The best lunch in Reykjavík
You’re on holiday. You awaken after a long, nice lie-in, feeling completely rested but a little peckish and you begin to wonder: Where could I go for the perfect lunch?
Well, you’re in luck! With the assistance of four local gastronomists we’ve compiled a list of some of the capital’s best lunches.
"An excellent restaurant with great atmosphere whether it's for brunch, lunch or late night dinner. The beef fillet is a special favourite of mine and Snaps has the best chips in Iceland. The duck salad is also very fresh and leaves you wanting more."
"The omelette with camembert is the best in town. It’s necessary to order the pancakes with caramelised apples and cinnamon after."
Where: Þórsgata 1, 101 Reykjavík
"Haninn is one of Reykjavík‘s best kept secrets. I always feel like I‘m abroad when I‘m there. There‘s often a long queue out the door when I arrive at lunch time, and I think most of the customers are regulars. I always order the same thing: “Lemon and herb chicken” with a side salad. The lemon mixture they marinate the chicken in is incredibly tasty. And the salad is honest and simple. This is the only eatery I don’t mind getting served Iceberg lettuce because arugula just wouldn’t mix with the atmosphere. Lastly, let’s not forget the free coffee they’ll serve you for dessert."
Where: Suðurlandsbraut 46, 108 Reykjavík
Slippbarinn at Hotel Marina
"The extensive lunch buffet at Slippbarinn leaves you spoilt for choice and you’re certain to leave the place satisfied and with a full belly."
Where: Mýrargata 2, 101 Reykjavík
"Fast, cheap, delicious and Indian. And you can grab a whole bottle of water for the table (not too common in Reykjavík). Hraðlestin has everything I look for in a lunch place, plus delicious sweet potato fries. Even the music is continuously great in that place."
Where: Hverfisgata 64a and Lækjargata 8, 101 Reykjavík, Kringlan shopping mall, 103 Reykjavík, Hlíðasmári 8, 201 Kópavogur.
"Coocoo's Nest is the perfect place for a cosy Sunday lunch. I recommend the egg’s Florentine accompanied with a good cup of coffee."
Where: Grandagarður 23, 107 Reykjavík
"This place opened on Grandi this summer and offers a great selection of good, wholesome dishes. The fish is always fresh and I highly recommend you try the spinach lasagne – I think they make it in taste bud heaven. Bergsson RE also offers a private dining room for those who wish to organise secret lunch meetings, and the panoramic view of the harbour is fantastic."
Where: Grandagarður 16, 101 Reykjavík (Bergsson has another branch at Templarasund 3, 101 Reykjavík).
"I have to give a shout-out to Vegamót. It’s a long-standing establishment on the capital’s restaurant scene and has weathered all trends. Today’s courses are always a reliable option and the soups are very tasty. I can also recommend dishes like the Louisiana chicken strips and the Vegamót pizza, which are always top notch. The restaurant has managed to maintain a very high level of service over the years."
Where: Vegamótastígur 4, 101 Reykjavík
"The new kid in town. I was introduced to the glorious Shake Shack burger in New York City a while ago and I loved every bite of it. Block Burger isn’t quite there, but close! The buns are sweet and the meat is juicy. And you gotta love those double fried fries!"
Where: Skólavörðustígur 8, 101 Reykjavík.
"Finding a decent dish of Pad Thai in Reykjavík can be difficult. Ban Thai, Nana Thai and Yummi Yummi have managed it, and they’re all owned by the same man. Yummi Yummi has the best bang for the buck if you’re in the mood for noodles and Tommi (the Pad Thai tycoon) simply can’t go wrong."
Where: Hverfisgata 123, 105 Reykjavík
"For those who enjoy a simple home-cooked meal, Kaffivagninn is the spot for you. The interior hasn’t changed much since the 60’s, creating a cosy atmosphere similar to what you’d expect when arriving at granny’s house for dinner. This is a place that has managed to stay true to itself and I hope it’ll continue to stay much the same for years to come."
Where: Grandagarður 10, 108 Reykjavík
"Gló is a great concept and an exceptionally comfortable lunch option. The menu is ever changing but always comes up trumps. For an athlete like me, the chicken courses are energy-packed and the selection of side salads is great. Gló’s famous Snickers-cake is the crowning stroke. It’s so good and I can’t believe it is healthy."
Where: (five locations) Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík, Engjateigur19, 105 Reykjavík, Fákafen 11, 108 Reykjavík, Hæðasmári 6, 201 Kópavogur, Strandgata 34, 220 Hafnarfjörður.
Atli Fannar Bjarkason, editor in chief of local news and entertainment website Nutiminn.is, Álfrún Pálsdóttir, editor in chief of fashion magazine Glamour Iceland, Diljá Ámundadóttir, CEO at PR firm Þetta reddast, Sindri Snær Jensson, owner of street-wear store Húrra Reykjavík and an Icelandic Premier League football player.
Ask the Expert
Why the constant earthquakes? Iceland is slowly being torn apart
Help Wanted: Swimming pool in remote North Iceland fjord can't open due to lack of workers
From the editor: What's going on in Icelandic politics?
Watch: Stunning drone video of waterfalls, cliffs and peaks from around Iceland
Meet Icelandic horses at a farm in W. Iceland: Local farm opens perfect petting- and 'selfie stop'
Hellnar on Snæfellsnes one of "25 secret European villages you should visit in your lifetime"
Beautiful video of the Aurora dancing over the Westfjords
Photos: Hraunfossar waterfall in West Iceland is even more beautiful in winter
Stunning 360°panorama from Mývatn lake wins 2nd prize in international drone contest
Epic short film showing surfing under the northern lights and in a blinding blizzard
Follow Iceland Mag
Join our weekly hand curated newsletter to have all the latest news from Iceland sent to you
Don't worry, we won't spam you. Promise!
Why the constant earthquakes? Iceland is slowly being torn apart
11 things to know about the present day practice of Ásatrú, the ancient religion of the Vikings
Iceland's vanishing glaciers will severely affect human life
New information and warning signs in mount Esja
Spotting puffins: here is our map showing the best places around Iceland
Videos teach travellers how to behave in Iceland – including hot tub etiquette
Five new kittens join the cast of reality-TV show Kattarshians, as previous stars find new homes
Watch a selection of the most amazing Hollywood movie scenes shot in Iceland
Magical beauty of Icelandic landscapes captured in this award winning time-lapse video
Superb short film featuring breathtaking drone footage shot along the Ring Road One
Abandoned farm house and a gentle horse — an award winning short travel film