August is peak season in Reykjavik, and a lot of our clients are touching the ground now as we write. It’s no secret, though, that Iceland is expensive—even a light lunch could easily set you back around $20. How to know then, which restaurants are worth your wallet?
Here are 7 Awesome Restaurants in Reykjavik straight from our writer Wailana who lived there for 1 year.
Reykjavik’s most prestigious restaurant, DILL, embraces the new Nordic as defined by Iceland. Its all about seasonal ingredients straight from the lava soil. Started by chef Gunnar Karl Gislason and sommelier Olafur Orn Olafsson, diners can expect traditional Icelandic fare with a flair. Reindeer with crowberries, Sunchokes served with skyr, baked rutabaga with cheese foam, lumpfish and rye starters. The dinner menu offers a rotating menu of 3, 5 and 7 courses. It’s the only restaurant awarded a Michelin Star in Iceland. Famously it books up well in advance, so be sure to make your reservation at least a month before your trip to Iceland!
Hverfisgötu 12 | +354 552 1522 | www.dillrestaurant.is
“Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class.” •#• • • • • • • #instafood #instagood #food #work #class #kitchen #today #cook #chefstable #chefstalk #chefsofinstagram #table #scallops #fresh #iceland #grillmarket #living
The Grill Market is a stylish restaurant tucked away on Lækjargata. Its design is cozy and luxurious, drawing on Icelandic elements of rock and water. The menu is decidedly Icelandic, from smoked Arctic char to grilled puffin with pickled blueberries. If you can’t decide, there’s always the tasting menu to sample a little bit of chef’s choice.
Laekjargata 2A | +354 571-7777 | www.grillmarkadurinn.is
A trip to Reykjavik wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of Iceland’s world-class seafood. Fiskfelagid, a cozy restaurant in the basement of the Zimsen building, serves not only Icelandic seafood but also fish dishes from across the globe. The historic Zimsen building dates back to 1884 and was originally located a couple of streets away before it was moved to its current location underneath a quaint bridge. While the building was undergoing renovation, part of Reykjavik’s old harbor was unearthed and transformed into a work of art within the restaurant grounds by local artist Hjorleifur Stefansson. Patrons can relax in Fiskfelagid’s comfortable booths while snacking on Icelandic salted cod and burnt langoustines or the Malaysian inspired blackened monkfish with lobster spring roll.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur is Iceland’s most famous hot dog stand chain, bearing the stamps of approval from many. One of these being the Guardian’s Best Hot Dog Stand in Europe 2006. Icelandic sausages consist of lamb, pork, and beef. However, what sets Icelandic hot dogs apart is the pale yellow condiment under the bed of raw onions – remolaði, a sweet relish mayonnaise. Order “the works” which includes all the condiments: ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onions, raw onions, and of course, remolaði. Best hot dog in Europe, I think not; best hot dog in Iceland? Definitely perhaps 😏 . 🌭 Pylsur Eina Með Öllu (The Works Hot Dog) 450 Krona (£3.22) #meliaeatsiceland
BAEJARINS BEZTU PYLSUR
It may not be fine dining, but there’s nothing more Icelandic than hot dogs. Their national dogs are prepared with a combination of pork, beef and lamb, and is the staple of every weekend revelry. Since 1937, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur has been served dogs near the harbor, best ordered med ollu, “the works”—ketchup, sweet mustard, remoulade and raw and friend onions.
Popular with the lunch office crowd, Snaps is the place for fresh dishes like mussels, French onion soup, and grilled fish straight from the harbor. Tucked away in the cute neighborhood of Skolavorduholt, this bistro was named Best Restaurant by Reykjavik’s Grapevine magazine for multiple years in a row.
This cute bistro—a delicatessen on the ground floor, restaurant in the basement—is another local favorite. Grab lunch and a hot bowl of fish soup to warm you up. The lunch menu is very reliable, with daily soup, daily fish, or house fishsoup (!) to choose from. Check their facebook page for daily specials. If you drop by for dinner, be sure to try their goose and wild game meatballs for something totally different.
Skólavörðustíg 8 | +354 562 2772 | http://ostabudin.is
This new restaurant opened up just this year, and it focuses on fine dining with hyperlocal ingredients. Locals rave about the cocktail bar. Set menus, tailored to vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, or meat eaters over several courses. Best yet, the menu changes daily so there’s always a surprise waiting around the corner!
Laugavegur 59 | +354 519 3535 | https://www.nostrarestaurant.is