Mapping the best places for food and drink in Reykjavik
Reykjavik may be a small city, but it is a growing culinary destination! Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr are international food, travel, and influential restaurant bloggers based in Copenhagen, Denmark. They recently stopped in Reykjavík for a gastronomical city tour and shared some of their favorites.
highlights just a few of the many fantastic places to eat and drink in Reykjavík. Follow their path and take a bite out of the Reykjavík food scene. Bon appétit—or as we say here in Iceland, "Gjörðu svo vel!"
The capital of Iceland is a small city with a mighty food scene. Reykjavík is home to approximately 130,000 people, but given its position halfway between the US and Europe, it's an extremely popular tourist destination. Whether you have a quick layover in Iceland and are looking for some good places to eat, or you're on an adventure exploring the island's volcanoes, lagoons, glaciers, and hot springs, we've got your food itinerary covered!
In this guide, we have gathered all the Reykjavík favorites of Anders & kaitlin. You'll find everything from ambitious fine dining restaurants to specialty coffee shops, natural wine bars, and, of course, the city's best hot dog. Navigatequickly by scrolling through the list on the right or clicking the map's points. Places are listed in geographical order. Here is a sample of a few places Anders & Kaitlin recommend in Reykjavik.
Skál is not your typical food court restaurant. Danish head chef Thomas Lorentzen has a background at Kadeau Restaurant in Copenhagen, so you can expect high-quality food. Grab a seat at the counter and order the whole menu – it features local, seasonal ingredients, and every bite is tastier than the last. This is modern Scandinavian comfort food in a fun, rambunctious setting.
Dill is Iceland's most famous restaurant and the first of its kind in the country. It was first opened in 2009 by chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason and received a Michelin star in 2017. Dill's inspiration is highlighting Icelandic food culture, bringing it into the spotlight, and preserving time-honored traditions that otherwise might disappear. Come with an open mind! You'll try some dried and fermented foods you might not have tasted before.
Iceland's most renowned coffee chain is Reykjavík Roasters, founded in 2008 and has four locations around the capital. Our favorite café is the original location, a cozy spot right next to Hallgrímskirkja, the iconic church at the top of the city. We tried a few different pour-overs during our time in Iceland, including their Brazilian coffee, which has notes of molasses and plums, and their natural Ethiopian coffee, which is more light and floral in flavor.
For a quick bite on the go, head to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (The City's Best Hot Dogs) for, well, just that! This hot dog stand has been open since 1937 and has served thousands of hungry locals and tourists alike (including Bill Clinton!). You'll want to order it with everything: crispy onions and fresh onions on the bottom, and their special brown mustard, remoulade, and ketchup drizzled on top.
Sümac is the casual Middle Eastern restaurant from Chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson. Menu highlights include the flatbread with za'atar and hummus; grilled oyster mushrooms; carrots with whipped feta, honey, and cumin; the grilled shrimp skewer with chili and preserved lemon; and the beef short rib with onion, fennel, and hazelnut dukkah.
The city's best natural wine bar is located on Laugavegur, the main walking street in Reykjavík. Step downstairs into a cozy basement, and you'll find many crowded tables filled with thirsty customers and wine bottles on the shelves. The offerings change frequently, but on our visit, we spotted wine from Le Coste, Gut Oggau, Claus Preisinger, Vej, Meinklang, and Christian Tschida on the 200+ bottle list.
Three cooks (kocks) with a fine dining background opened a high-quality street food restaurant. This is, by far, our favorite cheeseburger in Iceland. The buttery buns are made in-house at their bakery and topped with everything bagel seasoning.
Photos and text by Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr