CultureRestaurantsSavor the Flavor: Best Restaurants in Reykjavik Guide
Best friends sitting in restaurant for dinner and making a toast with white wine. On table is food.
Go Car Rental Iceland travel writer Leah BIlquist
By Leah BIlquistNov 29, 2023 • 16 min read

Savor the Flavor: Best Restaurants in Reykjavik Guide

Iceland’s massive volcanoes and cascading waterfalls are just one of the reasons tourism is so popular. But did you know that Reykjavik, the country’s capital, has an expansive food scene? There are plenty of restaurants for you to enjoy here with cuisine from all over the world! From hot dog shacks to Michelin-star restaurants, there is something for every traveler. Here are our picks for the 25 best restaurants in Reykjavik!

KRÖST

Stop by one of Rekavik’s hottest restaurants, KRÖST. Head chef Bodvar Lemacks worked as a chef at Argentina Steakhouse and Grill Market previous to becoming head chef here. His passion for food and cooking is displayed in the delectable dishes and fresh menu items.

View on the bar of Krost Restaurant and its cooks

Each dish has a recommended wine to pair with it, making it an elegant dining experience. Try the Grilled Cod which has cauliflower purée, green apples, crisps, small potatoes, and white wine sauce. The light and fresh Chicken and Avocado Salad is delish, topped with sweet pistachios, grapes, and vinaigrette. You cannot go wrong with any dish or glass of wine at KRÖST!

Website: https://krost.is

101 Reykjavik Street Food

Want to dine at a casual restaurant that has amazing food? Then stop by 101 Reykjavik Street Food, located in the heart of downtown. The restaurant highlights local Icelandic meals as well as international cuisine. With the slogan of “There’s no shortage of great food, drinks, and a good conversation.”, there is no question you are dining in a welcoming place.

Try the Icelandic Traditional Lamb Meat Soup, Fish Stew, and Icelandic Skyr Créme Brûlée. A great place to grab lunch or dinner, especially on a cold Iceland day.

Website: https://101reykjavikstreetfood.is/

Messinn

Craving Seafood?

Then book a reservation at Messinn located in the center of Reykjavík. You can have either lunch or dinner here. They specialize in fresh seafood, including their signature fish pans.

Try their starters, which include Giant Prawns served with dried raw ham, lemon marjoram, mushroom "bygotto" and Icelandic barley with mushrooms, onions, garlic, white wine, cream, and parmesan cheese.

One of their most delicious main courses is the Seafood Pasta. The pasta is packed with chard, cod, king prawns, cream, cream cheese, white wine, leek, garlic, mushrooms, carrot, garlic bread, and salad. We think you should try one of their many Fish Pans too since it is their specialty. Some include the Fish Stew served with béarnaise sauce, cod, potatoes, onions, garlic, celery, white wine, cream, lemon, and rye bread. Every dish at Messinn is fresh from the sea and absolutely mouthwatering.

They also have a location in the center of Selfoss, a highly-rated dining experience to indulge in during your road trip by rental car.

Website: https://www.messinn.com

Fish Company

Looking for a meal prepared by a master chef? You can find one by making a reservation at the Fish Company. Masterchef Lárus Gunnar Jónasson runs this popular restaurant that showcases Nordic fusion dishes combined with traditional Icelandic cuisine.

 one of the dishes of the Fish Company restaurant, particularly nice to see

Try the Iceland Onions Appetizer which has diced cod roe with hollandaise, popped quinoa & chives, and smoked cod roe cream with cabbage & cauliflower. Then follow it up with Chile Diced Salt Fish, served with creamed shiitake Banka barley, almond potato chips, two tomatoes, and olive oil.

Want to try something different? Then order up The Fish Club Sushi Party, which is a perfect dish for sharing. It is a premium sushi plate that features the king shrimp tempura roll, lind shell crab, Tuna & salon, sesame seeds & chili, truffle cream & orange. Hungry yet?

Website: http://fishcompany.is/

Lamb Street Food

Want to try another authentic Icelandic restaurant? Then stop by Lamb Street Food. Their ideology is to specifically honor the Ramm Icelandic Traditions. They combine this with the centuries-old eating habits in the Middle East. All with the purpose to adapt cuisine to changing eating habits, honoring the food tradition, and supporting local food production.

3 dishes and a tray of colorful sauces at Lamb Street Food, Iceland

They make all of their daily sauces with the famous Skyr and olive oil. While also using fresh herbs. Such as coriander and parsley, and spices such as turmeric, chili, ginger, sumac, and za'atar. So fresh and delicious.

Try their signature Falafel Blends which include the Grass Eater, served with hummus, crunchy greens, roasted turmeric potatoes, beet and carrot blend, tomato, cucumber, chili-mint sauce, and date sauce.

