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Quick lunches in downtown Reykjavík for 1000 ISK or less


We here at I Heart Reykjavík recently moved offices and are now located in the heart of downtown Reykjavík. We were kind of downtown before, our old office was about 300 meters (1000 feet) from the new one, but it just feels like we are more central now. You know, happy hours in every direction after work and yummy food aplenty kind of central.

Because I’m always last minute leaving home in the morning (because I’m busy – not lazy – I swear!), I never remember to pack lunch, (or eat breakfast) and around 11:45 my stomach usually starts protesting loudly about this mistreatment. So my mind starts to wander around the neighborhood, desperately seeking something to put in said stomach to shut it up and although we’re right next to some of the best restaurants in Reykjavík, I would quickly go bankrupt if I ate there every day. So this move has made me into somewhat of a food-related bargain hunter, always looking for the next great deal.

Because I know people are often complaining about expensive food in Reykjavík, I thought I’d share these findings with you. Because that’s just how I roll.

I should probably tell you, though, that  these places didn’t make the list because they’re the finest food establishments in Reykjavík. This is not a list for fine-diners, it’s more a list of not so terrible things that 1000 ISK can buy you in Reykjavík.

So, lo and behold, our (not quite) ultimate (but we’re working on it) list of quick lunches in downtown Reykjavík for 1000 ISK or less

The falafel roll at Mandi

Mandi is loved by many for their delicious late night grub (they are open till 6am on the weekend) and vegetarian options. Although the falafel roll is not quite the same as I got used to when I was in Israel and Palestine, it’s pretty damn good and filling. And cheap, it’s only 1000 ISK.

I also love their hummus which you can get with chips for 600 ISK. Their other dishes are not too expensive either and the portions are generous. I also really like AliBaba next door (one of the very few halal eateries in Reykjavík) but their prices are slightly higher.

The Tuesday offer at Ginger in 10/11 Austurstræti

Although I wouldn’t normally recommend 10/11 for anything cheap (so much more expensive than Bónus for example) you can find good offers there every now and again. One of which is the Ginger, which is actually a separate fast food restaurant inside the store, roll Tuesdays. Then all the rolls on their menu are 990 ISK (instead of the 1590 ISK or 1790 ISK they cost usually) and they are filling and tasty and we like them.

Curry in a hurry at Shalimar

For a long time, Shalimar was the best Indian/Pakistani fast food restaurant in Reykjavík and even though it has more competition now it’s always quite busy. During the lunch hour, they offer what they call Curry in a hurry which is a small portion of one of their curry dishes of the day with some rice and naan bread. It is a small portion but it should be enough if you are not super hungry.

I will say though that I went for a chicken dish once and they were very stingy with the chicken. Next time I go there I will choose one of the vegetarian options which I think would be more filling.

2 slices at Deli

Most pizza places in downtown Reykjavík have good lunch offers but I’d like to mention Deli because I think their pizza is quite different from the rest. I particularly like their vegetarian pizza which has spinach, feta cheese and peanuts among other toppings. At lunch you can choose two slices for 850 ISK, which is usually enough for me.

I also quite like their pasta of the day, usually, but that’s 1400 ISK so it doesn’t quite make this list.

Two with everything at Bæjarins Beztu

You can’t say you’ve been to Reykjavík until you’ve been to Bæjarins beztu. You just can’t. This Reykjavík’s favorite hot dog stand always has a line, no matter the weather. And you can get two hotdogs, which should be enough to fill most, for 840 ISK. 2 hotdogs and soda costs 1060 ISK.

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  1. Great! Now I know some places to go for lunch after the IHeartReykjavik tour in a couple of weeks!

  2. Can confirm that the pizza from Deli is indeed very tasty (we went based on Auður’s recommendation!)

    There as no line at the hot dog stand when i went in december, i was quite surprised. wish i’d had two, but i was saving myself for gelato but it was closed when i got back into town 🙁

    1. December?? I meant September. duh.

  3. A big time thank you for this list!!! Cant wait for the IheartReykjavik tour last week of November!!!!!

    1. Might see you there, we are there last week of November also!

  4. I went to Shalimar for dinner on my last night in Reykjavik. It was good and not too expensive.

  5. When I visited Reykjavik recently, we were told by fellow travellers that we MUST try the hotdogs from the hotdog stand by the old harbour. So enthusiastic was the recommendation, that we followed the advice – it’s a hotdog stand, not a shop, and you’ll know it because there’s always a queue, no matter what time of day or night, no matter what the weather. A hotdog is 450kr, and soda 250. The word-of-mouth buzz around this place is quite a phenomenon, and when we raved about it to our Icelandic guide he knew it as ‘the breakfast of champions’ – I totally recommend this place to all visitors!

  6. Thanks for the quick lunch tips. I’m gluten-free and wondering if any places have gluten-free menus or if I will be able to communicate (English only) with wait staff to inquire about ingredients.

    1. Post comment

      Auður - I Heart Reykjavík says:

      There are not a lot of places that cater especially to gluten-free individuals but Gló, for example, offers gluten-free options on their menu. Most people speak English in Iceland and they should know what gluten-free means.