Where to Eat: Reykjavik, Iceland
We discovered this bakery on our first morning in Reykjavik and returned every day for chocolate croissants! It’s tiny, so you might not get to sit while you eat, but the food is incredible and they blast indie rock all day. It’s right down the street from Hallgrimskirkja; you’ll be able to spot it from half a mile away thanks to its vibrant exterior.
We came across this gastropub while wandering around Reykjavik on our first day. Its inspiration is a little confusing—a Scandinavian-yet-British pub with Asian tapas—but the food and decor were stunning!
We had our first dinner here thanks to its high TripAdvisor ratings and gorgeous, woodland-themed interior. It’s not cheap—as with many Reykjavik restaurants, it’s marked as $$$$. We got around this by ordering one delicious entree and glass of wine each, then split a dessert. (The kitchen sent over an appetizer on the house, too!) We left full & happy!
This restaurant quickly became our favorite spot in Reykjavik—we dined here on two consecutive nights because of its warm ambiance and intriguing menu. On the first night, we tried Arctic char & lamb—which we’d heard were the dishes to try on our visit—along with a selection of local cheeses and a tangy skyr mousse. On Night 2, we returned to sample baked Camembert, goose, plaice (a delicious white fish), and tiramisu, which were all ravishing. If I could recommend any restaurant, this would be it!
My Advice for Dining in Iceland
Expect to spend a lot on food & drinks in Iceland. The sticker shock is unavoidable. The food is worth it (expect to pay $45-65 per plate at a nice restaurant), but a bottle of wine may not be. It can set you back $150-200 (apparently because Iceland only recently began to allow alcohol), so you may want to stick to a glass of local beer (we recommend Einstök White Ale if you’re a fan of Belgian whites!) and reallocate that money toward your meal instead.
The dishes you have to try: The salmon is 100% wild and is absolutely delicious. If you want to try a fish you’ve never had before, I highly recommend Arctic char (just like salmon in texture, but with a milder taste) and plaice (a delicious, meaty white fish that even those who find white fish boring will love!). They’re extremely proud of their lamb in Iceland as well—I don’t eat it, but Alex got it almost every night! Lastly, skyr is a type of yogurt that has been enjoyed in Iceland for over a thousand years. It’s very high in protein and has a characteristic tangy flavor that fans of Greek yogurt will love.
Bonus: A recipe, inspired by Ostabúðin!
Vanilla Skyr Mousse with Berry-Chia Jam
1 pint of cream
1 large container of Siggi’s vanilla skyr (24 oz.)
1 egg white (you’re eating it raw, so make sure it’s from a smaller farm with high quality standards)
~1/2 tbsp. of vanilla extract (optional – depends on how strong you want the vanilla flavor to be)
~1/4 cup of powdered sugar (optional – depends on how sweet vs. tangy you want it to be)
1 package of frozen berries (strawberries are my favorite!)
~1/2 cup of chia seeds
Put the frozen berries into a pan with ~1/4 cup of water and simmer on medium until the solid pieces dissolve and the liquid begins to thicken. Set it aside to cool. When it’s room temperature, stir in the chia seeds & let them soak up the liquid overnight. In the morning, you’ll have chia jam!
Pour the cream, skyr, egg white, and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Whip into a frenzy… or until the mousse forms moderately stiff peaks. You want it to have a light, airy texture compared with the original skyr.
Layer the skyr mousse & berry jam into mason jars, and enjoy for breakfast or dessert! (I know I do.)
Which meal are you dying to try? Let me know in the comments!