Einar Þór Gustafsson

Espresso and whisky drinking foodie that likes to run up mountains and swim in the cold ocean. Co-founder of Getlocal 

3 minute read26 May 2017

Messinn Seafood Restaurant in Reykjavik, a local review

I sometimes say I’m on seefood diet, as I eat the food I see but but there’s no joking when it comes to good fish. Icelanders are a nation of fishermen and I come from a long line of sailors that risked their lives to feed their families. To be honest I didn’t really care for fish when I was a child but maybe it was because plain haddock, boiled and served mashed with potatoes and ketchup isn’t close to the culinary standards of today.

Messinn is a fish restaurant located in downtown Reykjavik and they opened their doors in the summer of 2016. They are a sibling of the famous fish restaurant Tjöruhúsið in Ísafjörður and their vision was to bring the same style of cooking and serving to the city.

Located between the best indian restaurant in Reykjavik and a jazz bar this place doesn’t look much from the outside but once you enter you’ll see that they actually can serve a decent number of people in the back.

For great seafood, look no further

The name Messinn is actually the Icelandic word for the food hall on ships that serves the sailors and fishermen. My father actually worked as a “messagutti” or kitchen assistant as a young man. The decoration on the inside resembles the interior of a ship with actual ornaments from real boats excluding the potential risk of seasickness.

The interior resembles as a canteen on a boat

As any proper restaurant they have a nice collection of wine as well as Icelandic micro brew on the tap. They have two different menus for lunch and dinner with slightly different prices and portions accordingly.

Can't go wrong with a nice bottle of Sancerre

The menu is simple and focuses on the pan fried fish although the fish burger is supposedly so good that comedian Ricky Gervais had dinner there twice because he liked it so much.

The chef is on fire

I went for the Ling (Langa in Icelandic), cooked in chili & ginger with carrots, fennel and lemony butter. The fish is served in the pan it’s cooked in, and the condiments, fresh Icelandic potatoes and spinach, are served in the same pan. This not only makes the pan look nice but the oily broth adds tons of flavours and can be used as delicious seasoning.

The fish is served in a pan with all the condiments

Messinn is a great addition to the restaurant scene in Reykjavik and hopefully we’ll make our way to the big brother in Ísafjörður one day so we can compare the two.

Messinn is a fun place with lively atmosphere, the chefs are ambitious and the food tastes great. Not too pricy for Icelandic standards but of course everything in Iceland is expensive these days.

They have two separate menus for lunch and dinner

Definitely a place worth visiting for either lunch or dinner, but keep in mind it can get busy so definitely make sure to book a table.

Editor’s note: This is not a paid advertisement and we did not eat there for free. We are in no way affiliated with this restaurant or any other establishments we review. We would never recommend anything we personally don’t like. All photos and videos are shot by us on premise.

Learn the secrets

Get Local Advice


Seyðisfjörður, the secret gem of the East

Seyðisfjörður is a small town on the east coast of Iceland. Seyðisfjörður is a small town on the east coast of Iceland worth visiting. It has a lot to offer, beautiful surroundings, magnificent nature and a vibrant art community.


Life in The Magical Westfjords

Most people that move to Iceland choose to live in the lively, culture laden capital area of Reykjavík. And maybe in the summer months when the weather is warmer they will venture to the Westfjords for a visit. But unfortunately, most tourists and locals alike miss out on what I find to be the most spectacular region of Iceland.


The Magnificent Snæfellsnes, the Alternative Route

When travelling by car it is almost by default that travellers follow the beaten track.  But why not take the alternative route if possible and add a bit to the unexpected and surprising moments of your travel experience?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained! This blog is to describe the Heydalur road, Route 55, which is an alternative way to travel from the south coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula over to the north coast.


The Reykjavík Cat Café

They're free, they're independent, they can be very funny and – most of all – they're incredibly sweet! This c...

Your adventure in Iceland starts here

Here are some great tours we recommend


The Reykjavik Food Tour

Join us for an authentic Icelandic foodie experience & explore the best of Reykjavik like a local! In our Reykjavik Food Walk you will learn about food in Iceland, experience our delicious local cuisine at it’s best.

kr 13,900 3 Hours

Book Now

Meet the Natives

This tour is a delightful 3 hours of Icelandic language, culture, history, food and fun! Perfect for the start of your trip or a great way to sum up your visit to Iceland!

kr 12,900 3 Hours

Book Now

Reykjavik Food Lovers

Try the real deal traditional Icelandic cuisine. Puffin, Lamb soup, Hot dog, Fermented shark, Minke whale and Skyr all await you on our unique food tour

kr 14,990 3,5 Hours

Book Now

Cheers to Reykjavík with local beer, food and culture

The Cheers to Reykjavík Tour combines local craft beer and food tasting with Icelandic culture and lots of fun.

kr 8,990 2 Hours

Book Now

Looking for something to do in Iceland?