South Iceland contains many of the most popular sights, sites and destinations in the country—and many of Icelands’ best restaurants are in South Iceland too. Close to Reykjavík is the Reykjanes Peninsula, with the Blue Lagoon, Keflavík Airport, and many wild spots and charming villages; over the Hellisheiði mountain pass lies the tranquil farmland and small towns like Hveragerði, Selfoss and Flúður. The Golden Circle and south coast roads are busy during the summer, and there are several glaciers dotting the coast and volcanoes silhouetted against the skyline. Vík í Myrdal is the halfway point, and Höfn—beneath the mighty Vatnajökull—marks the gateway to the east. To help you out along the way, here are our panel’s best South Iceland restaurants.
Strandvegur 76, Vestmannaeyjar
The undisputed heavyweight of South Iceland restaurants is the exquisite family-run Slippurinn eatery. Located on the wild and picturesque Westman Islands, it alone is worth the trip. Head chef Gísli Matthías Auðunsson is a famed New Nordic innovator whose team lovingly harvests wild ingredients, and works with local farmers and suppliers—you can be certain that everything on your plate has been thoroughly considered. The result? A stunningly fresh and vibrant taste of Iceland that you’ll never forget.
Located in a historic former hotel building on the banks of the gushing Ölfusá river, Tryggvaskáli is a charming restaurant that uses local ingredients to eye-popping effect. The colourful, playful dishes will wake up your tastebuds and the warm environment and friendly service are perfect. A worthy dinner stop.
Otto is a new-kid-on-the-block restaurant that’s making waves in the south-eastern outpost of Höfn. Once the main building of the town, this historic harbourside house now holds a tasteful eatery with an equally tasteful and tasty menu. “Their risotto is perfect,” said the panel. “It’s a real find on your road trip.”
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