Restaurant Profiles


KEX Hostel

There's a hip new ‘hostel’ in town that gives a whole new meaning to the word. Located literally steps away from Reykjavík harbour, with a gorgeous view of Esja, KEX Hostel is more like a guesthouse than any of the images that spring to mind when you hear “hostel.”

The Grill Market

New in Reykjavík, Grillmarkaðurinn (The Grill Market) is renowned chef Hrefna Rósa Sætran’s latest culi-nary venture. With a specially crafted grill made to withstand extreme heat, Hrefna and team are serving up juicy Icelandic dishes to the carnivore’s delight.


Whether you're a native Icelander or a tourist, Sjávargrillið will give you the upscale traditional  Icelandic food experience you're looking for.


Laundromat Cafe

At the Laundromat Cafe you can do laundry, drink a beer and have a grandma read to your children all under one roof.


Authentic Mexican food at a very reasonable price. Located off the beaten track, Culiacan serves healthy Mexican fast food.

Te og Kaffi

Founded in 1984, Te og kaffi was the first company in Iceland to specialise in the production and sale of gourmet coffee and fresh tea in bulk.

Mai Thai

Located across from Hlemmur Bus Station, Mai Thai imports and sells all sorts of products from South East Asia, particularly Thailand and the Philippines.

Kaffismiðja Íslands

Old fashioned charm is the style of Kaffismiðja, in everything from the decor to the coffee grinders. Off the beaten track, this popular coffee shop is a great spot to sit and read or have a chat with friends.

Eymundsson Bookstore

Eymundsson is a chain with several outlets but the one on Skólavörðustígur is the best in town. Housed on the ground floor of what was once a Spron Credit Union, the building has a solid 60’s institutional feeling—cozy if that’s your bag.

C Is For Cookie

This cosy new café owned by Polish couple Agnieszka and Stanislaw is the latest addition to the Reykjavik café scene and already looks set to become a favourite with the locals. Ideal for an early lunch or spending a lazy afternoon decideing which of Agnieszka's delicious home baked cakes you want to try next. I'd go with the cheesecake, it's pretty fabulous.

UNO cucina italiana

For a relaxed setting and world-class Italian food, UNO cucina italiana purports to have it all.

Express Pizza

Express Pizza is the latest in a sizable line of cheap pizza joints to inhabit its location at the south end of Ingólfstorg.

Ísbúðin Vesturbæ

A well kept secret of the locals, Ísbúðin Vesturbæ serves up the best ice cream Reykjavík has to offer. During snowstorms and on sunny days alike this little ice cream shop will have a remarkably long line, once you taste it you’ll know why.

Gamla Smiðjan

This little pizzeria has grown out of the old Pizzuverksmiðjan on Lækjargata. It's foodie heaven! I don’t know how Gamla smiðjan manages, but theirs is one of the best pizzas you'll ever taste. The crust is thin and crisp, but not dry; the sauce is subtle yet flavourful; the toppings taste high quality and there’s just the right amount of them. Delightful!

Ali Baba

Ali Baba has quickly gathered a reputation as the good new kebab place. The Middle-Eastern menu is short and straight-forward: a handful of kebab portions (a döner spinning in the back of the desk), falafel, hummus and the eternal fries and a burger. Cheap, delicious, fast, Ali Baba is a new favourite for a quick bite. But when it comes to what makes the food so good—spices, sauces and other secrets to the Ali Baba flavours—the owner’s lips stay sealed. SP

Kryddlegin Hjörtu

The restaurant Kryddlegin Hjörtu, "Spicy hearts", specializes in healthy and rich gourmet soups, homemade spelt bread and an exclusive salad bar. They are located by the seaside with a spectacular view of the mountains to the north. They are located in a newly built house at Skúlagata 17. Designed with great taste and a lot of love. Closed on Sundays.

Icelandic Bar

The aptly named Icelandic Bar at Austurvöllur serves up mainstays from the “Icelandic household kitchen” and aims for a uniquely Icelandic atmosphere in their presentation and style. The place is the first of its kind, the Icelandicisms alone make it well worth a visit.

