The year 2019 wasn’t kind to many restaurateurs. Let’s be honest, it’s a tough business. Nevertheless, Iceland’s culinary scene is seeing the emergence of new players and the old guard stepping up their A-game. Restaurants continue to diversify; we’ve got ourselves an izakaya inspired spot, while tasting menus are being questioned and reinterpreted. The scope of “Icelandic cuisine” is broadening to include not just produce and products but also their sourcing and seasonal integrity on this harsh island by players big and small. Whether it is globally recognised Nordic fine-dining or fragrant Thai curries, traditional Icelandic cuisine or family-friendly sushi, to everything in-between, this guide to the best of everything Reykjavík has to offer has been hand-picked by our exacting panel of passionate gourmands. From budget bites to fanciful fare, we’ve got you covered. Skál!
Best Burger – joint winners
O burgers, glorious burgers! If there were a national dish, burgers would be it for Iceland. And at Le Kock, their irreverence is thankfully a social media strategy only. When it comes to the food, it is still the ‘gourmet tuck shop’ the founders envisioned. The potato roll game is strong and holds up despite their recent defeat at the hands of the sauce puddle muddle (a beast so savage, hardly a burger in town hasn’t succumbed). Grab those extra napkins, you’ll need them. Better yet, ask for just a smidgen of sauce. Singed with smoke and magic, a classic cheeseburger is still the top dog here.
Best Burger – joint winners:
An oldie but a goodie, Búllan slings a solid burger that seals Iceland’s reputation as a worthy burger destination. With multiple locations you are always close to one. A lil’ birdie on our panel whispers that, “the Tommi-owned Höfði location is excellent with kids,” and another swore by the Geirsgata location for the ‘Steak Burger’. Also worth trying are the Tuesday 1,190 ISK deals.
The citrus fruit extract might be a tad too pronounced in their mayo, but the steamed bread burgers at Yuzu have got everyone at the Grapevine offices converted. They arrive in a cane steamer and it’s best to make quick work of the delicious treats, easy if you’ve got the Kimchi burger.
2019: Le Kock & Búllan
2018: Le Kock
2017: Sæta Svínið
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