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Saturday, July 23 update, Part 1: Kolaportið flea market, fancy food in Reykjavik

Last weekend we dropped in briefly to see the Reykjavik Flea Market, Kolaportið. Today we headed back for a longer visit. Remember that it’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM – 5 PM. I feel like I always want to like this a lot more than I actually do.

flea market wool sweaters

They have a few vendors selling wool sweaters; the prices may be cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere. Here’s a nice article where a woman claims you can save about 3000 krona at the flea market– or about $25 on a $140 sweater.  But you have to know what you’re doing, and that you are getting the same quality.

There are also stores selling tons of toys and colorful … stuff:

flea market kids stuff

The food section may be more interesting. In the very back, you can buy fresh and frozen fish, fruits and vegetables, and lots of unique food items. And candy, which not surprisingly includes a lot of licorice:

flea market candy licorice

The most interesting souvenir for us has been these Japanese-style kimonos:

flea market cheap kimonos

For just over $8, you can get a girl’s sized traditional Chinese dress; we’ve purchased them both on this trip and also on our first trip in 2009. We also bought a few items from the very back of the main room, where there was a table scattered with 100 krona clothing.

It’s a loud and crowded environment, which may or may not be a good environment for you and your family. And there were some stalls that seemed to be selling junk at exorbitant prices. I think you can still find some interesting things to buy if you take the time to search. Or, you can just people watch and sample from fermented shark in the back.

For lunch, we tried once again to head to The Laundromat Café. To be fair, last time I didn’t discover the steps down to the family area, which offers a laundromat(!), a few tables, and a large area for the kids to run around in:

laundromat cafe

But even with this discovery, we felt like there wasn’t enough room for our family. I guess we could have taken a few of those tables in the picture, but they seemed to be tables for one? The Grapevine, an English weekly newspaper, has voted The Laundromat “Best Family Meal” for 5 out of the last 6 years. (Link to large PDF of the “Best of” issue.) They also say that “Laundromat is probably the most visited restaurant on this list.” So if you’re planning to eat here, you’ll need to be flexible.

Instead, we walked over to Hressingarskálinn, called Hressó for short. Hressó bills itself as a bar and bistro, and doesn’t look very kid friendly at first glance. But we were drawn to them because of their kids menu, which is not a menu, but rather a policy:

kids menu Hressingarskalinn

Strangely, this looks nothing like the menu on their web site, but it’s both the menu posted outside and the one we were given inside. Maybe the web site lists dinner only?

We confirmed with the waitress that the kids could order whatever they wanted, and it would be half price. So they did. One of them got the steak sandwich you can see posted above, and another got the hamburger:

Hressó Hressingarskálinnhamburger

The price listed for the burger is 2390 krona, or just under $20. At half price for kids, it would be just under $10, which is a great deal. But then the bill came, and everything was full price. So I had to ask, and they were happy to change it.

Hressó Hressingarskálinn receipt

So I’m still not sure how this is supposed to work. Were we supposed to get smaller portions for the kids? It would have been nicer if I didn’t have to ask for the discount, since we had already discussed it when ordering. But if everything works out how it worked for us– full-sized portions at half-priced prices for kids, it’s a very good deal. Especially if you have a lot of kids.

After lunch, we wandered around Reykjavik for a while. We remembered that the Citywalk guide had told us that there was a food festival starting this weekend. It turns out this was the Gourmet Food Market, which runs on weekend afternoons (1 – 6 PM) until August 20th.

gourmet festival reykjavik

I decided to try a … well, I’m not exactly sure. It had smoked trout, avocado, apples, and lots of other fancy stuff. It was tasty, though it wasn’t overly filling for 600 krona.

grillid gourmet festival food

On the other hand, it was an easy way to try some food from one of the fancier restaurants in town. This would cost a lot more than 600 krona in their restaurant, and so it’s a very good deal if you judge it on that criterion.

But we were looking for some dessert, and the Gorumet Food Market didn’t offer too many options. So we headed to Apotek, a very fancy restaurant with very fancy desserts. during the day, they offer a free drink (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) with their dessert plates.

apotek dessert menu

Here’s the decadent result:

apotek dessert and hot chocolate

This is the Yuzu & Chocolate, with hot chocolate. There’s apricot ice cream (sorbet?) There’s hot chocolate made with real melted chocolate. There’s a little edible chocolate sign. Little candy pearls. It costs as much (or more) as a kid’s meal at many restaurants, but it’s also more memorable. Apotek was a runner up for best restaurant in the Grapevine 2016 awards, and this is an easy way to try some of the food, even if it’s just the sweet stuff!


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Saturday, July 23 update, Part 1: Kolaportið flea market, fancy food in Reykjavik was last modified: July 25th, 2016 by Eric