Gallery Restaurant

Truly one of Iceland’s finest dining establishments, Hótel Holt’s Gallery Restaurant has been a local staple since opening in 1965. Their consistently outstanding take on French cuisine and impeccable service ensures the place highest marks (as well as repeat visits) from gourmets and critics alike. Widely considered a classic, and rightfully so.


Kaffifélagið has been a Grapevine favourite since they opened on Skólavörðustígur a couple of years back. The small coffeehouse always delivers an excellent cup of Italian-style coffee, and downtown regulars can spring for a clip-off coffee card to save on each purchase.

Ban Thai

Even though the service at Ban Thai may get a little flaky, the food is always to die for and the place also offers a very pleasant dining atmosphere that puts you right in a comfortable Thai sorta mood. It’s really Reykjavík’s only “fancy” Thai restaurant. Ban Thai has remained a true Reykjavík treasure for the longest time, and is truly one that should be celebrated.


Getting a good slice of pizza on the go can be an utter ordeal. If you’re not careful, you’ll frequently wind up paying good money for a cardboardy wafer that has been sitting in a heater box for a week. Not at Deli, however. Their slices are consistently awesome and fresh, the topping selection is intriguing and tasteful and, best of all, they’re really cheap.


This is a seriously great place to grab a quick and quality sushi lunch. Pre-prepared boxes of maki and nigiri are reasonable priced and really well made, amply filled with deliciously fresh ingredients. The indoor seating area is limited to some stools and outward-facing wall-mounted tabletops but there are a couple of tables and chairs set up outside the front door for those wanting to watch the ships and tourists in the harbour while they eat.

Kornið Bakarí

How about filling your face with cakes at the delightful Kornið. They taste so good, you would gladly push your own mother over for even the slightest of sniffs. Not a sweet tooth? Well, try their delectable sandwiches then; we recommend the egg and bacon ciabatta! At only 590ISK plus all the Píta sauce you could dream of. What more can one ask for on a lunch break? JB


This small restaurant offers up a concise menu of delicious Arabic cuisine, from shawarma to kebabs and falafels. The staff is really friendly and accommodating of requests to kick up the spiciness or tone it down if the customer so desires. Habibi seriously hits the spot after hours of partying (or any other time of day) so it’s convenient that the place is allegedly open until 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday (although their advertised opening hours are sometimes not adhered to). CF

Café d'Haiti

The first time I entered this exotic little joint, meaning to buy myself a take-away espresso, I ended up with two kilos of fresh and roasted coffee beans due to some language complications and way too much politeness. Since then I have enjoyed way-too-many wonderful cups of Haitian coffee, but they’re always as nice, so the two kilos were definitely worth it. SKK

Glætan - Bókakaffi

Glætan - Bókakaffi is a great café with a domestic feel. It’s somehow always a convenient choice for whatever you’re doing when you come across it. I am always happy to step into this comfort zone and simmer down with an excellent cup of espresso and one of the books in their selection. Glætan, roughly translated, means a tiny ray of light – this is surprisingly fitting. AJ


Wowohmygawdthatwasf’ingincredible! The food was so superbly prepared and shockingly delicious that I feared my words would not do it justice.

Dill Restaurant

Pioneering New Nordic Kitchen style cuisine in Iceland, Dill Restaurant recently and has very quickly gained status as a Reykjavík favourite. Using fresh and classic Nordic ingredients exclusively, Dill offers a unique dining experience whether you go for their short and simple lunchtime menu or the extensive evening one. The splendid view from the Nordic House is a great plus.


Rossopomodoro is a chain restaurant with a difference.


In a sprawling bright red house located in the city centre, this restaurant has become, over its 30 or so years in business, a household name.


An old school asian place.


An unmissable Italian experience


Argentína is the best place in the world for a red meat-loving person to have a special celebration.


The restaurant is located on top of the grand structure Perlan, providing an excellent view of Reykjavík.

Rauða Húsið

Located in a roomy, red building at Eyrarbakki, a small historic fishing village on the south-coast of Iceland


A high end restaurant with a great view over the city providing fine cuisine in a cozy environment.

