You woke up bright and early. It’s the beginning of the day so you’re in desperate need for a decent breakfast to fuel you on your day of exploring Iceland, preferably with a side of a delicious cup of coffee. But where can you go at the break of day? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for.
Best place to grab a quick coffee
First things first, you need a little pick-me-up. Luckily, Kaffifélagið opens at 7:00 a.m. This place has the best coffee in town, serving Italian espressos that will wake you up in no time. The small coffee bar has limited seating, so it’s best for grab and go. You could also try Kaffitár, an Icelandic coffee shop chain. They open at 7:30 a.m. every day. The name refers to an Icelandic phrase of drinking “a tear” of coffee (a massive understatement, like having “a Pringle” or “one beer”). Head to the cosy coffeehouse C is for Cookie for a cup of Illy coffee, homemade cakes and a casual breakfast. They open 7:30 a.m. on weekdays, 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays and 11:00 a.m. on Sundays. It’s so snug inside, it feels like having a cup of coffee at a friend’s place.
Best place for a nice long breakfast
If you have some time to spare, head to Bergsson Mathús at their downtown location at Templarasund 3, open from 07:00 a.m. every day of the week. They offer a lot of different breakfast options, with a selection of yogurt, berry compote, soft-boiled egg, cheese, fruit, bacon, fried potatoes, sourdough bread, baked beans, sausages, pancakes, porridge and Icelandic butter. You can complete your breakfast with smoothies, fruit juice, coffee or tea. Or go to the stylish Café Paris, serving breakfast from 8:30 a.m. every day. Their speciality is eggs, with five different egg dishes on the menu. Do you feel like eggs Benedict, Norwegian style, omelette, eggs Florentine or Brioche French toast? Then this is eggs-actly the place for you!
Brauð og co doesn’t only win the prize for best bakery, but also for most colourful building! Their charming bakery shop at Frakkastígur opens at 6:00 a.m. every day. It’s difficult to miss, as it’s painted in bright colours, very Instagram-friendly. And their bread and rolls are so tasty! Often the baked goods are still warm when they go over the counter. What’s not to love? There’s also a Brauð og co at the Hlemmur food hall. On main shopping street Laugavegur you will find Sandholt Bakery, open from 7:00 a.m. every day. They don’t only sell fresh sourdough bread, but also a great selection of pastries, chocolates and cakes.
Best place for a ribsticking breakfast
Are you looking for a greasy, hearty meal? Prikið will definitely satisfy your appetite, with eggs, bacon, toast, and pancakes. This laid-back joint opens at 8:00 a.m. during weekdays and 11:00 a.m. during weekends, and is a combination of a bistro, burger restaurant and nightclub. You can basically spend your entire day here! It’s the favourite hangout of many young Icelandic musicians. Also frequented by local artists is Grái Kötturinn, opening at 7:30 a.m. during weekdays and at 8:00 during weekends. This bohemian coffeehouse on Hverfisgata is hiding in the basement of a townhouse. Do you feel like American pancakes, bagels, fried potatoes, eggs and bacon? Of course you do! Grái Kötturinn offers excellent breakfast options, but beware, it can be a bit pricey.
Best place for Icelandic food
You are in Iceland, so you want Icelandic cuisine! Be quickly on your way to Café Loki for the best skyr (a traditional Icelandic dairy product), tea with Icelandic moss and thyme, homemade rye bread and flatbread with sheep-head jelly. Yum! From Monday to Saturday they are open at 9:00 a.m. and on Sunday they open at 11:00 a.m.