The pandemic restrictions certainly shook up the Reykjavík bar scene in 2020, but that doesn’t mean that our favourite drinking institutions didn’t do everything they could to create a safe environment to assuage COVID-19 anxieties. In fact, the past year saw a plethora of new spots opening and old classics keeping the spirit of the city alive. Because let’s be real: Icelanders love to drink. In fact, there is probably nothing Icelanders like doing more than drinking, which could be why this country doesn’t have a space program. But hey—we’ve done pretty well at vaccinations.
Best Place To Start The Night
Our panel spanned many ages and partying-styles, so the passion we saw for Kaldi means that it really does appeal to everyone. “Look, when you want to start the night in a place where you can sit with your friends, drink in a really classy, beautiful environment with a great seating area and friendly staff, Kaldi is it,” one panellist said. The crowd gets rather lively later on, so coming early means you get to enjoy their fine selection of Kaldi beers—at Happy Hour prices. “It’s also nice to be in a place where you have so many generations, rather than having just one type of person at a bar,” one concluded. Bonus: They also have a nice smoking area for you nicotine-heads.
Any self-respecting partier knows that the best time to enjoy wine is early in the night, before you’ve ingested so much that you can no longer appreciate the intricacies of the bouquet. Enter Vínstúkan Tíú Sopar, a cosy basement bar that manages to be totally inviting while maintaining a sophisticated edge. Trust the bartenders here: They’ll know what you want.
If it’s a sunny day, Skuggabaldur is the place to be. Chill out, get a little Vitamin D, watch people flitting about Austurvöllur and appreciate some jazz, which everyone knows is the best way to get a little party energy before hitting one of the rowdier late night Reykjavík dance floors. Win-win.
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