Update 25 Oct. 2023: This post is a bit outdated as both Stofan on Vesturgata 3 and Kaffitár Bankastræti have closed. Our new post on The Best Coffee in Iceland is more relevant.
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 the centre can be very cool and cosy but my favourite places are those mentioned here:
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!
Address: Laugavegur 21
Openings: Mon- Thu: 8:00AM – 11:00PM Fri- Sat: 8:00AM – 1:00AM Sun: 9:00AM – 9:00PM
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.
Address: Vesturgata 3
Openings: Mon- Wed: 9:00AM – 11:00PM Thu- Sat: 9:00AM – 12:00AM Sun: 9:00AM – 10:00PM
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.
Address: Kárastígur 1 & Brautarholt 3
Openings: Mon- Fri: 8:00AM – 06:00PM Lau- Sun: 9:00AM – 05:00PM
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.
Address: Skólavörðustígur 3A
Openings: Mon-Sun: 09:00AM- 06:00PM
Kaffitár is one of Reykjavíks few coffee chains. It has six locations around the city and has been open since 1990. At Kaffitár you can, in my opinion, get one of the best cold brews in town, but in the summertime that is an absolute must. Walking into one of their cafés give you a very clear sense of what their main goal is but the walls are very colourful as long as their cups which gives you a very warm welcome and it brings a smile to your face.
Address: Bankastræti 8
Openings: Mon- Sun: 07:30AM- 06:00PM. Note that opening hours can change during summer.