ESCAPE FROM THE SNOW AND WIND!
Reykjavik is a city of many cafés: cozy, brightly lit corners, perfect for indulging in a hot café latte. At some places, you can pour over vintage vinyl, or delve deep into a house book well into the snowy evenings. Here’s our list of best café corners in Reykjavik.
Austurstræti 9. Open 8AM-11pm Monday to Thursday, 8 am to midnight Friday, 9 am to midnight Saturday, 9 am to 11 pm Sunday.
The Laundromat Café is a chain from Copenhagen, notable for its red laundry machines that line the basement. Much more than a coffee shop, its menu is extensive, with everything from cakes and milkshakes to burgers.
Skólavörðustígur 22. 11 am to 11 pm daily.
Café Babalú is colorful and quirky little café right in the heart of downtown. With its large tables and vintage, slouching chairs, it makes for a great place to study or enjoy one of their delicious sweet crepes. It has the charm of an old-timey house, with yellow paint, exposed brick, and a patio to soak in the sun come summer time.
Kárastígur 1. 8 am to 6 pm weekdays, 9 am to 5 pm weekends. / Brautarholt 2. 8 am to 6 pm weekdays. 9 am to 5 pm weekends.
Arguably the best coffee in Reykjavik. The baristas here take pride in their work and their brewing skill has garnered trophies from all over the world. The Roasters have two locations: virtually right next door to Hallgrimskirkja church, and another a few blocks from Hlemmur Square. The former tends to be rather snug and popular, so grab a comfy couch and croissant early in the morning. The latter has a fair share of tables where you can spread your laptop, just note that you may have to compete with the students from nearby Iceland Academy of Arts.
Hverfisgata 76. 8 am to 11 pm weekdays, 19 am to 11 pm Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm Sunday.
A comparatively recent addition to downtown café scene, Kaffi Vinyl has all the amenities you might expect from a Reykjavik native. A hipster atmosphere, dim lighting, and musical theme is enough to delight locals, expats and tourists alike. Feel free to browse through the records, and, if you find a particularly winning David Bowie album, add it to your bill.
Laugavegur 36. 6:30 am to 9 pm daily.
Sandholt is actually a bakery, and one of the best in all of Iceland. But recent remodels have led to an expansive menu, great coffee, and great chocolate souvenirs. Come here for the croissants and stay for the smoked salmon breakfast.
Vesturgata 2a. 10 am to 10 pm weekends, 8 am to 10 pm weekdays.
Ida Zimsen is a cafe-cum-bookshop, tucked away just behind the public library. The small collection of books is available in both the Icelandic and English languages. Look out for small handheld games and Hjónabandssæla cake.
28 Lokastígur. 9am to 9pm Monday to Saturday, 11am to 9pm Sunday.
Kaffi Loki is popular with tourists, and with good reason. Their menu offers small plates of Icelandic specialties, so it’s a good place to sample a little bit of everything. Local staples like rye bread, mashed fish, meat soup, Icelandic pancakes, smoked lamb and the notorious fermented shark. It’s also right across from Hallgrimskirkja, which means it’s a great place to plop down for a coffee right downtown.
Aðalstræti. 10am to 11pm daily.
Stofan Café tends to attract the hipster and tourist crowds, located just off of Ingólfstorg Square. Nestled in an old house, it’s ample vintage couches and cute decor might likely tempt you into a nap if you’re not careful. Come for board games, books, wifi, and a great happy hour from 5pm to 8pm. The long evenings are also perfect for the digital traveler working late into the night.
C IS FOR COOKIE
Týsgata. 8:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm Saturday, 11am to midnight Sunday.
At C is for Cookie, you can spend the hours away with a hearty bowl of soup. It’s a fun little place on the corner with coloring books and cheesecake.
Skólavörðustígur 3A. 9am to 6:30pm daily.
Mokki Kaffi is a dimly lit café tucked surreptitiously on Skólavörðustígur street. It’s stylish, understated, with red carpet and leather booths. It doubles as an art gallery, displaying wall pieces of local art. Nothing flashy, everything modish.
Skólavörðustígur 10. 7:30am to 6pm weekdays, 10am to 4pm Saturday. Closed Sunday.
This café has won Best Coffee in Reykjavik multiple years in a row. They’re set up Italian style, which means you order your shot and skedaddle. Not a place to sit around for a few hours, but they do have some of the best beans in town, straight from Milan.
Mýrargata 12. 7am to 6pm daily.
Located on the first floor of the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina, Kaffislippur is a sweet little coffee shop just next to the harbor. Their token delight is a fireplace in the middle of the room, hot lava stones that are lit on cold winter days. They also do sandwiches, skyr, and fresh ginger shots.
Rauðarárstígur 8. 7am to 6pm. Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday, 9am to 5pm Sunday.
This café is a lesser-known hangout, mainly due to its location outside the city center. You’ll find it right across from Hlemmur Square. But it’s still a quiet and well-lit place to work and chat, with sandwiches, pastries, and smoothies galore.
Laugavegur 21. 9am to 11pm Monday to Thursday. 9am to 1am Friday. 10am to 1am Saturday. 10 am to 9 pm Sunday.
Kaffibrennslan is the place to meet if you have a group—it’s spacious, with lots of seating, atmospheric. They also serve sandwiches and decent beer, attracting a sizable dinner crowd in the evenings.
Have you hit up any cafes in Reykjavik? What place was your favorite? And if you’re on your way to Iceland, it’s good to know that cafes are a way of life and survival here.
Free Roamer & Travel Writer Extraordinaire