They say that adversity breeds creativity; that adage has certainly held true for Reykjavík restaurants. When we first started to put together the Best of Reykjavík issue it was slim pickings, but over the years, decision making has increasingly become a less-straightforward affair. This has really been one of our most challenging dining editions to put together, as we were spoilt for choice both in terms of quality as well as consistency. Restaurants old and new have a post-pandemic energy about them, and we’re delighted to once again grace their tables. We’ve chomped, chewed and gulped our way around this fine city, all in the name of bringing the very best that Reykjavík has to offer you, dear gourmands.
Best Traditional Icelandic Food
Þrir Frakkar has held onto a strong sense of Icelandic food culture long before it became fashionable to tout ‘Icelandic cuisine’ as bragging rights. This cosy, tucked-away restaurant has not let anything sway them from tradition—you’ll spot everything from foal to black bird, to cod throats to plokkfiskur on their menu. Opened in 1989, the restaurant has been run by chef Úlfar Eysteinsson and his family ever since. A visit to this place underlines that good old-fashioned Icelandic cooking can be all kinds of memorable.
This unassuming cafe has been unabashedly celebrating tradition, long before Icelandic food was considered ‘cool.’ From the classic kjötsúpa to herring and plokkfiskur, everything is a throwback to how the island once ate. For those writing their own tales of bravado, there is fermented shark to be washed down with Brennivín—essential for bragging rights.
Iceland’s oldest running restaurant, Kaffivagninn’s enviable location by the harbour is best enjoyed on a sunny day, out on the deck, a cold one in hand, a mighty slice of brauð tetra in the other. Portions are very much sailor sized, and the plokkfiskur is a throwback to Amma’s place. Other Icelandic classics like fiskibollur are also on offer.
2021: Café Loki
2020: Café Loki
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