This is a small chain of hot dog stands located in Reykjavik, Iceland, that has taken on a sort of legend. In fact, many people will reference this famous Iceland hot dog stand and make it a point to stop by when they visit Reykjavik. Today I’ll give you a quick history of this iconic stand that I’ve gone to many times, and urge you to make it one of the foods to try in Iceland.
Operating since 1937, the stand was set up at the center of the City by the Grandfather of the current owner. It’s since moved and the current stand is it’s flagship location. The name Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur translates to “Town’s Best,” and while I only spotted one other competitor, I’m pretty sure they would beat out any newcomers trying to infringe on their famous territory.
In August of 2006, the hot dog stand was named the Best Hot Dog Stand in Europe by the Guardian, a British Newspaper. While I don’t have many stands in Europe to compare it to, it certainly beat out the one in Rome, as well as several in Amsterdam, so I have to concur that as it stands in 2018, they still reign as kings of the European Hot Dogs!
While the stand itself is simple and unassuming, the line is always existent, especially after the bars and clubs get out during those late weekend nights.
The chain is both a local legend as well as popular with tourists. During my visit, there were a mix of both. With one person manning the stand, and one making deliveries and helping stock the stand, it’s something of a miracle how they keep efficiency so high. To boot, during my two visits, it was very cold and snowing, but that didn’t stop anyone from trying the legendary hot dogs. While I didn’t personally visit them, there are three other stands in the City of Reykjavik, and combined they sell over 1,000 hot dogs during the busier times.
What do the Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur Hot Dogs Taste Like?
This isn’t your average All American, all beef frank! This is Europe, and things are done differently here. These are a combination of pork, beef, and lamb, and while I was in line, I overheard someone saying they are braised in beer. This isn’t confirmed, but I would imagine it to be true, because beer battered dogs are always the best dogs.
For me, the experience was made by the sauces and accompaniments. You get ketchup, a dark mustard, and a mix of mayo-based remoulade. This is said to feature gherkins and capers.
For me, this whole experience was made by the addition of crunchy fried onions! If you have been to Colombia, or other Latin American countries, they do their hot dogs with potato chips crunched up, but the fried, crunchy onions beat even the most well built Latin Perro!
If you are in the area, hit up the Lebowski Bar after for a drink!
Famous People Who Have Eaten at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
Bill Clinton visited this exact hot dog stand in 2004. He was visiting the country for a UNICEF conference. This led to a massive press campaign and the stand started to make it’s way through the media, including being mentioned in many Iceland tourism guides.
In addition, Metallica’s James Hetfield made a visit, as did Charlie Sheen.
Update: it’s even being reported that Kim Kardashian visited this famous hot dog venue! I even dug up a pic that I found online to prove it.
Credit: The Reykjavik Grapevine.
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