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BSI Cafeteria

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BSI Cafeteria

Someone mentioned in a forum post that the cafeteria at the BSI terminal station has a surprisingly good traditional Icelandic menu. And that locals some times go there to grab a quick bite even if they are not waiting to take a bus. Wow, is that really so? Has anyone tried it? If so, how was it?

Icelander in...
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1. Re: BSI Cafeteria

It is cheap, and it is good. They usually have choice of three or four dishes, all made ,,like mom did". The policy is ,,eat as much as you can" so it is good for people on a tight budget. The price, 10 - 25 dollars, is with all inclusive. This is also the only place that offers the very traditional singed sheep´s head, if you can work up the courage to try.

B-)

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2. Re: BSI Cafeteria

Wow! I'm there! Sounds great. Is it open 7 days a week? For lunch and dinner? Also, would you happen to know if sheep's head is always on the menu, or only sporadically? Thanks! I'm looking forward to having "mom's cooking."

Icelander in...
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3. Re: BSI Cafeteria

It´s open 24/7. Sheep´s head is always on the menu, it´s their speciality.

B-)

Seattle
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4. Re: BSI Cafeteria

Hi BornwithPassport,

It is possible you ran across something I had posted, as I do believe the cafeteria in the BSI station is a good deal for visitors on a budget, or just seeking good food at a reasonable cost.

While I don't live in Iceland, I have been traveling to Iceland on a regular basis since 1976. Back then, I was on active duty with the Navy and based at the NATO base in Keflavik. I was one of the few to venture off the base, and take the civillian bus from the town of Keflavik into Reykjavik. This changed over the years, but in 1976, it was very unusual to leave the base, and tourism to Iceland then was quite limited.

I have fond memories of the BSI terminal, which is still the same after 34 years, but its use has changed significantly. Back then, it was a hub of transportation, as most everyone used the bus to get about. Even today, you can look out from the terminal there and see the 6 or 7 small cement dividing partions provided for the lanes of busses, all taking Icelanders from Reykjavik to different cities in Iceland. My first stop ever in Reykjavik, back in 1976, was the BSI terminal, thus my feelings.

Now, it is primarily the stop for the Flybus inbound from Keflavik. and tour busses, although there are a few busses going from Reykjavik to other cities.

I have always made it a point to stop in at the BSI for a cup of coffee when visiting, and reflect on how Iceland has changed over the years I have known the country. It is fairly close to central Reykjavik, and I love to walk about the town when there, so a stop there is a natural for me.

Over the course of years, I noticed that Icelanders (and a lot of them) ate there during the noon meal time. Now, being from the US, I would rather eat most anyplace else than a bus station, and I never really paid attention to the buffet or the steam table until then.

I'm sure you have heard the saying of "eat where the locals do", so one time I gave it a try. I had the fish chowder, and the chef (he had one of those big, tall, white hats on, so I guess he was a chef) said, "If you want more, just come back...I give you more".

Now mind you, I was very sceptical; no one eats in a bus station. How wrong I was. The fish chowder was to die for; unbelievably fantastic. I began to understand the pride the chef had in filling my bowl; it was his making, and it was excellent.

Thus, I have a few posting about the fine food at the BSI cafeteria. As it is a cafeteria, it is not fancy in any way, but it is realy, really good food at an affordable price.

I'm on the road right now, but I know I have a web address for the cafeteria at home, and I'll post it here when I get back to Seattle.

I'll have to disagree with icelandicgiude about hours; I know I have walked to the BSI terminal for coffee and found the terminal closed in the early morning hours of 5-6am. There is a drive thru window which is open 24/7, but not the cafeteria in the terminal. Also the steam table with the really good food does have hours of operation. I'll try and get that for you.

But I can say that if you are looking to eat somewhat within the normal zone for meals, you can find good, tasty, meals at the BSI terminal. Not fancy surroundings, but definitely good food, at a nice price.

