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!
Apótek Austurstræti 16 Apótek takes the cocktail crown for its third consecutive year of mixed and shaken glory. Set in the lounge and restaurant of the hotel by the same name, it’s a large, bright room with opulent décor—exactly the kind of setting that lends itself to sitting back with a perfected blend of liqueurs and mixers. Their head mixologist recently took home a prize at the Reykjavík Bar Summit, so they are tens across the board. Plus their cocktail-and-dessert happy hour deal is a steal!
Slippbarinn Mýrargata 2 This standard go-to bar for cocktails holds its own as far as the mixing game goes, with a unique menu and highly skilled bartenders to shake them up. The bar itself is a beautifully designed space with a gorgeous view, right in the Old Harbour. It closes on the early side, but it’s great to start out there.
Hverfisgata 12 The address is right there in the name The bar that unites The Pizza Place With No Name and Mikkeller & Friends holds a special place in cocktail-land for our panel. “They have a cocktail of the week offer and good DJs every weekend, plus you can go upstairs to get beer or stay down and have a pizza,” said one gushing panelist. Great drinks, great place.
2016: Apotek 2015: Apotek 2014: Slippbarinn 2013: Hotel Borg
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Reykjavík 2017 magazine, posted worldwide, at gpv.is/buybestof.