Are you wondering which restaurants are open in Reykjavík this holiday season? Are restaurants in Iceland open during Christmas and, if so, what are their opening hours? Read on for a comprehensive list of restaurants in Reykjavík and their seasonal opening times.

Christmas is a special time of year in Iceland. Many traditions and practices surround the holiday season, one of which is spending the 24-26th of December at home or visiting family. Christmas meals are traditionally prepared in a private home and shared with relatives, spouses, and only in the most liberal of cases, very close friends.

To many Icelanders, eating in a restaurant on one of these days is not only kind of weird, but it also borders on somewhat offensive. This attitude is likely a hangover from more religious times when it was illegal to dance, play or laugh in public from the beginning of Christmas on the 24th at 18:00 until the same time on the 26th.

Times are a changing, however, and with the steep incline of travellers coming to visit during the festive season, more and more restaurants are accommodating hungry tourists. No more than a decade ago, the streets of downtown Reykjavík would be comparable to that of a snowy ghost town; now, it’s only slightly quieter than usual.

BLASPHEMY.

Just joking! Everyone deserves to indulge in a festive feast this holiday season. We have compiled a complete list of all of the places (we know of!) that will be offering seasonal menus on these dates. Tables are limited and filling up fast so be sure to make reservations as soon as possible so you won’t be left out hungry in the snow!

Keep in mind; many places will have a set holiday menu or, in some cases, a buffet so be sure to check what’s on offer when you make a reservation.

American Bar

You can expect a meat-intensive menu here (with some veggie options available). Expect everything all-American: burgers, steak, ribs and milkshakes!

Open: 25th and 31st December, & 1st January.

Closed: 24th December

Website: www.americanbar.is

Apótek Kitchen Bar

Beef steak from Apótek Kitchen Bar

Photo: Apótek Kitchen Bar Facebook

Apótek is a luxurious restaurant inside one of the most beautiful buildings in Reykjavík. Enjoy Scandinavian cuisine washed down with award-winning cocktails.

Open for dinner:  25th & 31st December

Closed: 24th December

Website: www.apotekrestaurant.is

Café París

As this restaurant’s name suggests, the decor and style are influenced by France with a little Icelandic touch thrown in!

Open: 26th December

Closed: 24th, 25th, and 31st December

Website: www.cafeparis.is

Caruso Harbour

Caruso serves up traditional tasty Italian food and the cosy interiors will leave you feeling warm as well as satisfied.

Open for dinner: 26th & 31st December

Closed: 24th & 25th

Website: www.caruso.is/vidhofnina

Essensia

Pizzas at Essensia Restaurant

Photo: Essensia Facebook

Essensia serves up delicious Italian dishes made only with the freshest ingredients!

Open: 26th & only for dinner 31st December

Closed: 24 & 25 December

Website: www.essensia.is

Fiskmarkaðurinn (Fishmarket)

As you might have guessed from the name, this restaurant serves, yes, you got it, fish! Prepared with the utmost care, the food here is really delicious.

Open: 26th & 31st December (New Year’s tasting menu only – reserve soon!)

Open for dinner 1st January

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.fishmarket.is

Fiskfélagið (Fish Company)

Another great seafood restaurant is Fiskifélagið, creating fantastic dishes out of the freshest catch and locally sourced ingredients. 

Open for dinner: 26th & 31st December, & 1st of January.

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.fiskfelagid.is

Forréttabarinn

Forréttabarinn translates to “Entrée bar” serves up smaller Icelandic and international dishes or entrées. The idea is that you order two or more, creating a whole meal out of these starter foods. This also means you get to try a greater variety of dishes!

Open: 26th & 31 December, & 1st January

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.forrettabarinn.is

Frederiksen Ale House

The bar at Frederiksen ale house

Photo: https://frederiksen.is/

Fredricksen specialises in top-notch gastropub grub to be washed down with one of their large selection of beers and liquor.

Closed: 24th, 25th and 31st December

Open: 26th December

Website: www.frederiksen.is

Gott

Gott serves up simple dishes to a very high quality, taking enormous pride from the fact that everything is made from scratch on site.

Open for dinner: 24th, 25th, 26th & 31st December & 1st January.

Grillið

Grillið promises a fun and fresh gourmet experience of Scandinavian cuisine.

Open for dinner: 26th December. Open 1st January but there is a waiting list

Closed: 23rd, 24th, 25th & 31st

Website: http://www.grillid.is/

Grillmarkaður

Grillmarket serves up some of the best-quality and best-cooked steaks in town! This upscale restaurant gets booked early so hurry with your reservations!