Austur - Indía Félagið

Located on Hverfisgata this restaurant serves some of the finest Indian meals in town


Ostabúðin (The Cheese Store) on Skólavörðustígur is among the most beloved gourmet stores in the city.


One of the oldest Asian restaurants in Reykjavík

Grænn Kostur

Serving healthy organic vegan and vegetarian food for well over a decade, Grænn Kostur is the perfect downtown choice for enjoying light, wholesome and inexpensive meals. Try any of their courses of the day, or go for the ever-pleasing spinach lasagne.

Maður Lifandi

Maður Lifandi, a great addition to the small collection of health food / vegetarian restaurants that dot Reykjavík.


Reykjavík’s best-kept secrets, down by the old harbour.

Fljótt og Gott

One of the oldest fast food places in Reykjavík located at bus depot BSÍ. Fljótt og Gott serves very traditional fast food with a twist of old Icelandic food.


Gló, an organic restaurant in collaboration with the Rope yoga studio in Laugardalur


Fjalakotturinn, which means “the cat on the boards,” (boards as in theatre), stands on the oldest street in Reykjavík.


The service is among the best in the city. Great care is taken from the presentation of the cutlery, to the pouring of the wine, to the explanation of each dish

The Kebab House

A fresh alternative in the range of fast food restaurants in Reykjavík. Westernised kebabs served with fresh ingredients. And of course the more traditional burger and pizza menu.  Located at Austurstræti 3 downtown, but also sporting a bigger restaurant at Grensásvegur 3.


Located in Akureyri, Rub23, the brainchild of Einar Geirsson, is an Umi restaurant situated in the heart of Akureyri. Einar came up with the idea when ‘both awake and dreaming’ of being able to mix different types of fish and meat with selected ‘rubs’ or sauces that he has created himself from his own recipes to delight the senses. The simple enough dishes are complemented by the menu – it is even subtly colour-coded – indicating what complements what dish.

Einar Ben

The restaurant Einar Ben is named after one of Iceland’s national heroes, the early 20th century poet and entrepreneur Einar Benediktsson, who once lived in the house where the restaurant is now located, and ran the first Icelandic newspaper and later a law firm from this location. In many ways, the restaurant Einar Ben pays homage to the historic relations coupled with the house and the person who lived there.

The Scandinavian

The Scandinavian and its modern interpretation of traditional Nordic recipes are bound to become a small tourist haven, not to exclude the locals, who will appreciate the cuisine served with a bit of heritage.


Affordable Italian-style dining, friendly service and a great location combine to make Pisa a real treat. The pasta is fresh and tasty, and the slow-roasted lamb shank is simply to die for.



The Mexican restaurant Tabasco’s is a cosy establishment on the corner of Hafnarstræti and Vesturgata.

Café Loki

With a splendid view of Hallgrímskirkja, Café Loki is the perfect place to take a load off your feet and enjoy some solid homemade Icelandic food.

O-Sushi Restaurant

Great place to satisfy your craving for raw fish and vinegar rice. The selection on ‘the train’ is wide and varied and the atmosphere is relaxed. Also, the colour-coded plates make it easy to keep tabs on your budget while scarfing down your maki and nigiri. CF

Svarta Kaffi

A cosy second floor café, their fame lies partly in their tasty Súpa í Brauði (Soup in Bread) and also in their romantic atmosphere. Good for a few early evening drinks.



Operating since 1958, Mokka is the city center´s oldest coffee joint and founder of Icelandic coffee culture. Regular art exhibits are always worth a look.


Located in the City Hall with a great view of the pond, this café has a good selection of pastries and a good place to relax. Regular art exhibits add to the aesthetic.


By the harbor, this lunch and coffee place is a gathering place for all sorts of tough folks. If you want traditional Icelandic food, a great place to see another side of Reykjavík.


Totally satisfying oven-baked pizza with a wide choice of toppings - snails an unusual specialty. Well worth the cost. Order, take away or eat comfortably among the paintings.


3 Frakkar

A seriously Icelandic atmosphere and traditional Icelandic dishes prepared in the good old-fashioned way. RSVP and keep your ears pricked for wild whaling tales!


One of the oldest restaurants in the country, the lobster house is known of course for its lobster and also its impressive cognac lounge. Fine intimate dining.

La Primavera

Italian restaurant La Primavera has been a favourite downtown dining spot for years. With a friendly atmosphere, various pasta, meat and fish offerings and a delicious dessert menu, the restaurant provides everything you’ll need for a good night out – and does so in a wonderfully professional manner.

Krua Thai

This is the best affordable Thai food on offer in Reykjavík. The rice is always fluffy, the spicy kick is just right and the spring rolls are always crispy cylinders of deliciousness. The servings are hearty too, so you’re bound to leave satisfied. CF


Kofi Tómasar Frænda

Nestled in a basement location, Kofi Tómasar frænda (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) feels like a pleasant back-alley London café. On weekends it becomes a happening and diverse bar, with nice, indiscriminate music and a friendly clientele.


Kaffitár on Bankastræti is a comfortable little café with a great selection of coffee, tea and baked goods on offer. Since Kaffitár is also a big-name Icelandic roasterie the caffeinated beverages on the menu are quality. The wi-fi makes this a nice place to sit and chill with your laptop as well. CF


These days, good Smörrebröd can be an elusive delicacy. Lucky for us out in the colonies, it’s alive and well at Jómfrúin with fresh eel imported specially from Denmark.


Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar (“Búllan”)

Considered by some to be the best real hamburger in Reykjavík, “Bullan” does serve some mysteriously delicious burgers, guaranteed to take the edge off any hangover.


Icelandic Fish & Chips

Not your average fish’n’chips joint, but a healthy restaurant using only organic vegetables and quality fish products. The spiced skyr side a special treat.


Hlölla Bátar

The first sub sandwich shop in Iceland, Hlölla Bátar has a large selection of creatively named sandwiches with equally imaginative contents. Good for an adventurous bite.

Grái Kötturinn

Super relaxed and cozy diner/café below street level. This place makes the best hangover breakfast ever (the truck!) and any-other-day breakfast as well. It’s a nice and relaxing place to eat and increase your caffeine intake and chill with friends or with some reading material. Note: it don’t come cheap! CF


Run and co-owned by the national team of chefs, this establishment specializing in Japanese cuisine has everything planned to the last detail, ensuring a relaxing evening.


Really a bar, but best known for its hamburgers. A perfect place to kill a hangover after a trip to the charming pool across the street. The Forget-Me-Not blue cheese and Garlic Extravaganza are winners.


Grillhúsið (Grill house) is one of Reykjavík’s better options for good old fashioned grill food, served with a smile in a pleasantly retro-environment. A burger combo at Grillhúsið never fails to please, but no one will regret giving the lamb steak BBQ a chance.

Við Tjörnina

The delicious seafood dishes, home-baked bread and friendly service ensure Við Tjörnina will remain one of Reykjavík’s favourite restaurants for a long time to come. Featuring a view over the pond and a menu consisting of only the freshest available ingredients, Við Tjörnina gives a welcome spin on traditional Icelandic food. Their seating arrangements are also very commendable.


“Ecstasy’s Heart” is a simple, friendly, family-run vegetarian restaurant on Klapparstigur. Offers an ever-changing menu of specials and soup du jours, alongside a basic menu

Tíu Dropar

If you’re sick of all the arty cafés, filled with Sigur Rós wannabes browsing Facebook on their Macs – go to Tíu Dropar. It’s a back-to-basics Icelandic café that hasn’t changed its interior since the sixties. Really proves the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Plus, the coffee’s great and so are the pancakes. SKK


Though a bit expensive for take-away, it is well worth it for a spicy bite of this Indian cuisine. A few tables to the side for those who choose to dine in.


Shalimar prides itself on being the northernmost Indian restaurant in the world. The daily special, comprised of two dishes on your plate, goes for roughly 1,200 ISK. But we recommend the chicken tikka masala, known to be highly addictive.


