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Reykjavík's restaurants are hard to match, but Akureyri makes a respectable showing and capitalizes on local strengths. The Eyjafjörður Valley is a big beef and dairy-producing region, and skýr -- Iceland's famous whipped whey concoction -- was invented here. Delicious blue mussels are cultivated in Eyjafjörður. Perhaps we shouldn't tell you that Eyjafjörður's excellent smoked lamb is smoked "the traditional way" -- with dried manure. Iceland's first and only microbrewery, Kaldi, is made in the tiny Eyjafjörður village of Árskógssandur, with grains from the Czech Republic. (Beer-flavored ice cream is in the works.) On the workaday side, locals like their burgers with béarnaise sauce and stuffed with french fries. In a stroke of genius, this burger concept has been transferred to the popular Bókullupizza: Yes, that would be pizza topped with beef, béarnaise sauce, cheese, and french fries.

For a memorable dinner excursion in the mountains west of Akureyri, see Halastjarna.

Expensive

If the options listed here are full, consider the first-rate Rósagarðurinn (Rose Garden) at Hotel Kea, with traditional Icelandic main courses around 2,000kr to 3,500kr ($32-$56/£16-£28).

Moderate

Those staying up the hill should consider the Edda hotel's quality dinner buffet, which costs 3,200kr ($51/£26), with a la carte options available.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.