We at the Grapevine couldn’t be more excited about the future of Icelandic design. It seems that every year the scene grows exponentially, with more and more artists taking centre stage and shops showcasing the crème de la crème of our little island. To our delight, the pandemic didn’t change a thing—in fact, the competition for our 2021 Best of Reykjavík Shopping awards was particularly fierce. After long discussions with our beloved panel members, we are proud to present our winners. From sustainable ceramics to high-end lopapeysur to obscure Björk b-sides, this country is more than just volcanoes and waterfalls. (No shade to volcanoes and waterfalls, but you can’t wear them or put them on your shelf, right?) So without further ado, here’s your essential guide to shopping in Reykjavík. Enjoy—responsibly, of course.
Best Record Store
Lucky Records is the punky, underground horse of the Reykjavík scene. It’s one of those shops that is easy to get lost in—expect to spend an entire afternoon perusing their selection. Notably, the store is very much in touch with the local underground. Basically any Icelandic release—no matter how big or small—will be sold there and trust and believe, their shopkeepers will know them in and out, along with the entirety of the Icelandic post-techo-deep-house-power-metal scene of the late 80s or something equally mystifying.
The first time one of our panel members was in Geisladiskabúð Valda, they found an illegal Japanese knockoff compilation album of a rather obscure Finnish metal band made in the early 2000s. Tell me any other place in Reykjavík you could find that. You can’t. No, there’s nothing quite like the obscurities of Geisladiskabúð Valda.
Hjartatorg, Hverfisgata 32
New location, baby! Yes, Smekkleysa has taken root in Hjartatorg, bringing a sense of danger, coolness and, of course, bad taste back to the square. Their goal is “World Domination or Death”, so if your idea of world domination is soundtracked by the Sugarcubes, múm or Mínus, you’ll fit in great.
A place created by music nerds, for music nerds. Reykjavík Record Shop is a curated heaven, full of the crème de la crème of music, be it contemporary or classic. They’ve got a polished vibe to suit the modern audiophile. In fact, it’s perhaps a good place to meet a partner if you are looking for a modern audiophile.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2021 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!