 Sushibarinn has recently become the talk of the town among Reykjavík sushi lovers, serving, in our opinion, the very best rolls in city.


Down by the Reykjavík harbour, Sægreifinn fish shop and restaurant is a pretty unique establishment. The menu features various fish dishes (including most of the “crazy Icelandic food” you’ll want to tell your friends you had) and a rich portion of some pretty good lobster soup tasted. Good food and welcoming service make this place a must-try.

Café Roma

Roma, an Italian deli and café offers a variety of breads, soups as well as tempting desserts. For a good bargain, come at lunchtime for the specials.

Bæjarins Beztu

This place is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. Serving “ein með öllu” to downtown pedestrians since 1935, it’s the oldest fast food restaurant in the country, a truly unique dining experience.

Á Næstu Grösum

Many locals claim this to be the best vegetarian restaurant in town, offering a daily updated menu with plenty of fresh options for vegans and vegetarians alike. Ask for the day’s special or simply try the selection of three different courses. The sugar free banana cake is just one of the tempting desserts on offer.

American Style

With a soft bun and lots of veggies, you can settle into a booth and eat for hours. Big portions for authentic American dining.


Located on the second-floor of a quirky little building on Skólavörðustígur, Babalú is an inviting, quaint and cosy café serving up a selection of tea, coffee and hot chocolate along with delicious baked goods and light meals. Food and drink aside, Babalú boasts colourfully decorated and super-comfortable surroundings and a genuinely friendly and likeable staff. CF

Pizza Pronto

With a convenient location and late hours, a good place to snack in between bars. Three sizes of pizza with a good selection of toppings. A cheap, if unhealthy, choice.

Pizza King

To be honest, this isn’t the best pizza up for grabs, but it’s cheap, not pre-heated (like at SOME pizza places downtown), and the staff is rather cool. Their pizzas are always bulletproof, and they offer various offers on top of it that are definitely worth check out. SKK


With a spacious neutral interior, pleasant courtyard and a varied lunch menu, Hressó attracts a specific type of crowd. Tap beer and music makes a fair hangout on weekends.


For those with a bit of money and time on their hands, the evening is well spent at Tapas, where you can spend away your evening feasting on course after course of miniature dishes served in true Spanish style. If you don’t feel like getting up right away afterwards, there’s also a lounge.


Delicious and relatively cheap considering how massive and filling their sandwiches are. The Luxury Sub, with salty pork, veggies, sauce and pineapple is a brilliant combination of flavours for late-night munchies. It’s just as satisfying and filling during more civilized hours as well. And the service is fast if you’re in a rush. CF


Since 1979, this Italian restaurant has been a longtime Reykjavík staple. Famous for its pizza and stuffed calzones, it proudly offers an affordable menu of high-quality dishes.

Café Paris

With an outdoor terrace, this café gets busy on sunny days. With a cosy interior, fine menu and attentive service, it makes a fine spot for evening dining as well.


By day a chic little bistro with good food and a prime location for Laugavegur people watching - by night a stylish bar with a “whiskey room” and manhattanesque clientele.


Prikið is one of those places that shape-shifts. It’s a warm café lined with photographs of its senior frequenters on weekdays, a hung-over hangout on weekend afternoons, and during nights it’s filled to the brim with what remains of Iceland’s hip hop scene.


Truly a jack-of-all trades establishment. By night a decent restaurant, by day a café/bistro and on Friday and Saturday nights a nightclub. Art exhibitions on the walls to top it off.


Dress formally for this fancy spot, and come before 12 to avoid a long line. DJs play Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.


Few things really beat  the impressive menu at Vegamót, with its tasty, not-too-pricey dishes. To wit, it is usually packed during lunch and dinner hours. In the evening, Vegamót becomes a popular hangout for trendy regulars dressed to impress, turning into a lively nightclub on weekends.


Geysir Bistro & Bar offers a great location, pleasant service and a fine all-round dining experience for the whole family. Featuring a varied menu that suits adventurous and conservative diners alike, the restaurant is especially suited for serving groups.
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