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!
Pablo Discobar Veltusund 1 This brand new fancy-ass cocktail club is a completely unique and welcome addition to Reykjavík’s nightlife and it’s causing quite a stir! In fact, we are not just honouring it with best newcomer, but also with the unofficial award for best bar name in town. It’s rather upscale and you need to book a table and check your bank account before you go throw down for a lot of their acrobatically mixed drinks, but the experience is entirely worth it. The place has a gorgeous 70s tiki lounge/Boogie Nights décor and the throwback disco music is on point. Bienvenido!
Veður Klapparstígur 33 This beautifully designed new bar looks really fancy, but it has a laid-back atmosphere, serves a great selection of cocktails and beer, and plays excellent music. The weekend nighttime crowd is a bit American Psycho, but that’s not without its charm.
Bazaar Oddsson Hringbraut 121 This new bar, located just outside of the city centre in the Oddsson hotel, boasts beautiful interior design and a cool-but-very-expensive private karaoke room. The service and food can be patchy, but with some cool shows booked ahead, we have high hopes for it and we’re glad it’s here.