Supermarkets in the Capital Area
Bónus is probably the best-known budget store in Iceland and it’s usually considered the cheapest. The selection is perhaps not the best but it should fulfill your basic food needs.
Budget brand: Euroshopper
Like Bónus, Krónan is a budget store and also considered among the cheapest. Krónan stores are usually a bit bigger and brighter and have a bigger selection – especially when it comes to fresh meat and fish. They have a considerably big health section that will serve many people with dietary restrictions well (no gluten, no preservatives, etc. ) and store in Grandi, at least, has served the vegan community very well.
Budget brand: First Price and Gestus
Nettó is a budget shop that started in Akureyri and has now opened up quite a lot of shops around the country. It’s on the cheaper end of the spectrum and sells all kinds of other stuff like yarn and board games. Some of the stores here in Reykjavík are open 24/7 and they deliver if you order online.
Budget brands: X-tra and Coop
Hagkaup is kind of an upscale supermarket and a bit more on the pricey side. It’s also one of the best places to buy lopi if you can’t go to the Álafoss outlet or run out of lopi in the middle of the night since some of their stores are open 24/7. They also have their own clothing section, F&F that offers a range of clothes in all kinds of sizes.
Possibly one of the most expensive supermarkets in the country, 10-11 is all over the place, even in Keflavík Airport. Good for grabbing snacks when in a hurry, most of them are open 24/7.
Samkaup Strax is a part of the same company that also owns Nettó, Krambúð and Kjörbúðin and it’s probably somewhere in between in prices. They used to have a lot of stores around the country but only have three locations left with one being in Reykjavík.
Those of you who have already visited Iceland might know Krambúð, a small grocery store open 24/7 on Skólavörðustígur close to Hallgrímskirkja. It’s one of the stores that are small and rather expensive but is a lifesaver when you find yourself in need of something after the opening hours of the cheaper stores. Krambúð used to be independently owned but was sold to the Samkaup/Netto chain and they’ve recently expanded the brand and now have a number of Krambúð locations all over the country.
Iceland is not just the name of our beloved country, but also a supermarket. Yes, this can be quite confusing, especially when that supermarket is located in Iceland. Iceland – the supermarket – has a few stores. Prices are higher than those in Bónus or Krónan, but cheaper than many others and they are open 24/7. Their main attraction might be the huge pick and mix candy station, with a 50% discount during the weekend. It’s some kind of a cultural experience to witness the wave of candy craved kids (and grown-ups) sweep over these stations on Saturdays (the designated “nammidagur” (candy day) in Iceland).
Melabúðin, Pétursbúð and Kjötborg are all reminders of a different time when little corner shops were owned by people and not corporations. They all have their unique charm, personal service and above average prices but it doesn’t matter because you feel like you are supporting an endangered species.
Nóatún used to be a chain but now there is only one store left, in Austurver in Reykjavík. It’s like the Rolls Royce of Reykjavík supermarkets when it comes to prices but with a homely corner store feel.
Fjarðarkaup is a smallish hypermarket, quite similar to Hagkaup. They sell almost everything! Unlike Hagkaup, this is not a chain, but a single family-owned store in Hafnarfjörður.