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 Craft Bar
If our panel had to describe Session Craft Bar in one word, it’d be “current.” The comfortable drinking hole features a rotating roster of local and guest craft beers that runs the gamut of flavours. “Session has this beer geek etiquette, which is really relevant,” one panellist raved. “Basically, it’s for beer pervs.” But along with its fetish for hops, the bar is also a perfect perch for people watching, making it a well-rounded space that’s sure to wow even the most discerning of ale-ophiles and their brew-oblivious friends. We’ll see you there.
I think no one expects to love BrewDog as much as they do, considering Reykjavík’s notorious aversion to chains. That said, it’s a place that stays on your mind. The Scottish outpost offers low-lit booths, communal tables, sofa seating and a thriving list of beers with something for everyone. Their brunch is also fantastic and there’s all-you-can-eat wings and cauliflower wings on Wednesdays. C’mon. You can’t say no to that.
“For me, Skúli Craft Bar has the best overall atmosphere,” one panellist said. “They have that woody, softly-lit, sit-down-and-chat vibe and they were one of the first proper craft bars in Iceland. Lovely selection of beers and occasional events for connaisseurs like tastings of rare, authentic lambics.” Note: They are also a hidden gem for outdoor seating.
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