If you are in Reykjavik, Iceland, and looking for that exquisite fine dining, there is only one place I can confidently recommend will fill your desires to be in the best social scene in the City.
That place is called Grillmarkaðurinn. Today, I share my review.
Grill Market (Iceland) Review
Commonly referred to as “The Grill Market,” this is the place to be and be seen. Not that it gets all glitzy like a restaurant you’ll visit in Miami Beach, with full on half naked women gallivanting around looking for a sugar daddy. In the more respectful and classy Iceland, however, this is where people come to enjoy a delightful setting in a very large, yet cozy environment.
The story goes that Grillmarket works with local farmers, and in my experience, this was as farm to table as it gets. Everything was fresh and very pristine. The menu (pictured below) features every local dish you would imagine: lamb, beef, trout, skyr, and honey. You’ll be welcomed by a Northern look and feel, with a lot of stone accents and very warming bar and kitchen. We were seated downstairs, which at first looked like a major downgrade, but upon winding down the long staircase, we were met with an aura of a very well thought out basement with exquisite decor. You’ll notice the warm feeling when you see the smoke from the kitchen, the smell of coal, and the visual of an open flame.
The Grill Market Menu
Here is a snapshot of what you can find for entrees. (May of 2018.)
A sampling of #icelandicfood. From top left going clockwise: hakarl (fermented shark) with dried fish, flat bread, and a shot of Brennivin. Arctic char. Next on bottom – horse. Yes, horse! Finally, whale. This is all typical Food in Iceland. #icelandfood #foodiniceland #travelblogger #food #foodporn #allworld #iceland
In this picture, the upper right, (Arctic char) and lower left dishes (Horse Tenderolin) were from Grillmarket.
The coals on their grill heat up to 1200 celcius, which will cook a steak (or horse) very fast and very proper.
Overall, I was highly impressed with this establishment. Lots of typical Icelandic dishes and a few others.
We had the following dishes:
- Beetroot cured Arctic Char
- Minke Whale, Puffin, and Reindeer Mini Burgers
- Grilled Salmon
- Horse Tenderloin
- Grill Market Fries
- Garlic Potatoes
- Dessert: The Grill Market Chocolate & the Strawberry Pavlova
We didn’t drink anything but water because we did a morning hike amidst a huge blizzard. Our Icelandic tour guide called it the worst storm in three years. That made us exhausted, and from there we went to the Blue Lagoon, where I indulged in a lot of beer. So being tired, a drink would have put me to sleep, and I would have been asleep at the SandHotel instead of enjoying this amazing dinner. Next time, 100%.
Where do I start?
The mini burgers were each unique, yet delicious. If you haven’t had a chance to have the whale or puffin, do it. There aren’t many places they serve these, so have at it.
The salmon was great, and consistent with great salmon had in other countries. The sides were on point as well, but the highlight was unexpected: horse tenderloin.
I called a friend of mine in Minnesota when I saw the menu. His exact words, when I told him I was waffling between the reindeer and the horse: “Get the horse. Thank me later.”
Done. This is someone who grew up on a farm and knows his meat. He’s never steered me wrong in any cookout, and likes the same cuts of beef that I enjoy. Problem solved, I was going to eat Mr. Ed.
What a clean, delicious cut of meat it was. The tenderloin was soft, tasty, and full of juicy flavor. If you haven’t hard horse meat before, and find yourself curious, just trust me. If you are a beef lover, this is right up your alley.
The dessert, well, the video will speak for me:
I’m going back in June. I’ll be here. Look for the guy eating horse. This time, I’ll dive into their cocktail menu.
Other FYI on Grill Market in Iceland
Is there a dress code at Grill Market?
As an American, I’d say business casual. Iceland is pretty chill, but don’t be that slob.
How is the tasting menu at Grill Market?
We didn’t have it, but many Iceland blogs talk about it. I had my heart set on horse!
When are they open?
Lunch and dinner. If you just want to drink, there is a bar. It looked fun, like something you’d see at a boutique hotel bar in the USA.
Address, Directions, & Website: