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.
“Just walking in there feels so special,” sighed one panellist. We agree, Sandholt is all kinds of special. We challenge you to find better laminated viennoiserie or bread as hearty and delicious. Amidst the Scandi fever that has firmly gripped bakeries in town, Sandholt stands tall with its Parisian vibes. If you don’t know what to choose, might we steer your attention to the vínarbrauð, generous with custard, or the buttery pain aux raisin, the tropical vibes of the passionfruit-coconut dacquoise and yes, a simple loaf of bread.
Deig continues to knock our socks off with their play on American classics with a deeply Icelandic twist, all at unbeatable prices. Deig’s doughnut version of the kleina—with its hint of lemon and cardamom in the glaze, atop feather-light yeasted dough—is perfect with a cup of joe. The creme brulee doughnut is another much copied OG and the bagels satisfy many a craving. Unlike other bakeries, Deig’s selection is small but focussed.
City-wide chain Brauð og Co has finally managed to get a grip on QC, going by the uniformity across their various branches. The kitchens are experimenting with weekend-only treats (the mango-lime-coconut danish is still going strong) and the snuðurs, though the size of a baby’s head, are delicious. We especially like the always-full flask of coffee to-go, a thoughtful detail.
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