22 Feb 4 DAYS IN REYKJAVIK PART 2 | Happy Hour, Flamingos & Galaga
Have you been waiting on the edge of your seat for part 2? HERE IT IS.
Although I said that in this post I’d be covering the rest of the trip with a big emphasis on the scenic Golden Circle tour we went on, I decided it needed a whole post of its own because we covered so much.
Similarly, I also decided that all the bars we went to needed a post of their own because the bar scene in Reykjavik was great in my humble opinion. So this is now post TWO of THREE. A bit of a guide to bars in Reykjavik if you will.
So if you haven’t yet gathered, during our time in Reykjavik we went against what everyone told us not to do (because of how pricey drinks are) and went to lots of bars.
Did we regret it? NOPE.
In fact I loved the bars we visited so much that I’ve put together an entire post dedicated to them. So if you’re thinking of doing a Reykjavik bar crawl make sure to incorporate these bars as they did not disappoint.
This included directions to all the bars in Reykjavik, reviews and the all important deets about when happy hour kicked off & wrapped up and the discounts that were available. This is definitely a must if you’re planning on doing a bit of drinking or partying while in Reykjavik.
Even making the most of happy hour, we had such a terrible grasp of the Icelandic currency that it was difficult to ascertain whether we were actually getting a good deal or not. We visited such a cool selection of bars however that we really didn’t mind.
The first bar we found was The Lebowski which we’d heard about through the BBC show Getaways. Due to Reykjavik being so small, it was really easy to find everything that we’d researched and heard about before heading off.
Naturally, The Dude’s cocktail of choice, the White Russian was available at this bar. In about twenty different forms. Beware though, the cocktails available at The Lebowski can go up to extortionate prices. I was about to order one and decided I’d check how much it worked out in sterling out of interest.
FOURTEEN POUNDS (about 1900 ISK) needless to say I hastily changed my order and opted for a pint.
This was our first encounter with the ubiquitous Gull beer which we later found out translated to “Gold” however I couldn’t quite shake the association with seagulls. This became our drink of choice for the trip. It was a nice, light, easily drank beer.
Consulting Appy Hour we found the nearby Bar Ananas, just a quick skip around the corner from The Lebowski which was fab as it was RAINING (Reykjavik is very rainy in January. Or at least it was while we were there.) With bright colours and an almost tropical interior this bar felt really cosy and reminiscent of sunshine and beaches. An enjoyable repose from the cold Icelandic winds and rain.
We opted for Viking beer this time which made us feel thoroughly Icelandic. I personally preferred Gull. Viking is a bit sharper. More of an IPA taste to it.
Set the scene: we’re sitting in this bar of vivid tropical colours, seaside themed, drinking Viking beer surrounded by people having a chilled out few drinks on a cold night & then “Redbone” by Childish Gambino comes on. It just felt perfect.
Weird how it’s not the big moments on a trip away that stick out it’s just the small moments of contentment sitting having a drink listening to good music in a nice setting that stick out more than anything else. Bar Ananas was probably my favourite bar we went to. Judging from the delicious smell they made good food in the restaurant downstairs too. Highly recommend.
By this point we were getting pretty hungry & went on a search for somewhere to eat. We found a sort of gastropub restaurant called UNO. They did a helluva nice cocktail, one of the best I’ve had in ages, it was called blueberry and apple sour. I’d watched Rick Stein’s Long Weekends Reykjavik episode in which I found out blueberries are apparently famously good in Iceland. For food I was unadventurous and went for a burger but it was all SO tasty. Scott went for the more Icelandic option of seafood.
We made the final stop of our mini bar crawl at Pablo Discobar next door because we didn’t want to walk too much more in the rain and I’m so glad we did because this bar is FAB.
With tacky yet fabulous wallpaper, a healthy dose of satin and a mirrored ceiling there was a lot going with the decor in Pablo Discobar (a an intentional play on Pablo Escobar or coincidence?). It had the feel of Parisian 1920’s chic brought back down to earth by seedy 70’s disco tack and I LOVED IT. I wanted to be suitably dressed up to suit this fabulous decor but unfortunately there was no chance I was wearing a dress and heels in ICELAND in WINTER.
We were greeted by the barman who was super enthusiastic about cocktails and was easy to see he was putting a great deal of care into making ours superb.
Mine had tequila, gin, lime and lemon with a little bit of olive oil to give that speckled effect. As with so much in Reykjavik it was pricey but so worth it.
We wrapped up our second night and went back to the hotel to get some sleep before the golden circle tour. BUT that’s a post for another day.
AFTER the golden circle tour as it was Scott’s birthday we got his fav for dinner: Italian. Then stumbled upon the Boston Bar and decided to check it out.
The Boston was a fairy light draped, dingy little bar that although perhaps a little bit run down had a lot of character and charm. Their toilets were like walking into the red room in Twin Peaks with a striped floor and garishly red walls with a collage of fliers and art stuck to them.
There was a sign saying that there was more seats upstairs and a record collection waiting to be played so obviously I had to go and investigate this. However, when I got up the stairs the extra seating must have been closed or something because I walked up and was suddenly face to face with what I assume was a chef on his break watching TV and staring at me. IT WAS DELIGHTFUL. Needless to say I quickly skipped back down that rickety old staircase.
I wasn’t really feeling like hitting up any other bars that night (not to mention we’d already spent a modest amount the night before, cocktails making a particular hit) so that’s when we decided to go to FREDDI.
Freddi is a super cool mini games arcade with selection of classic games like Pinball, Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Pacman and Galaga. Upstairs they have rooms with TVs and games consoles to play newer Xbox and Playstation games.
Although it’s not technically a bar, Freddi deserves a mention because it was one of my favourite unique little places we found in Reykjavik. I loved its decor and brightly painted walls. They also had loads of old eighties games on a display shelf.
Freddi costs 1000 ISK for an hour playing whatever games you choose. This works out just over £7. Again, this is perhaps a little bit on the pricey side for what it is but definitely well worth it. Scott found that he’s a pinball wizard and I got way too invested in my favourite arcade game, Galaga. I got so invested in fact that we came back again on our final night.
And so our whistle-stop tour of my selection of Reykjavik’s bar (and gaming) scene comes to a close. Hopefully you’ve found at least a couple of bars that have piqued your interest!
Next week is the final post covering, finally, the Golden Circle Tour!