r e y k j a v i c r e s t a u r a n t
g u i d ec r o w d e d w o r l d
The last time I went to Iceland, my diet consisted of nothing more exciting than hot dogs and hamburgers and the mysteriously named drekka samloka ("dragon sandwich"), which I enjoyed at my buddy's corner store in the heart of the capital. That was cool, because I knew I wasn't in Reykjavik for the food -- I was there for the kick ass music and the Midnight Sun! The first time I went to Iceland, I couldn't afford to eat anything at all! That said, if you have the money, there are some gourmet options in the country -- mostly in Reykjavik, but also in other towns and villages. This website is basically the attempt to catalogue all of these aforestated Icelandic dining options.
If you are living in Iceland, or planning to visit for a holiday, it is interesting to take part in all the seasonal festivities which happen here. For example, there is Thorri, a Viking festival held on the Friday in the 13th week of the year. Each February Perlan (one of Reykjavik's most important sites) hosts a Thorri Day of its own for 200 guests. An hour's walk about Öskjuhlíð is followed by servings of hot cocoa and rum, after which a banquet is held with traditional food as it was prepared a thousand years ago. Thorlaksmessa, held two days before Christmas in honor of Iceland's native saint, is another festival you could experience if you were so inclined.
Apótek Bar Grill: Pósthússtræti 7 | 101 Reykjavík | Sími: 562 4455 | Web: http://www.veitingar.is.
Apotek Bar-Grill is one of the newest restaurants in Reykjavík. The building at Austurstræti 16 formerly housed the pharmacy Reykjavíkurapótek, which lent the restaurant its name.
The food at this place is not cheap -- but this is Iceland after all, what did you expect? The maki sushi on the menu (basically rice and seafood type stuff wrapped in seaweed) will set you back 300Kr a plate, which is about five times what you would expect to pay for the same thing in Tokyo (but I guess this is not Japan!) Grilled flounder with fried noodle cake and ponzu-noisette sauce goes for 2860Kr, while the salted cod with cardamom sauce, mashed potatoes and bacon is a steal at 2990Kr (equal to the cost of about six big glasses of beer in a swinging Reykjavik bar!)
Asian Express: Strandgata 220 | Hafnarfirði | Sími: 5553737 | email@example.com.
Hér er meiningin að bjóða upp á asíska rétti úr heitu borði og eru fánar ríkjanna notaðir til stuðnings. Gæti verið flott en er bragðlítið og varla meira en þokkalegt.
This seems to be a popular place in Iceland, and is fitted with "hot tables" so you can watch the delicious food cooking at your table (just the way it is done in Phuket or Seoul!) Plenty of Icelanders recommend this place, in the southern suburban sprawl of Reykjavik (on the way to the international airport.)
Galbi: Barónsstígur 2-4 | 101 Reykjavik | Sími: 544 4448.
This place is billed as the only Oriental steakhouse in Iceland, and serves up Korean barbeque dishes with Icelandic ingredients (lamb, seafood, pork and beef and vegetables.) Stuff yourself with kim'chi while you are here -- that stuff absolutely rocks! Galbi Restaurant is located inside Fosshotel Baron on Baronstigur in Reykjavik Center. It is only a few steps from the major bus terminal Hlemmur and a few steps from the main shopping street Laugavegur.
After dining at Galbi, Iceland Guest wrote: "My experience of Oriental food was strictly confined to supermarket take away so it was therefore, with some excitement and curiosity that I decided to visit the restaurant which is located inside Fosshotel Baron at Baronstigur in Reykjavik city center, just a minute walk from Laugavegur.
"Thin, tender slices of beef, lamb, pork, fish and mix of vegetables are marinated in different seasonings, such as ginger, garlic, fennel, horseradish, mint, coriander, etc. A tabletop burner has been installed in the middle of the guest table were the courses are grilled as you enjoy the food. The main courses are served with fresh vegetables, salad, sauces, rice and Kimchi, an exotic Korean vegetable. The meal of above five courses including the side dishes cost ISK 2.880,- per person with free refills as you like at no extra charge. When you visit Galbi be sure you try the home made North Pole ice cream. It will probably be the best you will ever have. Galbi offers fairly good selection of wines from ISK 2.800,- per bottle. The dining room is equipped with eight grill tables with seating capacity of about 50 only so reservation is recommended.
"After dining out at Galbi my attitude to Korean food is completely different..."
Mekong: Sigtún 3 | 105 Reykjavik | Sími: 562 9060.
This is in Icelandic: "Mörgum finnst þetta fínn staður en ég mér var umsvifalaust refsað fyrir að halda fram hjá Krúa Thai, sem ég hef sannfærst endanlega um að er langbesti thai staður landins. Hér er allt miklu dýrarar og miklu verra. 3 örsmáar vorrúllur á 810 kall, þokkalegur kókóskjúklingur (samt bragðlaus og slappur) og svo viðbjóðsleg rækjufóstur í brúnuvatni. (auglýst sem "kjúklingur í sætri sósu"). Sleppi þessum stað framvegis."
Sticks & Sushi: Aðalstræti 12 | 101 Reykjavík | Sími: 511 4440 | Web: www.sushi.is/fla/main.html.
Sticks'n'Sushi is a Danish chain with restaurants across Scandinavia and now Iceland, which as everyone should know is a Norse country, not a Scandinavian one. The chain's philosophy is to take the discipline and Zen thoroughness of a Japanese kitchen, and introduce it to the cosmopolitan throngs of Europe. The menu features nigiri sushi ("held/grasped sushi" -- sushi you can hold in your hand) such as salmon (270Kr), unagi (eel -- 490Kr), kolkrabbi (octopus -- 390Kr) and smokkfiskur (squid -- 370Kr), as well as some truly Icelandic touches/tastes like the lamb with garlic and beef (320Kr and 330Kr respectively.) Other categories on the menu include gunkan sushi ("battleship sushi") and maki sushi ("sushi wrapped in seaweed"), plus various things on sticks: yakitori ("grilled birds" -- the duck breast with leek will set you back 490Kr), roasted lambs, pigs, horses and cows (try the fillet of beef in miso sauce for 420Kr) and sashimi (basically sushi without the rice). This is said to be the best sushi restaurant in Reykjavik, and is located near the heart of town.
The Sushi train: Iða, Reykjavík.
If you are hungering for sushi while you are in Iceland, this could be your place. As one Icelander wrote in their exhaustive restaurant guide: "XXXX Loksins! Sushi-færiband í Reykjavík. Komum í hádegi á sunnudegi og var nokkuð þétt á færibandinu. Dótið rann hjá með góðum varíöntum. Verðin eru 200, 250, 300, 350 og 500 á disk. Nokkuð vel sloppið bara. Ferskt og gott og svo hægt að sérpanta. Fékk mér Californiu kramarhús og er enn að sleikja út um. Pottþétt pleis fyrir sushi frík!"
Yes you read that right! -- there is a good variety of sushi in this restaurant. Plates go for 200, 250, 300, 350 and 500 Kronurs a pop, which is more than you would expect to pay in your local sushi restaurant in Japan -- but what can you do, this is the North Atlantic! This is what you would call a "sushi train" restaurant.