Lounge at 101 Restaurant and Bar, Iceland

101 Restaurant and Bar

The weekend scene at the 101 reflects the hotel’s stylish decor; dress to impress and be prepared to drop around $20 for a cocktail. The many cozy seating nooks and gas fireplace make this a romantic spot.

Dinnig Area at 3 Frakkar, Iceland

3 Frakkar

This is the place to go for a truly traditional Icelandic meal.  Since opening in 1989, this small, family-run restaurant has been popular with locals and tourists alike. The décor is a bit kitschy (mounted fish and game heads on the walls) and the food is authentic, as opposed to the reimagined nouvelle Icelandic cuisine served in many of Reykjavík’s trendy restaurants. Adventurous eaters will find their shark and puffin dishes here.

Note: Book ahead to be sure to get one of the 44 seats.  Lunch is a better deal than dinner.

Bar  at Apotek Kitchen & Bar, Iceland

Apotek Kitchen & Bar

Set in the former apothecary from which it takes its name, this buzzy new restaurant right in the heart of Reykjavik pays homage to its history with a cocktail menu divided into categories: painkillers, stimulants, tranquilizers and placebos. The menu features a mix of Nordic cuisine with specialties like small plates of mink whale and ling as well as international standards like dry-aged rib eye and salmon. During the day, there is a wonderful pastry counter in the front of the restaurant serving French pastries including macaroons and eclairs.


With its neon-lit bar and clusters of tables, B5 is a good place to start a night on the town. A DJ spins on the weekends, and the crowd is a mix of young professionals and affluent locals. B5 is transformed into a nightclub in the wee hours, but on a recent trip we left too early (1:30 A.M.) to witness the switch.

Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (Hot Dog Stand)

This small stand on Reykjavík’s waterfront with the intimidating name—it simply means “best hot dogs in town”—is popular with both locals and visitors (Bill Clinton is one of its most famous customers). If you order “eina mid öllu,” you get the works, including raw and fried onions, ketchup, may, sweet relish and mustard. It’s a convenient and quick stop during Reykjavík sightseeing, especially if you’re traveling with kids.

Editors' Picks

Brauð & Co.

Perfect for morning treats or afternoon snacks, Brauð & Co. is a must-try bakery for handmade pastries (don’t miss the cinnamon rolls), breads and soft pretzels. Guests can sample some of the delicious treats while watching the bakers in action.

Food at Dill, Iceland


A purveyor of New Nordic cuisine (local, seasonal), Dill offers an elevated approach to traditional Icelandic fare. Dinner may be a seven-course affair with wine pairing, while the lunch menu could include a hearty fish stew or meatballs with a twist. In 2017, Dill became the first restaurant in Iceland to be awarded a Michelin star.

Eldur & Is

At first glance, this family-run café may seem like a regular place to get gelato and crepes, but step inside to discover the quirks that make this a local gem. Meaning “fire and ice,” Eldur & Is is run by a bubbly barista, a local artist whose surreal paintings are displayed in a cozy nook. The café features a piano, Baroque furniture and hanging mosaic lamps. Crepes are made with gluten-friendly spelt and creatively plated. There’s also a long list of fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and the gelato comes in a colorful variety of flavors.

Food at Fish Company (Fiskfelagid), Iceland

Fish Company (Fiskfelagid)

Set in an historic building from 1884, the Fish Company is known for its charming atmosphere and seriously innovative food. The stone cellar dining room has a cozy feeling with whimsical modern touches like copper lanterns that resemble organ pipes and windows panes from a Lutheran church above the bar (tables are set out on the terrace in the summer as well). The owner and chef Larus Gunnar celebrates Icelandic ingredients and a global sensibility with each course named after a different country, using its key ingredient to signify its inspiration (the Japan Rice starter, for instance, is mixed sushi). Fiji Coconut is a boiled fish soup with langoustine, grilled monkfish, coconut jelly and seaweed. France Truffle is a poached egg served in a potato nest with truffle puree, green asparagus and fried wild mushrooms. Make sure to save room for the desserts, including the Egypt Blood Orange, a pyramid of white chocolate and blood orange parfait served with salt caramel, orange leaf and caramel sand.

Editors' Picks
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Fish Market

A Hamburg tradition, the Sunday morning fish market opens at 5am and sells the freshest catches until 10am. Revelers from nearby St Pauli (known for its many music clubs as well as red light district) often spill down to the waterfront market after a night out for fish sandwiches and coffee.

Editors' Picks
Bar at Forréttabarinn, Iceland


This large loft-like restaurant near Reykjavík’s port has a hip, industrial-chic vibe and is furnished with lightwood tables, white chairs, and colorful lamps. The menu features traditional local cuisine served in small, shareable portions—Icelandic tapas.  The bar serves a good selection of local beers and offers a happy hour everyday between 5–7pm.

