A Seafood Lover's Guide to Reykjavik

Fresh seafood out of Breidafjordur
Fresh seafood out of Breidafjordur | © Richard Whitaker/Flickr
Camille Buckley

Some of the most prolific fishing in the North Atlantic Ocean is in the area surrounding Iceland. In fact, Iceland’s only active involvement in a ‘war’ was about fish, the Cod Wars, a series of territorial fishing disputes with the United Kingdom from 1952-1976.

If you want to learn more about Iceland’s cultural history with seafood visit the Maritime Museum. As a seafaring nation with centuries of practice in cultivating the best methods of preparing fish and seafood, it is no surprise that Reykjavik offers some incredible establishments with mouthwatering seafood.

Cod drying rack

Buying fresh seafood to prepare yourself is always an option. There are many great seafood shops and markets in the capital area such as Fiskbúðin on Sunlaugavegi, Fiskikóngurinn, and Fiskibúðin Vegamót in Seltjarnarnes. Here you can find prepared seafood dishes in a variety of herbs and spices such as curried catfish with cashews or marinated cod in sundried tomatoes, garlic and pepper. Prepare to be blown away by the freshness and the knowledgeable staff that deal directly with fishermen.

Reykjavik
Local seafood specialty at Fiskfelagid

Fiskmarkaðurinn, The Fish Market, is housed in one of the oldest buildings in central Reykjavík and headed by chef Hrefna Rósa Sætran of the Icelandic National Culinary team. You can watch the dishes being prepared from the open kitchen. The Fish Market offers all the best that Icelandic seafood has to offer with salted cod, Atlantic catfish, salmon, blue ling, langoustine tails and flounder. There is also the unique offer of Iceland meets Japan in the extensive sushi menu combining the best of both worlds.

At Þrír Frakkar, Three Coats, you can try the Icelandic seafood classics like hákarl, the infamous cured shark, or roasted Minke whale. Try the pan-fried plaice with gorgonzola sauce, or the pan-fried halibut with langoustine or monkfish cooked to the most delicate perfection. Þrír Frakkar has been managed by the chef, Úlfar Eysteinsson and his family since opening in 1989. Located on a quiet street close to downtown, the restaurant offers a classic, laid-back atmosphere. Well regarded as one of the best places for fish in Reykjavik, the cozy restaurant is also apparently a favorite of Jamie Oliver’s.

Butter-fried halibut (Þrír Frakkar)

Messinn has an incredible array of seafood to sample. From the traditional Icelandic plokkfiskur, a stew of cod, potatoes, garlic, and butter, to a newer twist: Fillet of cod with chili, curry, leek, apples, mango chutney, white wine and parmesan. At Messinn you can also try citrus marinated shrimps, oven baked ginger scampi, cured salmon rubbed with juniper berries or a fish burger. You will not be disappointed.

Harbour, Reykjavik

If you are visiting Iceland during the bright month of June, check out the Fisherman’s Day festivities always held on the first Sunday in June by the Reykjavik harbour and the Festival of the Sea which takes place usually the weekend after. All events are surrounding traditional Icelandic culture and Iceland’s longstanding dependence on fishing. It has been celebrated since 1938 to bring solidarity amongst fisherman.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article