From Iceland — The Taco Takeover: Mexican Food Is En Vogue In Reykjavík—But Is It Any Good?

The Taco Takeover: Mexican Food Is En Vogue In Reykjavík—But Is It Any Good?

Published April 26, 2019

The Taco Takeover: Mexican Food Is En Vogue In Reykjavík—But Is It Any Good?
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Ask any Reykjavík foodie about the restaurant they wish would open in 101, and you’ll quickly spot a pattern. First place usually goes to an authentic Korean or Chinese restaurant. Next in line is a decent Mexican place. Lately, a few new contenders have popped up to try and fill the taco-shaped gap in Iceland’s culinary life. However, they tend to cater to the spice-averse Icelandic palette. So—are they any good?

Fuego Taqueria
Hlemmur Mathöll
Fuego Taqueria bills their fare as authentic LA-style Tex-Mex tacos. This means eye-catching black bean taco shells and non-standard toppings—but fear not, purists, because Fuego’s tacos explode with authentic, fresh flavours. The deep-fried fish and prawn iterations are juicy and delicious, and the chicken, mole and vegan versions don’t disappoint. Slather on the delicious house-made tomatillo and chilli sauces for some extra zing. The best in town. JR

RIO Reykjavík
Geirsgata 9
The words “broccoli taco” might elicit thoughts of an overworked Mom trying to get her kids to eat vegetables—but they should, instead, remind you of Rio Reykjavík. Their broccoli taco is, without hyperbole, delectable. A melange of sesame, ginger, apple, garlic and more, it’s a meal that’ll make you happy to hop on the vegan bandwagon. Don’t forget the sweet potato fries. HJC  

Suðurlandsbraut 4a & Mathöll Höfða
If you have a big appetite, Culiacan is the place for you. While some taco joints skimp on the fillings, Culiacan does the opposite, creating monstrous wraps buried under a heap of fresh tomato, lettuce and sauces. It isn’t the spiciest taco, and don’t even try to pick it up—but it’ll fill your belly, and then some. JR

Chido Mexican Grill
Ægisíða 123
The Chido Mexican Grill is Mexican in name only. The white masa tortillas and fresh pico de gallo pictured on their website was replaced on our plate by gummy flour tortillas with burrito-sized fillings, old tomato salsa, and sadness. The jarritos are the only thing I’d go back for—also the only thing they don’t cook from scratch in-house. SB

Veltusund 1
Burro is a sit-down restaurant with a Mexican-influenced menu. There’s a somewhat underworked guacamole, served in a tiny bowl (we asked for extra limes, but the waiter forgot). Their mini-tacos are about the size of a beermat, and come in pairs—meaning you’re paying around 500 ISK per mouthful. They’re nice enough, but the poor value for money leaves a bad taste in your mouth. JR

Bastard Brew & Food
With five well-conceived recipes on offer, Bastard’s tacos are complemented by house-brewed beers in a convivial pub atmosphere. The breads are served smokey from the grill, and each taco has nice touches, from the dark and juicy beef brisket, to the fresh and tasty tuna, kale and dill mayo version. They’re well-priced and satisfying, but come wholly without spice—take your own hot sauce. JR

We haven’t eaten at Reykjavík’s newest taco truck yet: but only because it’ll open its hatch to the public on June 1st. However, we thought we’d give them a shout out, as their Instagram account—@tacoson101—shows delicious-looking coriander bread, and a genuine excitement about Mexican food. Stay tuned! JR

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