Hveragerdi is a strange town that occupies a strange space in the heart of Millennials and Generation X. Just 40 minutes from Reykjavik, the town was home to Iceland’s only theme park. Not so many. There were some vehicles, but nothing impressive. The reason this was feasible in Iceland in the 80’s was because it was in a huge colorful warehouse that protected guests from the ever-changing weather. Not only that, there was a store called Eden next to the theme park. There you can play arcade games and buy ice cream. There were rumors that Eden once had monkeys, but if so, I hadn’t seen them because they had monkeys for a while. Later they were replaced with mechanical monkeys that speak if you give it some changes. His name was Bóbó. And it was ridiculous. We loved him.
Fire and bankruptcy
But all the good things are finally over. The theme park went bankrupt in the 90’s, and Eden burned down in 2011 after a series of failed ventures inside the building.
Hveragerði was becoming another tragic Icelandic little town with a colorful past. However, because it was close to the city, the relevance was maintained. Thanks to low housing costs and nature, artists and writers have begun to move into town. Slowly, tourists discovered this once-famous town, and more importantly, the beautiful geothermal fields around it, where one of Iceland’s hottest rivers is in the immediate vicinity. It has been clear for years that Hveragerdi has serious potential as a tourist destination.
Things have been looked up over the past few years. And the new addition of Gróðurhúsið (greenhouse) to the community provided a serious renovation to provide the town with the oxygen needed to become a small, bustling outpost in the countryside.
I’m with Valur Gunnarsson, a former Reykjavik Grapebine editor-in-chief and famous historian and novelist (going by our name to make things easier), from which my name comes from. I decided to visit Gróðurhúsið to try out the food and find out about the new future of Hvergerði.
Great interior design
The house follows the popular idea of food halls, but has also coordinated its business to meet tourism needs. It’s a hotel as well as a market that offers some of Iceland’s best design brands. The house isn’t very visible from the outside, but the interior design is off the charts. And there is a good reason for that. Hálfdán Pedersen is an interior and set designer who is in charge of everything in the house while being elegant and rustic. It is Iceland’s most well-designed food hall and greatly enhances the experience.
And there is food
But Gunnarsson and I were there for a meal. Gróðurhúsið offers five restaurants smartly, and food hall managers manage them well and check out most of the dining options you crave.
Gretison: “Peanut Dream” wasn’t as impressive as I expected. It contained rice noodles, chicken, mushrooms, spinach, cashew nuts, satay sauce and peanuts. I might have used more seasonings to make it more memorable. This dish didn’t have any real characteristics, but it’s enough if you’re traveling or just want to have a proper meal between destinations when you’re just hungry. That part was generous.
Gunnerson: I often dream of peanuts, but I found this dish a little lighter in peanuts and heavier in a wok. It’s decent in itself, but not all peanut dreams have come true.
Gretison: Tacovagninn’s tacos are doing it well, following the fusion trend of Asia and South America. Grab is a hearty bite, and if you’re looking for some flashy tacos, it’s creative enough to make your day. The cauliflower tacos are great and the only downside is that I wanted more.
Gunnerson: This is clearly a local favorite as there was a queue. The best bet seems to be the choice of different tacos. Overall, they weren’t bad, but perhaps the secret weapon here is the nachos.
Gunnerson: Hipstur is Greenhouse’s finest restaurant. Fish are great and if it’s yours, it’s probably the most Icelandic item here. More importantly, they have beer.
Gretison: Hipstur is Greenhouse’s finest restaurant, serving the finest cuisine found in Iceland. We decided to try the fish of the day. It happened to be my favorite: ling. Served with cauliflower, grilled onions and cherry tomatoes, it had a refreshing, multi-layered taste. The freshness of the food was great. The only idea we had was how great it would be to have access to such a phi food on the road while traveling the South.
Gunnerson: The surprise of the day was PÜNK. I think you know chicken and french fries, but this is something different. Just the right amount of spicy french fries lies between potato chips and chips. The sauce is also good.
Gretison: I must admit that I didn’t expect much from PÜNK. Not because it’s bad, but because of the fierce competition in the food court. But they were surprised in a very fun way. A little old school cooking was done the right way. The dish was a punk signature with two boneless chicken legs, coleslaw, french fries and homemade punk sauce. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the french fries reminded me in some way of the 80’s when everyone was trying different shapes of french fries. This was an honest dish and didn’t try to be more than that. be moved.
Gunnerson: It’s a safe choice, but it can be done with more spices. Maybe ask for additional sources.
Gretison: It’s hard to add any more to the story about Yuzu. They are at least one of the two best burger locations in Iceland and offer burgers with a Korean / Japanese twist. We had a very popular and famous Yuzu dish with kimchi grilled chicken and hot sauce of Yuzu with coriander. The hamburger was delicious. It felt a little dry, the bread was good, but I didn’t have to worry. The chicken was perfect and the whole experience was as solid as possible when it came to burgers. That said, the spices department needed a little more kick.
The overall experience from the food court is that it stands out in many ways. Icelanders are very excited about this place. Finally, there is another reason to visit the wonderful Hveragerdi, which is also one of the most beautiful pools in the country. Our predictions are simple and probably not difficult. This could be Iceland’s hottest destination this summer (and in the coming years) for both travelers and Icelanders.