Höfði Mathöll Food Hall & Reykjavik’s Food Courts
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
In the quite recent past, Iceland didn’t have the most exciting and progressive food scenes. But over the last decade or so all this has changed considerably. With the boom in tourism and a healthy home economy, people’s appetites for dining out have increased. Fine dining restaurants in Iceland are innovating by using interesting local ingredients with exciting and unusual flavors. Then 2017 saw the very first food court opening its doors in the capital city Reykjavik.
Street Food has seen a huge surge in popularity in cities right across Europe. And now Reykjavik has joined this gastronomic movement with aplomb. Between 2017 and 2019 no less than three food courts opened up in quick succession across the city. Most recently the Höfði Mathöll Food Hall came to life as the new kid on the block in March 2019. The other two are the well-established Hlemmur Food Hall and the Grandi Mathöll in Reykjavik's harbor area.
Icelandic Food Reykjavik: Fast Food Culture
It used to be that the cheap and cheerful go-to snack of choice in Reykjavik was the hot dog. And carnivores still shouldn’t leave the capital without enjoying a dockside dog with all the trimmings. These are a real classic of the Icelandic food scene and a proper tradition. However, these days with the advent of food halls there is so much more choice.
Reykjavik’s food courts are really fun and sociable places to visit and hang out in. You can eat and drink to your heart’s content and enjoy the atmosphere of a market all under one roof. There is a lively camaraderie amongst the stallholders and customers sit down at communal tables and get chatting easily. It is a great way to meet locals and other travelers and enjoy a sociable bite to eat.
Icelandic street food price & food specialties
We all know that Iceland can be an expensive place to eat and drink. But these food court options make it much more affordable. Locals pop in for coffee and pastries in the morning. Think warm cinnamon buns and fresh roast brews. Then at lunchtime and dinner the offer expands. You will find cuisines from right around the world served up hot and relatively reasonably priced. Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian, Scandi, they are all there.
One of the most typical and delicious Icelandic food specialties on offer is the cinnamon bun. Iceland’s bakers have perfected the art of the bun and they have stood the test of time with good reason. Most food courts include a licensed pub too so they are versatile places and lively from morning until night. Visit our article for more breakfast and brunch spots in Reykjavik.
Hlemmur Food Hall
Hlemmur Food Hall opened in 2017 is a repurposed bus station. This was the very first food hall in Reykjavik. As such it has some great well-established stalls that have really honed their offering. You can tuck into flavors from around the world including Mexican, Danish, Italian and French. There are ten food stalls in total along with a small market area. So you can stock up on groceries or fresh organic vegetables and some excellent ice cream. The venue will often run pop up events such as larger food markets or themed evenings. There is a cocktail bar and one of the best bakeries for cinnamon buns in Reykjavik. And in a city of bun enthusiasts, that’s really saying something!
The New Kid on the Block: All about Höfði Mathöll Food Hall
Let’s take a closer look at the food offering in Reykjavik’s newest food court located in the Höfði district.
This Scandinavian street food stand is run by a restaurateur couple from Germany and Iceland. The pair used to run a restaurant in Norway and bring a fresh and sophisticated take on street food. They specialize in Scandinavian inspired flavors. Their standout dishes include herby shrimp sandwiches on brioche and sautéed mushrooms with dill on sourdough.
Remember those cinnamon buns we mentioned? Well, this is the place to come for them at the Höfði Mathöll Food Hall. Get them fresh from the oven and with a tantalizing array of gooey sweet icings to choose between.
This wood-fired pizza joint is perfect for a laidback meal. Share a pepperoni and olive pizza to get things started. Each pizza takes just two minutes to cook so don’t worry if you need another. They also whip up a good array of veggie and vegan pizza options too.
This place offers traditional Icelandic comfort food. Think meat, veg and pickled cabbage. Perfect to fill up with on a cold day.
Mexico is a far cry from Iceland but those warming and zesty flavors can be found here. Loaded nachos, burst at the seams burritos and unctuous quesadillas.
Colourful curries abound at this Indian-fusion street food stall. Go for butter chicken, veggie curries and roast cauliflower or chicken wings with a delightful spiced sauce.
Zingy bowls of noodles and chili laced fried rice with fresh greens and seafood. Here’s where to come for an Asian fusion bite.
The Gastro Truck offers posh junk food done right. Burgers and fries, sticky fried chicken and all that good stuff. They have a tasty vegan burger option on the menu too.
And here is something to wash it all down with. This east Iceland craft beer bar has some interesting brews on tap. The perfect place to end a day of feasting.