A must-try is their Kofta, which is grilled minced lamb served with Lebanese spices, freshly baked naan bread, salad, cacik sauce, and dukkah with seeds. Lamb Street Food really showcases Icelandic Cuisine mixed with Middle Eastern flare.

Website: https://www.lambstreetfood.is/en

La Primavera Ristorante

Enjoy a little slice of Italy when visiting Iceland by dining at La Primavera. This Italian restaurant sits in the Marshall House, in Reykjavik. The food tradition comes from Northern Italy and is combined with premium Icelandic ingredients.

restaurant cook rapping parmesan cheese on a pasta dish before shipping

Indulge in their fresh pasta, including their Agnolotti and Seafood Linguini. You can also try their Parma Ham which sits on toasted bread with goat cheese sauce. Their seasonal menu includes fried deer with chestnut sauce, oyster mushrooms, polenta, and pomegranate. Pair your dishes with a glass of wine from their extensive wine list. Ciao!

Website: https://laprimavera.is/

Matur og Drykkur

Book a table at Matur og Drykkur, a family-run restaurant specializing in classic Icelandic cuisine with a modern twist. They pride themselves on using ingredients from Icelandic nature and both the land and sea. So you can expect your meal to be fresh yet innovative.

Colorful and perfectly presented fish plate with fork and knife, Reykjavik

The restaurant received a Michelin Star in 2022, which is a huge deal. Try their award-winning menu for yourself when visiting Reykjavik. They offer a seasonal 6-course menu. that is constantly changing. That way they can offer you the freshest and best ingredients every time. The six-course menu is 12,900 ISK or $90 per adult and you can add the optional wine pairing for 9,500 ISK or $67. A once-in-a-lifetime dining experience.

Website: https://www.maturogdrykkur.is/

ÓX

If you want a quaint yet magical dining experience, spend your evening at ÓX. This exclusive 11-seat restaurant was created by Chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson. He will prepare your multi-course meal in an old Icelandic kitchen.

uncluttered tartlet at the restaurant OX, Reykjavik

The menu changes constantly due to new dishes or seasonal ingredients. Menu items can feature shrimp, reindeer, caviar, scallop, rye bread and so much more. It is an amazing dining experience that will tantalize your palate.

Website: https://ox.restaurant/

ROK

This list would not be complete without a tasty brunch spot for you to enjoy. Which is why ROK made the list. Brunch is served in this rustic yet chic restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 - 15:30.

view on the fabulous bar of the restaurant ROK

The Bruschetta is done with roasted tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella cheese, basil, and gremolada. The Lax- og Avocado Rist is lemon-cured salmon, horseradish, and avocado served on roasted rye bread. The Nautasteik Bernaise is a beef tenderloin served with bearnaise sauce and roasted potatoes.

Pair your meal with a glass of bubbles! You can get a Mimosa, MOET or an Aperol Spritz. In addition to brunch, you can enjoy lunch or dinner here too!

Website: https://www.rokrestaurant.is/

Krua Thai

Nestle yourself in the small yet cozy restaurant of Krua Thai. The restaurant provides authentic Thai cuisine for you to enjoy. Their menu is big and has something for every Thai cuisine lover.

focus on a special dish at Krua Thai Restaurant

Some menu items include Pad Thai served with chicken or shrimp. Tom Ka Gai, which is a chicken soup in coconut milk, served with rice. Meat in oyster sauce served with ginger, rice, chicken, or pork. You really cannot go wrong with any menu item, especially during a winter day in Iceland. Watch the snowfall on the city streets right from your table.

Website: http://kruathai.is/is/

Café Loki

Take in the majestic views of Hallgrímskirkja church while dining at Cafe Loki. Here you can try some of Iceland’s traditional foods.

Plate of black bread with fish purée and smoked trout Galette with smoked meat, dried fish and pheasant shark

Try the Icelandic Plate Loki which has rye bread slices, mashed fish (Plokkfiskur) & smoked trout. A Flatbread with smoked lamb, fried fish with butter, and the taste of fermented shark. The Icelandic plate Baldur, has two rye bread slices, one with mashed fish & the other with egg & herring. Don’t leave without trying Loki’s unique Rye bread ice cream.

The Steamed Cod is to die for. The fresh steamed fish is lightly salted and served with fresh greens, potatoes, and their house sauce. End your meal with the popular Icelandic Braveheart. Which includes a Brennivíns shot, rye bread, a flatbread, dried fish with butter, and a bit of fermented shark. This is one of the most popular traditional Icelandic dishes that all visitors would love to experience.

