Anthony Bourdain Recommended: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur- Iceland

anthony bourdainWhen traveling to new places, we love trying out some of the local food. During our recent trip to Iceland, this meant trying out hot dogs which are know there as pylsur.

During our 8 days in Iceland, we tried out hot dogs at various different stands and even at gas stations. In my opinion, they’re all pretty much the same. (From what I noticed, all places serve the same brand of hot dog from the brand SS, so how different could they really be!)

However, there is one tiny stand in Reykjavik which we had to try.

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (which means the best hot dog in town) has been around since 1937. It’s been visited by Bill Clinton and various celebrities. Years back, I saw the late Anthony Bourdain visit the stand on an episode of No Reservations.

With all of this good credibility, I had to give the supposed best hot dog in town a try.Anthony BourdainAnthony BourdainWe headed over to the location on Tryggvagata and waited on the line behind a tour group.While waiting, Lucas & I wandered around the stand as Kim kept our place on the line.

One thing that stood out was the picnic tables and high tables which all had wooden hot dog holders in the middle! None of the tables were being used since it was rainy out while we were there.Anthony BourdainHere’s the menu: A Pylsa (hot dog) costs 470 kroner, around $3.75US and Gos (soda) costs 260 kroner, a little over $2US. That’s it! When it was our turn, I watched as our hot dogs were prepared.

Icelandic hot dogs are delicious, they’re made from a mixture of lamb, beef and pork. Some stand toast the bun. At Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, they don’t.

If you get your hot dog with everything, it’s topped with ketchup, mustard, remoulade, crispy fried onions and raw onion. (For the full experience, this is the way to go.)Kim and I got our hot dogs with everything, Lucas likes his with crispy onions and ketchup.All of us were hungry and couldn’t wait to dig in but not before a quick photo-op!
From first bite, I really loved this hot dog. I can’t say for sure that it was much better than hot dogs I had at other stands but it was really delicious!

Just as a reference point, I had another hot dog soon after from another stand I read about. The main difference was that their bun was toasted. I found the hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur to be more enjoyable.Anthony BourdainHere’s a closer look at the Pylsu.

It’s hard to see but here’s the set-up, ketchup, onions- raw & crispy go in the bun first, then the hot dog followed by mustard and remoulade on top.

I tried the hot dog in various topping combinations and find one with everything is the way to go. Besides the delicious sausage, the sweet mustard is the most distinct topping. I’m also a fan of the crispy onions.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re in Iceland, make sure to give a Pylsur a try. While we didn’t find food to be overly expensive, a hot dog makes for a tasty, cheap, local meal.

From what I recall, Anthony Bourdain mentioned in No Reservations how Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur was good drunk food. I’ll vouch and say that they’re good sober!

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