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 Seafood – joint winners
Fish Company is the definitive seafood restaurant in Iceland. Their around the world inspired tasting menus are a great way to try the best the waters around Iceland have to offer, from Atlantic cod served Japanese style to harissa stocked wolf-fish. Many chefs have cut their teeth in this very kitchens. The restaurant also has fantastic lunch deals. With an eye on sustainability, they are also limiting their serving of the now overfished Icelandic langoustine, a laudable effort.
Best Seafood – joint winners:
Inspired by Tjöruhúsiđ’s fish-in-a-pan buffet-style dining in Ísafjörđur, Messinn has always aspired to the same level of enthusiastic pescatarian feast—something they really nail in their Grandi outpost. With tables looking out to the harbour, it is a picturesque setting to slowly savour the honey butter glazed trout, the plokkfiskur or for the more adventurous, pan-fried gellur or cod throats. Lunch is especially popular with large groups and office goers. Dinner is ideal if the lunch frenzy isn’t your thing.
“They always seem to have something I wouldn’t have otherwise tried,” said one panellist of Sægreifinn’s food. Case in point being the skewers of the day’s catch, grilled to order. Our astute panel points out that the originally curry-laced seafood soup is now more a tomato based broth. Nevertheless, the entire experience of huddling up in front of the porch, sipping on soup and listening to tales of it’s late founder, the Sea Baron, is unmatched.
2018: Fiskfélagið & Fish Market
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2020 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!