It’s a cold night. The mind races. You think about pizza, the only friend who hasn’t betrayed you. If that is the case, your best friend might be Eldofninn, a true local favorite. Although this pizzeria has been around for almost a decade, it’s still a relatively guarded secret. This has everything to do with its pseudo-suburban location in a strip-mall called Grímsbær (originally an Icelandic word-play on the English “Grimsby,” a popular destination for Icelandic commercial fishing vessels) in the calm residential area of Fossvogur. It’s not far from the city centre—maybe a 10 minute drive/bus ride away.
Keep it in the family
Eldofninn is a family-run business, based on the assumption that the parents of a certain household always made the best pizzas. Probably not the first to do so, this family rallied around this idea of creating a pizza place to keep them all together. The driving force of the family has been the basis of this successful restaurant, along with some seriously smart decisions that have kept up their high standards since day one.
This includes, essentially, the enormous Italian imported brick oven, lovingly prepared doughs and sauce made in-house, and—if humanly possible—locally sourced toppings (there are obviously exceptions, such as pineapple, jalapenos or sun-dried tomatoes, which are imported). All of this combined makes for one of the best, if not the best, pizzeria in this land of ice and (brick oven) fire.
My companion and I decided to visit during lunch, as we have heard (and witnessed, to be fair), that business can be really crazy during the evenings, as people from the neighborhood flock to Eldofninn to get their take-away pizzas. There is also the added bonus of the lunch special: a pizza of your choice plus a soda for a mere 2,000 ISK. Pizzas from the menu range from 1,720 to 2,890 ISK, always roughly the same size. It should also be noted that there is a 10% discount for every take-away pizza—a smart move for maximum pizza output per evening.
My companion had a very classic pepperoni pizza, while I went for a combination of egg and blue cheese. The pepperoni pizza was delicious, with the pepperoni on top of the cheese for some on-point sausage fat melting over the whole surface area. Not too much cheese, just right. The crust is of the Italian kind—thin yet flavourful, with crispy sides. The homemade sauce is really packed with flavour with deep notes of garlic and black pepper. Just perfect.
My egg pizza was also very nice, well above average. I would prefer the egg to still have the yolk intact to get the delightful ooze after it reaches the table, but this was still nice. In any case, it wasn’t like scrambled eggs, and it did harmonise well with the blue cheese and chili oil, added from a bottle on the table.
All in all, it was a delightful lunch, even though it was at a strip-mall. But that’s the unifying power of the most tender and crispy pizza. It will never betray you. It remains the true love, for a lifetime.