Where are the Best Bars in Reykjavik? When it comes to the vibrant city of Reykjavik, it’s not just the stunning landscapes and fascinating culture that steal the spotlight. Reykjavik’s cocktail and bar scene has steadily flourished, offering a delightful fusion of creativity, innovation, and Icelandic flavors.
Reykjavik boasts an array of unique venues that cater to cocktail enthusiasts seeking exceptional experiences. From semi-hidden to stylish rooftop bars offering panoramic views, each venue has its own character and charm. Step into these eclectic spaces and let the mixologists work their magic.
Where to Get Special Cocktails
Lebowski Bar: White Russian with Coco Puffs plus 22 other variations of the White Russian. Their rooftop area is quite nice and opens when the temperature exceeds 9° C.
Opening hours: Every day 11-01.
Kröns: Krönsí – a cocktail with Icelandic Brennivín
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 17-21, Friday-Saturday 17-22
Apótek Restaurant: The theme of Apotek Restaurant is the pharmacy (as apotek is derived from apothecary), and they have quite a few winning cocktails with Icelandic ingredients. Our favorites are Laugardalur (Beefeater Gin, lemon, yuzu, tarragon, and rhubarb and Hekla, which includes Reyka vodka, grape, butterscotch, green tea, and yuzu. Then you can choose between stimulants, painkillers, stress relievers, or immunity booster cocktails.
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 11:30 – 23, Friday-Saturday 11:30 – 00, Sunday 12-23
Borg Restaurant: Check out The Tipsy Puffin at Borg; it will remind you of going wild berry picking with your grandma.
Opening hours: Wednesday-Thursday 17:30-21, Friday-Saturday 17:30-21:30, Sunday 17:30-21
The Cocktail Bar on Klapparstígur. The cocktail bar is a part of the restaurant Monkey’s, a fun place to eat. What makes the Cocktail Bar special is the train car, have a seat and get one of their unique cocktails – or off-menu if you are so inclined.
Tipsý Bar & Lounge in Hafnarstræti. This cocktail bar is new on the Reykjavik cocktail scene. It is exceptionally cozy and has a wide range of cocktails on offer.
Opening hours: Every day 16-01.
The Best Places for Cocktails
Veðurbarinn – This means the Weather Bar but can also mean weather-beaten. The bar offers different cocktails and unique variations of classic drinks. Their take on mulled wine, the Nordic Jólaglögg, has even been recognized by The Guardian as one of the top ten warming winter drinks worldwide. This demonstrates their expertise in crafting beverages that provide comfort and delight during the colder months.
For beer enthusiasts, this gem also offers a selection of Iceland’s finest craft brews, including hoppy IPAs, rich stouts, and refreshing lagers. It’s the perfect spot to explore and appreciate the best of Iceland’s brewing scene.
Additionally, they have special promotions throughout the week to make your experience even more appealing. Happy Hour runs from 12 PM to 7:35 PM, offering plenty of time to enjoy discounted drinks after a long day. If you prefer a more sophisticated atmosphere, Cocktail Hour takes place from 7 PM to 9 PM, where expert mixologists can create classic cocktails or even customize a drink to your preference. Finally, Sparkling Thursdays lets you indulge in the effervescence of champagne and sparkling wine, adding a touch of elegance to your evening.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 14-01, Friday-Saturday 14-03
Jungle: Where Modern Mixology Meets Millennial Style
Jungle is the ultimate cocktail bar that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the 21st century. With its trendy decor featuring statement wallpaper and abundant greenery, Jungle creates an inviting atmosphere that appeals to all. The cocktail bar offers an all-day happy hour on Mondays (also available from 3–5 PM Wednesday to Sunday). As midweek rolls around, Jungle adopts laid-back vibes, providing the perfect backdrop for relaxed conversations and unwinding. And when the weekend arrives, the bar turns up the energy, creating a lively party atmosphere that will have you dancing the night away.
Varied and Exquisite Drinks
Jungle prides itself on an impressive selection of drinks that cater to every taste. From refreshing highballs to sophisticated coupettes, their menu is carefully crafted to satisfy discerning palates. You’ll also find creative touches of tiki, infusing your beverage with an exotic twist. Plus, Jungle offers a strong non-alcoholic lineup, ensuring everyone can enjoy their signature flavors, regardless of their preferences. If you want something off-menu, don’t hesitate to ask the bartender; more likely than not, they can make it for you.
Opening hours: Every day 16-01
The Best Bars in Reykjavik
MicroBar: Where Modern Ambiance Meets Exceptional Craft Beers
Situated on Laugavegur, MicroBar is one of Iceland’s oldest craft beer bars, offering a unique take on the craft beer culture. Unlike what one might typically associate with the craft beer scene, MicroBar’s ambience and interior embrace a modern and pragmatic approach, creating a distinct contrast that sets it apart.
The star of the show at MicroBar is undoubtedly the top-notch selection of beers. With up to ten options on tap and a wide variety of bottled craft beers, beer enthusiasts are spoiled for choice. Whether you’re seeking traditional favorites or eager to explore new and innovative brews, MicroBar has something to satisfy every palate.
Previously located in Austurstræti, within the depths of the City Center Hotel, MicroBar’s popularity soared, leading the owners to relocate across the street and expand their premises. Now, MicroBar proudly operates as one of the trendiest craft beer bars in all of Iceland, attracting locals and visitors alike.
For those who find decision-making a challenge, MicroBar offers a special treat: a beer-tasting tray at a discounted price. This allows you to sample a variety of flavors and styles, immersing yourself in the world of craft beer. With each sip, you’ll experience the craftsmanship of Gæðingur Brewery—just as Borg beer is to Skúli, Gæðingur beer is to MicroBar!
