Once again we come to the time in the year where we do the hard task of assessing which bars and clubs are worthy of a place in the limelight. Reykjavík’s bar culture is quite vast and diverse, ranging from the smallest three-table hole that serves one beer and where regulars threaten you for taking an extra chair, to huge vast glittering bottle-service rooms lined with leather and mirrors. Unfortunately for our panel, selecting these bars doesn’t mean an actual field trip, but it does require a certain—how shall we put it politely—expertise. They range from former bar staff, to performers who find themselves in bars all the time, to writers who sometimes write, and sometimes just drink about it. So here are the results that our ragtag team of (ahem) experts came up with. Now get out there and have a few!
Lebowski Bar Laugavegur 20a Like the Icelandic football team’s unlikely and triumphant rise to near-glory in Euro 2016, Lebowski Bar boldly takes the gold for the first time in this category. This giant diner-like theme bar is smack in the centre of town, and takes the prize for its particularly fantastic coverage of the aforementioned sporting event, as well as the last Olympics. It regularly shows multiple sporting events on screens spread throughout its two levels. It’s got all the beers and drinks you need to celebrate wins or mourn losses, plus tasty burgers and shakes. Gooooal!
Bjarni Fel Austurstræti 20 Formerly the only sports bar in town, Bjarni Fel used to win this category by default. It’s still a perfect place to watch sports games unbothered by any other shenanigans. It has many screens, an up-to-date schedule of events to be screened, and delivers sports singularly to the thirsty fan.
Rauða Ljónið Eiðistorg 15, Seltjarnarnes It’s out of the way in a weird little mall from a bygone era, but this family-restaurant-by-day, sports-bar-by-night is a place that’s worth trekking to for a taste of local culture. It’s the official bar of the KR football club, and rumour has it you might spot the president there.
2016: American Bar 2015: Bjarni Fel 2014: Bjarni Fel 2013: Bjarni Fel
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2017 magazine, posted worldwide, at gpv.is/buybestof.