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 Ice Cream: Joint Winner
Far too many scoop shops claim to serve gelato but there is only one gelateria in Reykjavík: Gæta Gelato. Hailing from a line of maestro gelatiere, the Gæta family marries the best Icelandic ingredients with top line produce from Italy for an unmissable treat. Piedmontese hazelnuts and Sicilian pistachios are swirled and churned to creamy perfection. This fast-melting treat is only made better by the fact that Gæta’s crispy, thin cones are coated in chocolate sauce for a surprise ending and that you can choose two flavours in a single scoop! They tell us that salted caramel and Oreo are their bestsellers, but we recommend getting the fior di latte, anything with ricotta and pairing it with a fruity gelati or a nutty number.
Best Ice Cream: Joint Winner
Nothing quite says “live in the moment” like a melty cone of luscious ice cream. Did you know that Skúbb only uses milk from Bíobú, an organic local farm, and that they have now partnered up? Did you know they are the shop most indistinguishable between vegan and dairy scoops? That is how vibrant and intense each scoop is at Skúbb. With a small curated selection that reflects the seasons, this imaginarium of joy churns everything from tomatoes to licorice roots into ice cream. We didn’t think they could actually improve, but the pandemic seems to have put a spring in their step and their ice creams have never been better.
Does award winning, world famous, chocolate brand Omnom, now also do ice creams? Omnom’s covid weekend treat now permanent fixture elevates milky vanilla soft serve to kawaii artform. Sure they don’t make their own ice cream but it is a welcome blank canvas for their gourmet toppings and flourishes – dark Tanzanian chocolate sauce hidden under torched marshmallow fluff, cookies & cream panda eared cuteness begging to be admired, tuille swans, passion fruit-coffee-liquorice sauces and crumbles make for a textural treat.
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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