There is one thing abundantly clear from our very scientific drinking research: craft beers and gastropubs have arrived in force. You can’t throw a stone without hitting someone washing down a dry-aged chilli burger with a local IPA. After a few stable years, Reykjavík’s bar scene seems to be shifting in general, with more wine, cocktails and fancy beers available than ever before. Some facts of life, however, remain the same: alcohol is expensive, but that doesn’t stop us from partying. Bottoms up, babe.
Best Happy Hour
The former Hemmi og Valdi is still a firm favourite for those who like a bargain beer. At 550 ISK a pop for beers and 750 ISK for wines from 16:00-20:00, in a beautiful, comfortable wooden house, you can’t really argue. “It’s such a nice house,” said one panellist. “I had my first snog there. It’s cheap and easy, with a really good vibe.” The panel also praised the “location, location, location. It has a perfect outdoor area for summer, and you can sit upstairs in the rafters in winter. Cheap beer and a nice place to sit, what more could you want?”
A hotel bar famous for making cocktails in Reykjavík before they were cool, today’s Slippbarinn has a kick-ass happy hour. “You can get a beer for 500 ISK, and 1200 ISK cocktails,” said the panel. “It’s a huge hallway with weird nooks, crannies and lounges to hide in. And there’s a fireplace!”
Although nonplussed by the late night crowd, our panel love the good prices and plush interior of the MIAMI design bar. “They have all the fancy beers on happy hour, with table service,” they said. “It’s great before all the yuppies get there and ruin it. The interior is just crazy, and a must-see in itself.”
2014: Café Rosenberg (RIP)
Other Drinking Categories
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2019 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide. We also have a Special Offer double-pack that also includes our Best Of Iceland magazine, about places to eat, see, swim, shop and stay, all around the country, here.