Dive into the heart of Reykjavik’s culinary scene with a visit to its vibrant food halls. These bustling hubs offer a taste of both traditional Icelandic fare and global cuisines, making them more than mere dining spots; they’re social venues where stories and memories are shared. From fermented shark to vegan treats, Reykjavik’s food halls showcase the diversity and innovation of Iceland’s food culture. Join us as we explore these culinary destinations, where every bite tells a story of tradition and creativity.

What are Food Halls in Reykjavik?

Food halls in Reykjavik are vibrant dining hubs where visitors can enjoy a wide range of traditional Icelandic dishes and international cuisines, serving as both a culinary destination and a social gathering space.

The concept of food halls in Reykjavik is relatively new but has quickly become a popular trend. The first of its kind, Hlemmur Mathöll Food Hall, opened in 2017 and since then, several others have followed suit, such as the Grandi Food Hall and Pósthús Food Hall & Bar. These food halls have transformed old buildings and spaces into vibrant culinary hubs, offering a unique dining experience that caters to all tastes and preferences.

Food Hall Details
Hlemmur Food Hall Location and Ambiance: End of Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main shopping street. Former bus terminal with a blend of historical and urban charm.
Culinary Diversity: Offers traditional Icelandic cuisine and international dishes. Known for its variety and quality.
Community and Culture: Reykjavik’s first food hall, a cultural hotspot for locals and tourists. Communal seating encourages shared dining experiences.
Grandi Food Hall Design and Location: Located in Reykjavik’s new harbor district. Inspired by Viking long-houses with communal seating.
Food Selection: Specializes in fresh seafood and traditional Icelandic lamb dishes. Offers a variety of international cuisines and local craft beers.
Cultural Integration: Part of the harbor district’s cultural fabric. Near attractions like the Maritime Museum, symbolizing Reykjavik’s maritime and Viking heritage.
Pósthús Food Hall & Bar Central Location and Historical Building: Downtown Reykjavik, in a former post office. Easily accessible and popular.
Global Cuisine: Eclectic mix of global cuisine including Icelandic, sushi, Italian, and Asian. A culinary melting pot.
Modern Dining with a Twist: Combines traditional market concept with modern dining. Variety of food stalls and bars offering casual to gourmet dishes and craft cocktails.


Hlemmur Food Hall

Location and Ambiance: Hlemmur Food Hall, situated at the end of Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s bustling main shopping street, occupies a space that was once a central bus terminal. This unique location adds a historical and urban charm to the food hall, making it a blend of the old and the new. The hall’s interior combines modern design elements with a nod to its past, creating a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere.

Hlemmur Food Hall in Reykjavik

Culinary Diversity: Hlemmur Food Hall is renowned for its wide array of culinary offerings. It hosts a variety of food stalls and eateries that serve everything from traditional Icelandic cuisine to dishes inspired by global flavors. Visitors can enjoy Icelandic lamb, freshly caught seafood, and classic comfort foods. The hall also features stalls offering international cuisines, such as Asian and European dishes, catering to a diverse range of palates.

Community and Culture: As Reykjavik’s first food hall, Hlemmur has become a cultural hotspot, attracting both locals and tourists. It’s not just a place to eat; it’s a venue where people come together to enjoy good food, engage in conversations, and experience the local food culture. The communal seating arrangement encourages a shared dining experience, making it a lively and social destination.

Grandi Food Hall

Design and Location: Grandi Food Hall is situated in the heart of Reykjavik’s new harbor district, an area known for its cultural and historical significance. The food hall’s design is inspired by traditional Viking long-houses, featuring a spacious interior with long communal tables. This design pays homage to Iceland’s rich Viking heritage while offering a contemporary dining experience.

Grandi Food Hall

Food Selection: The hall is a haven for seafood lovers, offering an array of fresh seafood options, a tribute to Iceland’s fishing tradition. Alongside seafood, visitors can savor traditional Icelandic lamb dishes, prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The food hall also hosts stalls serving international cuisines, providing a taste of different cultures. The presence of local craft beer breweries within the hall adds to the authentic Icelandic dining experience.

Cultural Integration: Grandi Food Hall is more than just a place to eat; it’s part of the larger cultural fabric of the harbor district. Located near attractions like the Maritime Museum, it serves as a culinary gateway for those exploring the area’s rich history and culture. The food hall’s location and design make it a symbol of Reykjavik’s connection to its maritime and Viking past.

Pósthús Food Hall & Bar

Central Location and Historical Building: Pósthús Food Hall & Bar is located in downtown Reykjavik, housed in a beautifully restored building that once served as a post office. The hall’s location in the city center makes it easily accessible and a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The building’s historical significance adds to the charm and ambiance of the dining experience.

Pósthús Food Hall & Bar

Global Cuisine: Pósthús stands out for its eclectic mix of global cuisine. The food hall offers a variety of dining options, ranging from traditional Icelandic dishes to international flavors like sushi, Italian, and Asian cuisine. This diversity in food choices makes Pósthús a culinary melting pot, reflecting the global influences in Iceland’s food scene.

Modern Dining with a Twist: The food hall combines the concept of traditional food markets with a modern dining experience. It features a range of food stalls and bars, offering everything from casual bites to gourmet dishes and craft cocktails. The hall’s layout and design encourage diners to explore different cuisines, making it an ideal destination for food enthusiasts looking to sample a variety of dishes in one place.

Each of these food halls – Hlemmur, Grandi, and Pósthús – offers a unique glimpse into Reykjavik’s evolving culinary landscape, blending traditional Icelandic flavors with global influences, all within settings rich in cultural and historical significance.

Exploring Other Notable Food Halls

Reykjavik’s food hall scene extends beyond these major players. Borg29 Food Hall in the city’s financial district offers a cozy atmosphere with diverse food options, making it ideal for business lunches or casual dining. Vera Food Court, near the university, caters to the hip and health-conscious crowd with its plant-based offerings and Instagram-worthy dishes.

The Impact of Food Halls on Reykjavik’s Culinary Landscape

The emergence of food halls in Reykjavik has significantly impacted the city’s culinary landscape. They provide a communal space where people can gather and enjoy a variety of cuisines under one roof. This concept has not only diversified dining options in the city but also fostered a sense of community and social interaction.

People Also Ask

What are 3 popular foods in Iceland?

Iceland’s cuisine is known for its unique and hearty dishes. Three popular Icelandic foods include:

  • Icelandic Lamb: Grazed in wild pastures, Icelandic lamb is known for its tender and flavorful meat, often used in hearty soups and stews.
  • Seafood: Being an island nation, Iceland boasts an abundance of fresh seafood like cod, haddock, and langoustines, commonly featured in traditional dishes.
  • Skyr: A staple in Icelandic diet, Skyr is a thick, yogurt-like dairy product, enjoyed for its creamy texture and high protein content.

How to eat cheaply in Iceland?

Eating cheaply in Iceland can be challenging due to the high cost of living. However, visitors can save money by:

  • Eating at food halls where a variety of affordable options are available.
  • Opting for street food like the famous Icelandic hot dogs.
  • Shopping at local supermarkets and preparing meals.

How expensive are restaurants in Reykjavik?

Restaurants in Reykjavik can range from moderately priced to expensive. Fine dining establishments and specialty restaurants tend to be on the higher end, while casual eateries and food halls offer more budget-friendly options.

What time do Icelanders eat dinner?

Icelanders typically eat dinner between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. However, dining times can be flexible, especially in Reykjavik, where restaurants cater to both locals and tourists.

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