Iceland Mag

9 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Local Recommendations

Here’s what the cool kids in Reykjavík would do

By Staff

  • Our panel Sunna Ben, Berglind, MC Gauti and Lukka. Photo/Snorri Björnsson

Reykjavík is perceived to be a pretty cool city, and we’re not just talking climate-wise. Although small in size, Iceland’s capital has an abundance of things to do and see, be it bars, restaurants, museums, and artist-run galleries.

We asked four locals, that stand out from the pack, to name their favourite places and tell us where they would take a first-time visitor to Reykjavík.

Photos by Snorri Björnsson

NICE & QUIET DURING THE DAY - CRAZY AT NIGHT 
Gauti Þeyr Másson AKA MC Gauti, musician and host of Iceland’s Got Talent (pictured at Kex Hostel at Airwaves 2015)

Best spot for a beer
Prikið is by far my favorite beer spot. It’s nice and quiet during the day but goes crazy at night.”

Where to go after midnight?
“I have to say Prikið again - if you’re looking for a good party. Prikið and Húrra are my two favourite places.”

Best brunch
“I think Vegamót serves great food and offers good service.”

Best shop
“My favourite shop at the moment is Húrra Reykjavík (not to be confused with the bar), a small clothing store located at Hverfisgata. You walk out of there fashionable as f**k every time.”

What to do with a first-time visitor?
“Do the typical tourist stuff first: do the Golden Circle, talk about how everything looks like you’re on the moon, and take a picture of Hallgrímskirkja church. Later, team up with some locals to experience the real side of the city. Ps, we don’t wear those colourful outdoor jackets that you see on the cover of travel brochures.”https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

ICELANDIC STREET ART
Lukka Sigurðardóttir, artist and owner of Happy Ending Gallery at Skólavörðustígur 6b (pictured at her gallery)

Best spot for a beer
Prikið is my favourite place for a beer, Drink'n'Draw Mondays are the best. Come for happy hour from 16 to 20 (4-8 pm).”

Where to go after midnight?
“Prikið and Paloma is where I go after dark.”

Best brunch
“My favourites are Grái Kötturinn at Hverfisgata for brunch and the Grillmarket for lunch.”

Best shop
“My all-time favourite is Gallery Gallera at Laugarvegur 33, 2nd floor. There you find today's crème de la crème of Icelandic street art and merchandise.”

What to do with a first-time visitor?
“First I'd take them to see my new Happy Ending Gallery, after which I’d take them to Heimir Logi's sweat lodge, or berry picking in the mountains.” 

AWESOME MUSIC & GREAT REGULARS
Sunna Ben, DJ/Artist/Photo editor (pictured at Prikið)

Best spot for a beer
“I don't drink beer myself, but I'm pretty sure Prikið has the best prices, they also have a pretty popular happy hour offer, cheap food, awesome music and great regulars.”

Where to go after midnight?
“Prikið is great if hip hop is what you're into, B5 for pop music, Húrra often has great live shows and is not genre specific DJ-wise, but you can count on finding a packed dancefloor there.”

Best brunch
Aalto Bistro in the Nordic House is my absolute favourite. The food, the view and the service is great. Also it's not on Laugavegur street so it's often easier to get a table there because people usually don’t accidentally wander in without knowing exactly where they're going.”

Best shop
“I like GK and Aftur for clothes, Hrím for cute things to decorate your house with, Lucky Records for records and Heilsuhúsið for healthy food and nice cosmetics.”

What to do with a first-time visitor?
“I would recommend starting out exploring the downtown area, checking out the galleries, the stores and the restaurants. It's small so it won't take you too long to get familiar with the city. I would also recommend checking out Mývatn if you're in the mood for a long drive. In my opinion, it's the most beautiful place in Iceland. Seyðisfjörður fjord, which is slightly further away, is also wonderful. And if you prefer flying to driving, I recommend flying over to Ísafjörður fjord, it's one of the larger towns in Iceland but it's still small and cosy, oh, and gorgeous.”

POACHED EGG ON A HUNGOVER SATURDAY MORNING
Berglind Pétursdóttir,  advertising girl (pictured outside the great Kaffhús Vesturbæjar)

Best spot for a beer
“The Happy Hour at Hótel Holt is my favourite. It's got a weird yet fancy 90's vibe that I like, but also, I live just across the street, so maybe that's why I love it so much. I also regularly go to Bunk Bar on Laugavegur main street. They have delicious tacos!”

Where to go after midnight?
“If you want to have space to move around freely, Húrra should be your first choice. If you feel like having people in your private space, Prikið and Kaffibarinn are your joints.”

Best brunch
“I would do anything for the poached egg at The Coocoo's Nest on a hungover Saturday morning. Anything! That sourdough bread is my reason for living.”

Best shop
Valdís, the ice-cream parlour on Grandi harbour area. If you don't like ice-cream (or are too cold to eat one) there is also a wonderful little cake shop next door, called 17 Sortir.”

What to do with a first-time visitor?
“Go swimming and have a hot dog with all the toppings afterwards.”

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