Good restaurants in Reykjavik

I’m taking a break from the current Iceland landscape mania on here to show you some food instead! Everything we ate in Reykjavik was fantastic, we honestly didn’t have a bad meal. Lots of fresh fish, potatoes, Skyr and Icelandic produce.

Before we go away we make a Google map of nice looking restaurants and check the reviews. It takes a while to put together but it’s worth it because it’s easier to choose somewhere to eat on the night. Also, it means we don’t have to peer into restaurant windows like a pair of hungry axe murderers. Let’s get on to the good stuff shall we…

Mar restaurant

What a cosy place this was. Mar is an Iceland seafood restaurant; ironically neither of us ordered seafood! Scott ate beef ribs with garlic butter, sauerkraut, corn and homemade crisps.

Steak, corn and crisps

Beef ribs

Fried cauliflower and salad

Grilled kale and cauliflower

The vegetarian option was bok choy with cauliflower, onion and watercress. The bok choy was actually kale (even better!) with red quinoa in the middle. My meal was so filling I couldn’t manage pudding. Actually, that might have had something to do with all the bread and butter I ate beforehand. The butter was epic, they topped it with coarse sea salt and seaweed.

Mar website

Glo restaurant

Glo is the place to go for a healthy lunch or dinner. A big chalk board sits in the entrance — you pick an option at the till and they offer you a range of salads to choose from. On the day we called in for lunch they had 3 vegetarian/vegan options and 1 meat option.

Colourful vegetarian meal

Cauliflower burger and salads

This is my cauliflower burger with sweet potato mash, squash salad and beetroot with apple. I was hungry, that’s why a piece is missing.

Glo website

Austur-Indiafjelagid

Warm, rich and comforting Indian food. I didn’t get a photo of meal so you’ll have to trust me when I say it was some of the best Indian food I’ve eaten. I don’t think I’ll ever eat a tastier garlic naan!

Austur-Indiafjelagid website

Höfnin

Höfnin is an incredibly cosy harbour restaurant with a good selection of beers. As soon as I saw Icelandic fish stew on the menu, I stopped looking. Rich fish stew served with crispy fried potatoes, rye bread and lemon.

Fish stew and potatoes

Icelandic fish stew

Langoustine pizza was Scott’s choice — he’d never tried a langoustine before so was quite looking forward to it. The pizza arrived and we couldn’t see any langoustines. I suggested they might have done something creative and cooked them into the sauce or the dough. I asked the waiter at the end and it turns out they’d forgotten to put them on top!! He was very apologetic and offered us a free pudding. Buttery apple cake with ice cream made up for it.

Höfnin website

Ida Zimsen

A book shop come cafe with free wi-fi. They make a great hot chocolate.

Book cafe

Ida Zimsen cafe

Stofan Cafe

Stofan Cafe was a good stop for a hot chocolate with whipped cream. As you can see, we weren’t feeling quite so virtuous this time. Grab and window seat and watch the world go buy.

Hot chocolate with cream

Cosy Icelandic cafe

Stofan Cafe

Sandholt Bakarí

Freshly baked sourdough loaves. Need I say more? We tried the sandwiches; they were nice but not amazing. The bread however, is out of this world. Our Airbnb was nearby so we bought a couple of loaves to make our hiking lunches.

Fresh sandwiches

Sandholt website

Old Iceland

Old Iceland is my favourite restaurant from our holiday. It’s only small so if you want a table without having to queue outside, arrive before 7:30pm. The first night we tried to eat here, we arrived at 8pm and were told the wait was nearly an hour. For good reason too, the food is fantastic.

Fresh fish on vegetables

Ling on parsnip puree

This was the first time I’d eaten ling — a cod-like fish from the Atlantic region around Iceland. The fish was served on velvety smooth parsnip puree and roasted vegetables.

Icelandic lamb and vegetables

Fillet of Icelandic lamb with roast beef

There’s one meat I absolutely hate… lamb. I can’t stand the smell or the taste. Scott doesn’t like lamb that much either but after being told Icelandic lamb is incredibly tasty, he decided to try some for himself. And I can confirm it was every bit as good as they say. No fat, no gristle, just tender pink meat. After this meal I asked a couple of Icelanders what makes it taste so good. They say the sheep are allowed to roam into the mountains, be happy and drink pure mountain water. It’s this lovely life that makes their meat so nice.

Desserts are every bit as good as the mains too. Rhubarb cake for me and cookies with Skyr cream for Scott.

Old Iceland website

Verbúð 11 Lobster & Stuff

Verbúð 11 is another great harbour restaurant serving seafood. This pasta dish was an important one for Scott; he finally got to try langoustines! Round of applause please!

Seafood pasta

Pasta with lobster, shrimp, mini scallops

The arctic char I ate at Verbúð was mouthwateringly good, but the langoustines won because, well, you know. Langoustines!!

Verbúð website

If you are heading to Reykjavik soon and you visited any of the restaurants on this list, I hope your belly will be very happy. If not, you’ve got some new meal ideas 🙂

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