Looking for some great places to eat in Reykjavik? I’ve teamed up with a few of my blogger friends to bring you this list of the best Reykjavik restaurants!
We’ve put this list of the best restaurants in Reykjavik together and tried to include something for everyone. Whether you’re after street food, a high-end tasting menu, or even the most famous hot dogs in town — we’ve got you covered!
The 13 Best Reykjavik Restaurants:
Þingholtsstræti 5 // +354 568 6600
While the name might imply this place only serves sushi, SushiSocial is where I chose to sample many Icelandic delicacies, including puffin, whale, reindeer and Iceland’s famous local lamb.
You can order dishes a la carte, including the sushi, but if you really want to try a few of the same unique local dishes I did, I suggest you order a tasting menu.
We chose the seven course Icelandic feast, which stays true to the restaurant’s mission by combining the best of Icelandic food with Japanese twists.
SushiSocial also specializes in Japanese Wagyu beef, sourced straight from Japanese Black Cattle raised in Japan.
While a bit of a splurge meal, I consider it an phenomenal chance to sample many local dishes in one sitting — totally worth it!
Tryggvagata 1 // 354 511 1566
Bæjarins beztu pylsur literally translates to “the best hot dog in town”. But the many locals and travelers that line up for them everyday might say this place serves the best hot dogs in the world!
The hot dog stand, which has been in business more than sixty years, has become a kind of institution for Iceland visitors. It’s not only been named the best hot dog in Europe, but Forbes even declared the owner the most successful hot dog vendor in the world! Even Bill Clinton has stopped by and tried one for himself.
So what makes this unassuming hot dog so good? The sausage is a combination of pork, beef and lamb, and it’s served with not one, but two types of onions — crunchy fried and raw. Condiments include ketchup, spiced mustard and a mayonnaise flavored with gherkins and capers.
Make sure you order more than one — I guarantee you’ll want at least two servings!
Laugavegur 20b // +354 553 1111
Suggested by: Megan of Megan Starr
Gló was the brainchild of Sólveig Eiríksdóttir and Elías Guðmundsson, and its concept dates back to 2008. In 2013, the pair opened their first location, and it quickly became a huge hit among locals and travelers alike as they embraced organic and local dishes.
Iceland isn’t home to many native ingredients, and for decades, local products were shunned and pushed aside to make room for imported and exotic goods. But Gló helped build an appreciation for Iceland’s special and seasonal ingredients in an effort to create better tasting, natural and sustainable food.
The menu is constantly changing and set daily. They always offer dishes that cater to raw diets, vegan diets, and other patrons as well. Gló has remained popular with locals and now has four different locations, serving the people of Reykjavik and those who come from afar seeking delicious, hearty, and seasonal Icelandic fare.
14 Baldursgata // +354 552 3939
Suggested by: Liliane of My Toronto, My World
3 Frakkar is a longstanding Reykjavik restaurant that was founded in 1989. They focus on fish courses but also serve specialty dishes.
It’s a smaller restaurant with less than fifty seats, so be prepared for a wait depending on what time of day you go.
After hearing so much about Iceland’s expensive food before visiting, we were pretty careful about avoiding nicer sit down restaurants until we got to Reykjavik. We chose 3 Frakkar for their very exotic (to us) menu items.
Our group of 6 got to try a fair amount of the menu, including smoked puffin, whale, wild seabird and horse. The smoked puffin tasted a bit like sashimi.
The rest of the dishes had their own unique textures/flavors but all worth trying. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and if you’re out to try some of the more exotic foods Iceland has to offer then 3 Frakkar is definitely the place to go
Hverfisgata 76 // +354 537 1332
Recommended By: Anastasia of Gallivant Girl
Kaffi Vinyl is a stylish and hip restaurant-turned record store on Hverfisgata in central Reykjavik. It’s also the only vegan restaurant in Reykjavik (and all of Iceland)!.
Kaffi Vinyl is a bar, restaurant and record store all in one. On most nights, you can tuck into vegan dinners, desserts, and drinks as local DJs spin vinyl records from the store’s shelves.
The restaurant has a small but solid menu that includes sandwiches, wraps and soups and hearty meals of vegan noodles, lasagna and salads. You also won’t want to skip the coffee and cakes.
During the day, Kaffi Vinyl functions as a coffee shop and juice bar. With free wi-fi, great music and quirky decor, it’s a great place to hang out, get some work done, and enjoy Iceland’s take on vegan cuisine.
Geirsgata 4a // +354 578 5656
Recommended by: Brianne of A Traveling Life
The casual spot is known for its fish and chips and fish soup — all made with “lots of love,” according to its website.
I chose a heaping basket of perfectly fried fish and chips ($20 US) that definitely hit the spot. Their other dishes, like their Arctic char and steamed mussels, also looked amazing.
The restaurant is located directly across from the harbor, so each dish will definitely be fresh, and there are some nice views as well.
Be sure to order a side of their dill sauce for your fish, and wash everything down with a viking beer!
Austurstræti 22 // +354 562 7335
Recommended by: Sherrie of Travel By a Sherrie Affair
As an Italian, I was excited to find an authentic Italian restaurant on our last night in Reykjavik. Caruso’s is located in a house-like building at Lækjargata and Austurstrae in the historic area of Reykjavik.
When we entered Caruso’s, I immediately felt like I had stumbled into someone’s home. Wood floors wooden beams, white tablecloths and napkins donned every table. We were led upstairs to their second floor — a lovely decorated attic space. The ambiance is romantic, with candlelight and a gentleman softy playing his guitar.
