Best Of Reykjavik 2019: Best Italian - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Best Of Reykjavik 2019: Best Italian

Best Of Reykjavik 2019: Best Italian

Published March 2, 2019

Watching Iceland come into its own as a dining destination over the past five years has been a joy. The Icelandic restaurant scene is diversifying, and the definition of what may be deemed “Icelandic cuisine” is broadening and taking on new shapes. Thanks to this new-found culinary confidence—and the added footfall of tourism—this tiny scene is experiencing an unprecedented moment of opportunity. Whether it’s carefully-pleated Sichuanese vegan dumplings or exploratory tasting menus at Nordic fine dining houses, the bandwagon has room for demanding diners. Our hand-picked panel of picky gourmands have sought out the very best of Reykjavík dining to help you navigate the gastronomic waters of the capital area. From budget bites to fanciful fare, we’ve got you covered.

Best Italian

La Primavera
Marshall House, Grandagarður 20

25-years ago, Leifur Kolbeinsson introduced Icelanders to fresh pasta at his iconic eatery La Primavera. It closed a few years later, but Icelanders still reminisce about it. Now, Leifur is back in the kitchen at the Marshall House restaurant, with the same focus on simplicity. “I didn’t even know cod roe could be so… sophisticated,” mused the panel as we dined at the anniversary pop-up. Thanks to diner pressure, La Primavera made a comeback as a permanent fixture at Marshall House. A delicious full circle, if ever there was one.

Runner-Up:

Essensia
Hverfisgata 4-6


The only restaurant in the country to now host a dedicated ‘truffle menu’ at prices that won’t break the bank, Essensia has come into its own recently. The under-seasoned nightmares have been laid to rest; the kitchen has a new spring in its step, dishing out silky handmade pasta and great calzone.

Runner-Up:

Hornið
Hafnarstræti 15


It might not be fancy, but O.G. Italian joint Hornið is still going strong. The thin-crust pizzas are 100% satisfying—we recommend the prawn-studded seafood option—and you can get all kinds of hearty comfort-food pasta dishes, should your heart so desire. Support a true classic and drop by.

Previous Winners

2018: Marshall House

Other Dining Categories


You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2019 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Reykjavík—here, posted worldwide. We also have a Special Offer double-pack that also includes our Best Of Iceland magazine, about places to eat, see, swim, shop and stay, all around the country, here.

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