Restaurants in Reykjavik
Although the national diet is quickly diversifying, fish and lamb are still consumed in great quantities - and, reportedly, it can be quite hard always to find a vegetarian option on Iceland's restaurant menus. Despite this, however, Reykjavik's restaurant scene is exciting and cosmopolitan, as restaurateurs rush to embrace fusion cooking, and attempt to offer fresh interpretations of international dishes using local ingredients.
Traditional fare, available everywhere - but probably only for the more gastronomically adventurous - includes harðfiskur (dried fish-meat, eaten with butter); svið (singed sheep's head); slátur (sausage made from blood and offal, like black pudding); hrútspungar (pickled ram's testicles); and hákarl (putrefied shark-meat). There is also, controversially for some, the option of eating whale-meat while in Iceland - and if you really want to push the boat out, you can get it with some grated puffin on the side.
Those with tamer appetites will be relieved to know that a staple of the Icelandic diet is the pylsa - a good, old-fashioned hot dog, served with fried onions, ketchup and mustard.
Sjavarkjallarinn (Seafood Cellar)
This award winning seafood restaurant serves some of Reykjavik's finest seafood in a funky and contemporary setting. Located in the city's oldest cellar, diners can feast on fusion dishes such as the Lobster 'pick me up', served with truffle, foie gras and cauliflower, before diving into the Icelandic salted cod served with polenta, papaya and peach - perfection! Bookings essential.
Address: Aðalstræti 2
Telephone: +354 511-1212
The Pearl Restaurant
The unique and exciting Pearl Restaurant is located on the top floor of the Perlan building on a revolving platform with offers breathtaking panoramic views over the beautiful night lights of Reykjavik, completing a full revolution every two hours. The cool stylish décor sets the scene for a night of luxury where diners can feast on dishes such as the marinated Klaustur trout served with Russian blinis (pancakes), dill cream and horseradish sauce, or the pan fried pheasant with polenta and Porchini mushroom sauce, before finishing things off with a passion fruit tart with mango sorbet. Open dinner only. Bookings recommended.
Address: Perlan, Oskjuhlith
Telephone: +354 562-0200
Situated in one of the oldest houses in the centre of Reykjavik, Restaurant Lækjarbrekka is a classic Icelandic eatery serving traditional fare in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Don't be shocked to find horse carpaccio or whale on the menu as these are local delicacies in Iceland. Enjoy the langoustine soup with cognac and cream, while brave diners can sample a traditional Icelandic dish, grilled steak of Minke whale with mashed potatoes and Brennivin sauce. After dinner retire upstairs to the bar and cognac room to sip on an aperitif and enjoy the Icelandic hospitality. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: Bankastræti 2
Telephone: 551 4430
Austur Indía Fjélagið
Described as 'the most northerly Indian restaurant on the planet', Austur India Fjelagid offers delicious, authentic Indian cooking, in a romantic and charming setting. Travellers cannot stop raving about the freshness of the ingredients, and the inventiveness with which the dishes are spiced. A highly popular restaurant, make sure to book well ahead.
Address: Hverfisgata 56, Reykjavik
3 Frakkar Hja Ulfari
A restaurant perpetually full, and always full of local Icelanders, 3 Frakkar Hja Ulfari has been described at the 'best-kept secret' of the Reykjavik restaurant scene. Tucked away in a residential neighbourhood, the restaurant offers a beautiful and romantic ambience, and has a world-famous selection of (mainly) fish and seafood dishes. An ideal venue for a date, be sure to book well, well ahead.
Address: Baldursgata 14, Reykjavik
Telephone: 552 3939
Fiskfelagid (Fish Company)
Fine dining in Iceland is typically centered in the incredibly fresh and wholesome seafood. Fiskfelagid makes the most of these assets with their celebrated cuisine served in stylish surrounds. Try the "tour of Iceland" which is a tasting menu of modern interpretations of traditional dishes. The lobster pizza is also interesting. The service is friendly and skilled.
Address: Vesturgotu 2a
Telephone: +354 552-5300
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