Pizza with No Name (Reykjavik, Iceland)

(Update: Alas, in late 2019, both Hverfisgata 12 and the upstairs Mikkeller and Friends bar closed)

Our next stop for refreshment during our layover in Reykjavik was one of the nicer beer bars to show up since our last visit: Mikkeller and Friends. An offshoot of the Danish brewer, it’s quite a nice little beer bar located right next to one of our other Reykjavik favorites, Grái Kötturinn (where we had breakfast that morning: Grái Kötturinn is a godsend for the international traveler arriving before most of Reykjavik wakes up). They’ve got a rather impressive beer list (indeed, including one of the very last kegs of Jack D’Or in existence, from the closed Pretty Thinks brewery in Somerville, MA), but for food, they recommend that you go downstairs and order a pizza from the pizza place with no name.

That’s right, downstairs from Mikkeller and Friends is a friendly little pizza place that’s somewhat notable in that aside from a small menu posted out front, it doesn’t have a name or any signage. Looking it up online, it usually is referred to either as “Pizza with no name”, or “Hverfisgata 12”, which is actually the address. But indeed, they’ve got a pleasant menu with almost two dozen varieties of pizza.

One of the things I really like about pizza is that for a dish that’s primarily Italian in origin, it’s the sort of dish that lends itself to a lot of localization, so every time I travel internationally, there’s usually an interesting twist on the ingredients, either a local ingredient, or a unique combination that I’m unlikely to see elsewhere. Here, our two pizzas both had a slightly different twist on ingredients. The first was spicy sausage, mushrooms, soy, and pickled chile peppers. And indeed, that’s what it was: a nice medium-sized pizza with a rather nice crust, a really nice char on the crust, some light tomato sauce, and a generous helping of spicy sausage and chile peppers with just a bit of soy sauce and a smattering of mushrooms. It was rather pleasant (especially since “spicy” isn’t the norm in Iceland, although it’s getting quite common in Reykjavik), and the combination of flavors worked well.

The other pizza was also a slightly unusual combination of ingredients: pulled pork, pears, sunflower seeds, and horseradish sauce. Again, most of these aren’t normal pizza toppings for me, but the combination worked quite well. It was a flavorful pulled pork with just a bit of barbecue flavor, and it paired up nicely with the pairs and horseradish sauce. The sunflower seeds added a nice bit of nuttiness as well.

So, we sat back, relaxed, enjoyed some really nice beer and pizza, and listened to the bustling massive crowd in the square outside celebrating Iceland’s performance in Euro Cup 2016 with Viking chants (hey, they lost, but that they made it to the championship and knocked out England in Round 1 was the source of some intense pride). Yes, I’m aware that this shows how far behind I am in these writeups… But, in any case, those wanting some top notch beers and some great pizza know where to go. You know the name. Or maybe not.

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