Technically our first meal in Reykjavik was at our Hotel, Thingholt, which was usual breakfast fare (eggs, bacon, potatoes, croissants, bread, cereal, etc) and nothing worth noting down. We were barely awake when we got up in time for breakfast, and I don’t remember much about it. So on our first day, we sauntered down Laugavegur and to our surprise, that Thursday was a holiday, and everything was closed… except for this little lunch spot, “Mmmmm…” which was a nice homey style place with a stark white decor. I had fried chicken, which was tasty.
Our first night, we didn’t go fancy, but we did go to one of the best restaurants in Reykjavik, “Icelandic Fish and Chips.” The name says it all… they have an extensive selection of fresh fish, and are located right beside the harbour.
I’m not one for Crepes, but I went for the plunge at Kofi Tomasar Frænda, which was another cafe near our hotel. It was also amazing.
According to our cab driver from the airport, the best lamb stew in all of Iceland is available at the Gullfoss rest stop near the waterfall, and he was completely right. They didn’t have “take away” containers, so we got our stew in coffee cups… it was totally worth holding up the tour bus.
Over the course of our stay in Reykjavik, I had many, many lattes and americanos at Mokka Kaffi, the first place in Iceland to install an espresso machine decades ago.
Besides fish, the best thing you can get in Iceland is a hotdog (called a Pylsur). These babies are “healthy,” made from ground lamb and pork, and pretty cheap (which is great, because you’ll want more than one at a time). When you get it with everything on it, the mustard/gravy combo is perfect, with a crunchy layer of onions underneath the dog. There’s one very popular place in Reykjavik, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which we visited several times.
The best meal we had in Reykjavik, was the much hyped “Dill” restaurant, located in the Nordic House, just outside the city centre, near the university. As you can see, they serve a contemporary cuisine with many courses, and each one was surprising and complicated. This is the “can’t miss” restaurant of Reykjavik, and for the style and quality served, it’s an amazing deal cost-wise, especially considering the price would be over double in NYC or Toronto.
Back to reality, I adopted local haunt Prikid as my Scandinavian Java House spot, and enjoyed their easy going take on “regular” food (basically, as a not lover of fish, I was ready for a burger… any kind of burger). I followed this lunch up with their specialty desert, the “Bruce Willis” milkshake, which has caramel, two shots of espresso and two shots of Jack Daniels.
Second last lunch was at “Scandinavian” restaurant in downtown Reykjavik, and I had this nice little Danish style roast beef sandwich.
Finally, the last “great” dinner of our trip was with our new British friends Jim and Zoe at Fish Market in downtown Reykjavik. Someone had heard that the lobster dishes were to die for, and whoever said that were right. However, I went for the mountain lamb, which was also quite satisfying.
And then finally, the last meal in Reykjavik was back at Prikid, where I had this “California Love” chicken sandwich, while watching the traffic pass by under our window.