The cold has arrived in Reykjavik, and with it, one of my favorite pastimes. Relaxing in a café with a mug of something piping hot in your hands as you let the aroma waft towards your nose is probably one of the best feelings on earth. Compound this with frigid temperatures outside and a rainy or snowy backdrop through the window and you’ve got all the makings of the perfect fall or winter day. So if you happen to find yourself in Iceland’s capital and are looking for the perfect spot to chill out and get warm, we’re here to help. Café culture is thriving in Iceland, and these are some of my favorite places to get coffee, tea, and other warm beverages. Enjoy exploring Reykjavik’s best cafés and let us know which ones you like best.
Reykjavik’s Best Cafés – Kaffitár
Address: Bankastræti 8, 101 Reykjavík
This eco-conscious café not only strives to take care of the planet, but they also aim to be experts in all things coffee-related. The staff is made up of passionate individuals who have received training in the different types of ways to roast the beans, the nuances of blending and combining flavors, and of course how to make the perfect coffee drink, ranging from Americano to double espresso. You’ll also get a special treat with the patterns, swirls, and designs they create with the milk foam on their cappuccinos. They are such pros that one of their own, head barista Khadija Ósk, competed in the 2018 World Barista Championships in Amsterdam.
Reykjavik’s Best Cafés – Café Haiti
Address: Geirsgata 7b, 101 Reykjavík
Entrepreneur and Reykjavik’s “Coffee Queen” Elda Thorisson-Faurelien came to Iceland in 2007 with two kilos of roasted coffee, 20 kilos of raw coffee beans, and a dream. She quickly set up shop, bringing along her extensive knowledge and background with coffee. After growing up on her father’s coffee plantation in Haiti and learning all about java from a young age, she made the move to Iceland and has been bringing Haitian-influenced brews to the masses on the small Nordic island ever since. She offers freshly roasted coffee from both her home country and Guatemala, along with an assortment of homemade cakes, soups, and creole fare. If you’re looking for coffee with a complex character and brewed with love, Cafe Haiti is the place for you.
Reykjavik’s Best Cafés – Mokka-Kaffi
Address: Skólavörðustígur 3A, 101 Reykjavík
Mokka is a Reykjavik institution and holds the distinct honor of operating the first espresso machine in the city. The bold interior and classic decor give the coffee shop a distinct feel that is both old school and welcoming. The dreamy smells that greet you as you walk in the door are a mix of roasted coffee beans and tasty treats. On an artistic note, the cafe has also doubled as an art gallery since its opening in 1958.
Reykjavik’s Best Cafés – Café Babalú
This colorful, eclectic café features kitschy decor that is as unique as the coffee is tasty. With knick-knacks like ceramic teapots, wooden roosters, and various currencies hanging from the ceiling like prayer flags, you’ll feel as if you’ve wandered into a coffee-slinging vintage store. Rest assured, the baristas at Babalú will take good care of you during your visit. Grab the coffee, tea, or hot chocolate of your choice along with one of their signature giant chocolate chip cookies (yum!) and find a spot one of their comfy couches. They’ve also got vegan and vegetarian food and dessert options. It’s the perfect way to spend a cozy afternoon in Reykjavik and escape winter’s wrath.
Reykjavik’s Best Cafés – Warm Up When It’s Cold Outside
So there you have it. Whether you’re hoping to find a frothy cup of hot cocoa, fresh green tea, or a nice strong brew of a Colombian or Brazilian roast, there’s something for everyone in Iceland’s capital. These are by no means all of the coffee shops and cafés in Reykjavik but are definitely an excellent place to start. Other great options are Reykjavik Roasters, Stofan Café, Grái Kötturinn, and Kattakaffihúsið (the Reykjavik Cat Café) among others. Let’s us know how your search for the perfect cup of coffee goes and if you have any recommendations to add to this list.
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