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.
We might as well just call this “The Mandi category”. Whether it’s their full-flavored meats, or their extensive vegan options, this Syrian kebab place has Reykjavík’s heart. Crispy falafels, lamb shawarmas, teeny desserts, or a pack of ciggies; Mandi’s got you. The classic chicken shawarma is great, yes, but we also love the Mandi kofta with a lamb seekh kebab and dollops of spicy shatta. The rolls are handy, well-packed and make for a great snack on the go, or a hurried meal.
You know what’s better than eating one of their warm pitas or rolls? Getting one to go. While we understand the popularity of their falafel stuffed classic, consider the sabich—grilled eggplant with hummus, hard boiled eggs (which you can skip to make vegan), and crunchy salad, it travels well, has no crunch to lose and is deeply satisfying.
Kolagata 1, Hagasmári 1
We tend to be a few years too late on trends here in Iceland. But when something does gain popularity, we do it in spades. Maika’i is Reykjavík’s only acai bowl bar, offering this Brazilian superfood fruit as smoothie bowls topped with an assortment of nut butters, seeds, fruit and to take the edge off all that ‘healthy oxidants’, chocolate chips.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2021 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!