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 Lunch Place
Höfði Mathöll & Borg 29
If you are looking for a light yet satiating meal that isn’t just an insipid salad or clammy sushi rolls straight from the cooler, look no further than Hipstur. Despite being restaurant dishes, the entire menu is a bright, springy affair with dressed-to-order salads of herbs and greens sitting atop tender fish, stir fried mushrooms or meat, sharpened with the twang of fresh grated horseradish that rests atop a house-made slice of bread. They know their customers well, and are one of the few places where a lunch order means swift service without sacrificing flavour. Heck, they’ll even customise your order if you are a prim-suited banker and don’t want onion breath.
If the weather is good, there are few spots to dine outside and feel the sun on your skin like Fjallkonan. The menu is a disparate affair with everything from hummus to truffle fries to piri-piri chicken to Eton mess. But somehow they make it work and we recommend the small courses that are generous and make for a quick lunch.
All heart and sunshine, this brand new vegetarian outpost is a firm Grapevine favourite and, judging by their packed premises, others concur. Sourdough pitas and flatbreads encase crunchy fried falafel, and various salads and pickled toppings make for a satisfying lunch that fuels you through the day.
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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