Like many capital cities, Reykjavik has a fantastic food scene. There are restaurants in this city to suit all budgets, from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. While some restaurants serve traditional Icelandic cuisine, others serve dishes from across the globe. Regardless of your preferences, you will find a restaurant to suit your tastes in this city. To help you enjoy excellent food during your time in this location, here are the 10 best places to eat in Reykjavik.
10. Kol Restaurant
Located in Central Reykjavik, Kol Restaurant is known for both the high standard of its food and also for its extensive cocktail selection. To get the best experience in this restaurant, you should try the eight-course meal that features a selection of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetable dishes. However, if you prefer just one or two courses, it is also possible to order a la carte. The chef at this restaurant is extremely accommodating, and he will prepare lactose and gluten-free meals to meet diners’ dietary requirements.
9. Geiri Smart Restaurant
Geiri Smart Restaurant is part of Canopy, a modern and artistic hotel in downtown Reykjavik. However, the restaurant is also open to the public. Although this is a sophisticated restaurant, it retains a laid-back vibe that is perfect for enjoying a fine dining experience in a relaxed setting. It is known for its elegant and visually appealing presentation of food. The menu features Icelandic dishes prepared in creative ways alongside some British classics. They offer a tow-course pre-theater menu, as the restaurant is opposite the National Theater. Diners can also order from a three-course or five-course menu, or choose meals a la carte.
8. Perlan Restaurant
Perlan is one of the most notable landmarks in Reykjavik, and it is one that you will notice even if you choose not to dine there. It is a large, domed structure constructed from metal and glass, and it sits on top of a hill. There is an unusual woodland setting as it is surrounded by 176 thousand trees, hiking trails, and cycling paths. The restaurant is at the top of the dome, and it revolves to give panoramic views across Reykjavik. On the lower floor, there is a cocktail bar. Chef Atil Por Erlendsson is at the helm of this restaurant, and he promotes the use of local and seasonal ingredients. On the menu, you will find traditional Icelandic cuisine.
Skolabru is a contemporary restaurant, just a short walk from the main square. Although the menu consists predominantly of Icelandic cuisine, there are Mediterranean influences evident in many of the dishes. There are also dishes that take their influence from other parts of the world, such as seawolf with mango, ginger, and chili.
6. Snaps Bistro
On the menu at Snaps Bistro, you can expect to find French-Icelandic fusion cuisine. It has a wonderful atmosphere as the mood lighting creates a pleasant ambiance, while the large windows offer excellent views. The vibe at this bistro is sleek and cool, so it is a great place to hang out with friends. In addition to the amazing food, Snaps Bistro is also known for its extensive specialist gin and tonic menu. Below the restaurant, there is a hidden bar and lounge to investigate.
5. Gallery Restaurant at Hotel Holt
Although Gallery Restaurant is part of Hotel Holt, it is open to the public. It offers an elegant fine dining experience in classy surroundings. The walls are adorned with the artwork of Kjarval, the most notable Icelandic artist. The menu features classic dishes with recipes that have not changed for decades. You can expect to see dishes such as lamb wellington, langoustine tortellini, and smoked salmon. It is worth saving some room for one of the classic desserts from the menu. Either before your meal or after you have dined, stop for a drink in the hotel’s famous leather sofa bar lounge.
Guide to Iceland recommends a visit to Burro, which is an American Latin restaurant in the center of Reykjavik. The menu consists of Latin fusion cuisine and tapas, with examples of dishes, including ceviche, tacos, and empanadas. There are also examples of experimental dishes, so there is a chance to try something new. The restaurant is located below a nightclub, so many diners enjoy a meal before heading upstairs to party.
Translated as The Grill Market, Grillmarkadurinn is set in a stunning building that replicated the Art Nouveau style of the New Cinema that was destroyed in a fire, but once stood where this restaurant sits now. It specializes in grilled meat, fish, and game dishes prepared by Icelandic chefs Gudlaugur Frimannsson and Hrefna Rosa Saetran. The restaurant also has a modern and relaxed lounge area where diners can enjoy a drink from the extensive wine and cocktails lists, either before their meal or after dining.
If you are a seafood enthusiast, then the top restaurant to visit in Reykjavik is Fiskelagid. Its menu consists of both Icelandic fish and seafood dishes and seafood dishes from across the globe. There are extensive options, and some dishes that you might not have seen before. Fiskfelagid also serves some non-fish dishes, such as reindeer carpaccio. It is a small and cozy restaurant situated in the basement of the historic Zimsen building constructed in 1884.
1. DILL Restaurant
According to The Culture Trip, the best restaurant in Reykjavik is DILL Restaurant, which opened in 2007. It was awarded a Michelin star in 2017, Iceland’s first. Chef Gunnar Karl Gisalson is at the helm of this restaurant, and he created New Nordic fare with a modern twist that promotes the use of seasonal ingredients and local food cultures. Each week, the seven-course menu changes. Sommelier Olafur Orn Olafsson is the experienced sommelier who plans the optional matching wine menu. DILL Restaurant is conveniently located in Central Reykjavik.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson