Ostabúðin (The Cheese Store) on Skólavörðustígur is among the most beloved gourmet stores in the city and its popularity is well earned. Specialising in serving those with a discerning palate, the shop has built up a loyal customer base that can always rely on the fine selection of cheeses as well as quality food products including hot-smoked blackbird, salami, smoked sausages, foie gras, oils, sauces, Italian pasta, balsamic vinegars, Belgian chocolate and all sorts of yummy desserts.
Ostabúðin’s little hidden secret is its cosy restaurant on the bottom floor, open during lunch hours, (from 11:30 to 14:30). The small space only has a couple of seats and usually fills up quickly every day, but as the service is fast and the customers usually don’t have an infinite lunch break, you usually don’t have to wait too long for a table. Just use the time to browse the desirably filled shelves while waiting, or grab the food to go if you’re really in a hurry.
The menu is simple and straightforward but features the same gourmet experience as the rest of the shop. Reasonably priced healthy and light daily specials include a rich bowl of soup for 580 ISK, salads with irresistible raspberry vinaigrette, bruschetta with parma ham, mozzarella and tomatoes and always some juicy baguettes generously stuffed with vegetables, cheese and slices of meat. The most popular course on the menu is the fish of the day, a hearty dish that will fill your stomach but only set you back 1.090 ISK.
The restaurant only uses the freshest ingredients available so the dishes may vary from day to day. When my companion and I sat down for lunch, fillets of pan-fried tusk with tomato-basil sauce and polenta were on offer. That was just too appetising to even consider ordering anything else. While waiting for the meal the friendly waitress brought us home baked bread served with olive oil and organic tomato seasoning on the side. In only minutes our orders arrived, and they tasted just as yummy as they looked. The tusk was perfectly cooked and the sauce absolutely delicious.
This fantastic place offers not only quality meals but also boasts staff who are passionate about fine food and really know their business. Whether its for dining or shopping, dropping by is always a pleasure.