While the pandemic shows no sign of abating, Iceland’s food and beverage industry seems to be surging ahead on a combination of hope, optimism and high spirits despite the many challenges posed by COVID. In a year full of uncertainties, restaurants old and new showed us what resilience looks like. Take-away took on a whole new meaning with at-home meal kits being offered up by celebrated chefs, marked-down menus becoming commonplace and spirited underground deliveries brightened many evenings.
Our expert panel of gourmands were hand-picked for their dedication to food—these people eat out way more than one should and can sift the mojo from the mayo with ease. While it has been a difficult year, the winners rose to the challenge, and how! Adversity does bring out the best in some and this year we are delighted to shine light on our out-of-town superstars who often eclipse their Reykjavík counterparts by miles. So sit tight, and let us help you navigate these gastronomic waters, be it the hottest burger in town or the most memorable dining experience of your life.
Leaving old and aspiring pizzerias in the dust, Flatey is as spirited in spreading that Neopolitan gospel as the day they first opened. Weaning a country raised on pizza-chain pies is no small feat. And to convert them to artisanal, handmade, scratch dough pies is a whole other thing. The Margherita continues to be a panel favourite, seeing as it is a study in classic Napoli pizza—simply seasoned San Marzano tomatoes, milky mozzarella, a good glug of olive oil and fresh basil.
Coocoo’s was slinging sourdough pizzas long before it was fashionable in Reykjavík. Regulars swear by their pies, topped with a balanced repertoire of flavours that scream fine-dining nuance. Take, for example, their hot honey and hazelnut pie that has over the years taken on many avatars, homemade ricotta to stretchy mozzarella, caramelised onions to salty salami—each iteration a delight. Their ‘Vegan Surprise’ take extends to pizzas as well and you are in for a Cali-Italian treat whatever pie you order.
Pluto Pizza quietly opened doors without much fanfare at the peak of the pandemic. However, this neighbourhood pizzeria’s NY style slices quickly became the hot order. As one of our panellists rightly noted, “It is great take-away pizza, stays intact for 2-3 days, even better the day after!” and the price point of just over 2000 ISK for an 18’’ pie is a steal.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2021 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
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