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 Family Restaurant
Höfðatorg & Kringlan
The Hamborgarafabrikkan burger chain is ideal for a lunch outing with the family. There are plenty of distractions for young diners, including borrowed iPads and headphones to keep the kids entertained. The child-friendly vibe explains why it continues to be a popular haunt for birthday parties, so don’t be surprised by the chorus of “hún á afmæli í dag” wafting around the room every now and then. There’s a wide range of juicy square burgers, veggie options and house sauces to choose from, with comfortable seating and friendly service in both central Reykjavík locations.
It isn’t always sunshine and rainbows when dining with young wards. At Osushi, the entertainment is taken care of by its engaging conveyor belt format. The selection manages to please safe and adventurous palates alike, so whether its toddler friendly hosomaki or play-with-your-food edamame or spicy tuna rolls or more than acceptable sashimi, there’s something for everyone. Chopstick skills are an enviable bonus, what’s not to like?
With the same branding, focus and vibe as it’s original predecessor, Laundromat is bringing families back out from their hidey holes. The basement play area is brand spanking new, clean and ready to satiate any play time demands of its young customers, while their parents can enjoy some respite. The tasty burgers are just a bonus really.
2017: Jamie’s Italian
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