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 Happy Hour
Bravó: a dark room with amber-toned light, simple furniture, and cosy bohemian pillows tossed along the window seating. Their happy hour—perhaps the most extensive in the city—starts at 14:00 every weekday and 12:00 on the weekend, with drinks priced from 750 ISK. “I feel like it’s always Happy Hour at Bravó, right?” one panel member laughed. At night, the place can get a bit rowdy— you know, because it’s Reykjavík. “They have what I’d consider to be the best sound system in Reykjavík right now, so it’s also quite a good place to start the night, even if happy hour is over,” the panel concluded.
Spánski is one of the best spots in the city for an after-work drink, or a quick early date. The ambiance is comfortable and the space feels straight out of the cobblestone streets of Europe—a far cry from our foggy city. Happy hour is from 15:00 to 19:00 with wines from 750 ISK, which allows you to try out their fantastic selection without stress on the wallet. “The owner is also so extroverted and fun,” one panel member raved. “You can have some great conversations with him. I’d go there just for that—happy hour or no happy hour.”
A classic happy hour favourite of the Grapevine, Kaffibrennslan is smack dab in the centre of town, so you can easily pop in for a quick one, or stay and drink the evening away; it’s just a cool, casual, calm place with friendly staff, good beers and tasty snacks. From 16:00 to 20:00, stop by for beers from 650 ISK and wine (including Rosé!) from 790 ISK. Get an outdoor seat for maximum enjoyment.
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