Sorry to go so long, BornwithPassport, but I wanted to tell the entire story. I see you are from Boston; beautiful town. I used to live in Swampscott, on the north side, but that was quite a while back. I did fly some missions from NAS South Weymouth to Keflavik in the reserves, also ages ago.

You might like this. In all the places I have lived over the years; the only places I have run across turning circles are Boston and Iceland. And drivers are just as crazy in Iceland as they are in Boston. Which makes navigating a turning circle all that more "interesting".

When you visit Iceland, do stop by the BSI terminal for a "taste" of Iceland. You will not be disappointed. As I say, the fish chowder was fantastic, and this is one of the places where "locals" eat.

Have a great time in Iceland.

Don

Icelander in...
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5. Re: BSI Cafeteria

You´re so right Don, of course the cafeteria is not open 24/7, but probably something like 07:00 - 22:00 all days, but you can always get the singed heads, 24/7 at the drive-through.

B-)

Delft, The...
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6. Re: BSI Cafeteria

Last time I was in Iceland I made a picture of the interior:

www.flickr.com/photos/erensm/4414759445/

Seattle
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7. Re: BSI Cafeteria

Thanks for the link to the photo, erensm. That is the place, with the terminal on one side and the cafeteria on the other. How the use of the building has changed over time!

icelandicguide, you country will always amaze me. No where else in the world (as far as I know) is there a 24 hr drive-thru that offers sheep's head.

I'd love to see a movie bit where you see the drive-up part...on the order of American Grafitti....."Can I take your order.......Yes, that will be 2 cherry cokes, a double cheesburger, large fries....and can you throw in a sheep's head with that......".

Only in Iceland, which makes it so special.

Perhaps someday I will partake, but if I do, it wll be after a good deal of brennivin. Nothing goes to waste in Iceland. I was watching the Icelandic move, "Cold Fever", a few weeks ago, and a lady serves an Icelandic dish to the Japanesse tourist, and says something to the effect of, "...the eyeballs are the best part;...and lots of protien too...."

The most exotic I have ever eaten has been putrified shark. There was a really nice mom and pop "fish and chips" place in central Retkjavik. I went there so often that the owner knew me by face, and he was a really nice guy. He had a number of different fish offerings, and the putrified shark was one of them, so when he offered a sample, I took it. Definitely different.

I think he passed away, as the place closed in 2001 and re-opened as "Shalimar's". Much like the chef at the BSI cafeteria, he took pride in what he served. Perhaps this is (or was) something about Icelandic heratage; a bit of pride in what you sold/served/offered to others.

Iceland is so very different, yet when I leave, it is never a question of if I will return; just a question of when I will return.

Readers of this forun, be warned. Iceland can be addictive; one trip is never enough. You will always want to go back for more.

Just give it a try, and you will see what I mean.

Sorry to take this far off topic from the op's original question, but I wanted to add my thoughts as I wait in a hotel for the time for my flight home.

Wish I was headed for a place where I could have some sheep's head. Sounds yummy! More brennivin!!!!

Don

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8. Re: BSI Cafeteria

I am so surprised to read that people actually like this place. It used to be good home cooking and I went there a lot but after they changed owners a few years back, I find it both expensive for what it is and totally awful. I have tried going serveral times for different dishes but been repulsed every time.

Seattle
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9. Re: BSI Cafeteria

The web site for the cafeteria is:

http://www.fljottoggott.is/ (in Icelandic)

The inside restaurant is open from 7-23:30, buffet table 11-21.

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10. Re: BSI Cafeteria

I just went to the website and please correct me if I'm wrong, but what I've figured out about the opening hours based on website information is:

Dining hall - 7am - 9pm

Buffet is available for lunch and dinner - don't know what is the difference...

Drive through:

7am - 1am, Monday to Wednesday

7am - 3am, Thursday

All day Friday and Sat.

24/7 on all holidays.

Is this correct?