Grillmarkaðurinn or the Grillmarket in Reykjavík. Picture by Björn Árnason.

Check out the mouth-watering Grillmarket in central Reykjavík. Best place to go with a varied group of people, as they do great steaks, fish, salads and burgers.

The Grillmarket has been around since the summer of 2011 and has earned its place as one of the most popular restaurants in Reykjavík, both among locals and foreigners. Tucked behind shops right in the middle of downtown Reykjavík but unseen from the bustling Austurstræti, the second you walk in you feel like you’ve stumbled onto a hidden secret. The décor is made up of natural elements such as lava, fish scales, column basalt and wood and feels somewhat raw but highly sophisticated at the same time. Predominant colours are gold, brown and black. There’s an open kitchen where you can see the chefs work their magic.

The Grillmarket in Reykjavík by Björn Árnason

The restaurant is both open for lunch and dinner. If you only feel like going for a drink, then their bar is quite popular too. It's a perfect place for a business lunch but also the perfect place for a romantic meal.

I highly recommend taking the ‘taster’ menu – and the accompanying wine menu. The taster menu consists of 8 dishes and is a perfect blend of different dishes. Last time I went I got crispy squid, fresh duck salad, perfectly cooked minke whale (it’s easy to overcook whale steak), melt-in-your-mouth pork ribs that fall off the bone, salmon as soft as velvet, juicy T-bone lamb with thick and crispy potatoes, T-bone steak with grilled vegetables and delicious dessert to finish it off. And there’s a different type of wine to go with every dish. Just thinking about it makes me want to go again! My favourite waiter is an elderly man called Óli, who puts the dot over the i. He is attentive, funny and extremely friendly.

Hamburgers at the Grillmarket in Reykjavík. Picture by Björn Árnason

The hamburgers on offer are also worth checking out: Minke whale, reindeer and lobster burgers!

The food tends to be served on flat stones, keeping with the natural theme of the restaurant. Even the starter bread is fantastic (filled with raisins and accompanied with homemade butter with black sea salt).  All in all, if you want to go out for a fancy meal in downtown Reykjavík, you won’t be disappointed with the Grillmarket.

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