Reykjavik is best for...
Markets: Go to the food markets located next to the Koloportid flea market to discover tasty cheeses, pastries and dulse
Traditional dishes: Make sure you try the Arctic char, cod and lamb on your trip, all of which are traditional Icelandic ingredients
Superb seafood: Seafood in Reykjavik is second-to-none, with everything from lobster to pickled herrings available
Language: The language spoken in Reykjavik is Icelandic
Currency: The currency used in Reykjavik is the Iceland Krona
Local time: Reykjavik is 1 hour behind GMT/UK time
Fly to: Reykjavik's main airport is Keflavík International Airport
While Reykjavik might be a small city, it packs an awful lot into its colourful streets. The Reykjavik food scene is continuing to blossom, ranging from traditional cuisine to outlandish culinary creations. Many of the bars double as restaurants, opening their beer pumps by day and their kitchens by night, offering everything from mezze-style dining to sumptuous, multi-course dinners.
If you want to sample traditional Icelandic meals, you’ll find plenty of restaurants that serve both locals and visitors alike. Matur og Drykkur has been critically acclaimed as one of the best restaurants in Reykjavik and warrants a special night out. Here, you can sample dishes such as smoked lamb and birch-infused honey and cod’s head served with blueberries.
For a quick, convenient snack, Baejarins Betzu Pylsur serves outstanding pylsur served with mustard, ketchup, raw and cooked onions and slathered with remoulade. For a mid-range meal, the Laundromat Café offers delicious dishes served in quirky surroundings. Reykjavik’s relationship with the sea goes back thousands of years and the locals are justly proud of the quality of the seafood it provides. Pickled herrings are incredibly popular and fine-dining restaurants serve up lobster with a sweet, clean flavour. Alternatively, make your way to Fiskfelagid to enjoy meals such as salt cod and blackened monkfish, set in a comfortable basement restaurant.
Food markets are a superb way to enjoy the best of Icelandic food. For a taste of almost every kind of cuisine on offer, look out for the Hlemmur Food Hall, which takes its inspiration from the great food halls of Europe. To discover local cheeses, traditional dulse, and flaky pastries, the food markets near the Koloportid flea market are well worth a visit.
Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping street is home to some of the best bars in Reykjavik. As it’s so compact, you’ll find most of them within a few feet of each other, making a pub crawl in Reykjavik an easy night out. For quieter drinks, the nearby street of Hverfisgata has its fair share of watering-holes, which tend to be favoured by the locals.
To get in with the hip crowd, the Kaffibarinn bar is the place to go. Considered to be one of the best bars in Reykjavik, it offers modern music and cool cocktails.
If you want to mix with the locals and enjoy a drink without the presence of the party crowd, the Kaldi Bar offers laid-back surroundings and friendly service.