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 Food Hall
The panel was divided on whether the interiors at Borg 29 were ‘campy cool’ or ‘canteen-y soulless box’. What we could agree on, however, is that this is one of the more comfortable food halls to be at with a wide variety of choices to please most anyone. “Almost every place makes small plates, which is excellent for sharing,” observed one panellist. She’s right, one can choose from sushi at Umami, to burgers at Yuzu, to grilled meats at Bál to healthy skyr bowls at Svala.
The OG, Hlemmur Mathöll is a small yet powerful foodhall. Whether it’s the curated champagne selection at Kröst, the gastropub take on Icelandic cuisine at the Michelin Bib awarded Skál, hearty Vietnamese pho or some Napoli pizza by Flatey, this is the best place to sample a cross-section of Icelandic restaurant fare without having to worry about reservations and wait lists. Finish off with artisanal gelato by Gæta Gelato and you’re golden, baby.
Grandi Mathöll might have fallen out of favour, but things finally seem to be turning around. There is Pronto Pasta which is popular with families and Fjárhúsið is still going strong with their lamb platters, as is Gastrotruck with their chicken sandwiches. What works in Grandi’s favour beyond the food, is that expanse of glass wall that overlooks the Reykjavik harbour.
2021: Lemmur Mathöll
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