We adore Iceland. Over the past 15 years, we’ve been there about five times in all seasons except spring. Our first visit back in 2005 to see our favorite band and native Icelanders, gusgus, play at Iceland Airwaves (the SxSW of the Artic Circle!) was simply magical and life-changing. Part of that magic was that we somehow randomly landed the ultra-Modern rooftop suite of Hotel Odinsve, gracing us with a rooftop patio and 360-degree views of Reykjavik. And on the first floor of this hotel was a little place called SNAPS.
Like many locales across the world, the culinary scene in Iceland has changed a lot over the past 20 years. Back in 2005, there were good choices, but they were few. Today, Iceland is crawling with inventive, locavore food as well as local beers and liqueurs. SNAPS, however, has been highly rated from the get-go, and deservedly so: it’s a required stop for our visits.
Essentially a French bistro with New Icelandic and Scandanavian tendencies, SNAPS serves French traditionals with Icelandic ingredients as well as elevated Scandavian and Icelandic traditions like open sandwiches and the ever-present cod. Some of the dishes are architecturally influenced by noma (and therefore gorgeous). The food is fancy yet grounded by tradition and camaraderie.
SNAPS is a place that we can honestly answer “What’s good?” with “Everything.” The vibe is French cafe quaint and friendly with a large U-shaped bar (we once saw Hogni enjoying brunch there with friends). SNAPS is centrally located but off the main drag, so it’s a popular spot for the locals. The other cool thing about the place is that the hotel hasn’t changed their wifi password in 15 years, so the money’s for nothing, and the surfing’s for free!
web&where: interwebs; Þórsgata 1 101 reykjavik, iceland; +354 511-6677
what’s the deal? French-Icelandic cuisine; sit down
overall: **** (food****; drink****; atmosphere****; service****; instagrammability****)
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]