Dinning Area at Grill Markadurinn (Grill Market), Iceland

Grill Markadurinn (Grill Market)

Smack dab in the middle of the city, Grill Market provides a swanky setting for a memorable night on the town. The restaurant, which is tucked away slightly off the main drag, has a bar on the lower level that serves wine by the glass and cocktails starting at 5pm and a main dining room on the ground level, whose low-lighting and sultry décor favors brown tones in a variety of textures (wood, leather, rattan.)  The kitchen sources ingredients fresh from the farm and so the menu changes according to what is in season.  Adventurous eaters can go for the Grillmarket tasting menu, but it is also possible to order à la carte. As the name implies, there are lots of grilled options: chicken, lamb, salmon, and even lobster.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area at Hótel Smyrlabjörg, Iceland

Hótel Smyrlabjörg

The Vatnajökull region, along Iceland’s southeastern shore, is known for its ice lagoon tours and puffin tours. Surprisingly, there are no fine dining options (or luxury accommodations) near this natural attractions. But if you have traveled this far east and are looking for a satisfying meal, the restaurant at the Hótel Smyrlabjörg is a good bet.  Set on the grounds of a fully operational family-run farm, the restaurant serves simple fare made with farm-fresh ingredients.

Note:  Should you need a place to stay in the Vatnajökull region, Smyrlabjörg offers comfortable, recently renovated suites in the main building.

Dinning Area at Islenski Barinn (Icelandic Bar), Iceland

Islenski Barinn (Icelandic Bar)

A fun place for drinks and comfort food (burgers) where you can also sample unusual local delicacies like fermented shark.  The latter is best washed down with a shot of brennivín—an Icelandic spirit that literally translates as “burning wine” and tastes like caraway seeds.


The oldest operating restaurant in Iceland, this historic establishment is situated right along Reykjavik's waterfront and originated as a watering hole for seamen and locals. Unlike the rest of Reykjavik, it is not hipster-cool but homey in its atmosphere and cuisine.

Food at Kopar, Iceland


Facing out onto Reykjavík’s port, Kopar’s brasserie-style dining room serves up delicately prepared dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.  The young chef/owner honed her skills at Reykjavík’s perennial favorite Fish Market before venturing out on her own.  The menu at Kopar offers traditional Icelandic dishes reimagined with unexpected touches and accompaniments like oven-baked Catfish with pistachios, green kale and cauliflower.

Lamb Street Food

Head to Lamb Street Food in Reykjavik for delicious Mediterranean-style pitas. The eatery offers an innovative take on Icelandic lamb dishes, featuring a Middle Eastern twist.
Interiors at Laundromat Café, Iceland

Laundromat Café

This large and colorfully decorated restaurant features a diner-style menu (burgers, sandwiches, salads) and does a particularly nice breakfast/brunch that ranges from healthy (granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit) to indulgent (spiced sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, grilled tomato, and Stóri Dímon cheese.) Casual and fun, this is a great place to come read the paper (or peruse your guidebook) over a cup of coffee or a beer.  The vibe is relaxed, welcoming, and very family-friendly.  There is even a children’s playroom.

Mokka Kaffi

Reykjavík’s oldest coffee shop, which opened in 1958, is located on a serene downtown side street and makes a wonderful pit stop to refuel over coffee and pastries. The leather booth seating attracts students and creative types who while away the afternoon over hot chocolates and marzipan-covered cakes. Go for the Mokka, a rectangular pastry with a cream-and-jam filling and a chocolate glaze, or freshly made waffles served with whipped cream and fresh berries. Open daily.

Editors' Picks


Located on Laugavegur, one of the most popular streets in Reykjavik, Nostra offers experiential dining at its finest. The tasting menus incorporate local, seasonal ingredients and feel innovative and artful, featuring unique dishes like seared cod with lobster sauce and lardo. Guests can choose from four-, six- or eight-course tasting menus and also have the option of crafting a menu around specific preferences, like vegetarian, pescatarian or vegan diets. The cocktail menu is comprised of infused alcohols and syrups made daily.

Editors' Picks

ÓX Restaurant

Helmed by chef Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon (of fellow Reykjavik restaurant Sumac), ÓX offers an intimate gastronomic experience in a traditional Icelandic kitchen that seats only 11 guests at a time. Diners pre-pay 210 euros per person for a truly memorable, two-and-a-half-hour meal, complete with wine pairings.


A  trendy cocktail bar and restaurant located right across the street from Hallgrimskirkja (iconic Lutheran church), ROK offers a relaxed scene, high quality food and drink and an industrial but cozy interior housed within a classically Icelandic grass-roofed structure.

Saegreifinn (The Sea Baron Restaurant)

Located in the heart of Reykjavík’s old harbor this cozy fish shack owned an operated by a retired fisherman and coastguard chef served up some of the best lobster soup you will ever taste.  The place is very casual (line up to place your order at the counter and then scramble to find a seat at the outdoor picnic tables, cozy back room with shared tables, or more spacious upstairs dining room), but the seafood is fresh and delicious.  Children will enjoy the bountiful kitschy décor, which includes taxidermy animals and a life-size wax sculpture of the owner himself.

Note: There can be a long line on the weekends, so come early or late to beat the rush.


Sandholt is a historic bakery and café, helmed by a fourth generation of artisan bakers, serves what is arguably the city’s best cinnamon bun.
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Featuring seasonal Icelandic ingredients influenced by the flavors of Lebanon and Morocco, Sumac feels at once unique and quintessentially Icelandic. The muted colors of the Lebanese-inspired décor highlight the vibrant hues of flavorful dishes like beef cheek tagine and roasted cauliflower with pomegranate, almonds and cumin yogurt sauce. The restaurant also offers a seven-course tasting menu for the whole table to share.


The popular Valdis ice cream parlor in Reykjavik serves a variety of classic and adventurous flavors. Don't miss the waffle cones.

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