10 Restaurants for Lunches and Dinners by District in Reykjavík

Embark on a culinary adventure in Reykjavik, exploring the best things to eat in Reykjavik while immersing yourself in the city’s rich culinary tapestry. As travelers, sampling local cuisine is not just about food; it’s a cultural experience that offers insights into Reykjavik’s heritage and traditions. In this blog post, we will guide you through the top 10 restaurants for lunches and dinners by district, ensuring you savor the most delectable dishes this vibrant city has to offer. Get ready to indulge in a gastronomic journey that will leave your taste buds tingling with delight.

1. Downtown District

Restaurant 1: Grillmarkaðurinn

Gracefully nestled amidst downtown Reykjavik, Grillmarkaðurinn stands out as a testament to Iceland’s love affair with fire-kissed meats. This renowned establishment boasts a wide array of succulent cuts, cooked to perfection over open flames.

Signature Dishes:

  • Lamb chops marinated in thyme and garlic, served alongside roasted root vegetables and a red wine reduction sauce.
  • Beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon, accompanied by a creamy horseradish sauce and grilled seasonal vegetables.
Grillmarkaðurinn Restaurant in Reykjavík

Grillmarkaðurinn Restaurant in Reykjavík

Restaurant 2: Dill Restaurant

For those seeking a refined yet adventurous dining experience, look no further than Dill Restaurant. Chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason showcases his innovative take on Nordic cuisine, incorporating locally sourced ingredients to create truly memorable meals.

Must-Try Dishes:

  • Arctic char ceviche with pickled rhubarb, sorrel, and green strawberries.
  • Fermented lamb tartare with smoked yogurt, juniper berries, and crispy kale.

By visiting these two establishments in the bustling downtown area, you can immerse yourself in the quintessential Reykjavik dining experience, discovering the very essence of things to eat in Reykjavik.

2. Old Harbor District

Restaurant 3: Sægreifinn (The Sea Baron)

Sægreifinn, also known as The Sea Baron, is a must-visit seafood restaurant in Reykjavik’s Old Harbor District. This cozy eatery is famous for its fresh seafood specialties, including the mouth-watering lobster soup, which is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The restaurant’s rustic decor and friendly staff create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal after a day of exploring the city.

In addition to the lobster soup, Sægreifinn offers a variety of other seafood dishes, such as grilled fish skewers and fish and chips. The restaurant’s commitment to using only the freshest ingredients ensures that every dish is bursting with flavor and cooked to perfection. Whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking to try something new, Sægreifinn is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best things to eat in Reykjavik.

Sægreifinn Restaurant in Reykjavík

Sægreifinn Restaurant in Reykjavík

Restaurant 4: Forréttabarinn (The Starter)

Forréttabarinn, also known as The Starter, is a unique restaurant in Reykjavik’s Old Harbor District that specializes in appetizers. This cozy eatery offers a wide variety of unique and delicious small plates, making it the perfect spot for a group to share and sample different dishes.

One of the standout dishes at Forréttabarinn is the smoked puffin, a traditional Icelandic delicacy that is a must-try for adventurous eaters. Other popular dishes include the grilled langoustine and the Icelandic lamb sliders. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

Forréttabarinn’s commitment to using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients ensures that every dish is bursting with flavor. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience and want to try some of the best things to eat in Reykjavik, Forréttabarinn is a must-visit destination.

>> See more: Top 10 European Destinations to Explore in 2024

3. Laugardalur District – Discover Traditional Flavors and Artisan Breads

Restaurant 5: Matur og Drykkur

Step inside Matur og Drykkur, a celebrated establishment renowned for its authentic Icelandic fare. This charming eatery invites diners to embark on a flavorful expedition through the country’s rich culinary heritage. From smoked lamb to fermented shark, Matur og Drykkur showcases the essence of Icelandic cooking like no other.

Restaurant 6: Brauð & Co.

Just around the corner from Matur og Drykkur lies another gem—Brauð & Co., a bakery dedicated to creating artisanal breads using time-honored techniques and locally sourced ingredients. Whether you crave a freshly baked loaf or a warm slice of rye bread slathered with butter, Brauð & Co.’s offerings are sure to satisfy even the pickiest palates.

