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 Ice Cream
Nothing quite says ‘live in the moment’ like a melty cone of luscious ice-cream. Did you know that Skúbb only uses milk from Bíobú, a local organic farm? Did you know they are the most non-distinguishable between vegan and dairy ice-cream scoops? That is how vibrant and intense each scoop is at Skúbb. Lately, the panel’s been gushing about the passion fruit with coconut milk, although the dark chocolate and berry sorbets are also not to be missed. The waffle cone itself has improved dramatically, with a shattering crispness. With a small curated selection that reflects the seasons, this imaginarium of joy churns everything from tomatoes to licorice roots into ice-cream. We heart you Skúbb.
A cultural centre, blitzer of ice-cream shakes, dipper of chocolate dips in assorted toppings and maker of the best gamli-ís (old school water-based ice cream) beloved Ísbúð Vesturbæjar is basically an institution. Nothing quite says you are a local like going here during a mild storm, getting your dairy fix for the slow bíltúr ahead.
Arna Ís og Kaffi
With expansive views out to the ocean, this lactose-free cafe and ice cream spot is particularly welcoming for those with kids. The scoopers oblige whims young and old and the extensive nammi (candy, a local favourite with ice creams) selection should keep any pre-sugar grumpiness at bay.
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