There were so many things we loved about Iceland: the people, landscapes, nature and FOOD! Today we’re rounding up some of the spots we visited during our 5 night stay to show you what and where to eat in Reykjavík. Everything was very easy to get to and within walking distance from the hotel. Everyone was very friendly if you asked for directions to any place.
Reykjavík Fish Restaurant — Fish & Chips
We stopped here on one of our first days in Reykjavík. We were walking around the city exploring, as we normally do on the first day in town, when we came across Reykjavík Fish Restaurant. They sold me on the large sign reading “Fish & Chips”.
We ordered from the menu on the chalkboard behind the register, paid and then found a seat. We received our fish and chips pretty quickly and began to enjoy our meal. The cod was very fresh, flaky and fried to perfection (not oily at all). The cod was overflowing out of our buckets which had a mountain of french fires underneath.
Fresh fish, friendly staff and fast service with a nice view of the harbor if you sit by one of the windows.
Baejarins Beztu Pylsur
Have you ever dreamt of standing in line waiting to buy a hot dog in Iceland? If so, then Baejarins Beztu Pylsur is the place for you! Pretty much everything we read and were told about Iceland mentioned this hot dog stand. We knew this would be on our list of “must eat” in Iceland. This is a very popular place in a parking lot with no seating, it is street food. Be ready to stand and eat your dogs or take them with you as you walk through the beautiful city.
The hot dogs come on a steamed/toasted bun topped with raw and grilled crispy onions, ketchup, sweet yellow mustard and pylsusinnep which is a caramel flavored rémoulade. Honestly the hot dogs were pretty good. We must admit, we went back multiple times. It was hard to pass the tiny shack and not stop in and get one. I would say to Amanda “well the line is pretty short, I’ll grab one real quick”.
If you can’t find it, look for a line of people standing around a small tin shack. If you still can’t find it, just ask anyone around you. Everyone seems to know this place.
Fast Service, great/unique hot dogs, cheap prices and they accept cash or credit cards. Be sure to have your payment ready when you step up to the window to order. The staff and the people waiting behind you in line will appreciate it.
Fiskmarkadurinn – The Fish Market
This is one of the most popular restaurants in Iceland. Fish Market is the brainchild of chef/owner Hrefna Rósa Sætran, who at 27 years old opened the restaurant in the heart of Reykjavík. Fish Market uses fresh and local Icelandic ingredients to introduce diners to a traditional and unique dining experience. We ordered the tasting menu which was 10+ courses with more “bites” and rolls throughout. The meal includes a variety of meats, fish, seafood, sushi and sweets each presented with modern flare. The presentation was unique and seemed to get better with every course. Great cocktails, wine and whiskey selections to enjoy throughout your meal as well.
Speaking of details and presentation, the bread basket (pictured under the wine glass), contained fresh rolls which were kept warm with hot lava rocks in the base of the sack. Also, the mussels came on a bed of pine needles and dry ice.
Be sure to make a reservation to secure a table and order the tasting menu. The meal is thought out with a relaxing atmosphere and slow enough to enjoy each course. Plan on being here 2 hours from start to finish. You won’t regret it.
The meal we will never forget!
Restaurant Laekjarbrekka was recommend to us by the hotel for a great place to eat in Reykjavík. We were looking for a place that served traditional Icelandic cuisine. Well we found the place! We started off with Traditional Icelandic bites appetizer. It was the part of the meal which is ingrained in our minds and taste buds forever.
Icelandic bites consisted of Puffin, Horse, Reindeer, Mink Whale and the mother of all things unholy Hakarl. The waitress put down the plate and told us to save the shark until last. We ate each item and really enjoyed them. It was the first time eating these new meats. Finally we made our way to the jar of shark. As we looked at it we said to each other, “aww it’s only two small pieces”. We popped op that sealed jar and just about fell out of our seats! The smell was crazy and felt like it was burning our nostrils. We unknowingly ate the small pieces of shark and were amazed at the ammonia and bleach flavor. We rinsed our mouths out with anything liquid on the table!
Quick education from the waitress as she proceeded to tell us the shark was called Hakarl. It is a species of shark caught of the coast of Greenland. It has no evacuation system, so everything it eats never leaves its body and soaks into the meat. When caught, the shark can’t be eaten because the meat is poisonous. To prepare for consumption, the shark is buried in a hole in the ground for 6 months then dug up and hung to dry for 2 months. This allows the poison to leave the body while it rots and ferments. After the dry hang, the chef cuts off the outer layer and you are left with “edible” shark meat!
We both had fish for our main course and both were fabulous. We highly recommend eating here. It was very good food, nice variety, friendly staff and reasonably priced. Be sure to order the traditional Icelandic bites, it will change your life forever!
Dillon’s Whiskey Bar
Great whiskey bar right in the bustling part of town. I was on a mission to find Floki Icelandic Single Malt Whiskey. Being that it is Iceland’s only single malt whiskey and are in their first bottling, finding a bar with it in stock was hard. I had read about Dillon’s Whiskey Bar online and knew it was our best shot.
Dillon’s Whiskey Bar was filled with locals and tourist having a good time drinking and socializing. Dillon’s serves a variety of beer, wine and whiskey. I distinctly remember how sweaty I was inside because of the amount of people in there. It was a very popular place and is open late. Great spot to have a drink and warm up during the winter months.
Kjotsupa – Cafe Paris
We stopped in here at the Cafe Paris for lunch. We had been told it was a nice place to eat in Reykjavík for decently priced food. We wanted to try the Icelandic meat soup which is traditionally made of lamb meat and a variety of vegetables. The soup was good but the service was extremely slow. Not sure if it was everyone’s first day in the place, but we tried flagging people down to pay the bill and no one seemed to know what was going on.
Stop in for a hearty bowl of soup on a cold day. Hopefully the friendly staff knows what they are doing now.
10-11 – Icelandic Grocery/Convenience Store
When we visit a new city or country, we always try to visit a local grocery or convenience store. It is an easy way to learn more about the people and culture of an area. We explore the aisles looking for unique items to try and take home with us. I tend to look at the beverages and spices for cooking back home. I was able to find the sweet mustard and pylsusinnep condiments similar to the ones that the hot dog shack uses to take home with me. Also, ran into some Hakarl (cured shark). I can’t imagine anyone picking up this as a mid day snack!
Amanda usually heads straight for the chip and candy aisle to find something unique to snack on while we are in town and something for the flight home. We enjoyed seeing the Cool American Doritos flavor!
10-11 is a good stop to grab a snack or beverage on the go. They have a variety of items, located right in the middle of town, friendly staff, speak English and accept cash or credit.
Te & Kaffi – Coffee Shop
Our last day in Iceland was on a Sunday. We found out pretty quickly that there is not much open. We were surprised to find Te & Kaffi to be open, so we stopped in for a hot beverage and to kill some time before our flight back home. We were glad to find a variety of unique beverages and a seat at the front window where we spend some time people watching.
I had the black licorice latte which was awesome. It was very different flavor which paired well with the espresso and steamed milk. I’ve been looking for black licorice syrup since we were here online and in stores but haven’t been able to find any. I want to make my own at home, so if you happen to know of a place to find some or are visiting Iceland soon, let me know!
Te & Kaffi is a good spot to grab a hot beverage anytime of the day. I wish we would have stopped in earlier on our visit. I would have bought a black licorice latte every day. Friendly staff, variety of beverage options and accept cash or credit cards.
Overall we really enjoyed the food we found in Iceland! Any other places you’d suggest to eat in Reykjavík? Share in the comments.
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