Ólafur Arnalds- the prodigious Icelandic neo-classical composer - turns food critic, as he gives us a guide to dining out in Reykjavík.
The Young Composer's Guide To Reykjavík Dining
Or: How to get by without eating for as long as possible before stuffing pizza in your face...
By Ólafur Arnalds
Why the respectable Reykjavík Grapevine magazine would ask a non-eating, 58kg workaholic who would go for the pill—if there was one to replace all food consumption—to write a guide on Reykjavík dining baffles me. This request came, however, at 4am at Kaffibarinn, so I went for the “hell yes!” (this fact would also explain why the request came in the first place). Having not cooked at home since February, I really should know something on the subject of 'dining out' after all. This is not the case though.
I usually try to get by on my breakfast until 7PM or so by drinking a lot of water, but at some point the coffee shakes will take over and I have to find some food before I pass out. When you haven't eaten all day and have had too much coffee, you usually don't want to sit down and have a 'light meal'. All you want at this point is something fat to stuff in your face, which later will make you feel very sick.
The best pizza place in Reykjavík is obviously Pizza King. This is a well-known fact. Their pizza has too much cheese and is frequently over-cooked (these are compliments). Pizza Pronto is much closer to my studio though, and they have the option of margarita slices (good option for vegetarians such as myself), so I go there more frequently. However, their pizzas are absolutely horrible and can only be eaten by piling on all the 10 kinds of spices they have. This, in fact, makes them quite delicious.
Quite a good newcomer is Gamla Smiðjan. They are a bit overpriced though, and I find that it doesn't matter whether I order a 9" or a 12" pizza, I’ll always get exactly the same size.