It’s Veganuary! Veganuary is an initiative to encourage people to go vegan for a month, by giving information, tips and support. Veganuary is exceptionally popular in Iceland, reaching the 6th place in the top 20 of countries participating this year. Vegan options in Iceland are springing up like mushrooms, and it can be difficult to know where to go. No worries, we will help you figure it out.
Best vegan restaurant
Well, this one is easy. There is only one fully vegan restaurant in Iceland: Kaffi Vínyl. Kaffi Vínyl is a laid-back bar, bistro and record shop on Hverfisgata. The menu consists of noodles, burgers, sandwiches, salads and a very tasty veggie lasagne. Not entirely vegan, but with plenty of good vegan options, is Kaffihúsið Garðurinn. They offer delicious soups and stews. Oh, and don’t forget dessert! They have an amazing selection of sweets.
The number of pizzerias offering vegan cheese has skyrocketed in the last six months, as even Dominos added it to their menu recently. Icelandic favourite Eldsmiðjan has been offering vegan cheese for a while now, and for Veganuary they added the Vegano 2018 to their menu, with red onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapeños, salsa, nachos and vegan cheese. However, our number one is Íslenska Flatbakan. They offer deliciously greasy, cheesy pizzas and breadsticks. What do you think of this one, Sú Ferska: vegan cheese, garlic, dates, arugula, red onion, fresh tomatoes and spicy mayonnaise?
Our favourite burger joint is BioBorgari, a cosy establishment on Vesturgata. They have a simple menu with mouthwatering hamburgers made on a charcoal grill and homemade vegetable chips. Go and check it out. Surprise! The Hard Rock Café in Reykjavík has an amazing vegan menu. They do not only offer a tasty and filling no-fuss burger, but also nachos, buffalo cauliflower wings and quesadillas.
Best fancy dinner
In a fancy mood? Head down to Aalto Bistro, the restaurant inside the Nordic House. Especially for Veganuary they offer a three-course surprise dinner. Normally, they also have several vegan items on the menu, like a pumpkin burger with baked tomato, cashew nut pesto, crunchy kale and fresh lettuce. For Argentinian food, Burro is the place to be. They have plenty of vegan options, like broccoli in soy sauce, plantain chips with guacamole dip, a tofu taco with pickled cucumber and green chili, and almond ice cream for dessert.
Brunch! We have to talk about brunch. Hannesarholt is a non-profit organization focusing on healthy food. You find them in the historic home of the late Hannes Hafstein, Iceland’s first prime minister. During weekends they offer an abundant brunch, consisting of scrambled tofu with mushrooms, onion and bell pepper, eggplant-bacon, hummus with walnuts, mixed root vegetables, pancakes with agave syrup, fruits, vegan cheese with chutney and a smoothie! If for some strange reason this doesn’t sound very appealing to you, you should check out Bryggjan Brugghús. Sourdough bread with avocado paste, baked tomato, sweet potato salad, pecans, spinach and mushrooms are among the things they offer!
Best options outside of the Capital Area
Even though it’s easiest to find vegan food in Greater Reykjavík, there are some great spots in the rest of the country too! In North Iceland, a little bit outside of Akureyri, you will find Silva Hráfæði. Specialized in raw food, they make tasty, healthy dishes, with unlimited hummus and bread on the side. A special place in East Iceland is Havarí. At this farm, restaurant and guesthouse the vegan sausage Bulsur is produced, with kidney beans and Icelandic barley as main ingredients. In Flúðir there is an Ethiopian restaurant, Minilik, and they can make very tasty vegan food! West Iceland recently got a new restaurant with vegan options, next to the brand-new geothermal pool Krauma. They offer tomato soup and a dish with roasted carrots, slow-cooked onion, pearl barley, nuts and dill.
Now, it seems like it’s not too difficult to go vegan this month. Enjoy the last week of Veganuary!