Let’s not beat around the bush: Icelanders love to drink. In fact, there is probably nothing Icelanders like to do more than drink, which could very well be why this country doesn’t have a space program. 2019 was a big year in the downtown drinking scene, with some old favourites closing and some strong newcomers opening. Some facts of life, however, remained the same: alcohol is still expensive, but that doesn’t stop us from partying. How else would we have sex?
Best Wine Bar
Cosy and tucked away with a secretive vibe, Port 9 is a true hidden gem, hosting a delicious wine list as well as potentially the most intimate atmosphere in Reykjavík. “It’s a place not a lot of people know about,” one panel member raved. “You feel like you’re going abroad—walking into a bar in San Francisco or Barcelona.” The panel also praised its balcony, calling it the ideal locale for sipping some Pino in the summer sun. “It’s also a great place to bring a Tinder date.”
Geiri Smart’s wine menu focuses entirely on cold climate wines. Organised by latitude, it’s a list that’s unlike anything else you’ll find in the city. For reference, cool climate wines are subtler in taste, with lower alcohol and higher acidity, which showcases spicy, floral and herbaceous tones. Since Geiri Smart has a sommelier in residence, the wine pairings also perfectly compliment what’s coming out of the kitchen.
Vínstúkan Tíu Sopar
“When Vínstúkan Tíú Sopar opened, I went in there and my immediate thought was, ‘Wow, this place is great,’” one panel member exclaimed. The charming basement bar focuses on natural wines as well as wines from smaller producers and lesser-known regions. They have twelve bottles open at any one time, and the selection changes daily, so you truly never know what you’re going to get.
2018-19: Port 9
2016: Mikkeller & Friends (RIP)
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