Iceland is famous for its fresh, delicious seafood. But with a fish restaurant on every street corner, where should you try it? Here are some of our firm favourites.
One of the fanciest restaurants in town—and priced accordingly—Fiskmarkaðurinn, or “Fish Market,” offers immaculately presented seafood dishes with a creative twist. The whole menu is fantastic, but we recommend getting a seat at the sushi bar to watch the sashimi being prepared before your eyes. JR
From lobster tacos, to maki, to salted cod and slow cooked salmon, Sjárvargrillið harnesses the flavour of each fish in usual ways. The vibe straddles the line between upscale and casual, which is reflected in the prices—reasonable and mouth-watering, the best of both worlds. HJC
This dimly lit and cosy basement restaurant specialises in Icelandic fish with an international flavour. The lunch menu is particularly reasonable, for a quite fancy place: the huge chunks of cod come Nobu-style, soaked in miso, blackened on the grill and served with a soy-marinated egg, and a sushi platter will set you back just 2,690 ISK. JR
It isn’t a specialised fish joint, but fancy small-plates restaurant Mat Bar is an absolutely reliable choice to try some Icelandic seafood. The menu cycles based on seasonal ingredients, so there’s always something fresh and interesting on the menu, whether it’s spicy scallops, grilled wolffish, cod cheek, or king crab tortellini. JR
For a piece of good ol’ Icelandic fish, there’s no better spot than Salka Valka. The restaurant serves up a steamed fillet in their Fish Of The Day meal, with the fish options depending on what is the freshest available. This means you could get salmon, cod or wolffish, all served with potatoes, rice, veggies and sauces. They also serve a fantastic plokkfiskur. HJC
This brand new eatery is the sister restaurant of Fiskmarkaðurinn. Focussing on fresh shellfish presented in the French “fruits de mer” platter style, you’ll get a feast of fresh seafood including langoustine, crab, scallops and—the star of the show—small, meaty Icelandic oysters. It’s an upscale place, but it’s worth the price. JR
Icelandic Fish & Chips
The name of this restaurant gives a good hint as to what you should expect to find, but this ain’t your average fish’n’chips joint. Fried in organic spelt batter without eggs or milk, the fish here is crispier and more delicate than average pub fair. Along with that, they offer a selection of dips, which they call ‘Skyronnes.’ The truffle and tarragon is a particular standout. HJC
Iceland is famous for its fish soup and Matarkjallarinn’s take on the classic is certainly a standout. With a rich broth, the meal is so flavoursome that you might feel full just halfway through the bowl. With butter-soft haddock, scallops, and a touch of leek for flavour, it’s the perfect choice to warm your bones on a windy Reykjavík day. HJC
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