Are you planning on leaving the capital area and cruising around the Ring Road? If so, you may want to stop along the way for some coffee and cake. Below you will find various coffeehouses around Iceland that are well worth the stop.
The Reykjanes Peninsula
Whether you’re staying for a short layover or exploring the Reykjanes peninsula on your own, there are several great coffeehouses situated not far from Keflavík Airport. After a day of exploring lava caves, driving along the coast, and jumping between continents, there is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee and some pastries.
If you are visiting the Blue Lagoon area, we highly recommend driving into the old fishing town of Grindavík where you can soak up history about the fishing industry in Café Bryggjan with a side of coffee or lobster soup.
If you want a great view of the harbour area in Keflavík, we suggest visiting Café Duus, where you will also be afforded a view of some amazing rock formations (be sure to visit the Duus museum as well, where you can learn all about the life of fishing villages in Iceland).
If you are just looking for a cup of coffee with a relaxed atmosphere, we recommend The Old Lighthouse Café in Garður. Be sure to take a walk to the lighthouse for some picturesque sceneries.
Like the rest of the country, West Iceland has a lot to offer sight-seeing wise, but there are also plenty of options when it comes to grabbing a bite.
In the heart of Akranes, you will find Café Kaja, which specializes in organic produce. It is the only certified organic coffeehouse in Iceland. There you can also find a zero-waste shop, which has become quite popular over recent years.
Upon arriving in Borgarfjörður, you will come across many cafés and restaurants along the way. Be sure to stop at the Rock ‘N’ Troll café on your way to Húsafell. The Rock’N’ Troll café is located on a hillside near a picturesque waterfall called Trolls’ falls; if you look closely, you may discern a troll’s faces in the gorge by the waterfall.
Located among several hiking trails, Fjöruhúsið offers a cozy atmosphere in Hellnar on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. In good weather, you can sit outside on the porch and enjoy a cup of coffee by the seaside, with a view of the stunning rock formations that the peninsula has to offer.
The wonders of the Westfjords are unique in Iceland. Though the Westfjords are sparsely populated, relatively speaking, you should be able to find a place to sit down and relax in every town.
In Suðureyri, you will find the Fisherman Café, where you can sit down and relax while enjoying a tasty cake. It is also a nice place to observe the locals.
Situated at a mere 30-minute drive Suðureyri, Ísafjörður boasts two excellent coffeehouses: Kaffihús Bakarans (The Baker’s Coffeehouse) and Gamla Bakaríið (The Old Bakery). Both offer various pastries to fill your stomach after a day of sightseeing.
If you’re planning on leaving Ísafjörður without taking a long drive, you should visit the small fishing village of Flateyri. There you will find museums, a swimming pool, and pleasant places to sit down like Kaffi Sól. When the sun is shining, we recommend sitting outside and enjoying the view of the surrounding mountains.
On your way to Akureyri (the largest town in North Iceland), we suggest taking a detour to Glaumbær: a handful of turf houses that now house a museum.
After exploring the old houses, be sure to visit the coffeehouse Áshúsið, which was built in 1883. Áshúsið offers a variety of home-baked Icelandic pastries that are especially suited to the context.
Just few minutes’ drive from Akureyri is Kaffi Kú: one of the most unique cafés in North Iceland; while enjoying a nice cup of coffee, you can also observe the lazing cows and their calves in the stables. All of the food served at Kaffi Kú is produced on the farm, which makes the experience even more authentic.
Café Laut, located in the heart of Akureyri, is reputed to be one of the most relaxing places in town. Snug within the town’s botanical garden, Laut has a knack for making patrons forget that they are situated within a town of 20,000 people. It is also worth mentioning that the architecture of Laut is unique, differing from other more typical cafés that you will find around Iceland
Did you know that you can visit old archaeological remains of monasteries in East Iceland? Klausturkaffi is a café located near these remains, in the building of Skriðuklaustur, which was built as a home for writer Gunnar Gunnarsson. Today, Skriðuklaustur serves as a house of culture, history, and exhibitions. It is, therefore, the perfect place to delve into some of Iceland’s history while also enjoying refreshments.
Not far from Skriðuklaustur is the farm and café Fjóshornið, serving only homemade food produced from the farm.
If you are heading out to the more remote places of the East, you can visit Álfakaffi (Elf Café) in Borgarfjörður Eystri. The café’s warm and cozy atmosphere is especially welcoming, and we recommend sampling their specialty waffles, served with whipped cream and berries. It is also a place of local art and culture.
South Iceland and Golden Circle Area
Being one of the most popular destinations in Iceland, the South Coast has much to offer for sightseeing and, of course, food!
If you are heading towards the beautiful waterfalls and black beaches of the southern island, make sure to visit stop in Selfoss, where you can grab a coffee in Kaffi Krús (located on the main road). The building that houses Kaffi Krús (Núpur) was erected in 1931. The coffeehouse itself was opened in 1992 and claims to be one of the first cafés outside the capital area. Today, Kaffi Krús offers a great variety of food. We recommend the Duck Pizza. It’s fantastic.
Further along the Ring Road, you will find Gamla Fjósið, which is a café built in an old cowshed (suggesting that Icelanders are highly imaginative when it comes to novel culinary experiences).
When driving the Golden Circle, the Efsti-Dalur Café offers a similar experience as Gamla Fjósið (a great alternative if you are not driving north): it is located next to an occupied cowshed. It is worth mentioning that Efsti-Dalur II also offers a tasty variety of ice-cream, all of which is locally made.
Looking for charming coffeehouses in Reykjavík? Read more here.