Caruso’s serves wood stove pizza, pasta, lamb and seafood. Their seafood risotto was absolutely delicious and will rival any found in Italy. My husband devoured the Bolognese, while I thoroughly enjoyed their catch of the day. To end the flawless evening, we ordered the Caruso’s Liquid Chocolate Cake…scrumptious!
The service was attentive and friendly, the atmosphere perfectly cozy and romantic, and the food delicious. No wonder Caruso’s is a favorite!
Vesturgata 2 // +354 552 3030
Suggested by: Carole of Travels With Carole
Located in Reykjavik’s center, this large restaurant is situated inside a four-story historical house named Old Dock. Built in 1863, it’s the city’s third oldest house.
Groups of diners are seated in cozy clusters throughout the restaurant’s open interior, where friendly servers do their best to keep things moving. The chefs are quite skilled and manage to prepare a large number of delicious meals every night (the restaurant is open only for dinner).
When I dined here, I chose an Arctic char appetizer punctuated with deep red beet puree and beautifully presented like a work of art.
Other choices include smoked whale, curried herring, and the more familiar coconut shrimp. My main dish was a delicious and satisfying monkfish with Hollandaise sauce and potato cake. All fish items were impeccably fresh, and a few non-seafood items like turkey breast are also available. I washed it down with a delightful Italian Pinot Grigio.
I finished my meal with a satisfying slice of white chocolate cake with caramel paste, but you can also choose cheesecake or a brownie. I’d love to return to this yellow house someday for another delightful repast.
Laugavegur 103 // +354 551 3198
Suggested by: Michael of The World Was Here First
During our trip to Iceland, we predominately bought food from supermarkets and cooked ourselves, as this is definitely an excellent strategy for reducing costs while travelling in Iceland. But, on our last day in Reykjavik, on a chilly April morning, we were keen to warm ourselves up and stumbled across Noodle Station, a simple noodle soup restaurant.
Noodle Station has a very basic menu of noodle soup with either beef, chicken or vegetables. But this simplicity in no way reflects the quality of the dishes themselves. The soups are absolutely delicious and made with a mix of secret ingredients based on a family recipe from the owner’s Thailand heritage.
Given Reykjavik’s chilly climate, Noodle Station is a fantastic way to warm up and enjoy delicious Asian flavors in the Icelandic capital. It is also a fantastic place to visit on a budget — the noodle soup with vegetables costs less than 1000 ISK!
Noodle Station currently has three locations around Iceland, including one in downtown Reykjavik that’s a great lunch stop after a day of sightseeing.
Laugavegur 54 // +354 551 2999
Suggested by: Luke and Meagan of Two Restless Homebodies
When you visit Iceland in the winter, you’ve got to be ready to spend your days slack-jawed with wonder at the natural beauty around you… and hunched against some pretty piercing wind. The best remedy? a hot tub at the local gym or community center before walking down to Svarta Kaffid, right on Laugavegur, in the middle of Reykjavik.
This second story, pub-like spot keeps two giant copper cauldrons of soup on their bar — which is also fully stocked with local and imported Euro brews. While ingredients and recipes change daily, one soup is always veggie-based and the other meat-based. The soups are hearty, creamy, and served in fresh, to-die-for bread bowls.
And at just $18 USD per person (minus beer), it’s one of the tastiest and most affordable meals you’ll find in this otherwise pricey town.
Pro tip: eat there outside the usual dinner rush, especially on cool days. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself queued up around the block!
Háskólatorg – University Square, University of Iceland // +354 570 0890
Recommended by: Lotte of Phenomenal Globe
Studentakjallarinn (Student Cellar) is a phenomenal and affordable dining option located on the University of Iceland campus. The eatery offers lunch and dinner with generous portions at fair prices.
Their vegan and vegetarian options can be found alongside other options, like this hamburger served with a side of sweet potato fries and nachos. The food, while admittedly not haute cuisine, exceeded our expectations.
The restaurant mainly services students, and the atmosphere is quite relaxed. In fact, the night we visited, we found a lively scene of mostly international students chatting while playing cards and drinking a beer.
They also plan to introduce a new brunch menu soon.
Nautholsvegur 52 // +354 444 4050
Suggested by: Natasha of Meldrums on the Move
Satt, an Icelandic restaurant through and through, serves locally sourced produce from the area’s best farmers and fishermen. The dishes are traditional Icelandic recipes with modern twists and a light and wholesome approach.
Located within the popular Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik., Satt is on the outskirts of the city and targets tourists over backpackers. I found the quite classy.
The restaurant offers lunch and dinner daily and brunch Friday through Sunday. Every meal is served buffet style. The buffet unites classic brunch items alongside healthy courses and several signature items.
While a bit limited, the menu boasted both local and international favorites, including fish a chips (with sweet potato fries,) carbonara and Caesar salad. They also had some delicious wood-fired pizza.
Be sure to also check out their daily happy hours and rotating two for one specials.
8 Lækjargata // +354 691 3350
Suggested by: Talek of Travels With Talek
Icelandic Street Food is a small, cozy restaurant in the center of Reykjavik. Inside, customers dine communally at long counters with wooden stools. And while the place may appear a bit unassuming from the outside, its looks are very definitely deceiving. The food is fantastic! Despite their name, they don’t serve typical street food. The restaurant specializes in shellfish and lamb soups served in an edible bread bowl.
What really makes Icelandic Street Food so appealing is the restaurant’s owner — a friendly, funny, pleasant guy in a bow tie who happily explained the characteristics of Icelandic food and treated us to a sample of his grandmother’s pastries.
Icelandic Street Food is a great place to take the chill off in this cold but warm-hearted city.
Which of these Reykjavik restaurants looks best to you? Let me know in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this post please consider pinning it using the image found below!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.