Sólon, And Thanks For All The Fish!

Hrefna Björg Gylfadóttir York Underwood
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published February 23, 2016

Sólon Bistro

Bankastræti 7a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Mon-Sat 23 – 23:30 and Sun 12 - 22:30
What we think
Best for people-watching
Flavour
Icelandic
Ambiance
Calm in the afternoon, likely less so in the evening
Service
Quick and professional
Price for 2 (no drinks)
e.g. "7000 - 12000 ISK"

Hrefna:

We visited Sólon on a particularly ordinary Wednesday afternoon. The place felt familiar. Maybe because I pass it every day on my way to work, envying the patrons who always seem so happy with their curly fries and drinks. The location, right where Laugavegur morphs into Bankastræti, is perfect for people-watching and coffee drinking in the sun, although February in Iceland means you’re more likely to find patrons tucked away by the geothermal radiators. When we arrived at 3pm those patrons were mostly tourists grabbing a bite between sightseeing.

I was excited to try this restaurant, mainly because it’s one of those places that has always just been there. Sólon sticks by Laugavegur like an old friend and this has earned it some goodwill.

A friendly waitress served us right away. I ordered the minke whale, because in Icelandic minke is called Hrefna (get it!?). At 3,990 ISK, it was relatively fairly priced, especially since the dish made for such a nice meal. So long Veganuary, I guess. A bottle of Rosso Di Toscana (5,700 ISK) served to perfect my entrée—it was superb!

Sólon’s interior could do with some renewing, though, and the playlist that blared throughout our meal was quite awful. However, those are things that likely don’t bother guests who are simply looking for good, fairly priced Icelandic food.

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York:

Wednesday seemed like as good a day as any to review a restaurant. The first thing I noticed walking into Sólon was these large paintings of horses—especially the close-up one of a horse’s eye glaring at our table for two right next to the bar.

My co-worker and I took our place under the Eye of Sauron and delved into the menu, which has an assortment of light and fresh lunch items, but also features some decidedly heavier fare. The wine list was more than sufficient for Reykjavík. As an avowed carnivore, I went with the grilled salmon (3,990 ISK).

The service was quick, and the room was bright and open. I would recommend going there with friends or on your own. It’s the type of room that has so much sunlight you could eat your wintertime blues away alone, with the light as your only friend (though, if light is your only friend you may want to consider joining a club or volunteering somewhere).

The presentation of our food was surprisingly artistic—Instagram food porn, if that’s what you you’re into. My co-worker wouldn’t stop talking about ‘Sex and the City’, which I was under the impression had ended many years ago. She may or may not be aware of that fact, but we decided to have a few digestives—or in her case, a cocktail.

We also had shots. I’m not sure who’s idea that was, but I didn’t hate it. Sólon turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and I will definitely be going back there.

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