The8 Best Places to Eat in Reykjavik, Iceland
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Are you looking for the best places to eat in Reykjavik?
Everyone knows Iceland for its dramatic natural scenery, with cascading waterfalls, black beaches and volcanic craters, but most people don’t have a clue about Icelandic expanding food scene. As a foodie who’s travelled all around the world sampling some of the best dishes around, I have high expectations when it comes to food. Before visiting Iceland I wasn’t expecting much from the food scene, but how wrong was I! Iceland has some amazing dishes on offer that will get your taste buds tingling.
So we’ve created a complete guide on the best places to eat in Reykjavik, Iceland’s culture capital, including cheap eateries, fine dining, bakeries and traditional local restaurants. This post will get your mouth watering for sure.
Wondering where to stay in Reykjavic? Check out the awesome guide of some of the best accommodation in Iceland!
What foods to expect in Iceland?
A countries food isn’t always just about is flavours, but also speaks about its culture and history and this is especially true for Iceland. Here’s a list of traditional Icelandic foods that need to be on your list to try. Here’s what to expect at the best places to eat in Reykjavik
Surprise surprise being an island surrounded by Artic waters, Iceland is best known for its choice of fresh fish. Have a stroll down to the picturesque harbour and try out the catch of the day from the local fish shops dotted around. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not push the boundaries and try fermented shark or minke whale – yes you heard me right! These are just some of the weird and wonderful traditional dishes you’ll struggle to find elsewhere.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth why not indulge in Skyr, a thick and creamy dairy product similar to yoghurt that’s often served with cream and a tart berry jam. If that doesn’t float your boat why not try some locally sourced ice cream – ice cream in Iceland? Yep no matter how cold it gets locals are always in the mood for ice cream, especially in the winter months when there’s minimal light, ice cream parlours become a social hub for local and you can even find shops open until 11pm!
If you’re a bread lover, you’ll easily fall in love with their Rye bread, traditionally made in a pot under the ground heated by a bubbling geyser. It takes about a day to cook, but well worth the effort and wait. There’s a million ways to eat it, topped it with smoked salmon and cream cheese, or keep it simple with lashings of butter and crunchy lava salt – yum!
Lamb has been around in Iceland since the beginning, keeping the early settles warm and full. There’s a plentiful supply of lamb in Iceland due to the mass land where sheep can roam free and feed off the land. It can be enjoyed in several ways and we recommend you try them all – our favourite is traditional Lamb soup.
Where to eat?
101 Reykjavik Street Food
Very delicious hearty home-cooked food, leaving you feeling full and content. I recommend the fish and chips or lamb soup. You can’t book a table in advance, but walk in’s welcome. The prices at Rekjavic street food are affordable for Iceland’s standards anyway! You even get a free chocolate wafer for dessert which is a nice little personal touch. It’s a thumbs up from us.
Location = Ingolfsstraeti 2, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
A family owned and run restaurant in the heart of Reykjavík. There’s a cosy and relaxed atmosphere with traditional Icelandic quality food being served and personal friendly service. We had the 3 course set menu, consisting of salmon for starter, lamb for main, which was cooked to perfection – I could almost suck it through a straw it was so tender! And for desert crème caramel, which did not disappoint. Word of advice, book in advance as it is very busy and deservedly so!
Location = Raudararstig 8, Reykjavik 105, Iceland
Forrettabarinn serve starters of all sizes from around the world, made out of Iceland’s freshest ingredients and seasonal game. Forrettabarinn is a true gem in the oldest part of town, in the fresh sea air down by the harbor. Their wine and beer-list matches perfectly the spirit of the ever-changing menu of their sometimes “experimental kitchen”. They offer you exciting new angles to traditional dishes with a vibrant atmosphere and warm service. You can even try out horse meet here – not for everyone!
Location = Nylendugata 14, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Braud & Co
Definitely check this hidden gem out – a place to eat in Reykjavik that’s not to be missed! Braud & Co’s nice selection of warm freshly baked warm pastries and bread. Really tasty and friendly service! Opens early too so great for breakfast before a day of exploring.
Location = 16, Frakkastigur | Gló Restaurant Fákafeni & Hlemmur Mathöll, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Lamb Street Food
Lamb Street Food draws much inspiration from Iceland’s rich gastronomic past. Here you’ll find the happy marriage of high-quality Icelandic ingredients and age-old culinary traditions from the Far East. Quintessentially Icelandic with a taste for world cuisines – all on one plate. Lamb Street Food works closely with Icelandic farmers and producers who supply only the highest quality ingredients. The staff are very helpful in explaining the menu – you can choose between the featured wraps or if you’re fussy you can customise your own to your unique taste buds!
Location = Grandagardi 7, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
The pancakes at this restaurant are to die for – try with fruit, cream, caramel and maple syrup for a sweet breakfast. There’s also a wide selection of mouth-watering pastries on offer each morning and the bakery opens at 7am so early risers have a really good breakfast option. The staff are efficient, warm and friendly, making this place a great all-rounder.
Location = Laugavegur 36, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Fiskmarkadurinn or more commonly known as the Fish Market offers exquisite food and exemplary service. This place is more pricey compared to other eateries in Reykjavik, but well worth it for the experience. They’re famous for their tasting menus, which are great to try a little bit of everything but can also be modified due to personal preference. I would highly recommend the lava mousse for dessert, which is both a sight to behold and an experience on the taste buds.
Location = Adalstraeti 12, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Old Iceland Restaurant
Old Iceland is a family-run restaurant with Icelandic home cooking. Their speciality is on seafood and Icelandic lamb, but also offers a choice of three or a five-course set menu. The restaurant’s self has a lovely modern décor, with a cosy atmosphere, which is topped off with superb service. Highly recommend!
Location = Laugavegur 72, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
So there you have it, a complete guide to the best places to eat in Reykjavik. Food might not be what brought you to Iceland in the first place, but it’ll definitely be what brings you back!
Don’t forget to check out my other Iceland travel guides;