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!
In this hotly-debated category the competition is tough. Nothing gets passions boiling quite like talk of bread and butter. And still showing the young guns how it’s done is the grand dame of all things baked, Sandholt. Their classic sourdough might be the most well known, but spare some love for their bulgur and Egyptian barley as well. Pastries and viennoiserie is something they excel at and the seasonal Danish, in-house chocolate and artisan sodas make for more than just a bakery experience.
Deig’s strength is its consistency—be it the handmade doughnuts, bagels or airy brioche-like crullers. We are suckers for their potato loaves, which the panel exclaims are ”especially good with egg salad.” And for early risers, this is the perfect breakfast spot with their poorman’s offer of a coffee, doughnut and bagel for just a 1000 ISK!
The wicked curse of expansion woes has struck our favourite bakery, but fret not! While the kanill croissant snúður can be a hit or miss, their classic snúðurs continue to be as stellar as always. The granola is always a winner, but we are currently nursing a soft spot for their custardy veinerbrauð.
2018: Sandholt and Brauð & Co.
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