Where to Eat in Reykjavik, Iceland
Before our trip to Iceland, we heard from many that the food won’t be good, so don’t have any expectations. Some people even suggested to take cup noodles with us! After doing our own research, we found some good places so we decided to take our chances. We actually ended up having very good food in Reykjavik, you just have to go to the right places! So here is our guide for you so you can’t skip the research but still get great food!
All these restaurants are very close to each other (max 10 min walk) so if you are staying in near the center of Reykjavik, you should be able to get to them all very easily.
Sjavargrillio (Seafood Grill)
As the name suggests, this place is known for their grilled seafood. Super cozy and romantic place, but the prices are reasonable - I wouldn’t say it’s cheap, but for the ambience and for Iceland (Iceland in general, things are more expensive), price is pretty good.
Since this place is known for its seafood, definitely go for the seafood!! We ordered the salmon and the cod, and both very good. They are good, pretty sizeable portions and the sauces were tasty as well!
We are not adventurous people in general, but we’ve been trying to be a bit more daring as we travel more. In Iceland, a few interesting traditional things you are supposed to try are:
If you are courageous enough, then try sheep’s head or ram’s testicles (we are definitely not brave enough for these!!!)
Out of these traditional foods, we decided to try the whale! Seemed safe enough ^^ It tasted like really tender beef, slightly gamey (less gamey than lamb), and ends with a very slight fishy taste. If you told me it was beef carpaccio, I would probably just believe you! Interesting to try, but wouldn’t say it was my favorite.
But their creme brulee dessert was excellent! One of the most interesting creme brulees we’ve had, surprisingly all the ingredients go well together! So, make sure you try the dessert!
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur
This is probably one of the first things that pops up when you search for where to eat in Iceland, super famous hotdog stand. Their menu is very simple, HOTDOGs. Their hotdogs are lamb-based with pork and beef.
The popular way of eating this is with all the condiments: ketchup, sweet mustard, remoulade, crisp fried onion, and raw onion. Ryan doesn’t like condiments especially ketchup and mustard, and I don’t like raw onion, so we tried one hotdog with crisp fried onion only. To be honest, it was just a hotdog… I am not a huge fan of lamb to begin with, but it was just a simple hotdog, nothing fancy or special about it. A bit disappointed! Our best hotdog was the cheese-filled German hotdog at London’s Winter Wonderland!
I did hear from friends that it’s actually quite good if you get it with all the condiments. Since it’s a super famous place, you should definitely try for an afternoon snack, but get it with all the toppings!
Icelandic Street Food
This place also has a very simple menu serving Icelandic traditional soup! You get two choices, lamb soup or shellfish soup. It’s a great place for a quick bite that is affordable and good! We ordered one lamb soup and one shellfish soup in a bread bowl.
The place itself is quite small, but they have a sister restaurant right next door which is a bar. You can order your food here and take your food to the bar to eat. We were going to get some beer anyways, so it worked out perfectly!
As mentioned before, I don’t even like lamb, but for some reason, the lamb soup here was so good! It’s more of a clear soup, tastes like a cross between chicken noodle soup and pho soup but with lamb.
The shellfish soup is great too! It’s like their version of chili soup in a bread bowl. Very hearty and filling!
This place is a must visit especially if you are visiting Iceland during the cold months - it warms your body up and makes you feel all cozy!
If you are looking for a nice date night out while in Reykjavik, Grillmarkadurinn is definitely the place to go! Make sure you make a reservation! It has a great ambience, service is amazing, and food is excellent!!
The cocktail I got was very yummy - sweet & tangy! For appetizers, we ordered bread + butter and as a side dish, ordered corn on the cob. The bread and the butter was so good!!!! It comes with 3 different types of butter & salt combination, all of them delicious. The corn was amazing too! It’s like their version of an elote. We highly recommend getting both!!
For main dishes, after some thought, we ordered 1 fish platter and 1 meat platter. Some fancy restaurants give you so little food so you actually walk out hungry, but this place, definitely gives you a lot of food! Each fish/meat comes with different sauces and everything was so delicious!
There’s also a chef’s tasting menu if you want to try a variety. We thought that might be too much food, so we decided to order a la carte.
After our dinner, we had to leave our dinner table for the next guests. We originally had a reservation at 9pm but our tour ended early, so we walked in and asked if we could get seated at 7pm instead. They had a table available but we had to get up by 8:30pm for the next reservation. We decided to take it because for dessert, we could eat it at their lounge space, which was actually a blessing in disguise.
They have a lounge area downstairs, which looks like a super nice & cozy wood cabin! It was very relaxing and a totally different experience finishing up our meal in this lounge space. Even if you don’t have to leave your table, I’d say ask to enjoy your dessert here instead!
While seating on our comfy lounge chair, we enjoyed last sip of our drinks and our sweet desserts! This was our last night in Iceland Reykjavik, and it was the best way to end our trip - eating good food with my best husband in a nice, cozy, warm place!
So yes, if you don’t do your research and go to any place here, you may not get the best food experience. But do your research (or simply go to the places we’ve visited) and you will be pleasantly surprised by the delicious food experience you will have here!!