The Best Restaurants in Iceland by Region Skip to content
Photo: Golli. The restaurant scene in Iceland is constantly expanding.

The Best Restaurants in Iceland by Region

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In recent years, the restaurant scene in Iceland has been booming, and Reykjavík is no longer the only place to find high quality restaurants. With increased interest in Iceland as a travel destination, small towns around the country have seen great opportunities in offering visitors local, delicious food in beautiful settings surrounded by nature.

There’s a great variety in themes and menus in different regions, and exploring Iceland through its food culture is a great way to get to the heart of the island. Something to keep in mind before exploring restaurant options are opening hours since it’s common for places in the countryside to limit their hours to the summer season. 

Reykjavík – Restaurant City

Despite the small size of downtown Reykjavík, the area is absolutely packed with world-renowned restaurants. While eating out in Iceland is definitely not cheap, splurging on a good dining experience is a highlight on a visit in the city. One of the most consistently rated restaurants in Reykjavík is Austur-Indíafjelagið, an atmospheric, Indian restaurant that combines local, quality ingredients with a rich cultural connection to some of the best dishes Indian cuisine has to offer.

Fish Company is another top rated restaurant in Reykjavík with a diverse menu of Icelandic seafood. A third contender that has been rising up the polls in the city is Himalayan Spice, a Nepalese restaurant located in the beautiful harbour area.

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Photo: Golli. Reykjavík is a hub of high quality restaurants

West-Iceland

Iceland’s western region is a wondrous area with some of Iceland’s most iconic landscapes, like Kirkjufell mountain that rose to world fame in the Game of Thrones series. Many people make a point to go out west to enjoy the spectacular nature but another draw of the area is the blossoming hotel and restaurant scene. Aside from excellent food experiences, there are many reasons why you should visit the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

For a world-class dining experience there’s Pacific Tavern, the restaurant at Hotel Búðir, a remote lodging set in awe inspiring natural surroundings. Not only is the menu put together with gourmet ingredients, but dinner is served with some of the best views Iceland has to offer. 

Another great food destination on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is Stykkishólmur. This idyllic fishing village has a selection of restaurants that is in no proportion with the population of this small town. Sjávarpakkhúsið is a great destination for high quality neo-nordic seafood dishes. Narfeyjarstofa and Skipper Restaurant are alternative options for a pleasant eating experience.

For popular destinations that are more inland, you have the restaurant at the Krauma hot springs and in Húsafell the restaurant at Hotel Húsafell comes highly recommended.

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The Westfjords

The Westfjords has a collection of some of the most charming towns Iceland has to offer whose economy largely depends on tourism. As a result, the area has seen an increase in high-quality restaurants that cater to the diverse groups of people traveling through every year. Two prime examples are Stúkuhúsið in Patreksfjörður, a cozy little restaurant with a traditional Icelandic menu and Tjöruhúsið in Ísafjörður, a seafood restaurant that only serves the catch of the day so it guarantees the freshest produce available. In Hólmavík, Café Riis is a great place to stop for classic Icelandic dishes and experience the historic setting. 

 

ísafjörður harbour
Photo: Golli. The charming towns of the Westfjords come with plenty of good restaurant options

North-Iceland

In North-Iceland is the country’s second biggest town, Akureyri, where there’s no shortage of good restaurants. However, for a really special dining experience it’s best to head out to the smaller towns around the area. For example, there’s the Baccalá Bar in Hauganes, only about 25 minutes outside Akureyri. Baccalá Bar serves delicious salted cod in a relaxed environment, which is ideal after a soak in the nearby hot tubs.

For dining experiences in Akureyri, a number come recommended. Rub 23 is the destination for seafood and sushi. For dining with a rooftop view over the seaside, Strikið is the place to go to. Múlaberg bistro & bar offers a fusion of the very best that Scandinavian and French culinary arts have to offer. For the cozy ambient of a family-owned establishment, Eyja restaurant is the locals’ favorite.

For travellers heading to the whalewatching capital of Iceland, Húsavík offers some great food & drink experiences. For the ultimate Old Iceland setting, Gamli Baukur comes highly recommended.

In Hvammstangi, a town known for its closeness to the largest seal colony in Iceland, is a fine dining restaurant called Sjávarborg. It’s located on the second floor of the Seal Center house, right on the oceanfront, and it’s not uncommon to see whales pop up in the water below. Not only are the ingredients on Sjávarborg’s menu locally sourced, but most of the interior of the restaurant was made from materials found right there in town. 

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East-Iceland

East-Iceland, more than any other area in Iceland, has built up a vibrant food culture due to its abundance of game meats and unique flora. Many restaurants regularly change up their menus depending on the proteins and produce available which makes a trip to the Eastern part that much more fun.

In Eskifjörður, travelers will find Randulf’s Sea House, a refurbished herring fishery house on the harbour that’s been transformed into a beautiful restaurant. The menu changes with the seasons, but the restaurant’s goal is to highlight locally sourced ingredients like reindeer, trout and wild mushrooms. Another great option in the Eastern region is Klausturkaffi in Fljótsdalur valley. Klausturkaffi is part of the Skriðuklaustur monestary museum and offers a lunch and dessert buffet filled with Icelandic delicacies.  

Photo: Golli. Reindeer are an important part of Eastern-Icelandic food culture

South-Iceland

South-Iceland has some of the most scenic places in the country, including Reynisfjara beach, Skógafoss waterfall and the Westman Islands, so it’s no surprise that the area is stacked with high quality restaurants. One of the most popular eateries in recent years is Slippurinn, a restaurant set in an old factory in the Westman Islands, overlooking the magnificent cliffs of the islands. Like many restaurants around the countryside, Slippurinn’s menu changes depending on available produce and they aim to be as sustainable as possible.

Another honorable mention in South-Iceland is Black Crust Pizzeria, a newly opened pizza parlour in Vík í Mýrdal, a small town right on the southern edge. Although pizza isn’t traditional Icelandic food, Black Crust Pizzeria puts an Icelandic twist on their dough with volcanic powder, making the pies resemble the black beaches that line the southern coast. The black crust isn’t just a gimmick but results in a unique and delicious piece of pie.

Vík í Mýrdal
Photo: Golli. Vík í Mýrdal has stunning views that compliment the great dining options in town

          

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