From seafood delicacies to Europe’s best hot dogs, the Icelandic capital’s culinary offerings are anything but dull.
Reykjavik is one of Europe’s most alluring capital cities, offering big city amenities whilst retaining a village feel thanks to a population of just over 120,000 people. In addition to its stylish bars and array of art galleries, the city also boasts some of northern Europe’s finest restaurants.
Icelandic Fish & Chips
It may be a dish most commonly associated with a day out in a British seaside town, but that hasn’t stopped Icelandic Fish & Chips from establishing itself as a popular seafood eatery. Having taken inspiration from the British way of serving up seafood in a ‘take away style’, the owners set about creating a menu of fresh, healthy dishes using nothing but the best of Icelandic ingredients. This means the batter is made without eggs or vegetable oil, and the chips are oven-roasted instead of fried.
The health-conscious approach is not to the detriment of the taste, however, as diners can enjoy a feast of some of the finest local seafood delicacies. Choose from grilled langoustine, steamed mussels and a range of seasonal fish from a constantly evolving menu. Don’t forget to sample their selection of homemade dips either, including tzatsiki, ginger and wasabi, tartar, truffle and tarragon mixes.
With a chef competing in the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious gastronomic cooking competition, it’s no wonder that Grillið restaurant is known as one of the best places to eat in Iceland. Located on the top floor of the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel, Reykjavik, Grillið can also boast one of the finest 360 degree views of the city.
A three, four or seven course tasting menu is available. The dishes are prepared with the freshest, in-season ingredients and contain traditional Icelandic flavours with a contemporary flourish. A vegetarian tasting menu is also on offer and specially selected cheeses can be added by request. Fantastic service and a warm welcome combined with incredible dishes serve to bring diners back time and again to this Reykjavik restaurant.
BBP – The Best Hot Dog in Town
The direct translation of BBP (Baejarins beztu pylsur) is simply ‘the best hot dog in town’ – and few would disagree. Don’t expect a luxurious sit down meal however; BBP is nothing but a humble hot dog stand serving up what many consider to be the tastiest hot dogs in Europe. Expect long queues of locals, visitors and celebrities; previous customers include former US President Bill Clinton. Favourite toppings include ketchup, mustard and fried or raw onion. Fancy sampling all of it? Then simply ask for ‘the works’ when ordering and you’ll soon be tucking into an almighty hot dog feast.
BBP has four locations across the city, with the stand on Tryggvagata remaining open until 4.30 am on Friday’s and Saturday’s. It’s the ideal pit stop after a night on the town. Fish Market
The fishing industry forms a key part of the Icelandic economy, and whilst the majority of their seafood products are exported, there are still plenty of restaurants in Reykjavik dishing up the very best of locally caught seafood. The aptly named Fish Market is one such place, specialising in combining the country’s freshest seafood ingredients with modern and oriental flavours.
The Fish Market buys all its ingredients directly from farmers and fishermen in order to serve up the freshest possible food on your plate. The modern menu features everything from grilled Minke whale marinated with horseradish and soya ginger sauce, to lobster soup and grilled salmon served with parsnip, apple and fennel salad. There’s also a healthy wine, beer and cocktail list to complete a dining experience which is sure to thrill your taste buds.
What is your favourite restaurant in Reykjavik?