So I’ve just got back from 5 days in Iceland where I saw some of the most amazing sights including the mesmerising northern lights, Skogafoss waterfall and Geysir, but also found some great restaurants in Reykjavik I want to share.
On our first night we had made a reservation at Grillmarkaðinn thanks to a recommendation from friends. The restaurant was beautiful from the moment you walked down the spiral stairs decorated with a modern style chandelier to the natural and rustic feel to the dining area which reflected Iceland’s natural landscape perfectly with the wood, rock (lava) effect.
Here we enjoyed their fabulous 8 course tasting menu with Icelandic delicacies like shark and puffin on the menu. Personally I wasn’t a fan of the smoked puffin sliders as they have a very strong flavour but the shark meat was smoked and sliced carpaccio style not too dissimilar to swordfish. Each dish that came out was delicious from the bread and butter with lava salt to a delicious melting chocolate dome for dessert.
On our third night in the northernmost capital in the world we headed down to the old harbour having found out our northern lights tour was cancelled for the second night in a row and found Höfnin. A family run restaurant right in the dock of the old harbour that has an incredibly friendly and warm vibe to it. The restaurant is in an old aqua green fishing house which has been kept true to its roots with authentic wooden beams and interior.
For starter I had the soup of the day followed by the chef’s favourite Lamb Curry. The lamb shanks were unbelievably tender and the meat fell off the bone, but what really set this dish apart from anything I’ve had before was the sweetness of the soft cooked banana in the mild and creamy curry sauce.
My boyfriend had the set menu which started with cured reindeer and asparagus, followed by the restaurants signature Shellfish Soup. Main course was Lamb cooked two ways with roasted carrots and crispy turnip but the red wine jus was the icing on the cake so to speak and really complemented what was already an excellent, hearty dish.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur simply translates as the best hot dog in town and is a popular hot dog stand in central Reykjavík near the old harbour. The majority of Icelanders have eaten at Bæjarins beztu which has been open since 1937 with foreign visitors coming to the stand where they can sample what is often called “the Icelandic national food.” Be sure to order ‘the works’ (eina med ollu) which includes ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. A truly delightful cheap eat to sample when in the heart of the city exploring.
Enjoy your trip and hopefully you’re as lucky as us and get to see the Northern Lights!
Grillmarkaðinn, Lækjargata 2A, 101 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Höfnin, Geirsgata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, Tryggvatagata 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland