Meals of the Mundo: Baejarins Beztu Pylsur
This is a special Meals of the Mundo. I guess they’re all special, but this one is really special. The Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog was the final meal of our trip. It was our last lunch in Iceland, which was our last country. So, like I said, this meal, although it was incredibly simple, meant a lot to us. And it’s also
one of the best deals the only good deal in Iceland for budget travelers.
HOW I DISCOVERED BAEJARINS BEZTU PYLSUR
On our Icelandair flight to Reykjavik, the tv screen in front of us kept showing appealing touristy slogans like “The most amazing thing about Iceland isn’t the volcano. It’s that there is 20 hours of sunlight a day.” Most of these were patently false. The most amazing thing about Iceland is, in point of fact, the volcanoes, because they shape the entire island/country/lava rock.
One of these said something to the effect of “The most amazing thing about Iceland isn’t the glaciers. It’s the fact that the most popular restaurant in the country is a hot dog stand.” That is pretty amazing!* I had to find it, and I had to try a hot dog. It didn’t take long to figure out the name of the stand is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.
When we got to Reykjavik, we only stayed for one quick night before we left to explore the countryside. But before our flight home a few days later, we spent one more night in Reykjavik and had the following morning to explore too. That’s when I made my move on the hot dog stand, which was conveniently located fairly close to us downtown, at the corner of two streets that have far too many consonants for me to type, let alone pronounce. I’ll add a picture.
A high consonant to vowel ratio is very important for Icelanders.
FAMOUS PEOPLE EAT HERE TOO!
The hot dog stand has had some famous visitors, including Bill Clinton, which makes this the second restaurant we’ve shared with the former President. We also ate at a pho place he ate at in Saigon. We didn’t write about this because it’s not that exciting. But now we’re seeing a trend, so I brought it up.
Anthony Bourdain did a bit about Baejarins Beztu Pylsur on his show, “No Reservations,” and a British newspaper called this the best hot dog in Europe.
I bought my hot dog and chowed down.
Insert “Oren eating a wiener” joke here.
A GOOD DEAL… IN ICELAND!!
Baejarins Beztu Pylsur hot dogs break the cardinal rule of Iceland: everything has to be expensive. I’m pretty sure it’s unconstitutional (Does Iceland have a constitution?) for anything to be a reasonable price or a good deal. An $8 hamburger costs $22. A $7 glass of wine costs $15. A bunk bed in a dorm room at a hostel costs $70. SEVENTY DOLLARS!!! (I couldn’t capitalize numbers, so I had to write out $70 to show emphasis. I mean, I guess I could’ve use italics, but that doesn’t seem to get the point across, does it?)
How do you justify charging $70 for a bunk bed in a dorm room? Here’s how: it’s in Iceland. Oh, well that makes sense now because they have renewable, geothermal energy – which, by the way, is awesome – and no military to support with high taxes, so, wait, no, it doesn’t make sense at all for Iceland to have outrageous prices, but it does.
Except for Baejarins Beztu Pylsur. A hot dog is $3-$4 – a good deal no matter where you are. If you get it with the works – and you should absolutely get it with the works – it comes with ketchup, mustard, fried onions, raw onions, and remoulade, which is a fancy term for honey mustard. I know it’s not technically a term for honey mustard, but the remoulade at Baejarins Beztu Pylsur tastes exactly like honey mustard and nothing like remoulade, so I’m going with accuracy over whatever it is that dictionaries go with. I guess it’s also accuracy, but our accuracies are aimed at different points, and are substantially different concepts in this scenario.
MY THOUGHTS ON BAEJARINS BEZTU PYLSUR
The hot dog is pretty good! It’s not going to blow you away, because it’s a hot dog for crying out loud. But it’s very tasty, and the condiments really add something to it. Especially the fried onions, which add a crunchiness to the dog.
What else can you really say about a hot dog? I mean, it’s about as simple as food gets, so let’s not overthink this one. If you’re in Reykjavik, it’s definitely worth a try. There are a few Baejarins Beztu Pylsurs around, but the famous one is downtown, near the end of the pedestrian street. Ask anyone in the city – they’ll know exactly where it is.
Bon appetit! Or whatever they say in Icelandic. I believe it’s fghioojkkkzrvtafrsssek.
*I have since changed my opinion. It’s not that amazing unfortunately. The most popular restaurant in America is McDonald’s. I say this without doing any research whatsoever, but my reporter’s intuition, which often functions like an encyclopedia of overly confident guesswork, assures me this is true. Is it amazing that the most popular restaurant in America is a fast-food burger stand? No, it’s America. So why should it be amazing that the most popular stand in Iceland is a hot dog stand? I don’t know. It just kinda is.