Iceland Travel - Best Restaurants in Reykjavik
Reykjavik has, in recent times, witnessed a commendable evolution in its culinary scene, making it one of the key things to do when in Iceland; in fact you can plan an entire trip around the cuisine only. Apart from using nature’s freshest ingredients, what makes the food scene even more exciting is that restaurants in Reykjavik are mostly staffed with well-acclaimed chefs.
Get in touch with a travel expert who will point you to the best that Reykjavik has to offer.
Let’s take a peek at the top-notch restaurants in Reykjavik, responsible for the success of its gastronomical scene.
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Situated in one of Reykjavik’s prime cultural enclaves, Dill is perhaps the most prominent among all the restaurants in the city. Adding more to its credibility is the fact that it was the first restaurant in all of Iceland to receive a Michelin star. Being the brainchild of chef Gunnar Karl Gislason, who has been quite experimental in the contemporary Nordic food scene, Dill is known for its signature three, five and seven-course menu which changes weekly, with the option of wine-pairing. Expect traditional dishes with a modern twist, and don’t miss out on some of the restaurant's innovative recipes like the baked rutabaga with cheese foam and crispy millet.
Grillmarkadurinn (Grill market)
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Sophisticated, yet designed with raw Icelandic elements of rock and water, Grillmarkadurinn or better known as Grill Market provides a natural, but modern setting with a comfortable lounge area offering you a wide array of cocktails and wines. Grill Market is perhaps one of the best eateries in the city for devouring mouthwatering steaks and a variety of lamb and trout dishes.
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Those with an unintimidated palate may even try the duck, puffin and reindeer mini burgers, for which Grill market is noted for.
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Located in the serene neighborhood of Skolavorduholt, Snaps Bistro offers a range of Danish, Icelandic and French cuisine. Spearheading the food culture of the city by being awarded "Reykjavik’s coolest bar" by CNN travel and "Best Goddamn Restaurant" for consecutive years by Reykjavik’s Grapevine magazine, Snaps Bistro has quite a bustling ambience amidst an elegant setting. Go for the delicious Moules Marinieres (Sailor-Style Mussels) and French Onion Soup made with Icelandic Isbui cheese. After dining at the bistro, you can opt for experiencing the nightlife culture of the city, making your moments worthwhile.
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There are hardly any chefs in Reykjavik serving the traditional Icelandic dish which has earned the 'national cuisine' title, and has quite an infamous reputation: the fermented shark. If you are looking for such adventurous traditional meal, head straight to 3 Frakkar, which is only a few blocks away from the city’s main commercial center. This family-run eatery accommodates just 44 diners in its comfy, old-school kind of dining room.
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3 Frakkar is quite popular among the locals for being audaciously Icelandic by serving indigenous dishes like salted cod, puffin, and seal varieties. It's exotic cuisine of whale pepper steak washed down with shots of local hooch called Black Death is worth a try.
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Your amazing culinary experience at Reykjavik would surely be incomplete without sampling world-class seafood at Fiskfelagid, also known as The Fish Company. Located in the basement of the historic Zimsen building which dates back to the 19th century, Fiskfelagid also features a wide range of other fish dishes from across the globe apart from serving Icelandic seafood.
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Visitors can relax in the restaurant’s cozy booths while munching on salted cod, burnt langoustines or the Malaysian blackened monkfish with a lobster spring roll.
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You are probably going to need a reservation well in advance for dining out at Sjavargrillid (Seafood Grill), that is how popular this restaurant is. Sjavargrillid impresses its guests with its luxurious ambience with an equally outstanding quality of relishing seafood. It's not just the seafood here, but also the delectable lamb cuisine alongside their signature three-course lunch and fish of the day which dazzles the palate. This restaurant is arguably the best spot for a perfect romantic dinner date while in the city.
Matur og Drykkur
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Focused strongly on locally sourced products, Matur og Drykkur is one of those innovative restaurants in the city which has been successful in serving traditional Icelandic dishes with a modern edge. Apart from the ancestral dish of fermented shark, the chef and his team here dig deep into old Icelandic grandmother-kind-of-recipes prepared with an avant-garde twist.
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One of the must-haves in Matur og Drykkur is the chicken-flavored cod’s head with sugar kelp and birch syrup; also, the double-smoked lamb accompanied by a buttermilk-nutmeg dip is worth your penny. Interestingly, Matur og Drykkur is becoming a favorite among the local and international connoisseurs.
Baejarins Beztu Pylsur
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Not in the league of comfy, luxurious restaurants with high-end interiors and haute cuisines, what sets apart Baejarins Beztu Pylsur from other eateries is its rich 80-year history, making it as one of the prime hot dog destinations in the entire country. If you might question the hype of small roadside food joint, you will change your mind when you see the line forming in front of it. This stand is famous for an Icelandic version of hot dog comprising of pork, beef, and lamb.
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For an authentic experience, try out the famous “the works” hot dog made up of Ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onions and a special roumalade. You can estimate this food joint’s popularity with the fact that even former US president Bill Clinton had stopped by for relishing such legendary hot dogs.
Start tailoring your itinerary to sample the best of Reykjavik's (and probably all of Iceland's) food scene.