4. Vesturbær District – Exploring Fusion Cuisine and Cozy Atmosphere

Restaurant 7: Kopar Restaurant

Kopar Restaurant stands out among its peers due to its innovative take on Nordic cuisine. Chefs here skillfully combine traditional Icelandic ingredients with global influences, resulting in a truly unique and memorable dining experience. With stunning views overlooking Tjörnin Lake, Kopar Restaurant sets the stage for a romantic evening or a casual lunch with friends.

Restaurant 8: Snaps Bistro Bar

Snaps Bistro Bar is a hidden gem nestled amidst the bustle of downtown Reykjavik. Its intimate ambiance makes it the perfect spot for enjoying a glass of wine or a craft beer alongside a delicious meal. Here, guests can sample everything from classic Icelandic staples to modern European creations, all prepared with care and served with a smile.

As you traverse the streets of Reykjavik in search of things to eat in Reykjavik, remember to keep these establishments high on your list. By visiting Matur og Drykkur, Brauð & Co., Kopar Restaurant, and Snaps Bistro Bar, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s rich culinary tradition and discover why Reykjavik continues to captivate discerning foodies worldwide.

Snaps Bistro Bar in Reykjavík

Snaps Bistro Bar in Reykjavík

 

5. Grandi District

Restaurant 9: Marshall Restaurant + Bar

When it comes to diverse culinary experiences in Reykjavik, Marshall Restaurant + Bar in the Grandi District stands out for its international menu options that cater to every palate. From succulent steaks to fresh seafood dishes, this restaurant offers a fusion of flavors that showcase the best things to eat in Reykjavik. The elegant ambiance and attentive service elevate the dining experience, making it a must-visit for food enthusiasts looking for a taste of global cuisine in the heart of Iceland.

Restaurant 10: Slippbarinn at Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

Nestled within the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina, Slippbarinn is a hidden gem in the Grandi District known for its innovative cocktails paired perfectly with delectable dishes. This establishment goes beyond traditional dining by offering a unique culinary journey where craft cocktails complement and enhance the flavors of each dish. Indulge in a gastronomic adventure that harmonizes taste and creativity, making it an essential stop for those seeking unforgettable dining experiences while exploring the diverse things to eat in Reykjavik.

>> See more: 10 Restaurant in Reykjavík

6. Hlíðar District

Restaurant 11: Ostabúðin Delicatessen

In the charming Hlíðar District, Ostabúðin Delicatessen shines as a haven for cheese lovers with its exquisite cheese platters selection that showcases the finest local and international cheeses. This cozy establishment invites guests to savor artisanal cheeses paired with carefully curated accompaniments, providing a delightful culinary experience that embodies the essence of things to eat in Reykjavik. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a novice cheese enthusiast, Ostabúðin Delicatessen promises a memorable gastronomic journey through the world of cheese.

Restaurant 12: Kaffi Vinyl

For those seeking vegan-friendly options in Reykjavik, Kaffi Vinyl in the Hlíðar District offers a diverse menu that celebrates plant-based cuisine without compromising on flavor or creativity. This trendy café not only serves delicious vegan dishes but also provides a vibrant atmosphere where music and art converge with culinary delights. Explore a menu filled with innovative plant-based creations that highlight the best things to eat in Reykjavik, making Kaffi Vinyl a must-visit destination for vegans and food enthusiasts alike.

7. Breiðholt District

Restaurant 13: Kryddlegin Hjörtu (Spicy Hearts)

In the Breiðholt District, Kryddlegin Hjörtu, aptly named Spicy Hearts, offers a fiery culinary experience with its array of spicy Icelandic dishes that pack a punch of flavor. From traditional Icelandic stews infused with aromatic spices to zesty seafood creations, this restaurant caters to spice aficionados looking to explore bold and tantalizing flavors among the diverse things to eat in Reykjavik. Step into Kryddlegin Hjörtu and embark on a gastronomic adventure filled with warmth and spice that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Restaurant 14: Potturinn og Pannan (The Pot and the Pan)

For those craving hearty comfort food in Reykjavik’s Breiðholt District, Potturinn og Pannan, known as The Pot and the Pan, offers a menu brimming with soul-warming dishes that evoke feelings of nostalgia and satisfaction. This cozy eatery specializes in comforting classics prepared with love and care, ensuring each bite is a taste of home away from home. Indulge in hearty soups, savory stews, and wholesome meals that embody the essence of comfort dining among the diverse things to eat in Reykjavik. Potturinn og Pannan invites you to savor simple yet delicious fare that warms both body and soul.

