This remote archipelago, which lies off the coast of Iceland, has a surprisingly good range of places to eat and drink. Return from a day exploring the natural wonders and settle into one of the cosy bars and restaurants, many of which celebrate Icelandic cuisine. Here’s our pick of the best places to eat and drink on the island.
Pítsugerðin takes a taste of Italy and brings it to Vestmannaeyjar. The swish tiled interior includes a wood-burning oven where all the pizzas are cooked. As well as the Italian classics like margarita and rolled calzones, there are more modern flavours. If you fancy pushing the boat out, try their signature pizza laden with lobster. The kids will never forgive you if you don’t order the pizza dessert which comes topped with lashings of Nutella and sliced banana.
Another favourite among locals (a branc out of Pítsugerðin), Gott specialises in healthy, organic fare served up in a contemporary setting. The eatery is the brainchild of husband and wife team Sigurður Gíslason and Berglind Sigmarsdóttir who have written several cookbooks. The menu changes with the seasons and the fish is scored from local catches daily. Expect dishes like goat cheese and beet salad and spelt-wrapped grilled chicken. Plus, there are several vegan options on the menu too.
If you’re looking to splurge, you an get some serious high-end dining at Einsi Kaldi. The Vestmannaeyjar-born chef takes the achingly fresh local produce and works his magic over the plate to create innovate, modern Icelandic cuisine. Signature dishes include monk fish and lobster. Expect desserts like skyr – a type of Icelandic yogurt – created into an elegant panna cotta. The restaurant occupies the lower floor of the Hótel Vestmannaeyjar and has a stylish interior that wouldn’t look out of place in London or New York.
One of the newest kids on the block is Tanginn, a comfortable, modern restaurant designed with slate and wood overlooking the ocean. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a romantic break or you’re bringing the whole family, you’ll always find a dish which fits the bill. Juicy burgers, freshly-caught fish dishes, modern summer salads and sweet desserts dominate the menu. Best eaten accompanied by fresh Icelandic tapped beer.
Slippurinn restaurant, which occupies an original workshop factory that once served the fishing boats in the harbour, is one of the island favourites and sets a high bar for with its cuisine. Don’t be fooled by its size – its popularity means it often fills up with locals and tourists most evenings during the high season. The food here celebrates Icelandic cuisine and produce. Seasonal ingredients are used to create classic Icelandic dishes with a modern twist. Don’t leave without trying one of their innovative cocktails.
You won’t need to be in the capital to try great Icelandic beer. After you’ve eaten, be sure to swing by the Brothers Brewery, a small craft-beer brewer which has won several awards for its amber nectar. Try to visit when they have tastings during which you can sample several brews and visit their new Ale House.
Café & Souvenirs at Eymundsson
Pennin – Eymundsson, what a lovely store! Browse for books and have a coffee or tea while you check them out. There is a decent selection of English language books about Icelandic subjects (like Njal’s Saga) as well as a good selection of magazines. Add stationary and some souvenirs to the mix and this is what you get.