Restaurants in Reykjavik
Although the national diet is quickly diversifying, fish and lamb are still consumed in great quantities in Iceland - and, reportedly, it can be quite hard to find a vegetarian option on restaurant menus. Despite this, however, Reykjavik's restaurant scene is exciting and becoming increasingly 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 tempting 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.
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
A restaurant perpetually full, and always full of local Icelanders, 3 Frakkar has been described at the 'best-kept secret' of the Reykjavik restaurant scene. Tucked away in a residential neighbourhood, the restaurant is cosy and quaint, and has a world-famous selection of (mainly) fish and seafood dishes. An ideal venue for a date, be sure to book well ahead.
Address: Baldursgata 14, Reykjavik
Telephone: +354 552 3939
Named after the Norse god of mischief, Kaffi Loki is a cosy little place for a quick lunch or a slice of cake. It's centrally located just across the street from Halgrimskirkja and has a beautiful mural depicting its namesake. Try the rye bread ice cream for a unique taste experience or more traditional Icelandic fare like fermented shark. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Address: Lokastigur 28
Telephone: 466 2828
Fiskfelagid (Fish Company)
Fine dining in Iceland is typically centered on 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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