Where to Eat in Reykjavík, Iceland

restaurant

Prir Frakkar

Reykjavik, Iceland

This cosy restaurant is as honest as they get. An old-fashioned bar and simple dining setting is little to giveaway the food on offer – unlike the crowds of locals who flock here. The menu is full of Icelandic fare such as puffin and fermented shark (an acquired taste) in their most classic get up, as well as more modern sashimi-style iterations. Other options such as monkfish will please the less adventurous, but don’t miss the skyr brûlée for pudding – gloriously indulgent but surprisingly light, it’s the perfect ending to a proper Icelandic meal.

Address

14, Baldursgata, 101, Reykjavík

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Matarkjallarinn

Reykjavik, Iceland

While we take TripAdvisor reviews with a pinch of salt, Matarkjallarinn (meaning “food cellar”) takes the number one spot in Iceland and we’re inclined to agree. The live piano may feel a bit La La Land (the pianist actually played from the Oscar-winning film’s soundtrack while we dined) but combined with the setting in a 160-year-old building in the city centre, it sets the scene for a truly memorable dining experience. Go all out and opt for the chef’s choice menu, a six-course journey through the restaurant’s best dishes based on local ingredients, washed down with some killer cocktails. Visit at the weekend when the bar takes on more of a moody, lounge feel.

Address

Aðalstræti 2, 101, Reykjavik

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Höfnin

Reykjavik, Iceland

This turquoise, family-run restaurant is perched on the edge of the harbour away from the main hustle of the city and is a must-visit while in Reyjavik.

Address

Geirsgata 7, 101, Reyjavik

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Dill

Reykjavik, Iceland

As the holder of the island’s first ever Michelin star, we don’t need to tell you that Dill is worth a trip – if you can bag a table, that is (the waiting list currently stands at four months long). Under chef Ragnar Eiriksson, Dill is committed to preserving and furthering traditional Icelandic cuisine, channelling contemporary-cool vibes with low-hung lighting, gun-metal greys and mismatched wood reflecting equally artfully put-together plates. In short, it’s what Instagram dreams are made of – so beg, steal and borrow for a seat.

Address

Hverfisgata 12, 101

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Grillmarkaourinn

Reykjavik, Iceland

This chef-owned “it” restaurant prides itself on a close relationship with local farmers in-keeping with a focus on seasonality and sustainability. Dishes are cooked on log fires and coal, with much-lauded chefs Hrefna Rósa Sætran and Guðlaugur Frímannsson sending out plate after plate of perfectly crisp, smoky fare. We recommend visiting for a special occasion and going for either the tasting menu or the “trip to the countryside” to experience as much of Iceland’s best bits as possible in one sitting.

Address

Laekjargata 2A, 101, Reykjavik

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Sandholt

Reykjavik, Iceland

This chic, family-owned bakery first opened in 1920 and is now run by its fifth generation of master bakers, headed up by Asgeir Sandholt, who has won a number of awards with The Icelandic National Team of Chefs. It’s the perfect place for a pitstop in a day of exploring, so hole yourself up in a corner and take cosy a break over artisan cinnamon buns and some strong coffee.

Address

Laugavegur 36, 101

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Matur og Drykkur

Reykjavik, Iceland

Matur og Drykkur is a new entry into the Nordic Michelin Guide 2017 (alongside Grillio, Gallery and VOX), named after a famous Icelandic cookbook which forms the basis for many of its dishes. In the name of modernity, they spruce up these classic recipes while still staying true to traditional preparation methods. Chef and part-owner Gisli Matthias Auounsson wants to make Icelanders proud of their native cuisine and certainly does so with this simple but highly praised restaurant.

Address

Hverfisgata 12, 101, Reykjavik

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Smakkbarinn

Reykjavik, Iceland

Smakk Barinn has all of the hallmarks of a traditional tapas bar – tightly packed high tables, a long wooden bar and all a bit hectic. It’s also a nod towards the hipster side of the city, serving all of it’s dishes in petite jars from shark and Icelandic meat soup to langoustines in Reyka Vodka batter. With a regularly changing menu, it’s a great spot to kick back and experience a young, buzzy Reykjavik.

Address

Klapparstígur 38, 101

restaurant

Salka Valka

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is not a cheap destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat on a budget. Salka Valka (“fish and more”) is a simple eatery channelling East London vibes thanks to cactuses, succulents and hanging lightbulbs, while the food is more home-style cooking. The menu features only two main courses (alongside more casual sandwiches and breakfast plates); go for the plokkfiskur, a fish dish which is an authentic slice of what locals would cook for themselves.

Address

Skólavörðustígur 23, 101, Reykjavik

restaurant

Fridheimar

Reykjavik, Iceland

When driving the famous Golden Circle route be sure to stop off at Fridheimar, a geothermal energy-run tomato farm with an on-site restaurant, where you dine in the same greenhouses that the tomato-based menu is borne from. While tomato soup at home may not be considered a luxury, this farm’s version certainly is. Sweet, smooth and served with a dollop of sour cream, it blows Heinz out of the water. Toast to a stellar day of sight seeing with one of their famous bloody Mary’s – surely some of the best in the world.

Address

Bláskógabyggð, 801, Selfoss

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Café Loki

Reykjavik, Iceland

This café’s location next to the quirky Hallgrimskirkja church makes it the perfect breakfast spot before a day of exploring the capital. Fill up on homemade Icelandic rye bread and Skyr-filled crepes among friendly locals – and you won’t be left wincing at the bill.

Address

28, Lokastígur, 101, Reykjavik

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Hamborgarabullan

Reykjavik, Iceland

Tommi’s Burger Joint restaurants in London are actually from Iceland, first popping up back in 1981. Credited with bringing hamburgers to the country, owner Tommi Tomasson’s Reykjavik restaurant is endearingly haphazard and dolls out some of the tastiest patties in town.

Address

Bíldshöfði Bíldshöfða 18, 110, Reykjavik

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Silfra Restaurant

Reykjavik, Iceland

Take off from Reykjavik and into the wild to discover the Silfra restaurant in the architectural delight that is the ION Adventure Hotel. The building originally housed the employees of Nesjavellir power station and sits within the Golden Circle. While the hotel restaurant serves some of the finest Nordic cuisine in the region, it’s the Northern Lights Bar that you visit for. As the name suggests, it’s the perfect place to plonk yourself with a drink and wait for the best light show on earth to commence.

Address

Nesjavellir vid Thingvallavatn, 801, Senoss

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Le Kock

Reykjavik, Iceland

Burger aficionados must make the pilgrimage to Le Kock. Run by three of the best chefs in the city, this joint has elevated the patty to an art form. Everything is homemade, from the potato buns to the vegetables which come straight from the trio’s family farms. The short trip outside the city centre is definitely worth it – don’t leave without trying the game-changing doughnuts.

Address

Ármúli 42, 101

restaurant

Hlemmur Matholl

Reykjavik, Iceland

The old bus station in the centre of Reykjavík has been given a new lease of life and converted into a food hall where 10 of Iceland’s best restaurants have stalls. Sit down at one of the communal wooden tables and try everything on offer from the best baked goods from Braud og Co, to Vietnamese Banh Mi. The firm favourite, however, is the lobster sandwich from Rabbar Barinn – you’ll definitely be getting seconds.

Address

Laugavegur 107 105

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Ostabudin - CLOSED

Reykjavik, Iceland

You can’t beat Ostabudin for a cosy and local vibe. This restaurant-cum-deli is the place to try Icelandic home cooking like goose meatballs and mash. The fish is always the freshest available too. The shop specialises Icelandic cheese which makes for a perfect souvenir.

Address

Skólavörðustígur 8, 101

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Kaffi Vinyl - CLOSED

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik isn’t known for its vegan food, but Kaffi Vinyl is bucking that trend via delicious plant-based burgers and sandwiches. Beer is on tap making this a great place to linger and soak up the relaxed atmosphere. Classically hip, the café doubles as a record shop and hosts regular DJ nights and acoustic sets.

Address

Hverfisgata 76 101

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Skubb

Reykjavik, Iceland

Not many people know that Icelanders love ice-cream – it’s very much part of the culture – the word “ísbíltúr” means “drive for ice cream”. Skubb is the best in Reykjavík, a small ice-cream parlour where everything is homemade. They have interesting and unusual flavours like “bad brownie” and cater for vegans with some great non-dairy options too.

Address

Laugarásvegur 1

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ÓX

Reykjavik, Iceland

This 11-seat restaurant has become Reykjavík’s most sought after dining experience, described as a “journey” rather than a meal, in which guests watch and interact with the chef throughout. The food on offer is Icelandic with a twist and diners eat the set menu together around the same table. Dinner starts at 7PM and reservations are essential.

Address

Laugavegur 28 101

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Fish Company

Reykjavik, Iceland

For a fine-dining experience where fish takes centre stage, head to Fish Company, a relaxed restaurant located in an old Zimsen house. The influences behind the dishes are eclectic – the menu is full of traditional Icelandic flavours as well as tastes from around the world, such as Fiji and Venezuela.

Address

Vesturgata 2a Grófartorg 101

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Holt

Reykjavik, Iceland

Although Holt is located in a historic and grand hotel, the restaurant is all about challenging expectations, offering an exciting menu and wine list from some of the best chefs in the city. Expect unusual flavour combinations and an unforgettable meal.

Address

Bergstaðastræti 37 101