Iceland is known for having some of the most prolific fishing areas in the North Atlantic Ocean, which is why it comes as no surprise that the island has a great variety of seafood restaurants that are not to be missed.
Inside an old wooden house next to the Heritage Museum and amid the backdrop of the steep fjords of Ísafjörður, Tjöruhúsið is a great option when visiting the Westfjörds. However, they are only open during Easter and summer, offering outdoor seating and occasional live music. The various catches of the day come fresh off the boats at the harbor close by and their large portions come served in a hot skillet.
Við Fjöruborðið translates to ‘at the seashore’ in Icelandic – a very fitting name, as you can find a great selection of seafood here, most notably the langostino lobster bisque, which is probably the most famous in all of Iceland. The village of Stokkseyri (population 445), once an important trading and fishing center, is now mostly a tourist destination and is known for its beautiful seashore and bustling bird life. If you are on your way from Reykjavik to Vik, this small restaurant by the shore is definitely worth a visit – just remember to make a reservation ahead of time.
This is the first Icelandic restaurant to receive a Michelin star. The small restaurant, seating 20-30 people, holds great personality. Every week a new seven-course menu with wine pairings is arranged, using a mixture of traditional Nordic and Icelandic culinary roots with a modern twist. The head chefs, Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, are the pioneering creatives behind the restaurant. Enjoy a large selection of wines available by the glass that changes often.
Fiskfélagið, or The Fish Company, is well known for some of the best seafood in Iceland. Here you can try a very creative assortment of flavor and textures on offer on the tasting menu. Located under a bridge downtown in a former store built in the 19th century, Fiskfélagið offers an exciting blend of Nordic fusion. Enjoy the unique interior décor designed by Leif Welding and the owner, Lárus Gunnar. From the menu, try their fish soup with langoustine, coconut jelly and Icelandic seaweed.
MAR Restaurant enjoys a prime location in Reykjavik’s scenic Old Harbour and is housed in a particularly interesting building, Hafnarbúðir. This was constructed in the 1960s with the specific purpose of providing a restaurant and accommodation for fisherman. Updated since then, MAR’s interior was visualized by the Reykjavik-based designers Hafsteinn Júlíusson and Karitas Sveinsdóttir, in a style faithful to the area’s old harbor houses. The restaurant also features artwork from Icelandic graphic designer Siggi Odds and crockery designed by Guðný Hafsteinsdóttir. Specializing in seafood that incorporates a range of international flavors, MAR offers dishes like the salted cod with zucchini, rucola and plum jam.
Þrír Frakkar, or Three Coats, 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, Þrír Frakkar offers a variety of dishes, including cod, halibut, catfish and plaice. The cozy restaurant is also apparently a favorite of Jamie Oliver’s.
This is your quintessential seafood establishment with a cozy and laid-back atmosphere with fisherman memorabilia lining the walls. Here you can find the fresh catch of the day. The restaurant is set in a house where the main harbor was established around 1900. On the menu, you can find local Rainbow Trout, Bacalao from Hauganes, Cod and Langoustine.