Local Favorites You'll Only Find At Iceland's Costco

Iceland is known for its illustrious natural scenery, gushing waterfalls, active volcanoes ... and one iconic Costco. Costco is extremely popular in Iceland since the wholesale retailer expanded to the city of Gardaber in 2017. The store offers a vast selection of specialty products you won't find at all the hundreds of other locations. According to a poll, 71% of Iceland locals are Costco members, enjoying the buy-in-bulk prices and discounts on gas (via Iceland Magazine). 

The beloved retailer has become so popular in Iceland, that the store itself has become a bucket list destination for travelers. Tourists often visit the country for a chance to see the northern lights but end up venturing to Gardaber for a chance to try Costco's unique Icelandic offerings. When you set out on a shopping trip, you will feel a familiar sense of home as you weave through the technology section, household items, and Kirkland brand clothing on the way to the grocery aisles. You'll likely grab a sample of new products offered by smiling Costco employees, and smell the familiar scent of pizza as you wander the aisles. 

But amongst the baked goods and fresh produce, you will spot some food items offered only to its members in Iceland. For example, dried fish called hardfiskur is an Icelandic local favorite found in the seafood section. Cakes are decorated with Icelandic birthday messages, and a few changes to the typical Costco food court keep it interesting.

Iceland's Costco food court serves a unique soft drink

If you're looking for a taste of home while exploring Iceland, the Costco food court won't let you down. According to a Reddit post, it features the iconic pizza slices, hot dogs, and chicken bakes. You can also grab a scoop of gelato, not seen at a majority of U.S. Costco's these days. One Reddit commenter noted, "Apparently ice cream is a massive deal there."

One shopper who detailed their experience for Insider noted that the offerings were a touch more expensive than the prices they're used to back home. As well, there was one local favorite you won't see anywhere else: a soda called Egils Appelsin. The orange-flavored drink is a significant part of celebrations in Iceland and can be enjoyed with a hot dog at Costco food courts after a long shopping trip.

Iceland isn't the only place with unique Costco food court offerings. In other countries, you will find a wide variety of local cuisines served. Head to a Canadian Costco for poutine or venture to Japan for a peach smoothie and açaí bowl. Next time you are planning an international getaway, check out the nearest Costco. After all, your membership is valid at every location worldwide.