As tourists often loudly announce, eating out sure ain’t cheap here in Rekkyvick. So we thought it might be helpful to point out a few bargain options. Whether it’s a cut-price lamb feast at Hlemmur Mathöll, or a bargain takeaway curry for lunch, here are five meals you can enjoy without having to first sell your antique unicorn horn on eBay.
This downtown curry place has undergone a renaissance of late. The ‘curry in a hurry’ takeaway lunch offer for 990 ISK is excellent value for the price; whether you work close by and need a break from a sad desk lunch, or you’re saving money for some overpriced souvenir fridge magnets. With a naan, some rice and one curry of the day, it’s a pretty satisfying deal.
Square meal at Hlemmur Square
Appropriately named, Hlemmur Square offers an attractively priced ‘Square Meal’ of roast leg of lamb with all the accompaniments or a creamy langoustine soup for just 1,800 ISK Tuesday to Saturday, 6-7 p.m. at their in-house restaurant Pulsa. Now you have no excuse not try two of the staple dishes of Icelandic food.
A short walk from the Reykjavik harbour, just off the downtown puffin-store onslaught is Fórrettabarinn. The name translates to ‘appetiser bar’ and fittingly, a selection of small and large plates at 1,690 ISK and 2,550 ISK are offered. It offers a mixture of Icelandic ingredients and global cuisines, making it possible to try a horse steak and buffalo chicken at the same time.
A little-known gem for those not in a course at the University of Iceland, the tucked-away spot Stúdentakjallarinn (“Student basement”) is a college cantina, dishing out generous portions of snack-like food at decent prices. The tortilla pizzas and burgers are popular, neither costing more than 1,500 ISK. And the people watching is obviously top-notch.
With a wide variety of foods that cater to different folks with different budgets, Hlemmur Mathöll has something for everyone. The vegetable vendors at Rabbarbarinn serve up wholesome soups, and hoagie-style sandwiches stuffed with meaty portobellos, roasted peppers and whole langoustine tails. If your new year resolutions are still holding up, then the summer rolls and Banh Mi sandwiches at the Vietnamese stall might be perfect. Or the tacos with assorted spicy sauces and salsas at Poblano, the Mexican stall. All of this and more for under a 1,800 ISK, cheaper in many cases, makes this a one-stop spot for all things delicious and affordable.
Read more guides to Reykjavík here.