>> See more: 10 best things to do in Iceland!

8. Grafarvogur District

Restaurant 15: Fjörukráin – Viking Village

At Fjörukráin – Viking Village, diners are transported back in time with a unique Viking-themed dining experience. The restaurant’s rustic decor, complete with traditional Viking artifacts, sets the stage for an immersive culinary journey. Guests can indulge in a menu inspired by ancient Icelandic recipes, featuring hearty dishes like smoked lamb and fermented shark. The ambiance, coupled with live entertainment showcasing Viking sagas, makes dining at Fjörukráin a truly memorable experience that captures the essence of Icelandic history and culture.

Restaurant 16: Kaffi Rauðka (Red Cafe)

Kaffi Rauðka offers a cozy café atmosphere where visitors can unwind and enjoy a relaxing meal or a cup of coffee. Nestled in the heart of Grafarvogur District, this charming cafe exudes warmth and hospitality. The menu boasts a selection of freshly baked pastries, sandwiches, and light bites, perfect for a quick snack or a leisurely afternoon treat. Whether you’re seeking a quiet corner to read a book or catch up with friends, Kaffi Rauðka provides a welcoming retreat for locals and tourists alike.

Kaffi Rauðka (Red Cafe) in Reykjavík

Kaffi Rauðka (Red Cafe) in Reykjavík

9. Árbær District

Restaurant 17: Íslenski Barinn (The Icelandic Bar)

Step into Íslenski Barinn for an authentic taste of traditional Icelandic bar food options in the heart of Árbær District. This cozy establishment prides itself on serving classic Icelandic dishes with a modern twist, showcasing the best of local ingredients and flavors. From hearty meat stews to fresh seafood delicacies, the menu at Íslenski Barinn offers a diverse range of options to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re craving comfort food or looking to sample Icelandic specialties, this charming bar is a must-visit for those seeking an immersive culinary experience.

Restaurant 18: Kaffihús Vesturbæjar (West End Café)

Kaffihús Vesturbæjar, also known as West End Café, is a hidden gem in Árbær District known for its delightful homemade pastries selection. This quaint cafe exudes a cozy atmosphere that invites guests to relax and indulge in sweet treats made with love and care. From freshly baked cinnamon rolls to decadent chocolate cakes, each pastry is crafted to perfection, offering a taste of Icelandic baking traditions. Whether you’re stopping by for breakfast or treating yourself to an afternoon pick-me-up, Kaffihús Vesturbæjar promises a delightful culinary experience that will leave you craving more.

West End Café

West End Café

10. Mosfellsbær District

Restaurant 19: Matur og Drykkur at Fjörukráin

Experience the essence of traditional Icelandic cuisine in a countryside setting at Matur og Drykkur within Fjörukráin in Mosfellsbær District. This charming restaurant combines authentic flavors with picturesque surroundings to create a dining experience like no other. Guests can savor classic Icelandic dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients, highlighting the freshness and quality of each bite. From hearty lamb stew to tender fish fillets, the menu at Matur og Drykkur showcases the best of Icelandic gastronomy against the backdrop of serene countryside views.

Restaurant 20: Gamla fjósið (The Old Cowshed)

Gamla fjósið, aptly named The Old Cowshed, offers farm-to-table cuisine that celebrates the bounty of Iceland’s natural landscapes in Mosfellsbær District. This unique dining establishment transforms an old cowshed into a culinary haven where guests can enjoy innovative dishes crafted from seasonal produce and organic ingredients sourced from local farms. The menu at Gamla fjósið reflects a commitment to sustainability and quality, with each dish telling a story of tradition and innovation. Whether you’re seeking an unforgettable dining experience or simply appreciating farm-fresh flavors, The Old Cowshed promises an exceptional journey through Icelandic cuisine.

