You probably want to try some fresh bread or pastries during your stay in Iceland. What is better than starting the day with a delicious, wholesome sandwich? In this article, we will tell you where you can get healthy sandwiches for on the road, but we will also tell you where to get the best sweets in town, for those sugar-craving afternoons. Get ready to order Icelandic treats like vínarbrauð, kleina, snúður and flatkökur.
Best sourdough bread
Brauð og co is a modern bakery chain loved by locals and tourists alike. Their colourful building on Frakkastígur is the place to be for the best sourdough bread in town. Brauð og co’s charming bakery shops open at 06:00 every day, so if you have an overnight flight from the US, you can go straight there. They have three locations, on Frakkastígur, inside Hlemmur Mathöll and at Skeifan. Often the baked goods are still warm when they go over the counter. What’s not to love?
Best ready-made sandwiches
On main shopping street Laugavegur, you will find Sandholt Bakery, open from 7:00 every day. They don’t only sell fresh bread, but also a great selection of pastries, chocolates, cakes and ready-made sandwiches. Their sandwiches are made with cracking homemade ciabatta or sourdough bread with delicious fillings. What do you think of an egg salad sandwich with ham, or a ham and cheese sandwich? Perfect for on the go. Grab a couple of sandwiches to enjoy on your glacier hike, whale safari or horseback riding tour.
Head to 17 Sortir for the best cakes and cupcakes in Reykjavík. This popular cake shop has two locations, one in the Grandi area and one in Kringlan shopping centre. Cupcakes are their speciality, and they have all thinkable combinations: vanilla with blueberries and a lemon glaze, chocolate and mocha, salted caramel with vanilla and daim, and vanilla-flavoured cake with raspberries and a strawberry glaze, to name just a few. You can also order a custom cake, which is a popular option for kids’ birthdays (they have a very cool unicorn cake) and weddings.
Best food truck
Sætir snúðar (Sweet buns) is a bright-blue food truck located close to Hallgrímskirkja church. This family business, run by a father and son, opened in June 2018. The pair started out by making cinnamon buns for parties of friends and family. After many enthusiastic responses, the two decided to hit the streets. Check this place out for a cup of fresh coffee and some of the best cinnamon buns in Reykjavík (protip: they have one with Nutella).
Best pastries, rolls and chocolates
Passion Reykjavík is a cosy bakery in Laugardalur, a neighbourhood east of downtown Reykjavík. They have a great selection of rolls, croissants, macarons, raw nut bars and pastries. Going there is worth the trip out of the city centre, and they have a nice seating area for those looking for a break with fresh coffee and homemade pastries.
You might still wonder about the treats mentioned in the introduction. Let us explain to you what they are.
Vínarbrauð: This is a flat pastry filled with custard, almonds and often chocolate. The Icelandic word translates to Viennese bread, but in English you would call this a Danish pastry.
Kleina: This is a small Icelandic doughnut, usually in a sort of diamond shape. They are often flavoured with cardamom or vanilla, and sometimes dipped in chocolate. It’s one of Iceland’s most popular snacks.
Snúður: This is a cinnamon roll. It’s a fluffy pastry usually covered with chocolate, icing or caramel. A popular combination is a snúður with chocolate milk on the side.
Flatkökur: This is a hearty half-moon shaped flatbread. They always look slightly burned. People usually eat it with salted butter and hangikjöt (smoked lamb), but it goes with all kinds of toppings, even sweet ones.