Fish tapas in Reykjavic, Iceland

Reykjavik's Best Restaurants for Eating Like a Local

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Written by
Murray Mitchell

Published on: October 3rd, 2017

Last modified: February 16th, 2024

There are many places to find outstanding haute cuisine in Iceland. In Reykjavik in particular, there is often nothing greater than sitting down at a restaurant to sample local delicacies.

Over the years of learning from our guides on the ground and sending clients to Iceland, we've found that these are Reykjavik's best restaurants for eating like a local.

Local seafood
Spicy kick
Sweeping views
Kaffi Loki

1) Kaffivagninn

For simple, yet exceptionally tasty food, Kaffivagninn is unanimously one of the team’s favourites. By the harbour, this snug institution has been around for 80 years, frequented by everyone from fisherman to politicians. It is mostly known for its Fish Pan – a selection of fish perfectly seasoned and fried in a pan.

Salmon, Kaffivagninn, Reykjavik, Iceland

2) Mandi

If you’re craving something with a bit of a spicy kick, Mandi is the nicest place to get a lamb shawarma in town. This cosy eatery also does excellent falafel and hummus, catering for vegetarians.

Food, Mandi, Reykjavik, Iceland

3) Kaffi Loki

Kaffi Loki serves simple local food such as meat soups, homemade bread and tasty cakes. Perfect for warming lunches or a quick snack. It also offers fabulous views over Reykjavik, the Hallgrímskirkja church and Bláfjöll mountains.

Food, Kaffi Loki, Reykjavik, Iceland

4) Snaps

Snaps has a number of bistro style dishes, predominantly of French origin. It’s a relaxed and informal restaurant with great food such as Croque Monsieur or Moules Frites. If you are thinking of visiting on a Saturday evening, it is wise to make a prior reservation as it is known to get quite busy.

Interior view, Snaps, Reykjavik, Iceland

5) Seabaron

The quaint Seabaron tavern, located right by the harbour, offers a fantastic selection of local fish and seafood, including whale meat and lobster. Choose your favourite and see it placed on a skewer and freshly cooked to perfection.

Exterior view, The Seabaron, Reykjavik, Iceland

6) 3 Frakkar

Possibly one of the most adventurous restaurants in Reykjavik, 3 Frakkar is a family run place serving local delicacies such as sashimi whale, smoked puffin and fermented shark, as well as meat options of pickled lamb brain and grilled horse. It’s also recommended to make a reservation here.

Food, 3 Frakkar, Reykjavik, Iceland

7) Baejarins Beztu

Although covered in our ‘Reykjavík Restaurant Recommendations’ article, we had to give the iconic Baejarins Beztu another mention. This beloved hot dog stand, made famous by Bill Clinton, serves delicious and simple hot dogs – a must-try for any nordic country.

Bill Clinton eats Hot Dog, Baejarins Beztu, Reykjavik, Iceland

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