Conclusion

From Viking-themed dining experiences to cozy cafes and countryside settings offering traditional Icelandic fare, Reykjavik’s culinary scene is as diverse as it is delicious. By exploring these top restaurants across ten districts, visitors can truly immerse themselves in the rich flavors and cultural heritage that define Icelandic cuisine.

As you venture through Reykjavik’s vibrant neighborhoods and sample its array of culinary delights, remember that each bite tells a story of tradition and innovation. Discover new flavors, connect with local culture, and create lasting memories through the diverse culinary scene that Reykjavik has to offer – truly an adventure for your taste buds!

10 best things to do in Iceland

Iceland, often referred to as the “Land of Fire and Ice,” is a captivating destination that offers a wide array of activities for travelers. From otherworldly landscapes to unique cultural experiences, here are the top 10 best things to do in Iceland, each catering to different interests and ensuring an unforgettable journey.

1. Visit the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a world-renowned geothermal spa, boasting mineral-rich waters known for their healing properties. Visitors can indulge in the rejuvenating experience of soaking in the lagoon’s milky blue waters, surrounded by Iceland’s volcanic landscape.

Blue Lagoon - Iceland

Blue Lagoon – Iceland

2. Explore the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route that encompasses three iconic natural attractions: Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Hot Spring Area, and the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall. This route offers a glimpse into Iceland’s geological and historical significance.

Golden Circle in Iceland

Golden Circle in Iceland

3. Hike in Skaftafell

Skaftafell, located within Vatnajökull National Park, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The area features awe-inspiring landscapes, including glaciers, lush valleys, and imposing peaks, making it an ideal destination for hikers of all levels.

Skaftafell in Iceland

Skaftafell in Iceland

 4. Whale Watching

Iceland’s coastal waters provide an excellent opportunity for whale watching. Enthusiasts can embark on a thrilling adventure to spot various whale species, such as humpback, minke, and blue whales, creating unforgettable memories in the process.

Whale Watching in Iceland

Whale Watching in Iceland

5. Visit the Northern Lights

Iceland is renowned for its spectacular displays of the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. Travelers can witness this natural phenomenon, which illuminates the night sky with vibrant hues, creating a truly mesmerizing experience.

Northern lights in Iceland

Northern lights in Iceland

6. Try Icelandic Food

Immerse yourself in Iceland’s unique culinary scene by sampling traditional dishes such as fermented shark, smoked puffin, and succulent reindeer. The country’s cuisine is a reflection of its rich cultural heritage and is sure to delight adventurous food enthusiasts.

Icelandic Food

Icelandic Food

7. Shop for Local Crafts

Iceland is famous for its exquisite handicrafts, including intricately knitted sweaters, cozy woolen blankets, and beautifully crafted ceramics. Visitors can explore local markets and shops to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs that showcase the country’s artistic traditions.

Icelandic Crafts

Icelandic Crafts

8. Attend the Secret Solstice Festival

For music aficionados, the Secret Solstice Festival, held in June, offers an extraordinary celebration of music and culture. Set against the backdrop of Iceland’s stunning landscapes, this festival coincides with the summer solstice, providing an unforgettable experience for attendees.

Secret Solstice Festival

Secret Solstice Festival

9. Visit the Westfjords

The Westfjords, a remote and rugged region of Iceland, are characterized by dramatic coastlines, towering cliffs, and picturesque fishing villages. This off-the-beaten-path destination is perfect for travelers seeking unspoiled natural beauty and authentic cultural experiences.

Westfjords

Westfjords

10. Explore Reykjavik

As the vibrant capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik is a hub of cultural attractions and urban charm. Visitors can explore iconic landmarks such as the Harpa Concert Hall, the towering Hallgrímskirkja Church, and the striking Sun Voyager sculpture, all while immersing themselves in the city’s dynamic arts and music scene.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik

In conclusion, Iceland’s diverse range of activities, from natural wonders and outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and culinary delights, ensures that it has something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a food connoisseur, or a music lover, Iceland’s captivating attractions and unique experiences are certain to leave a lasting impression.