where to stay:
Reyjavik Resident Hotel: This charming historical residence located slightly off the main drag and away from the noise of the city is your home away from home. Stay in apartment-style accommodations where you can make a home cooked meal and enjoy it in the breakfast nook. Each morning the hotel supplies your room with a breakfast basket including bread, milk, juice, and more for guests to cook breakfast. Apartment/room pricing begins at $420/night. http://rrhotel.is/
Kex Hostel: An unofficial headquarters of backpackerdom and popular local gathering place, Kex is a mega-hostel with heaps of style (think retro Vaudeville meets rodeo) and sociability. Overall it is not as prim as other hostels- and bathrooms are shared by many- but Kex is a perennial favorite for its friendly vibe and booming restaurant-bar with water views and interior courtyard. Housed in an old biscuit factory in the heart of Reykjavik, Kex is just steps from all the bars, clubs, and popular music venus- perfect for any young backpacker. Take your pick of staying in co-ed or female only dormitories, as well as a more private double bedroom. Room pricing begins at $48 USD/night.
where to eat:
Café Flóra: Sun-dappled tables fill a greenhouse in the Botanic Gardens and spill onto a flower-lined terrace at this lovely cafe that specializes in wholesome local ingredients- some grown in the gardens themselves! Soups come with fantastic sourdough bread, and the snacks range from cheese platters with nuts and honey to pulled-pork sandwiches. Coffee and homemade cakes round it all out.
DILL Restaurant: Nestled on the edge of Vatnsmyri, Reykjavik’s urban wetland and wild bird reserve, DILL Restaurant serves New Nordic fare, a cuisine that promotes local food cultures and seasonal ingredients. The brainchild of chef Gunnar Karl Gislason and sommelier Olafur Orn Olafsson, DILL is situated in Nordic House, one of Reykjavik’s premier cultural venues designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Guests can expect classic Nordic ingredients with a contemporary twist at lunchtime, such as meatballs and plokkfiskur, a hearty fish stew. The dinner menu changes weekly with three, five and seven courses available, as well as the option of a matching wine menu. Some of DILL’s most innovative recipes include baked rutabaga with cheese foam and crispy millet and a celeriac and herb cream with lojrom caviar, cress and goats cheese.