I enjoy a good hot dog as much as the next person, but “amazing” is not a word I would use to describe most American hot dogs. Long associated with baseball games and summer cook-outs, hot dogs in the United States are as ubiquitous as cracker jacks, pizza, and hamburgers — but they’re little more than glorified junk food and are often filled with mystery meat. We weren’t looking to find the world’s best hot dog, but we found it, in an unlikely place: Iceland.
World’s best hot dog in Iceland
In Iceland, it’s a whole different ballgame. Icelanders are proud of their hot dogs, and rightfully so. Icelandic hot dogs are made with real meat — usually a combination of lamb, pork, and beef — and you can definitely taste the difference. They are nothing short of mouthwateringly delicious. Order one with everything, and you will get a hot dog with fried onions, raw onions, sweet mustard, and a mayonnaise-based relish served on a lightly toasted bun. Some places also throw ketchup into the mix. They were all magnificent!
It took a lot of willpower not to eat a hot dog every day on our recent Iceland trip. Not only are they tasty, they are one of the only cheap meals you can find in the country. Here are two of the many hot dog stands in Iceland. This is where we went to go to find the world’s best hot dog.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur in Reykjavik, Iceland
Its name translates to “The Best Hot Dog in Town,” and while they might be right, we considered them among the world’s best hot dog. Baejarins Beztu Pylsur has fantastic hot dogs that are not expensive. BBP is a hot dog stand conveniently located near the harbor in Reykjavik, so you don’t have to go out of your way to find it. Icelanders are serious about their hot dogs. At Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, there are hot dog holders built into the table.
Pylsuvagninn in Selfoss, Iceland
After a long day of driving, we were starving and on the lookout for cheap eats. Pylsuvagninn in Selfoss fit the bill. It’s a drive-through hot dog restaurant with tasty dogs. This was my first Icelandic hot dog tasting experience, and I wasn’t disappointed. The novelty of driving through to order a hot dog, then having it delivered to the car, was fun, too. I would recommend at a stop (or three) at Pylsuvagninn if you find yourself in Selfoss.
What makes them the world’s best hot dog?
It was a surprise to us to learn about the hot dogs in Iceland. We were expecting a lot of other cuisine such as whale and shark. We learned that Iceland does not import any live animals. Also, sheep are very plentiful in Iceland, outnumbering the people there. So Icelandic hot dogs are made from lamb that is free-range, hormone-free, and grass fed. You probably won’t find that in hot dogs anywhere else.
You will definitely want to try hot dogs in Iceland if you are ever fortunate enough to visit Iceland. They are everywhere. See for yourself if they are indeed in the running for the world’s best hot dog.