In Search of the Famous Icelandic Hot Dog

Iceland Hot Dog

 

Good news! You don’t have to travel far in Iceland to find some of the most delicious hot dogs on the planet. I’ve been searching for the perfect weenie for about 25 years now and I think Icelandic dogs are a pretty good match.

Quick History of my Hot Dog Love

My search started way back when I attended KinderCare pre-school. KinderCare served the most delicious hot dogs. I cannot even describe to you the taste, this wasn’t your typical Oscar Meyer or Ballpark frank. These were different, I am going to assume they were a cheap variety and I think they were boiled. That is about as much as I know about the KinderCare dog.

I am not the only one with an obsession over the KinderCare dog. My brother, being about 4 years younger than me also loves the frank. Whenever we’d have hot dogs for dinner we’d complain to our parents that their hot dogs didn’t resemble the famous KinderCare dog. My mom went to great lengths trying to perfect her recipe. That consisted of buying many different varieties of hot dog. To no avail, each new dog came with a “this doesn’t taste like KinderCare” whine from us kids.

As an adult, I once ran into a lady who previously worked at KinderCare, of course the first thing I asked her was “What brand of hot dog do they use? I loved those weenies as a kid!” She let me know this is a common thing she hears about KinderCare but they got rid of hot dogs because kids would choke. Damn you kids! I knew I wasn’t a hot dog snob, other people remember them as well.

Best Damn Dog I’ve Had Since KinderCare

So, one day when I was researching my next adventure I came across an article that mentioned Icelandic hot dogs and how they were famous. I knew Iceland had to my next adventure.

Somehow I persuaded my friend Heather to join me on this taste test and we were off. I couldn’t stop talking about the dogs. According to many websites the Icelandic dogs could be found at just about any gas station and that is a good thing because in some villages your only food option is the gas station. I told Heather I could eat hot dogs for every meal if that was the case.

Hot dog sign at Airport in Iceland
Iceland even has a sign for the wieners at the airport!

After we landed at Keflavik airport, we picked up our rental car and were on our way in search for the famous frank. The first gas station we stopped at didn’t have the franks. WTF! I was disappointed. I thought all gas stations would have them. The internet lies! We actually spent about three days in the country before we found the dogs. Oh man, I wish I could have seen my face when I saw the sign. I was a kid in a weenie shop.

The gas station attendant asked me what I wanted on my dog, “I want it all!” I had no clue what “it all” was but I wanted it. She squeeze a row of ketchup, then a row of what looked sweet mustard, followed by a row of some sort of white mayo ( I later learned this is like a tartar sauce), she added fresh cut white onions and then topped it off with fried crispy onions. She then slid the dog into a fancy paper lining with cartoon hot dogs on the wrapper.

First hot dog in Iceland

 

The first bite was heaven. Yes, this is the closest I’ve come in 25 years to something that resembles the KinderCare dog!

Number One Hot Dog Stand in Iceland

Our last night in Reykjavik we went to THE number one hot dog stand in the country, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, this translates into “the best hot dog in town”. The stand is constantly busy. You know it’s a good dog if the line is 20 people deep.

Iceland hotdog stand

 

I recommend going to the stand at least once while visiting, the hot dogs are cheap and good to eat. So go, eat your heart out on cheap hot dogs. You won’t regret it.

In addition to eating all of the weenies, try some of Iceland’s other delicacies such as lamb head, Skyr (nom nom nom – tasty yogurt-esque soft cheese), or dried fish.

Iceland- trying dried fish
Trying dried fish…not my favorite.

PSA – If you know the hot dog brand KinderCare used in the early 90’s PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know. I will be forever grateful as will my brother.

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