See also: On the Water: Fjörubordid
Acclaimed chef Siggi Hall, Iceland’s version of Jamie Oliver, sold this restaurant to his protégé Eythor Rúnarsson, who is proving a worthy successor. Putting an innovative and modern spin on Icelandic classics, Rúnarsson has created a menu that includes pickled herring, smoked trout, salted cod and reindeer pâté. The dining room, on the ground floor of the Hotel Ódinsvé, can’t quite decide what it wants to be—serious formal or hipster sleek—but the attentive staff creates a congenial ambiance. Prices are similar to those at other hot spots Seafood Cellar and Fish Market expect to pay on average 3,600 kronúr (about $48) for an entrée. And don’t miss the homemade cookies at the end of the meal; they’re served in a cardboard box perfect for takeaway. Open daily.
For classic, traditionally prepared Icelandic cuisine, Olaf Thorgrimsson of Luxury Adventures recommends this restaurant. Situated in one of Reykjavík’s oldest houses—it was built in 1834—the two-level Laekjarbrekka is furnished like a private home.
The restaurant of the Hótel Rangá, located on the southern shore a forty-five-minute drive from Reykjavík, looks rustic but the sophisticated dishes feature Iceland’s best homegrown ingredients, like fish and lamb. The specialty, fish soup, is not to be missed; it’s a flavorful, Asian-influenced hot stew made with monkfish, salmon and shrimp. Equally tasty is an appetizer of smoked trout and seviche. If you’re sightseeing in the south, where you can tour the Skogár Museum and glacial waterfalls, this is a nice spot for lunch. Call ahead for reservations.