Website: https://loki.is

Vegan World Peace

It is not hard to find mouthwatering Vegan Food in Iceland and this includes Vegan World Peace. This Asian restaurant makes its dishes from seasonal ingredients and is known for its authentic Asian dishes.

Vegan World Peace Restaurant and focus on plate of vegan food

Grilled vegan fish, tom yum goong, and japchae Korean noodles are just some of their dishes. Delicious desserts include baked apple tort and panna cotta. If you are seeking an authentic Asian dish that is catered to vegans but can be enjoyed by everyone, visit Vegan World Peace.

Three Coats

Spend some time at Three Coats, a restaurant loved by both tourists and locals. The restaurant Þrír frakkar by Úlfari was founded on March 1, 1989, and has been run by the family of Úlfari Eysteinsson, chef since then.

Team of the Three Coats Restaurant, black and white picture

This Icelandic Restaurant is known to specialize in fish dishes. Traditional Icelandic Food such as whale meat and sea birds are also offered here. If you are looking for a less adventurous dish, try the Grafin Laxarós með graflax sósu which is cured Salmon rose with gravlax sauce. Or the Blandaðir sjávarréttir “gratín” Þorskur which is a mixed seafood “gratin” cod, shrimp, and mussels.

Three Coats is a fun adventure that allows you to truly try some of the infamous, weird, and traditional Icelandic dishes, all with a delicious spin on them! Some of these dishes you may even find features at the popular Icelandic event, Thorrablot.

Website: https://www.3frakkar.is/

Höfnin Restaurant

Höfnin Restaurant is known to be a homely place to dine, right near the marina in Reykjavik. If you are planning on doing a whale-watching tour, the restaurant sits in a perfect location. The main whale-watching companies are in front of the windows, where hundreds of tourists and visitors every day.

Incredible view on the port, from the Hofnin Restaurant

They have plenty of dining options too. Their main menu is offered in the evening and you could even partake in a three-course dinner. Or, stop by at happy hour to enjoy some drinks and appetizers while watching the sunset over the water. In the winter, you can cozy up with their shellfish soup that has langoustine, mussels, scallops, fennel, and whipped cream. The vegan-friendly Spanish Paella will stimulate your taste buds as it's packed with fresh spices. A tasty restaurant that sits in a gorgeous setting.

Website: https://hofnin.is/

Mat Bar

Grab a specialty cocktail with dinner at the chic Mat Bar. The restaurant is known for its artistic menu that pairs well with its handcrafted drinks.

assortment of 4 dishes at Mat Bar Restaurant

Their extensive dinner menu includes Smoked Haddock Mousse served with bell pepper salsa and chives. Lobster Tacos are served with wasabi, lemon kosho, and hot sauce. Their Cheesecake with berry granita and gingerbread is a must-try when visiting. The Mat Bar is a great place to enjoy when looking to spend an evening exploring Reykjavik.

Reykjavik Pizzeria

Let’s talk about pizza! Because the list has to showcase a local pizza joint that sits in the heart of Reykjavik. These fire-baked pizzas are absolutely delish and can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner.

They have a variety of options, including a Chili Banana Pizza, which includes sauce, cheese, banana, and chili. You can also try a traditional Margherita pizza, which has sauce cheese, and oregano. The Pizza Flugvirkjans has sauce, cheese, pepperoni, garlic, mushrooms, jalapeño, green bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, green peppercorn, cream cheese, black pepper, oregano, and salted peanuts.

Reykjavik Pizzeria is a local’s favorite for grabbing a good pizza pie, so you have to try it for yourself when visiting Iceland!

Website: https://www.reykjavikpizzeria.is/

Jómfrúin

In 1888, Oscars Davidsen’s highly praised smørrebrød restaurant in Copenhagen took the city by storm. Today you can try the popular Danish restaurant of Jómfrúin, which stands for the best in Danish smørrebrød. Smørrebrød highlights a combination of seafood, meat, vegetables, and condiments that are normally enjoyed with a cold local beer and snaps. Yum!

view on the green facade of the restaurant Jomfruin by night

Try their open-faced sandwich which has rye sourdough bread. Or try their Veal Schnitzel, served with potatoes, capers, green peas, lemon, and,skysovs. Their Salt Baked Celery Root is a great option for Vegans, served on rye bread with a pistachio-mayo, pickled fennel, fried mushrooms, and roasted pistachios. Jómfrúin is a lovely place to enjoy a meal while learning all about Danish culture while visiting Reykjavik.

Website: https://www.jomfruin.is/

Frederiksen Ale House

Who doesn’t love a good ale house? Frederiksen Ale House is a family-owned establishment that has a variety of beers and pizzas. Which we all know is a dynamic duo. Some of the pizzas offered are Napoli which has San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil, pepperoni, cracked black pepper, and parmesan shavings.

