Food is an important part of how we travel. We are more than willing to splurge on local specialties (both in calories and budget.) However, when we went to Iceland for the first time, everyone told us not to expect much from the food. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t good food to be had, especially in the capital city of Reykjavik. However, one bit of advice rang true — and that is that food is expensive in Iceland. So while foodie experiences are there to be found, you will pay a pretty penny for it. After two visits and feedback from friends who have visited, I’ve come up with a go-to list of where to eat in Reykjavik.
Where to Eat in Reykjavik
Icelandic Fish and Chips — one of our favorite lunches was at Icelandic Fish and Chips, very close to the Old Harbour. (Just don’t confuse it with a dingy looking Reykjavik Fish and Chips nearby.) As you may expect, they had excellent fish and chips, but also amazing langoustines. They were also very welcoming to families with games and coloring books. The space is light and airy with modern flair. Tryggvagata 11, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 511 1118
Eldur and Is — Located just off of the main shopping street, Eldur and Is is a good stop for crepes — both savory and sweet — or ice cream. Skólavörðustígur 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Sandholt Bakery — Another great stop for breakfast or a sweet snack is Sandholt Bakery, right on Laugavegur, the main shopping street. Expect a line at this bakery for an array of delicious pastries, bread and coffee. Laugavegur 36, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Kopar — Located right in the Old Harbour, Kopar focused on Icelandic seafood and local seafood. The interior is charming and from a cozy upstairs table you have a beautiful view of the Harpa Concert Hall. On warm days, you can even sit outside. I had a delicious lobster soup and zucchini pasta. Geirsgata 3, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Hofnin — Another Old Harbour option with great views, the menu is a bit more adventurous with reindeer and catfish cheeks. However, there is a children’s menu with a hamburger or fish stew. Geirsgata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 511 2300
The Laundromat Cafe — This quirky cafe is popular with travelers because it is inexpensive and offers familiar options like hamburgers, salads, ribs and even chili con carne! Austurstræti 9, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 587 7555
Hornid — Hornid was the first Italian restaurant in Iceland. Located downtown near the Old Harbour, they offer both pizza and pasta, as well as seafood and meat dishes. Hafnarstræti 15, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 551 3340
Perlan — If you are looking for a fine dining experience with a view, The Pearl sits above Reykjavik with a viewing platform and a revolving restaurant at the top. Just note that you’ll need a cab/car to get there. Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 562 0200
Kol Restaurant — Not for picky eaters, Kol offers a tasting menu with three starters plus a fish course, meat course and a shared platter of desserts. There are also standard menu selections like risotto, lamb, duck, beef, and seafood. Skólavörðustígur 40, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 517 7474
Nam– Simple and inexpensive, this restaurant offers up noodle soups, Banh Mi and classic Vietnamese dishes. Laugavegur 18, 101 Reykjavik, +354 519-6303
Caruso’s — Another Italian restaurant, this one has lovely outdoor seating. My friends tell me that the staff is super sweet and attentive. Austurstræti 22, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 562 7335
Laerjarbrekka — Built as a dwelling in 1834, this space housed a bakery and they have since added a restaurant offering a traditional Icelandic experience. Bankastræti 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, +354 551 4430
Fiskfelagid — Fiskfelagid came highly recommended to us and I will admit that I loved the space and atmosphere (although not especially “kid-friendly”.) The food sounded amazing but it under-delivered, especially for the high price tag. Vesturgötu 2a, Grófartorg, 101 Reykjavík – Iceland, +354 552-5300
Do you have any recommendations on where to eat in Reykjavik?