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.
An homage to Icelandic sushi, this is where classic sushi meets our love for sauces. And it is still a happy union. Sushi Social’s pandemic platters also proved popular as take-away treats and with restrictions being lifted, their rainbow hued tropical drinks, and affable service no matter how noisy your dining group is all make for a winning dinner here. We recommend asking for a side of locally grown Icelandic wasabi to really kick things up a notch.
Fishmarket might have closed its doors for a good part of the pandemic, but they did offer an excellent take-away sushi platter at their sister restaurant Grillmarket. When they did resume operations, their sushi game was taken up a notch, a noticeable difference from when they last dropped off our list. This year, they’ve upped their rice game, the cuts of fish are noticeably beautiful and they straddle that Icelandic-Japanese sushi interpretation wonderfully. In fact, we’d recommend their volcano lobster roll over others in town for a taste of Icelandic sushi done right.
Umami has an ambitious chef behind its operations offering guests fresh, made-on-site sushi that is notches above supermarket sushi but not quite fine dining fare. It is an easy going, light on the pocket, light on your stomach fare. A welcome addition to the sushi scene, we are watching this one to see if they’ll topple the old guard.
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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