Recommended restaurants in Iceland
We stumbled across two restaurants in Iceland that we’d highly recommend. Although I’m not a foodie, I did research a few places before our trip. Our sources included a tour guide, a local photographer, and an Icelandic blog. So here’s what made the top of our list:
Kopar – This restaurant’s location on the harbor in Reykjavik made every seat have a fantastic view. Recommended by a local, it was nice to walk around the old harbor and look at all of the boats before our visit. Our hotel was in the city center, so the old harbor is a short walk away. Kopar is actually the word for copper in Iceland. The restaurant tries to use local food and produce items in the menu. This means that the choices are much more limited in the winter. Hubby had the rock crab soup and we shared an appetizer of cod tongues. They did have horse on the menu, but were offering beef as a substitute during our visit. Apparently there was some sort of horse meat strike going on? Anyway, the food was excellent and the service was outstanding. I even enjoyed the bread and licorice salted butter. I hate licorice, so you know it had to be good.
Kopar has a wide variety of interesting cocktails, but we chose to stick with beer. We sampled some Icelandic brews that we hadn’t seen yet on our travels. We’d already tried Gull and Viking on the trip, so this time we went with Myrkvi and Borg. Those beer names sound like a sci-fi novel, am I right? We had dinner here after our midnight sun snorkeling tour in the Silfra fissure. We weren’t dressed up and fit in just fine. A few fellow diners were dressed nicely, but they didn’t even bat an eye at us. A reservation was not necessary, we did not have to wait for a table, but it was a kinda late. Dinner prices were moderate. The appetizers were around $16 and the most expensive entree was about $50. Prices are better at lunch, but it’s a smaller menu.
Sudur Vik – This restaurant is located in a charming house in the village of Vik. If you rent a car to travel outside of Reykjavik to see waterfalls and puffins, Vik is one of the larger towns on the southern coast. I have to give a big shout out to the blog I heart Reykjavik for this recommendation. It was nice to have a plan after a long day of driving and seeing the sights. Sudur Vik‘s location on a small hill gives patrons a great view of the town, the sea, and the rock formations on the beach. The variety of food here is amazing, and we noticed a lot of locals at the surrounding tables. I always see that as a good sign! Hubby had the pizza which was big enough for 2 to split. However, I’m not a big pizza person, so I settled for a Thai curry dish. Hubby was happy since he tends to miss his favorite food items from home while traveling. With great views, cold beer, and pizza for Hubby, it was a great pick. I will say the service was a little spotty, but you could tell the locals were keeping the waitstaff on their toes.
Honorable Mentions: Since Icelanders are a little fanatic about their hotdogs, I have to mention one of the stands. The Betzu hot dog stand is located on the city center outskirts directly across the street from the Radisson Blu 1919 hotel. It has been in existence in some form since 1937 and Clinton ate there during his visit to Iceland. Since we stayed at the Radisson Blu 1919 hotel, it was really convenient. Locals will tell you that it has the same hot dogs as any other stand. There is sometimes a queue, and there is one picnic table outside. It’s an economical meal that you need to try just once while in Iceland. Valdis is an amazing ice cream shop located in the old harbor area. If you grab a bite at Kopar, you can walk a little further to Valdis for dessert. Valdis serves Italian style gelato that is made in the store daily. There are 18 different flavors that change daily and you’ll enter and take a number in order to make your selection. Don’t let the crowd dissuade you from trying it. The line moves fast and you’ll need that long to figure out what you want anyway. I had an Icelandic cookie gelato (think vanilla combined with gingerbread and shortbread) and Hubby had something with peanut butter. The scoops are large and satisfying. I would definitely visit there again.
As you can see, Iceland had a lot of options for eating out. Everything from a high end meal on the harbor, to a hot dog stand on the street. We definitely enjoyed the variety and the fact that they all had menus in english. None of our meals were sponsored in anyway, and all my opinions are my own. I really did like the licorice salted butter! I promise!