Food & drink in Reykjavík

The young lady

Food and drink in Reykjavík is quite pricey compared to most other countries. To keep costs down, I cooked a lot at the hostel and had three meals at restaurants.

On my first day in Reykjavík I visited the Danish restaurant Jómfrúin (virgin or young lady) on Lækjargata (River Street). Their traditional Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) have been popular for 25 years. My “open sandwich burger” was tasty but left me still a bit hungry after a day of travelling and walking. The steep price of ISK 3’200 (£19/€21) stopped me from ordering more.

The Sweet Pig

A few days later I enjoyed smoked lamb on traditional Icelandic flatbread at Sæta Svínið (The Sweet Pig) Gastropub at Hafnarstræti (Hafnar Street). I paid 3,490 ISK (£21/€24)) and it was absolutely delicious and worth every penny. 

Icelandic Streetfood

The third meal was traditional meat soup with lamb meat soup at Icelandic Streetfood at Lækjargata (River Street). Because I was cold and hungry, I chose the version served in a bread bowl (2,400 ISK/£14/€16) over a regular bowl (2,900 ISK/£17/€20), looking forward to some extra bread. When the friendly guy behind the counter handed me my portion, he told me I could return for as many refills as I wanted. Great news! The lamb soup was nice. Despite its slightly muttony taste, I wolfed it down and went for a refill. I was positively surprised when the staff was happy to give me tomato soup instead. This one was much more to my taste and finished filling my stomach and warming me up. Like everywhere in Iceland, the delicious tap water was free. On top of that, they offered free waffles as dessert on a counter next to the bar. If you like soup, I can only recommend this place as you get a lot for your money.

House of language and culture

My favourite place in the evenings was Hús máls og menningar (House of language and culture). The bookshop/bar combines some of my favourite things: books, booze, and live music every night. Thursdays there is an open mic comedy in English, which was funny. The Icelandic sense of humour is even darker than the British and I laughed a lot. The atmosphere was always good and I met nice people every time. I also stopped once at The Downtown Bar at Lækjargata, enjoying a couple of pints while listening to a guy and his guitar. 

Updated: November 25, 2023 — 2:09 pm