Open: Open for dinner the 26th & 31st December, & 1st January

Closed: 24th December & fully booked 25th

Website: www.grillmarkadurinn.is

Hard Rock Café

Hard Rock Cafe Reykjavík merchandise.

Photo: Hard Rock Cafe Reykjavík Facebook

As with Hard Rock Cafés all over the world, you can expect American diner dishes of burgers, steak, ribs and so on! Merchandise is sold on the ground floor.

Open: 24th, 25th & 31st December & 1st January

Website: www.hardrock.com/reykjavik

Haust

Haust is serving up American Christmas classics all December long and it’s an all you can eat buffet!

Open: 24th, 25th, & 31st December

Website: www.haustrestaurant.is

Höfnin

Höfnin is tucked away in a beautiful blue house by the harbour. The food is mostly a mix of Icelandic and international cuisine.

Open for dinner: 26th & 31st December

Closed: 24th & 25th December & 1st January.

Website: www.hofnin.is

Íslenski Barinn – The Icelandic Bar

Traditional Icelandic meat soup at Íslenski Barinn - The Icelandic Bar

Photo: Íslenski Barinn – The Icelandic Bar Facebook

This quaintly decorated restaurant will make you feel as though you just walked into someone’s home! You can look forward to excellent Icelandic food and a cosy dining experience.

Open for dinner on 26th and 31st December

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.islenskibarinn.is

Icelandic Fish and Chips

Yes, you guessed it! This harbourside restaurant serves scrumptious fish and chips!

Open: 26th & 31st December, & 1st January

Closed: 25th & 26th December

Website: www.fishandchips.is

Ísafold

Ísafold serves up Scandinavian food with a modern delicate twist and is absolutely delicious!

Open: 24th, 25th, 31st December & 1st January

Website: www.isafoldrestaurant.com

Jamie´s Italian

The renowned chef Jamie Oliver’s establishment in downtown Reykjavík serves its visitors a little taste of Italy this December.

Open: 26th

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.jamieoliver.com/italian/iceland

Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar

Icelandic pancakes at Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar Facebook

Photo: Jörgensen Kitchen & Bar Facebook

Throughout the holiday season, Jörgensen will be serving a set menu of international cuisine.

Open: 24th, 25th, 26th & 31st December

Website: www.jorgensenkitchen.com

Kaffi Vínyl

Kaffi Vínyl serve up a broad range of International dishes and everything is completely vegan!

Open 24th, 25th & 31st December

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kaffivinyl/

Kol Restaurant

Try some good ol’ comfort food but with a modern twist at Kol restaurant. Delicious seafood, meat, and vegetarian options available.

Open: 26th December & 1st January

Closed: 24th & 25th of December. Fully booked 31 December

Website: www.kolrestaurant.is

Kopar Restaurant

Enjoy gorgeous views of the harbour at this cosy restaurant which serves up delicious international cuisine.

Open for dinner: 26th & 31st December

Closed: 24th & 25th December, & 1st January

Website: www.koparrestaurant.is

Lebowskibar

Icelandic bar Lebowskibar

Photo: Lebowskibar Facebook

The Coen Brother’s film-themed bar, Lebowskibar, will be open all December. Serving burgers, beers and White Russians to all Christmas visitors.

Open: 24th, 25th, 26th & 31st December

Website: https://lebowskibar.is/

Matarkjallarinn

Matarkjallarinn serves delicious international food as well as traditional Icelandic dishes. Vegetarian-friendly!

Open for dinner: 26th & 31 December, and 1st of January

Website: http://matarkjallarinn.is/en/

Matur og Drykkur

The name of this restaurant translates to ‘Food and Drink’ which they deliver to a sophisticated degree. Expect Icelandic and international gourmet courses with well-thought-out drinks to match.

Open for dinner 26 December

Closed: 24th & 25th December. Fully booked 31 December. Closed 1st January

Website: www.maturogdrykkur.is

Matwerk

Icelandic skyr served at Matwerk restaurant

Photo: Matwerk Facebook

The New Nordic restaurant, Matwerk, will be open for a New Year’s Eve dinner on the 31st, offering meat, seafood and vegetarian options for its guests.

Open for dinner: 31st December

Closed: 24th, 25th & 26th December

Website: www.matwerk.is

Messinn

Messinn is an Icelandic seafood restaurant which serves up the most well-loved traditional dishes in generous portion sizes.

Open: 26th December

Closed: 24th, 25th, & 31st December

Website: www.messinn.com

Old Iceland

Old Iceland serves up traditionally inspired Icelandic food with a modern flare and artistic plating.

