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.
Best Bakery: Joint Winner
In a city with a bakery to brag about on every street corner, this saturated category is hotly contested. Throw a pandemic into the mix and we are talking about a populace craving copious amounts of butter, sugar and starch. Deig tackled that challenge and how! They also somehow took time to innovate; delivering handmade doughnuts filled with a cornucopia of delights, like the recent pistachio-mascarpone number, Polish doughnuts with rosehip marmalade for Fat Tuesday or the unforgettable cruller bollur that brought all of Reykjavík to its knees around Bolludagur.
Best Bakery: Joint Winner
Still showing the young guns how it’s done is this grand dame of all things baked. In addition to their famed sourdough, the mini tarts, cakes and butter laminated viennoiserie are similarly sought after. What you may not know is that Sandholt offers a token system of sorts, allowing customers to skip the long lines by placing their orders for a later pick up at their convenience. We highly recommend their sandwiches to go, or if you can manage to get a spot at the cafe, finish things on a sweet note with a slice of their tropical mango, passion fruit, coconut cake.
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 vinabrauð.
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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