Hugely popular with Reykjavikers seeking an affordable spot for lunch who come for its fresh baked bread, home made soups, and its fantastic fish of the day (fish cakes on the day I went), Ostabúðin doesn't seem to be on the radar of the tourist guidebooks.
Ostabúðin’s little hidden secret is its cosy restaurant on the bottom floor, open during lunch hours, (from 11:30 to 14:30). The small space only has a couple of seats and usually fills up quickly every day, but as the service is fast you don't have to wait long.
This is a fabulous place down near the Old Harbour. Service is semi-canteen style in a slightly industrial setting. There are burgundy tables and chairs, velvet curtains, dark grey stone counter, daily fish offerings and specials all chalked up on the blackboard.
The ingredients are all organic.
Haddock 1290ISK, garlic chips 450ISK, tap water is free (as always), tzatziki skyronnaise 250ISK. My meal came to 2000ISK (£12.50) for three huge bits of fish in a really nice light batter, the fish was perfectly cooked inside. The chips aren’t French fry matchstick style, but potato wedges, and a little oily.
The skyronnaise (the bistro’s own mayo/sauce made with skyr instead) is really great:
the price for all skyronnaise sauces is 250ISK and you can choose from lots of different ones such as basil and garlic, coriander and lime or rosemary and green apple.
Trúnó is a friendly, laid-back café with tiny library of queer literature, easy listening background music, and lilac walls. Apparently the word ‘trúnó’ translates as ‘when you sit down and have a heart to heart with somebody and tell your deepest secrets….’ (according to the friendly Norwegian waitress).
The fabulous nightclub, Barbara, is next door, you can't miss it with its bright pink walls and rainbow flags everywhere. Start the evening with a cocktail at Trúnó then party late into the next morning with Barbara.
Fish Factory (Fiskfélagið) has been open for 18 months and is really shaking up the Reykjavik world of fine dining.
23-year-old wizzkid chef Gústav Axel Gunnlaugsson won the Icelandic Chef of the Year 2010 award.
Gústav Axel was born in Húsavík and is the youngest person ever to win this award.
His ‘Around Iceland’ menu gives a real taste of this Arctic land, where flavours spice up the dark winter months.
Fish Factory is housed in the unusual Zimsen building, dating from 1884.
Previously, the house was located in another part of Reykjavik, but in 2006, the building was uprooted and renovated before being replanted at Grófartorg in 2008.
Fish Factory’s philosophy is to use Icelandic ingredients fused with herbs and spices from around the world.
Icelandic chefs are very proud of local ingredients such as lamb, langoustine, whale, puffin and, of course, fish.
Fish Factory highlights produce from all parts of Iceland in a fun, comfortable, yet classy setting.
The interior is dark and cosy with light streaming through stained glass windows.
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