You can also try the unique Toffee and Marshmallow Calzone. The calzone is packed with toffee and marshmallows, of course, and topped with a dark chocolate glaze and hazelnut crocant.

Ask your server or bartender which ale pairs best with your meal of choice! They have plenty of different ones to offer at this friendly restaurant.

Dill

Spend your evening enjoying a meal at the first restaurant in Iceland to be awarded a Michelin Star, Dill. The Michelin Star Award is very prestigious as it is known to be the highest of culinary excellence. This Reykjavik restaurant opened in 2009 and was later awarded the Michelin Star in 2017. You can expect Nordic cooking paired with dishes that tell stories of nature and farmers throughout the Icelandic countryside.

focus on clean dish at dill restaurant

Their menu is always changing to keep up with new and fresh ingredients. Some dishes featured have been Smoked Trout, Braised Goose Legs, and Oland Bread. If wine is a passion of yours, then you will highly enjoy Dill’s wine list. Their bottles are “organic and provocative wines” that match their distinct cuisine. Dill is more than just a restaurant, it is better described as a culinary journey. So it is no wonder why it landed a spot on our Best Restaurants in Reykjavik list!

Website: https://www.dillrestaurant.is/en/home/

Sumac Grill + Drinks

Dine at one of the most popular restaurants in the country, Sumac Grill + Drinks. Inspired by the nostalgic atmosphere of the city of Beirut. Sumac is a place where everyone can enjoy delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and sultry Mediterranean cocktails!

View on dishes at Sumac Restaurant

Their menu includes snackable dishes for you to share and pair with imaginative cocktails. These include the Crispy Falafel served with herb tahini, Saffron Cuz Cuz served with onion, raisins, and almonds. Don’t forget to add the Grilled Za'atar flatbread too! Their full entrees feature a Goat Shoulder from Haafelli that is paired with apricots, pomegranates, and mechoui.

Enjoy all of these meals with a fun cocktail, such as Saha which is smoked and has green bell pepper. Sumac Grill + Drinks is the place to be for a fun evening out in Reykjavik.

Website: https://sumac.is/

Forréttabarinn

Take in the views of the Old Harbor in Reykjavik at Forréttabarinn. This modern restaurant showcases a delectable menu as well as the Appetizer Bar. Which has a selection of appetizers and desserts in various shapes and sizes, and international or national beers.

a burger that is particularly appealing at Forrettabarinn Restaurant

Then try some of their main courses such as the Cajun Hamburger and Smoked BBQ Pork Leg which is served with dijon dressing, onion rings, and pickled cucumber. Their entrees offer vegan or vegetarian options as well, which means there is truly something for everyone! Make sure to ask your server about the cocktail of the month. A beautiful establishment with yummy options and a happy hour, all in the core of Reykjavik.

Website:https://www.forrettabarinn.is/

Old Iceland

Old Iceland is a well-known restaurant in Reykjavik for many reasons! The main focus of the Chefs is to showcase Icelandic produce in their delectable dishes. They even gather their spices and herbs from the Icelandic mountains. A fantastic way to satisfy your hunger while learning about the country.

a tasty, uncluttered dish at the Old Iceland restaurant, with a bottle of wine in the background

Some menu highlights are the Lamb Ribeye and a Slow-cooked Shoulder of Lamb which comes with baked parsnips, fried potatoes, beetroots, parsnip pureé, and demi-glace.

The Pönnusteikt Bleikja is a pan-fried arctic char served with Celeriac-potato mash, pickled celeriac, hazelnuts, and sauce from brown butter, capers, and mustard seeds. End your meal with the Hjónabandssæla Mömmu, also known as “Moms Rhubarb cake”, which has white chocolate, skyr-cream, and berries.

Want to try a little bit of everything? Take advantage of the Three Course Menu! Which has cured salmon, lamb ribeye or filet of cod, and a brownie. The three-course menu with cod is 8.590 ISKor $60. The three-course with lamb is 9.490 ISK or $65.

Website: https://oldiceland.is/

Brass Kitchen & Bar

Located on the ground floor of the four-star Alda Hotel is Brass Kitchen & Bar. This is an unbelievable place to sit back and relax while sipping on a glass of wine and snacking on a meat and cheese board.

You can also have a full dinner here. Indulge in the Steak Tenderloin which has bearnaise sauce, fries, fried broccoli and pumpkin seeds. Get authentic and try the Icelandic Lamb Burger, served on brioche bread. Whatever you try, you will not be disappointed when visiting Brass Kitchen & Bar!

Website: https://www.brass.is/