The Icelandic Restaurant Where The Views Come Second Only To The Butter

A trip to Iceland with its stunning landscape of volcanoes, mountainsides, and ice fields and unique and growing food scene is sure to include two things: breathtaking views and exquisite food. Lovingly referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice, one place you must visit when you're in the region is the Blue Lagoon in Grindavík — and its restaurants.

The Blue Lagoon is an oasis, including geothermal water (where seawater and freshwater come together via heat and pressure, to create a pure aquatic environment that is said to be quite healing, according to Blue Lagoon), a spa, two restaurants, and research facilities. Built on a passion for sustainability, environmental stewardship, and an appreciation of nature, the destination is not to be missed. And when you're there, you can enjoy the local treasures of the geographically diverse location at Moss, one of the two restaurants on-site.

While all of Moss' menu is worth exploring, a surprisingly small item is stealing people's attention: the butter. To make its swoon-worthy butter, in an act of true ingenuity, Moss restaurant (which earned a Michelin star in 2023) combines two of Iceland's prized local dairy products: butter and Skyr. Dipping bread into this fluffy and rich spread, topped with minerally, savory notes from sea salt and seaweed, is made all the more magical by gazing out at the bright turquoise lagoon and surrounding lava fields — there's simply nothing like it.

Softened butter is whipped with thick, creamy Skyr

Though Skyr has long been enjoyed as a local staple of Icelandic cuisine, mixing together softened grass-fed Icelandic butter with the creamy dairy product is unique to Moss and its team of talented chefs, including executive chef Aggi Sverrisson (per Blue Lagoon). It's genius. Though Skyr has gained popularity domestically as a rich, extra-thick type of yogurt high in protein, locally it's actually considered a cheese, according to Guide to Iceland.

In Iceland, it's made with skim cow's milk, which has been heated and then cultured with live bacteria specific to Skyr. But unlike yogurt, rennet (the enzyme typically used to coagulate cheese) is added to the Skyr, which results in creamy curds. The dairy product is fermented, thickened, and strained to become one of Iceland's beloved culinary traditions.

Skyr typically has a slight tartness but is less tangy than something like Greek yogurt, which it is often compared to. This makes it perfectly complementary to rich, flavorful butter. When Moss restaurant chose to whip up Skyr with the delectable softened butter of the region, they created something even silkier and creamier than we could imagine. You need to try it.

The silky butter is topped with even more local delicacies

As if Iceland's velvety, quality butter made from local grass-fed cows wasn't enough, Moss restaurant then takes its Skyr-blended butter to another level with its garnishes. The whipped butter is topped with the restaurant's very own sea salt, harvested from the geothermal water, which is some of the purest water around and is said to have healing properties, according to Blue Lagoon. A red type of seaweed called dulse is also added on top, which imparts an extra hint of mineral taste to further bolster the tastes of the region and surrounding aquatic landscape.

Diners at Moss get the pleasure of dipping bread and other local delicacies like dried cod skin in the inventive and quintessentially local magic that is the restaurants' butter. If the rich spread has anything to hint at how the rest of the ever-changing, seasonal-tasting menu meal will be — it's sure to be seasonal, local, and sustainably sourced. If you have the fortune of visiting this Icelandic gem of a restaurant, know that the bill will be a bit steep (as with other Michelin-star experiences), but the butter, the views, and the rest of the Nordic epicurean food are well worth it.