The center of Reykjavík, especially in the heart of the city and the famous 101 district, is packed with some incredible restaurants for all tastes and budgets.
For additional information about the capital, check out our guide to Reykjavík. Here are our top 5 restaurants in Reykjavík.
Iceland is an expensive country, in fact very expensive, so if you plan to eat out every night, you need to budget accordingly. Of course, it all depends on what you are looking for and where you go. There are cheap snacks and street food sold at "Pylsur” stalls all over Reykjavík, and for a few hundred crowns you can sample a typical Icelandic mutton hotdog for example.
There are no “McDonald's” in Iceland, but there are a few equivalent fast foods chains like “Aktu Taktu” near the Sun Voyager in central Reykjavík, with prices in line with the fast food prices around Europe (about 1500 ISK per menu).
For a restaurant meal, you'll be looking at 2000 to 4000 ISK for a main course dish. A more upscale mutton or fish dish usually costs around 4000 ISK, and a good pizza around 3000 ISK.
We have selected a few choice restaurants for tourists looking for a good deal in the capital. Most restaurants in the city center are located in the 101 district, around Laugavegur. All offer package menus with starters and main courses for example, or you can just pick à la carte.
Located in the center of the capital, very close to the famous Lake Tjornin, the Fish Market (Fiskmarkadurinn) is, as its name suggests, a restaurant that's all about fish. The cooking style is quite modern, the fish is fresh and local, and customers leaving the Fish Market rarely have anything bad to say about it.
As a historic fish market, the restaurant sources directly from local fishermen to ensure only the best quality. The lobster soup is truly delicious...
The open kitchen is a lovely touch, allowing customers to see the cooks at their stations working their magic. It is probably one of the best restaurants in Reykjavík, so the prices are quite steep (2500 to 3000 ISK for a starter and 4000 to 6000 ISK for a main course).
Le Perlan is probably the most famous restaurant in the capital and for good reason.
You'll have to venture outside the down-town area to eat here, but it's worth it. The restaurant is perched on a hill such that it overlook the capital, offering customers a breathtaking view of the city center. And the panorama literally goes 360°! The restaurant itself rotates so that every customer can enjoy the view from every angle.
Keep in mind this is a gourmet restaurant and prices reflect this standing. The desserts are particularly delicious, and we recommend the Skyr and its chocolate mousse in particular.
Glò is a vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Laugavegur (in fact it is a chain with 3 locations in the capital). But this is not just any vegetarian restaurant but a multi award-winning one, and was recently elected by Grapevine as the best vegetarian restaurant in the country.
This is saying a lot, as veggie options are standard in Iceland, in fact the “health food" market is huge as in all Scandinavian countries, so the distinction is all the more important.
The prices are correct and you can even enjoy convenient take-out options as Glò offers “bags” with package menus for around 5,000 ISK.
The Loki Café is just a stone's throw from Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral in the heart of Reykjavík, a delicious and inexpensive little restaurant where you can try all the local specialties without breaking the bank.
For under 2,000 ISK you can try some very popular Scandinavian dishes. For example, the bravest among you can try Hákarl (fermented shark meat) or the rye toast topped with fish (much like Smørrebrød in Denmark). For under 1,300 ISK you can also try out soups and a few main courses.
A clear favorite! Located on the harbor, the Sea Baron is typical of the local restaurant culture, a charming place with delicious food and reasonable prices for Iceland.
For example, a delicious lobster soup with a huge salmon skewer will put you back 3200 ISK, while a single skewer costs about 1700 ISK, and both are top shelf.
The restaurant has become quite famous, however, so we strongly recommend you book ahead of time in summer to be sure to get a table at this prized establishment.