snap to the meat, punchy flavour from the raw onions, balanced sweetness and creaminess from the remoulade, mustard, and ketchup and the, crunchy bold taste of fried onions.  The balance and flavour is amazing. Under all that sauce, the meat still manages to stand out.

Known for high prices, and a limited selection of foods for most of the year, food in Iceland is often ubiquitous with fish, lamb, and pylsur. But whether you need a quick cheap lunch, or you need a stomach buffer at dawn after partying all night with the friendly Icelandic, the Pylsur is the perfect thing anytime of day. And Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is the best place to get it. The Guardian from the UK once called this the best hot dog stand in Europe – i couldn’t disagree with this assessment. The only real question about Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is how many can you eat at once?

7 thoughts on “Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – Reykjavik, Iceland

  1. Welcome back, foodosopher. Hope you are feeling better now!

    From a Vancouver perspective, there is that obligatory question: How does it compare to Japadog? 😉 (OK, that is obviously a joke since, most likely, it is an apple and oranges comparison).

    Since it makes no mention of when it was visited, can you give us an estimate of the currency conversion (specially considering the financial crisis Iceland has been going through in the last two or so years)? As of today, that would be ~CDN $2.20.

    Now, on a more serious (ha!) tone and with the sidenote I haven’t been to Europe, how is the texture of the sausage itself? I.e., is it smooth grounded meat or there are still chunks inside? And, how does it compare to a wurst, like that well known (formerly East-)German wurst – the currywurst?

  2. Thanks KH.

    In comparison to Japadog, it isnt quite apples and oranges. The flavour combination would be most similar to Terimayo, without the seaweed. I actually prefer the Pylsur. It’s not gimmicky – it’s just good honest everyday street food.

    The price you quoted is pretty much accurate for today – they’ve been around since 1937, and havent had that many price changes. The price of 280 ISK accurate as of March 2010.

    It’s smooth ground. It looks and feels like a great hotdog – nothing more. And it’s not very similar (other than both being “sausages” and both being tasty) to any currywurst i’ve had, with the exception of the one time i was at a train station and got a lousy currywurst served with an american hotdog.

  3. That sounds like an awesome street snack, and I love the hot dog holders on the table. As someone who can down more dogs that I should (especially when they have caramelized onions), did I miss how big the dog is…

    Were you full after one?

    • Naww – not even close. Two to three to be full. To be fair, i have an over-sized appetite though. It was a healthy size though…not super thick but long.

    • At about 90% – thanks for asking. I notice a slightly dull taste on things like wine, beer, and coffee when it would usually be a bit more pronounced. But the range is almost back!

      Iceland is a great destination any time of year 😉

  4. Pingback: Photo Blog: Copenhagen | Annette Rubery

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