Hverfisgata, the new cool quarter of Reykjavik

Hverfisgata is enjoying quite a facelift.

Hverfisgata is enjoying quite a facelift. Iceland Monitor/ Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

Only a few years ago, Hverfisgata in central Reykjavik was run down and gritty and played the part of the poor cousin to Laugavegur, the street which it runs adjacent to.

Whereas Laugavegur, being the main shopping street in Reykjavik had plenty of shops, restaurants and bars to offer, Hverfisgata was grey, dismal and in a state of decay. But in the last couple of years, Hverfisgata has become more and more gentrified, with the street facade slowly getting prettier and mor e and more cool places opening.

Hverfisgata 12 Dill

Hverfisgata 12 Dill Ómar Óskarsson

At the bottom end of Hverfisgata you will find Hverfisgata 12 , (located on Hverfisgata 12) sister of Kex Hostel, offering a mysterious, cosy atmosphere on three floors and the best pizzas and cocktails in town. Next door you'll find what's hailed as the best restaurant in Reykjavik, the exquisite DILL , offering new Icelandic cuisine. There's a huge waiting list for a table so book early.

Essensia, a mediterranean restaurant.

Essensia, a mediterranean restaurant. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Also there is Essentia (Hverfisgata 6),  a newcomer in the street, offering an airy atmosphere and Mediterranean food.

Húrra Reykjavik, boutiques for men and women.

Húrra Reykjavik, boutiques for men and women. Iceland Monitor/ Árni Sæberg

For shopping, head to Húrra (Hverfisgata 50 & 78), one shop for girls and one for guys. It offers super hip urbanwear and a great collection of sneakers.

Hrönn Sveinsdóttir, managing director of Bíó Paradís, the city's only …

Hrönn Sveinsdóttir, managing director of Bíó Paradís, the city's only art house cinema. mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

Further up the street is the fantastic art house cinema Bíó Paradís which always has a great selection of films, both new and old, as well as a cosy café/bar.

Geiri Smart at the Canopy Hotel.

Geiri Smart at the Canopy Hotel. Photo/Facebook

A super chic new Canopy hotel has also opened on Hverfisgata (30) and features a trendy restaurant/ bar called Geiri Smart . Fabulous cocktails and lovely food, including one of the fanciest vegan burgers in town.

Indian restaurant Austur Indíafélagið

Indian restaurant Austur Indíafélagið Iceland Monitor/ Árni Sæberg

The best Indian in town is Aus tur Indía Fjelagið (Hverfisgata 54), an elegant and wildly popular restaurant.

Vinyl.

Vinyl. Photo/Iceland Monitor

And finally, Vinyl ( Hverfisgata 76)  is another hip newcomer offering vegan food and good music.

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