Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, has established itself as a premier dining destination, offering everything from contemporary Icelandic cuisine and French brasserie fare to quirky coffeehouses and tasty hot dog stand grub. When it comes to hamburgers, there are plenty of options, some with a quintessential Icelandic ingredient added into the mix, like puffin or Ísbúi cheese, while others are your standard.
This vintage hostel with a great ocean view is also home to Sæmundur’s gastropub, where you can try an excellent specialized burger, described on the menu as such: “Spicy ‘freedom’ burger, Icelandic Ísbúi cheese, caramelized onion mayonnaise, vegetables, and Sæmichips. The beef comes from Doddi at Háls, grassfed and free range.”
Don’t forget to pair it with one of the many craft beers on tap.
Vitabar is an often overlooked bar and bistro that is as nondescript as it comes in Reykjavik, with a décor that seems unchanged since the late 1950s. Try the amazing forget-me-not burger with blue cheese, caramelized onions, and mushrooms.
Frederiksen Ale House
This Danish Gastro-pub has one of the most extensive burger menus in town. They also have a large selection of beers, of course, from which to pair it with. The menu lists an alehouse burger, the Frederiksen burger, the chicken burger, the pulled pork burger, the porter burger, and the Frederiksen falafel burger.
Prikið, although noted as the oldest coffee shop in Reykjavik, is now the top place to see live hip-hop acts in Reykjavik. With an extensive burger menu, even including a burger called the Snoop Dogg, you can’t go wrong. There’s also the Ronald vegan and the jam.
With two locations in Reykjavik, one in Copenhagen, and one in Berlin, this quintessential burger joint, often referred to simply as Búllan, is a classic Reykjavik establishment with a variety of specials.
Block Burger was listed in the local newspaper, The Reykjavik Grapevine, as runner-up to the best burger place in 2017, which is not surprising as their menu is exclusively burgers of various sizes with a whole slew of accoutrements. Just take your pick.
The Laundromat Cafe
The Laundromat Cafe, a Danish establishment with two locations in Copenhagen and one in Reykjavik, is devoted to family-style openness, which includes encouragement of breastfeeding mothers—and there really is a laundry downstairs. They also have a notoriously delicious burger menu of great proportions.
Grillmarkađurinn uses locally sourced, seasonal Icelandic ingredients to serve meals like the delicious whale, puffin, and lobster mini burgers served with pesto, chorizo, and horseradish mayo. Opened in summer 2011 by two of Iceland’s most talented chefs, Hrefna Rósa Sætren and Guđlaugur P. Frímannsson, it resides in the beautifully reconstructed Art Nouveau Nýja Bíó, which was destroyed by fire in 1998. The restaurant’s smart, contemporary dining room is inspired by Iceland’s natural elements of rock, water, and wood.
Inspired by the need for establishments catering specifically to those passing by the biking paths close to the Reykjavik airport as well as Hafnarfjörður, the Bike Cave offers one thing in Reykjavik that is a bit rare: a completely vegan burger—the vegan luxury burger, which even has vegan bearnaise sauce. Here you can also have a lamb burger, a reindeer burger, or a minke whale burger.
This recently opened gastro-pub in Reykjavik was listed in The Reykjavik Grapevine as the winner of the best burger joint for 2017. With their custom-made beef patties and preference for the desired doneness taken into account, this place is unquestionably on the list. They also have a great live karaoke every week with DJ hosts.