Eating Reykjavik or What I Do When I’m Hungry in Reykjavik
Feeling hungry? When am I not? On my recent trip to Iceland, I was all about eating Reykjavik. Well, not so much Reykjavik the city, but all the good food that this city has to offer. Now that I’m a vegan and Mr. TSG is a vegetarian, would we be able to find food that would work for us? Read on to discover some of the places I found super yummy and satisfying while I went about eating Reykjavik.
If you only have a few days in Iceland and you’re goal is to explore while eating Reykjavik, then you probably aren’t thinking of a sit down meal. Sometimes you just want to eat and run. If that’s the case, then pop into Reykjavik Chips. This little shop off of Laugavegur with a few seats and tables serves only chips with some interesting sauces. The chips are always fresh, hot, and crisp and oh so good. Mr. TSG and I shared a large with Hnetan vegan satay sauce for me and Hannibal pickle sauce for him. We returned again on another day and got the large chips and a Gull beer combo for 1590 ISK each. Definitely not fine dining, but you knew that when you walked in right?
TSG Tip: Need some new ink? There’s a tattoo shop a few doors down from Reykjavik Chips called Sweet Hell Tattoo, just one of several in Reykjavik.
Vitastígur 10, Reykjavik
One of my favorite restaurants in Reykjavik and one that I pretty much always make a beeline for every time I’m in town is Cafe Gardurinn (Ecstasy’s Heart Garden) – read this post or this one. They focus their attention exclusively on serving only one soup and one entrée every day.
With only two options daily, everything is fresh in this vegetarian restaurant with vegan and gluten-free options. They’re even open late most nights until 8:30 pm, great if you’re still adjusting to the time difference.
Choose the entrée or the soup or both, but make sure to leave room for one of their desserts like cake, vegan Snickers, vegan brownies, or raw cheesecake.After leaving Boston with super hot temps and landing in Iceland with temps in the 50's, I was ready to warm up with some pumpkin soup.Click To Tweet
After leaving Boston with super hot temps and landing in Iceland with temps in the 50’s, I was ready to warm up with some pumpkin soup. How they are able to turn the lowly pumpkin into a velvety, hot, creamy satisfying soup is beyond me. The soup at Cafe Gardurinn is gluten-free, vegan, always full of flavor, and is served with fresh, crusty, grainy bread and your choice of butter or hummus, which I chose. If I ever get to spend several days in Reykjavik, I will definitely eat here every day.
Klapparstíg 37, Reykjavik
Hard Rock Cafe Reykjavik
The Hard Rock Cafe franchise has hit Iceland. The one in Reykjavik opened in 2016 and I decided to stop in and see what it was like. Would it be completely commercialized and full of tourists, something that I never wanted to see happen in Iceland? Yes, it’s commercial and yes, it’s filled with tourists, even a bunch of Boy Scouts that were in for a huge convention.I came here to drink more than to eat, but let's pretend that the coconut chips on top of my mojito is food.Click To Tweet
One of our bartenders, Till, is from Frankfurt and is also a geologist. No better place to study rocks, soil, and whatever else makes up this great planet than in Iceland. Who would’ve thought I’d end up discussing geology over a Pineapple Coconut Mojito, but there I was and it was fun, Boy Scouts and all. Whether you go for a drink, a meal, or to shop in the first floor store, go and have fun. My drink was creamy and a less sweet option than a piña colada although I realize now, probably not vegan.
TSG Tip: I came here to drink more than to eat, but let’s pretend that the coconut chips on top of my mojito is food. Why not, right? As one of the first commercial venues that had a veggie burger on the menu, HRC is one of my quick go to’s anywhere in the world where I know I can always find something to eat (or drink).
Hard Rock Cafe Reykjavik
Lækjargata 2A, Reykjavik
After you’ve devoured everything while eating Reykjavik and you’ve consumed more food and alcohol than you should’ve, then you know it’s time to stop in at nat. This small restaurant serves up not only food like soups, salads, and sandwiches, but fresh juices and smoothies, too. There’s nothing like clearing out last night’s Black Death (Brennivin) with a Good Morning juice (avocado, apple, ginger, lemon, and spinach) or a Morning Buzz smoothie (coffee, dates, banana, oats, cocoa, cinnamon, omega 3, and peanut butter). The place was completely empty when we walked in and despite the employee not having mango for my original request of the Bright Eyes juice, we did enjoy our beverages. Since I start each morning at home with a juice or smoothie, it only seemed natural to do the same in Reykjavik and I’m glad I did.
TSG Tip: Make sure you remember to convert Icelandic krona to your currency so you can keep track of how much your spending. Juices and smoothies here are 990 ISK or about $10 USD each.
Laugaveguar 85, Reykjavik
Probably one of my best finds for eating Reykjavik on this trip was discovering Joylato. Located next door to Cafe Gardurinn, Joylato offers fresh, made to order ice cream using liquid nitrogen. Was it that they have Ganesh in their logo or the fact that I was craving something sweet that I couldn’t resist Joylato?
Whether you choose the already made ice cream or the made to order ice cream, that’s only just the beginning of the many options here. Choose from flavors like Salted Caramel, Raspberry, Mango, or Chocolate to special flavors like Avocado-Lime, Mango-Cardamom, or Blueberry Cheesecake.
TSG Tip: Turn your tastebuds up and try the waffle with ice cream. Just don’t get on the scale afterwards.
People line up in front of the glass to watch the ice cream being made with liquid nitrogen. Part science, part gourmet, and all ridiculously tasty.Choose from flavors like the vegan salted caramel with a coconut base, which I chose, or the popcorn caramel with a milk base that vegetarian Mr. TSG choseClick To Tweet
Choose from flavors like the vegan salted caramel with a coconut base, which I chose, or the popcorn caramel with a milk base that vegetarian Mr. TSG chose, the rich, creamy, and decadent ice cream is worth a trip to Iceland alone. I’ve never had anything vegan that tasted this good.
TSG Tip: When you walk inside the store, you might not know where to go. Head over to the counter and place your order. You might have to push through the crowds trying to watch their ice cream being made, but go ahead and get right up in there.
Njálsgata 1, Reykjavik
Where do you like to go when you are eating Reykjavik? Have any restaurants or bars you’d like to recommend?
Planning a trip to Iceland? Check out some of my other Iceland posts here to read more of my Iceland travel tips.