While one may not think of planning a culinary based trip to Reykjavik, Iceland, those who do happen to be traveling to Reykjavik are in for a treat upon their arrival. Visiting the Blue Lagoon and seeing the Northern lights in Iceland are certainly must-do’s, but the food was another unexpected highlight of my trip to the land of fire and ice.
Even though Iceland’s capital chimes in with a population just over 100,000, the city’s culinary offerings rival those of cities much larger.
No matter your budget (check Iceland food costs here) or travel plans, there are countless places in Reykjavik available to accommodate you for a unique treat for your tastebuds. Yes, the seafood scene is plentiful in Reykjavik, but dive in deeper and you’ll find a score of restaurants big and small, each with their own palatable treats to offer.
If you’re looking for where to eat in Reykjavik, these places have a variety of unique and delicious culinary offerings paired with beautiful surroundings –
Where to Eat in Reykjavik
Resto has consistently been praised as the number one restaurant in Reykjavik year after year. Upon going through the front doors you are greeted by a lovely ambiance with music and a pleasant staff. Fortunately for you, if you are unable to decided from their extensive menu, they do offer a tasting platter as an appetizer. Standout dishes at Resto include the scallops, smoked trout, tusk, and lamb, but at a restaurant of this caliber, any dish is sure to be a home run, so be sure to leave room for dessert. If you’re planning a stop at Resto, be sure to book in advance, as tables fill quickly.
Fiskmarkadurinn – The Fisk Market
Seafood served on top of a bed of dry ice? Yep, you’ll find that here at Fiskmarkadurinn. This fine dining restaurant offers exquisite interior decor, top notch service, premium food, and creative drinks. While the dry ice experience is often available upon request, it’s signature appearance is with the volcano of mussels, as well as with most desserts. The rock ship tempura, smoked puffin, and minke whale are among the chosen favorites for your entree, and you cannot pass up the white chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
You may have seen this fast food establishment’s fry statue out and about in Iceland highlighting their unique paper cone serving methods. A quick and easy menu offers three sizes of fries and more than enough sauces to satisfy even the pickiest eater. From your traditional ketchup to vegan sauces, garlic sauces, and even nut based sauces, be sure to try a few! Pair it with your choice of beer for a snack sure to fill you up.
Fish & Chips Vagninn
Looking for something quick or a bit untraditional? Enter Fish & Chips Vagninn. Situated just off the water, this red food cart offers (of course) delicious fish and chips, but is also well known for their mushy peas. While this cart is unfortunately seasonal, it is sure to please when it is open for business. Top off your fish with a variety of sauces and seasonings available to finish off a fast and affordable meal.
Quite possibly one of the cutest and most welcoming cafés in Reykjavik is Íslenski Barrin. The interior of Íslenski Barrin feels very similar to an American bistro or cafe, but with a food offering much greater and whenever someone asks me where to eat in Reykjavik, this is usually my first suggestion. With their fish of the day offering, you can always try something new, or go with some of the the tried and true favorites such as the surf and turf burger, minke whale, or any other traditional Icelandic favorites such as Hakarl (fermented shark) or puffin. The reindeer burger with waffle fries is also a very unique choice that’s been receiving great reviews paired with a viking beer. Needless to say, Íslenski Barrin offers a variety of culinary options to be enjoyed in a very cozy and comfortable environment.
While 3 Frakkar has been sung praises for their variety of seafood offerings, vegetarians are also offered an extensive menu of options to suit their diet and lifestyle. Whale, puffin, shark, halibut, cod, and more are all available to you with a stop at 3 Frakkar. While small, this quaint little restaurant offers great food at even better prices for the quality and freshness offered.
Even if you don’t recognize the name Perlan, you most definitely will recognize their building with a quick drive around Reykjavik. This beautiful restaurant is enclosed in a stunning glass dome with a revolving floor offering breathtaking views of your surroundings. If you get lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the Northern lights in Iceland while enjoying your meal. While the main draw to Perlan is the unique dining experience, their food certainly does not fall short. Try pairing some beef carpaccio, wild game, or chocolate mousse with your view to cap off an exquisite lunch or dinner.
Located in a historic house situated on beautiful grounds, Torfan is highly regarded as one of the top seafood restaurants in Reykjavik. While they are well known for their lobster options including the infamous lobster soup appetizer and the delicious Icelandic lobster, there are a plethora of other great options to choose from including smoked goose and monkfish. A visit to Torfan’s beautiful grounds accented by unique furniture and exceptional service is sure to please anyone looking for where to eat in Reykjavik.
Going out for pizza in Iceland may seem a bit uncultured, but being a favorite of Reykjavik locals with its wood burning oven and ample parking, Eldsmidjan is definitely not a place to miss. Offering a variety of unique toppings, including peanuts, all of the pizzas at Eldsmidjan pair greatly with any of their beers, although the Viking Beer comes highly recommended. Eldsmidjan also offer free refills on soft drinks for its younger crowd, or those not looking to partake in a beer.
where to eat reykjavik iceland
Reykjavik is an awesome place with a huge variety of unique and delicious culinary offerings paired with beautiful surroundings. Whether you’re a resident of Reykjavik or someone traveling looking for a classy sit down meal, or just looking for a quick and local bite to eat, the city of Reykjavik and their brilliant culinary masterminds have you covered on where to eat in Reykjavik.
Tapas Barinn- style is definitely an experience whether as a meat eater or a vegetarian. I love the fact that you have a choice of either a set menu or can mix and match for yourselves. When we visited my husband opted for the 7 course Icelandic menu which included puffin and mink whale alongside several fish dishes – I have to say that the puffin didn’t look like something I would try and from my husband’s reaction I am not sure he would have it again either.
When you were there did you visit Cafe Paris? It does the best Hot Chocolate!
The most memorable place we ate in Reykjavik was actually the donut food truck near the bus station. We had burgers at a bar and noodle bowls. Expensive place!
Charles McCool recently posted…Viking River or Viking Ocean Cruises: Which is Right for You?