Food report: Essensia restaurant in downtown Reykjavik

  • The head chef Hákon is a renowned Icelandic chef
  • Essensia is an open kitchen restaurant which gives it a great atmosphere
  • Great downtown atmospehre
Oct 15 2016

At Hit Iceland we are always excited when a new restaurant opens in Reykjavík. The restaurant flora and variety in quality food are fast approaching the best any city in the world can offer.  Now we must remember that Reykjavik measured in population is just a small town.  But on many other scales, like the number of quality restaurants, it is a large city.  This is because Reykjavík is a small town with a large city ego; a small town girl with a big city attitude.  This is such a wonderful thing for us living in the city as we have access to things only available in big cities.

An Italian theme restaurant

In August Essensia, a new Italian restaurant opened at Hverfisgata in the city center district. Although defined as an Italian cousin Essensia has a broader concept as it offers dishes that are outside the traditional Italian definition. In addition to pasta and pizza, you can order excellent fish and steak courses.  According to the menu, the idea is for people to enjoy quality courses for a fair prize and the restaurant encourages guests to share and taste.  Most of the courses are light which is an excellent opportunity for those who don't want to walk out of the restaurant with their stomach stuffed. So it is a good opportunity to try more than one or even three courses.  But even one course is enough if you want to enjoy the taste, good quality food and a glass of vine.

A restaurant with good quality and great location

In addition to good food, the whole concept behind Essensia restaurant is interesting.  It is an open kitchen restaurant which gives it a great atmosphere.  The location is prime and can attract both local crowds as well as visitors. People that are going to the nearby National Theater or the conference and concert hall Harpa.  The service can only be described as ambitious, and the prices are quite moderate. Our experience was great, and we are excited to go back and try some of the other courses in addition to the Langoustine pizza and the Crab linguine.