American specializes in Icelandic every-day food Skip to content

American specializes in Icelandic every-day food

By Iceland Review

An American chef opened a new takeaway restaurant in Reykjavík last month, offering a variety of typical wholesome Icelandic dinners.

“Hardly any restaurant in the country specializes in the type of food the average Icelandic ‘Jón’ has for dinner every night,” Michael A. Levin, chef and owner of Rádlagdur Dagskammtur (“Recommended Daily Portion”) told

Levin was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but has lived in Iceland for 20 years. Levin is married to an Icelandic woman and has two children.

At Rádlagdur Dagskammtur people can buy dishes such as chopped fish and potatoes in a white sauce, which is a sort of fish fricassee, lamb steak with béarnaise sauce, breaded fish fillets and fried cod with lobster sauce or blue cheese sauce.

“I imagine these dishes will become popular among tourists. The other day a Swede came to have a taste of gellur [pet name for the Icelandic delicacy of triangular muscles in fish heads], which can only be found in Iceland,” Levin said.

“Tourists don’t want to go to McDonalds or KFC to have something they could eat anywhere else in the world when they come to Iceland; they want to try something typically Icelandic,” he added.

Levin also offers various international dishes at his takeaway restaurant. “My menu consists of healthy homemade meals, meat, fish and vegetable dishes. I try to stay away from pizzas or hamburgers,” he said. “I offer lasagna for example, which is not originally Icelandic, but has become a typical dinner in homes in Iceland and around the world.”

“I also put emphasis on baking. Homemade bread is included in every takeaway dinner, and also a dessert,” Levin said. “I am sure that I have the only restaurant in Iceland that offers real American apple pie made of fresh apples.”

“I am an American so I know American cuisine. I’ve taken the best of what the US has to offer in food and put it one my menu, like sour dough rye bread and oatmeal cookies, which is popular in the States,” Levin said. “I also had plans of making pumpkin pie, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the right type of pumpkin, so that didn’t work out.”

Rádlagdur Dagskammtur is open workdays from 4 pm to 8 pm. “People can buy their evening dinner here at a reasonable price. Many of my customers are elderly people who say that this place is just what they needed,” Levin explained.

Logo courtesy of (an English version of the website is planned).

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