Anniversary in Reykjavík? Wedding? Or did you just meet a special someone at Kaffibarinn last night? If you’re looking for a place to really wow your crush/spouse/significant other, here are our picks.
Go to the pool
A jaunt to the pool might sound like a bold idea for a first date but sitting in a steaming hot tub creates a chill environment that inspires conversation and laughter. There’s also ample opportunity to change activities: go in one tub, swim a lap, sit in the sauna, go in another tub—the possibilities are, well not endless, but definitely many! Though the Art Deco interior of Sundhöllin is charming, Vesturbæjarlaug has the most spacious hot pots, and that’s why it’s our choice. You’ll also find out some crucial information about your date at the pool. As one friend told me: “I could never date a guy who goes to the slide on a first date.” HJC
A cosy meal at Snaps
If you’re looking to get dinner and drinks, Snaps is a restaurant that’s both classy enough to impress and cosy enough to feel casual. It’s one of the few places in Reykjavík with a brunch menu, and also has a selection of amazing cocktails. It can get somewhat loud and raucous on weekend nights, so if you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere, go on a weekday. Also, it’s a local social local hub, so if you live here, you’re guaranteed to see some people you know—and who doesn’t want to show off the fact that another human might want to make out with them? HJC
Game playing at Freddi
If you’re looking for a really chill atmosphere—and are potentially a gamer—Freddi, Iceland’s downtown arcade, is your go-to. It’s 1000 ISK per controller (we assume you need two, maybe three if you’re polyamorous) for the first hour and 500 ISK per hour after that, so it’s affordable whatever your financial status. A little competition can be sexy and an arcade outing is casual enough for there to be no expectations or pressure. The rooms, covered in graffiti with comfy leather couches, are ideal for loosening up. Management requests though that you don’t get, uh, too comfy. HJC
A fancy restaurant
Whether you wanna go all-out on a first date, or you have an anniversary to celebrate, Reykjavík has some excellent fancy options. Grillið sits atop the Radisson Blu Saga on the border between downtown and Vesturbær, and has views across the city, flawless service and various tasting menu options. Grillmarket and Fishmarket are upmarket joints offering, yes, grilled meat or fish (and excellent cocktails). Kolabrautin is in an airy dining room in the top of the Harpa concert hall. Matur og Drykkur is a cosy choice that has a huge cod head on the menu. And what could be more romantic than that? JR
Take a walk
It’s probably not a line you probably want to hear on your date, but you could take a walk. If you’re in a car, you could have a rúntur around town, and go up to Grotta. There’s a long black beach, a lighthouse there with a tidal causeway, and a tucked-away miniature hot pot where you can sit and talk and dip your feet. You could also walk around Reykjavík’s old harbour taking in the views, people-watching, and ending up in Slippbarinn for a cocktail. JR
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