Sjávarbarinn (Gourmet Chick in Iceland)

Thanks to the global financial crisis you can eat at some great restaurants in Iceland without suffering from your own personal financial crisis when the bill arrives. At these sort of restaurants the food will be exquisite but it will also be pretty fancy and sometimes you are more in the mood for the simpler things in life. Perhaps one of the simplest pleasures in life is the taste of fish and chips served by the sea. 

In Reykjavik one of the best options for fish and chips is Sjávarbarinn which is located in a row of warehouses right on Reykjavik’s harbour. The interior looks like a typical English fish and chip shop with slick and span plastic chairs and table and a long counter running along the wall. It is basic but I appreciate the lack of pretension. The only sign that you are in Iceland are the pictures of various whales on the walls and of course the food. Sjávarbarinn features an all you can eat buffet filled with a variety of hot and cold fish dishes and salads. Traditional Icelandic dishes are a feature such as an Icelandic fish stew and fermented shark. If you felt like it you could really be adventurous here although I was a little scared I might accidentally eat some whale meat and anyway as I said I was in the mood for some simple fish and chips.
For 1,200 ISK (around £6) you get a huge piece of battered haddock, thick cut chips and salad. The haddock is a winner. The golden batter crunches satisfyingly as you bite into it to reveal the fish’s pearly white flesh. I am not so sure about the chips which are more potato wedges than traditional chips. Perhaps this is the Icelandic way.


Even in a country where the local currency has been decimated Sjávarbarinn is very reasonably priced for a no frills fish and chip feast.


Details: Grandagardur 9, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland (Ph 517 3131)
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve


If you liked reading this you might be interested in the cheapest meal in Reykjavik – a hot dog from Baejarins Bestu. If you are a bit more flash with cash try the sensational Sjvarkjallarin (Seafood Cellar).


  1. I would expect the fish to be good. I hope you enjoy the nice long days in Iceland. The sun must surely never set in the summer…

  2. Pretention free, delicious food at affordable prices are what I champion for all the time, we need more places like this in London!

  3. A Girl Has to Eat – the midnight sun was amazing – very strange it just never really got dark

    Kang – agreed.

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