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 Place For Cocktails
Despite a recent change of name from Hverfisgata 12 to Systir, the bar staff at this homely and hip drinking den has remained stable, and at the absolute top of their game. From classics with a twist to genuinely brilliant new concoctions, this bar is our cocktail heaven. “I don’t think I’ve tasted a better cocktail,” said the panel. “They’re always experimenting, and often change the menu. You don’t go there for traditional cocktails: it’s signature and detailed, with special novelty cocktails. Take a chance and try something you haven’t had before.”
Taking craft cocktails to a new level is the Nostra restaurant bar, Artson, which goes to great lengths to prepare every ingredient. “It’s crazy intricate,” said the panel. “They have so many herbs, preparations and potions: it’s alchemy. They’re a real star in this category. Just make sure to bring your sugar daddy.”
If you don’t want bitters made out of Californian dandelions or rose-petal sprayed ice in your espresso martini, this much-loved relative newcomer does the classics just how you like them. “The barmen here are great,” said the panel. “It’s the classics done to perfection.”
2018: Hverfisgata 12
2013: Borg, Hotel Borg
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.