The Best Scandinavian Restaurants in Reykjavik, Iceland

Grillmarkadurinn restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland
Grillmarkadurinn restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland | © Icelandic photo agency / Alamy Stock Photo
Camille Buckley

Originally based on the restrictions of a rocky island and isolated in the North Atlantic, Iceland’s cuisine has made several strides from basic preparations of lamb, whale, puffin, and cod over the past few centuries. Here are the restaurants in Reykjavik that capture all of the variety of traditional Scandinavian dishes that include seafood, pickled meat and vegetables, and fresh produce.

Bergsson Mathus

Bistro, Wine Bar, European

Bergsson Mathus was the first of a wave of Icelandic establishments that focused on an atmosphere of slow food and meticulously cared for ingredients to each meal. This cozy place puts great emphasis on local ingredients, slow cooking, and slow eating – basically, a den for food lovers. The typical lunch menu, for example, will consist of a meat dish of the day, a catch of the day and a soup of the day, while always having the ever-present option of a vegetable lasagna and/or a vegan salad. It also has homemade bread available with every dish along with a delicious homemade hummus and pesto dip.


Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Northern European, European, Seafood

MATUR OG DRYKKUR specializes in classical Icelandic dishes given a modern twist. Taking pride in using only first-class produce, each dinner and lunch menu is accompanied by an equally extensive vegetarian menu. Located in an old Salt Fish Factory by the Grandi harbor area built in 1924, offering an open interior space with great natural lighting.

Floran Garden Bistro

Bistro, Cafe, Restaurant, North American, Northern European, European

This charming place is tucked away in the Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, open from May to October. The cafe dining area is actually inside a greenhouse, complete with a goldfish pond and all sorts of flowering plants covering the walls. The chef, Marentza Poulsen, uses ingredients from the surrounding gardens and from local farmers. Her specialty is the Danish open-faced sandwich smørrebrød. The menu is seasonal and hosts a variety of Scandinavian dishes with a very tasteful delivery. Notice the butter served on seashells and the flower petals decorating your plate.

The Lobsterhouse

Restaurant, Seafood, French, Northern European, European

The Lobsterhouse, Reykjavik
© INTERFOTO / Alamy Stock Photo

Located in a historic building from 1838, this restaurant combines the best of French and Nordic cuisine. Well known for lobster dishes, The Lobsterhouse offers an elaborate humarveisla or Langoustine Feast in which you have roasted langoustine in lightly whipped cream with dulse salt as well as grilled langoustine with roasted vegetables paired with wine or beer, and créme brúlée for dessert. A simple yet elegant take on the classic lobster soup.


Restaurant, Seafood, Northern European

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 flavors 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.


Restaurant, American, Northern European

Grillmarkadurinn restaurant in Reykjavik, stylishly decorated with lava rocks and fish skin lampshades
© Icelandic photo agency / Alamy Stock Photo

Grillmarkaðurinn 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.

Þrír Frakkar

Restaurant, Seafood, Northern European

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.

Dill Restaurant

Restaurant, Northern European

The stunning Architecture of Nordi House Designed by Finnish master architect Alvar Aalto; Home to Michelin Star Dill Restaurant in Reykjavik Iceland.
© Christina Simons / Alamy Stock Photo

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, which changes often.

Jómfrúin - ScandinaviaKitchen

Restaurant, Danish

Smorrebrod dark rye bread with fish
© Maxim Tatarinov / Alamy Stock Photo
In Reykjavik, traditional Danish Smorrebrod is almost synonymous with Jómfrúin – Scandinavian Kitchen. Modeled after the original restaurant that opened in Copenhagen in 1888, this establishment in Reykjavik is known for following this Scandinavian staple dish. Smorrebrod is essentially an open-faced sandwich with a variety of toppings, the most common of which is a mix of rye bread and seafood with condiments.
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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.


Holiday Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article