Open: 26th & only for dinner 31st December (prepaid reservations)

Closed: 24th & 25th December, & 1st January

Website: www.oldiceland.is

Public House

A trip to this delightful gastropub is guaranteed to impress you with its bold and adventurous Japanese/Icelandic fusion menu as well as excellent cocktails.

Open: 26th & 31st December, & 1st January

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.publichouse.is

Restaurant Reykjavik

Located in a huge yellow house in the centre of town, this restaurant can seat many and is often packed! Spend your Christmas at this delicious Icelandic buffet!

Open for dinner on 24th and 25th and 31st December

Website: www.restaurantreykjavik.is

Reykjavík Meat

A chef cooking a steak at Reykjavík Meat

Photo: Reykjavík Meat Facebook

The name doesn’t leave much up to the imagination and it might not surprise you that Reykjavík Meat’s speciality is carefully sourced and cooked steak!

Open for dinner on 31st December and 1st January

Closed: 24th, 25th December

Website: www.rvkmeat.is

Rio Reykjavik

This South American restaurant has a hint of Asian influence, resulting in a fun-filled and delicious culinary experience.

Open: 26th & 31st December

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.rioreykjavik.is

Satt

Satt takes fresh, locally sourced produce and creates traditional Icelandic food, but puts a modern spin on it.

Open for Christmas buffet: 24th, 25th, 26th & 31st.

Website: https://www.sattrestaurant.com/en

Scandinavian Restaurant

True to its name, the cuisine here is Scandinavian! Expect cured meats and fish as well as, of course, open sandwiches.

Open for dinner 25th & from lunchtime 26th December.

Closed: 24th & 31st December

Website: www.scandinavian.is

Sjávarbarinn

Open for the entirety of the holiday season, this restaurant promises an authentic Icelandic culinary experience.

Open: 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st December & 1st January

Website: www.sjavarbarinn.is

Sjávargrillið – Seafood Grill

A delicious meal at Sjávargrillið restaurant

Photo: Sjávargrillið-Seafood Grill Facebook

This restaurant serves up high-quality delicious seafood dishes & never disappoints.

Open for dinner on the 26th & 1st of January

Closed: 24th & 25th December. Fully booked 31st December.

Website: www.sjavargrillid.is

Skelfiskmarkaðurinn

This is a luxurious restaurant serves up a large range of different seafood as well as some steaks! Time to surf and turf with style!

Open for dinner on 25th & 31st December, & 1st January

Closed: 24th December

Website: www.skelfiskmarkadurinn.is

SKÝ Restaurant & Bar

Enjoy delicious international cuisine with a view from the luxurious SKÝ Restaurant & Bar. Vegetarian-friendly!

Open for dinner: 24th, 25th & 31st December

Website: https://www.skyrestaurant.is/

Slippbarinn

A fish dish at Slippbarinn restaurant

Photo: Slippbarinn Facebook

Slippbarinn is a modern and classy bar and restaurant located by Reykjavík’s Old Harbour, serving meat, seafood, vegetarian, and vegan dishes.

Open: 24th, 25th, & 31st December, & 1st January

Website: www.slippbarinn.is

Snaps Bistro

Snaps is an elegant & clean restaurant which serves international food with a leaning towards French cuisine.

Open for dinner:  26th & 31 December

Closed: 24th, 25st December & 1st January

Website: www.snaps.is

Sushi Social

Sushi Social offers a fantastic fusion of Brazilian and Japanese cuisine.

Open: 26th & 31st December, & 1st January

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.sushisocial.is

Sæta Svínið Gastropub

Don’t be fooled by its outside, this cooky restaurant is huge on the inside and decorated with a lot of love. The vibes are always good here and the food is even better! Expect an international and eclectic menu.

Open: 26 & 31st December, & 1st January

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.saetasvinid.is

Tapas Barinn

Tapas dish at Tapas Barinn restaurant in Reykjavík.

Photo: Tapas Barinn Facebook

Tapas Barinn delivers the perfect fusion of Icelandic and Spanish flavours. Ordering lots of the tapas-sized dishes and sharing is recommended!

Open for dinner: 26th & 31st December, & 1 January

Closed: 24th & 25th December

Website: www.tapas.is

The Lobster House

Specialising in lobster, this classic restaurant presents traditional seafood dishes with an elegant touch. Lovely to look at, even better to taste.

Open: Open for dinner on 25th December, & on January 1st

Closed: 24th, 31st December

Website: www.thelobsterhouse.is

VOX

Enjoy the delicious and varied Scandinavian brunch and lunch buffets that VOX have to offer and go for their á-la-carte festive menus for dinner.

Open: 24th, 25th, 26th & 31st December

Website: www.vox.is


Check out The Best Restaurants in Reykjavík here.