Visit MicroBar and indulge in the extraordinary craft beers that await you. Experience the harmonious blend of modern ambiance, impeccable brews, and a touch of Icelandic brewing excellence. MicroBar is a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts seeking an exceptional and trendy beer-drinking experience in Iceland.
Opening hours: Monday-Wednesday 16-00, Thursday-Friday 16-01, Saturday 15-01, Sunday 15-00
Gaukurinn: Where Music, Art, and Community Converge
Gaukurinn, situated in downtown Reykjavik on Tryggvagata, is a renowned pub and live music venue with an important place in the Icelandic music scene. It has been a launching pad for many of Iceland’s biggest artists. It has recently emerged as a welcoming haven for the queer, alternative, and drag communities. With its diverse offerings and inclusive atmosphere, Gaukurinn has become a creative space where everyone is embraced. And what’s more, it’s where the first draft beer was served after the ban was lifted in 1989.
In addition to its musical offerings, Gaukurinn is also equipped to host various other events, including birthday parties, stand-up comedy shows, meetings, and pub quizzes.
Gaukurinn has recently undergone renovations and enhancements, including a state-of-the-art stage and sound system and an inviting redecoration of the space. Visitors are encouraged to experience the refreshed look of Gaukurinn firsthand. The venue also features a lovely outdoor terrace, a designated smoking area during concert nights, and a comfortable outdoor seating space for guests to bask in the sun.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 17-01, Friday-Saturday 17-03
Skúli Craft Bar: Where Quality Craft Beers Meet Cozy Sophistication
Skúli Craft Bar offers over 130 craft beers in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. With 14 rotating taps, there’s always something new to try, making it a place to visit often.
Skúli Craft Bar is the perfect introduction for newcomers to the craft beer scene. It’s also a great starting point for an afternoon or evening in downtown Reykjavík, with happy hour prices from 12 PM to 7 PM. Skúli Craft Bar is one of the places we visit on our Reykjavik Beer & Booze tour, which we highly recommend you try out if you want to have an introduction to Iceland’s beer scene.
The bar showcases up to 14 beers on tap, focusing on award-winning recipes from the Borg brewery. The warm and inviting atmosphere, complemented by a bright wooden bar and sophisticated artwork, adds an elegant touch.
While the beer selection may not be cheap, you can choose from some of the best brews in Iceland. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are there to assist, and small tasting glasses are available for those wanting to explore different flavors.
Opening hours: Sunday-Wednesday 12-00, Thursday 12-00, Friday-Saturday 12-01
Uppi: A Hidden Wine Bar Above The Fish Market in Reykjavik
Uppi is a hidden gem above The Fish Market in Reykjavik. This wine bar offers a unique culinary experience, pairing exquisite wines with thoughtfully crafted small dishes. Uppi is a must-visit for food and wine enthusiasts in Reykjavik.
Located at Aðalstræti 12, Uppi creates a warm and inviting ambiance. Turn left upon entering and ascend one floor to immerse yourself in an intimate setting, perfect for culinary exploration.
Uppi’s proximity to The Fish Market, one of the Best Seafood Restaurants in Reykjavik, allows seamless floor transitions. Enjoy aperitifs upstairs before a memorable dining experience downstairs, or elevate the evening with a drink at Uppi after your meal.
Uppi offers an impressive range of cocktails, beers, and non-alcoholic drinks. The highlight is their rare and curated wine collection, perfect for wine enthusiasts seeking a diverse selection.
Uppi opens at 16:00 daily, featuring a happy hour from 16:00 to 18:00. The dedicated team of trained waiters and chefs ensures exceptional service.
Opening hours: Every day 16-01
The Petersen Suite: A Rooftop Oasis at Gamla Bíó
The Petersen Suite is a hidden gem on the third floor of the historic cinema, Gamla Bíó, which offers an unforgettable rooftop lounge and bar experience. Originally the cinema runner’s apartment, this top floor has become an excellent spot boasting a two-tiered terrace with panoramic city views.
During the summer, the terrace comes alive with groups of people basking in the sun and enjoying refreshing drinks. The Petersen Suite goes the extra mile by offering a delightful selection of grilled food on-site, ensuring a satisfying culinary experience. As the winter chill sets in, the atmosphere becomes cozy and inviting, with the added bonus of live music performances every week.
What sets The Petersen Suite apart is its stunning rooftop setting and its commitment to creating a welcoming environment for guests of all ages. Daily happy hour deals and a range of enticing offers, which can be found on their Facebook page, make it an appealing hangout spot for locals and visitors alike.
Whether you’re looking to unwind with friends, soak up breathtaking city views, or savor delectable grilled delicacies, The Petersen Suite is the perfect destination. Elevate your socializing experience and discover the magic of this rooftop oasis at Gamla Bíó. Don’t miss the opportunity to make lasting memories at The Petersen Suite, where every visit promises an extraordinary time.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 14-01, Friday-Saturday 14-03
Ölstofa Kormáks og Skjaldar: The perfect bar for a beer and a chat.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 15-01, Friday-Saturday 15-04
Kaffibarinn: Kaffibarinn was once famously owned in part by Blur’s frontman Damon Albarn so he wouldn’t have to pay for the beer (or so the story goes), this place is excellent if you want a slightly wilder night.
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 15-01, Fridays-Saturdays 12-04:30
Pablo Discobar: For a South-American flare, check out this excellent cocktail bar.
Opening hours: Thursdays 17-01, Friday-Saturday 17-03.