Much like the rest of the world, people in Iceland enjoy drinking coffee and a lot of it. Morning, midday or in the evening a good cup of coffee in Reykjavík isn’t hard to find but it’s not just the drink itself that’s important but also where you drink it! Coffeehouses in Reykjavík city centre can be very cool and cosy but my favourite places are those mentioned here:
Kaffibrennslan, Laugavegur 21
Kaffibrennslan is a rather small coffeehouse situated on the main shopping street in Reykjavík, Laugavegur. It’s a very warm and welcoming place, with two floors and a cute terrace where you can sit in the sun if the weather allows. They also serve some amazing sandwiches, cakes and other delights. Getting a seat by the window is a plus, people-watching is one of Icelanders’ national pastimes and the lively Laugavegur shopping street right outside the window is one of the best places for it!
Stofan, Vesturgata 3
If you are looking for a coffeehouse with an old soul and comfy chairs, Stofan is the place for you. The house it’s in was once a very popular little antique store and has retained that old-timey feel. At Stofan, you can get a wonderful cup of coffee as well as some homemade cakes, soups and other tasty little things. Stofan often has pubquiz-es and other events but they usually advertise all their events on their facebook page. A fun atmosphere and nice staff.
Reykjavík Roasters, Kárastígur 1
Reykjavík Roasters is a very elegant place with a work friendly environment. These people take their coffee seriously, roasting their own beans and considering every little detail of the brewing process. Their main focus is coffee, of course, but it’s not just a café but also a coffee school. If you are interested in learning more about coffee I would certainly attend one of their courses but for more information contact them directly via e-mail ([email protected]). Reykjavík Roasters has two locations with two distinctly different atmospheres. The one downtown is perfect for lounging and enjoying life surrounded by vintage record players and great coffee but if you need to sit down and work a little I would most definitely recommend the Brautarholt location, where the atmosphere is very calm and soothing. Not being in the absolute centre also gives it a certain charm.
Mokka, Skólavörðustígur 3A
Mokka is one of the oldest cafés still in business in Reykjavík but it opened in 1958. It is very small and charming with dark wood on the walls. It’s one of Reykjavíks classics but one of my favourite things to do in the cold winter days is to visit Mokka and spoil myself to a hot Swiss mocha and a Belgian waffle, just plain hygge. They also bring a little culture to their café by covering walls with art that you can purchase if you are interested. A fun fact: Mokka was the first coffeehouse in Iceland to make coffee with an espresso machine.
Kaffitár, Bankastræti 8
If you’re looking to warm up on a cold autumn day, just drop by at Kaffitár on Bankastræti and enjoy one of their excellent, warm drinks while watching people pass by you on the other side of the window. It’s an incredibly cosy venue, with a modern and colourful decor.
Stofan Café, Vesturgata 3
Stofan is housed in what used to be a cute little antique store in the heart of Reykjavík. It is an adorable, two-story coffeehouse with the cosiest chairs and sofas. The antique feel is preserved, making Stofan Café one of the most comfortable little spots to enjoy a coffee, hot chocolate or slice of cake on a quiet Sunday afternoon. It’s also a fantastic place to play board games on Monday nights while drinking a beer or two.
Te & Kaffi, Borgartún 21a
In the heart of Reykjavík’s business centre is a white building that, at first glance, looks like just another office meant for calculating who knows what. A closer look reveals an inviting wooden porch, leading into a lovely coffeehouse brimming with comfy chairs and sofas. They serve excellent sandwiches and cakes, and of course, steaming fresh coffee. No wonder you’ll always run into businessmen, politicians, and famous musicians over there, looking for a moment of quiet during their busy days.
Café Babalú, Skólavörðustígur 22a
Café Babalú is easy to spot on Skólavörðurstígur (the road leading up to the church). The quirky, bright orange coffeehouse with a blue door and roof, is a long-time favourite with locals and tourists alike. Since Babalú used to be a family home at one point, it still has that homey vibe, with lots of cosy nooks and corners. Filled with eclectic paraphernalia, its décor contains grandma-style trinkets and Star Wars merchandise, and everything in between.