Restaurant ÓX Speakeasy Fine Dining in Reykjavík

Restaurant ÓX is a small, speakeasy-style restaurant from chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson, tucked away in the back of his casual restaurant, Sümac. In contrast to the big, bustling dining room it’s hidden inside, the interior at ÓX is no bigger than the eleven-seat counter it houses. The space instantly makes you feel at home – that’s because the kitchen is originally from Vigfusson’s grandfather’s old farmhouse. Now, the rustic cabinets and appliances have been transplanted into this fine dining restaurant; the setting serves as a fun juxtaposition to the stunning presentations of the tasting menu. ÓX only has one seating per night, with a total of three chefs preparing and serving 20 dishes showcasing local Icelandic ingredients. It’s dinner and a show – the chefs love interacting with the guests and are eager to go into detail about any ingredient or technique. It’s a lengthy, complex menu, which is especially impressive given the tiny space they are operating in. In our opinion, ÓX is the next Michelin star candidate in Iceland – this is the most innovative and exciting new restaurant in Reykjavík. Update: Like we predicted, ÓX got their first star in 2022!

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ÓX

Address & Contact Information
Laugavegur 28, Reykjavík, Iceland
Website
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The price for the experience is inclusive of the tasting menu as well as the wine pairing (which was quite generous, and focused on natural wines, one local beer, and a house-made kombucha). They also have a non-alcoholic pairing for those not drinking. Later this year (after the summer), ÓX will move into a new location across the street. The style will be identical, although the counter will be U-shaped instead of L-shaped, and there will be a little more space for the chefs to work. Instead of high bar stools, guests will be able to sit in normal chairs at the counter as the kitchen will be sunk into the floor (like at Sushi Anaba). It will still be a restaurant speakeasy, in an alley, down some stairs, and hidden in a new cocktail bar the chef is designing to look like a grandma’s living room from the 70’s. We look forward to coming back hopefully next year to see the new venue and maybe make a YouTube video next time!

Fried bread, lamb tartare, feykir cheese, pickled arctic thyme flowers, & dung-smoked leg of lamb.
Fried bread, lamb tartare, feykir cheese, pickled arctic thyme flowers, & dung-smoked leg of lamb.
Icelandic quail, pickled plums, fennel pollen, & mole.
Icelandic quail, pickled plums, fennel pollen, & mole.
Seaweed chawanmushi, scallop liver foam, & caviar.
Seaweed chawanmushi, scallop liver foam, & caviar.
Raw Icelandic scallop, Nordic wasabi root, licorice root oil, wasabi leaves, cream, lemon, & fermented parsnip.
Raw Icelandic scallop, Nordic wasabi root, licorice root oil, wasabi leaves, cream, lemon, & fermented parsnip.
Something special coming up next...
Something special coming up next…
Served with whipped Icelandic butter and skyr, and topped with grated, smoked trout.
Served with whipped Icelandic butter and skyr, and topped with grated, smoked trout.
Pollock, lumpfish roe, nasturtium, wasabi leaf emulsion, and a sauce of leftover fish.
Pollock, lumpfish roe, nasturtium, wasabi leaf emulsion, and a sauce of leftover fish.
Main course coming up!
Main course coming up!
Blueberry ice cream, frozen whipped cream, blueberry jam, licorice, and fresh chervil.
Blueberry ice cream, frozen whipped cream, blueberry jam, licorice, and fresh chervil.
Petit fours.
Petit fours.

Have you been to ÓX? Let us know in a comment below.

Kaitlin Orr

Kaitlin Orr and Anders Husa are food & travel bloggers and creative content creators. From their base in Copenhagen, they operate the largest and most influential restaurant-focused travel blog in Scandinavia.

3 comments

  • Went to Óx back in March when my son and I talked from the US to Iceland to hike.
    This restaurant and Chef Rúnar made our night! Best experience for the entire 7 days that we were there and we visited all the top restaurants in Reykjavík. The food was fantastic, the interaction with the Chefs was phenomenal and the intimate setting in the Private room that held 11 strangers at first then friends towards the end of the evening.
    I will definitely be going back again soon!

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