Despite the wide range of places to go out for dinner in Reykjavík, finding good spots to eat when you’re in a hurry can be a daunting task. Lunch breaks are the worst, but even late nights snacks or a quick pick-me-up in between guided tours or shopping sprees can be difficult to find. Skip the hot dogs and ditch the Subway; we’ve decided to come to your rescue with a list of places that won’t break the bank or make your cholesterol jump up to dangerous levels. Enjoy.
Bánh-Mi Vietnamese Subs
The new Hlemmur Mathöll seems to be always packed on weekend evenings, when people are looking for a good place to have their aperitif. The food hall, however, also hides some unexpected gems that will keep you satisfied when you want a quick bite. The Vietnamese sandwiches at Bánh-Mi are to die for. They come filled with meat and greens, as well as soy-based alternatives for vegetarians and sweet and sour sauces you’ll be dreaming of for a week. Sit on a bench while they prep your sub and people-watch while you can, because once you get your warm sandwich you won’t be able to focus on anything else.
Granted, a burger and fries isn’t the healthiest of combos, but Block Burger is the quickest option if you want something juicy that fills you up without feeling nauseous once you get to the last bite. They offer both meat and veggie patties with a thin slice of delicious vegan cheese to top it off. You could skip the twice-fried chips if you’re in a rush or if you’re trying to stay healthy, but it’s your loss, really. You won’t find better chips in this town.
Tucked away between Skólavörðustígur and Laugavegur, Súpa is a newcomer to the city centre, but no rookie when it comes to soups. The offspring of popular Súpubarinn, this tiny place is a pleasure for both the eyes and the stomach, with its fairy lights and eye-catching facade. The soups, however, are the real winner here. Try the Malaysian on a cold winter day; it’ll fill your tummy and warm your heart with a mix of sweet potatoes, ginger and peanut paste.
One of the best pizza places in town, The Deli has lunch offers on large pizzas that you can take with you and share with friends or colleagues. They make their own dough, sauces and herbs that they assemble right in front of you. The vegan pizza is wicked, with tomatoes, onions, garlic and (weird, I know) peanuts. If you’re feeling peckish and you don’t need a whole pie, grab a slice or two and enjoy with a drop of their fragrant garlic oil.
Raise your hand if you’re tired of having falafel at Mandi when you’re downtown on the piss on a Saturday morning. If you are looking for a quick snack to eat on your way home while your fingers threaten to fall off from the cold, stop by the Lobster Hut for a sandwich. They offer half and whole subs, and you can add chilli mayo for free. The lovely ladies in the truck will exchange pleasantries while you wait, but they’ll also whip up your sub with a lot of love. There’s nothing better to please or your overworked synapses at this point in the night.