Volcano house.: A lovely café with a volcano cinema :)
I just loved going to Volcano house. All their furniture is made of teak, a Scandinavian design from the 1960's, which reminds me of my childhood :) A very nice atmosphere and friendly service. There is a play area for kids and there is a section of the café where there is a geological exhibition with different kinds of rocks found in Iceland. I have added a special tip on the geology exhibition at the Volcano house. And for sale are different types of pumice and candlesticks and jewellery from lava. And they are always expanding and making the café more interesting.
The café is family run, 4 siblings from Vestmannaeyjar run this café. All the cakes are home-made and yummy from what my friends, who tried them, say. I have met my coffee-club there and one VT-member and her husband, and we had a very good time. The view is also very nice as there are big panorama windows here.
There is a volcano theatre in the café, one film is on the volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar islands when all the inhabitants had to flee the island in 1973, I remember that vividly. The film lasts from 20 minutes.
And another film on Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in 2010 which the world remembers as that caused flights around the world not being able to set off and caused a lot of problems to millions of travellers, including me. That film also lasts for 20 minutes. I watched that movie and it was awesome - highly recommended.
These film run from 10-21 on the hour in English. And special shows in Icelandic and French can be ordered at any time. In the summer time the German show is at 18.
Volcano café also has a booking service for travels in Iceland.
The café is open from 09:00 - 23:00 every day of the week.
I give this café my best recommendations :) and especially recommend it to guests visiting Iceland.
Favorite Dish: When I go to cafés I just order tea, but they had a menu with cakes and pies, which my friends had, and recommended.
When I visited this café with a VT-friend in May 2014 this lovely café had closed and they were in the process of putting up a fish and chips restaurant. But the cinema is still there and the rock and lava collection.
Kaffivagninn: Good seafood
A semi self service restaurant, you order and pay at the counter, take drinks and salads and cakes to your table, the fresh made fish will be served when ready.
Lunch specials if you come before 1 pm, for instance soup and a quite large helping of breaded haddock with french fries for ISK 1900 or grilled salmon, shrimps, potato, salad and soup for ISK 2200.
Favorite Dish: I had a excellent fish soup consisting of salmon, shrimps and I think cod, quite filling, ISK 1890 before 1 pm and ISK 2290 later. The grilled salmon was also very good.
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Lobster Hut: Lobster street food
Instead of the famous Hot Dog from nearby Bæjarins beztu pylsur (small Hot Dog is 380 ISKyou can have for a little more money Lobster, Lobster Sandwich depending on size 1000 or 1900 ISK, Lobster Soup 1200 ISK (well worth it).
Favorite Dish: I had the Lobster Soup, good taste, creamy and a fair amount of meat
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Graenn Kostur: Excellent vegetarian food at reasonable prices
Very good home made vegetarian food at reasonable prices, including a different fresh soup every day (highly recommend the broccoli and cauliflower soup on a cold day!). Portions are a decent size with smaller portions available if you prefer. The food is also available to takeaway. There are also lovely desserts if you have room left - including a fab chocolate raw cake. A good find for vegetarians but even my non-veggie companion enjoyed eating here. The prices are also very reasonable.
It is a bit tricky to find though as technically the address is Skolavordustigur (the road leading up to Hallsgrimkirkja from Laugavegur but its actually behind the main street - look for the green footprints on the pavement, on the block before the puffin giftshop. Worth the effort of finding!
Favorite Dish: The specials are usually good, the soup, spinach lasagne, curry etc.
Hamborgarabúllan - Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar.: A very cozy hamburger joint.
Hamborgarabúllan or Hamborgarabúlla Tómasar literally means The Hamburger Joint. There are now 4 restaurants with this name in Reykjavík and they are very popular here. They are owned by a guy we call The Hamburger guy, or Tommi, who opened the first hamburger place here in Iceland in 1981, which was a revelation really as we had no hamburger places here back then. Then later on Mc Donalds arrived in Iceland, but in 2010 they left us again after the crisis hit Iceland.
Tommi opened up the first Hamborgarabúllan restaurant in 2004 in Reykjavík.
The restaurant at Ofanleiti is a very small and a very cosy place and so are the other ones. The service is excellent there and you are made to feel like you are at home. Kids love going there and it is all in all a very popular restaurant here in Iceland - it is a restaurant with a soul.
I added the website to the restaurants and there you can read an interesting interview with Tommi, the owner of the restaurants. He is a colourful character and a man with a big heart and soul. He only chooses the best quality meat for his hamburgers and they are of a high standard. Tommi has opened two Hamburger joints in London, one in Shoreditch and one in Marylebone. The one in Marylebone is about to move to another place.
Apart from the 4 restaurants in Reykjavík there is one in Hafnarfjörður, Reykjavík´s neighbouring town and Selfoss in South-Iceland. Yes, and the two in London, one in Copenhagen and Berlin and now (May 2014) a new Hamborgarabúllan restaurant is about to be opened in Oslo, Norway.
I would say that Hamborgarabúllan is our answer to Mc Donalds. I go there from time to time to have French fries. And there is refill on the Coka Cola as many times as you like and complementary coffee.
Café Loki: Traditional Icelandic food
Café Loki is a very popular restaurant in Reykjavík. It is located just across the street from Hallgrímskirkja church, which is one of Reykjavík´s landmarks. So just looking out of the window will give you a great view of the big church.
I have met up with tourists there, not VT-members though, who wanted to try typical traditional Icelandic food. They wanted to taste rotten shark and the Brennivín "Black Death" and some other stuff they thought might challenge them ;)
Café Loki is on two floors, but I prefer the upper floor.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday from 09:00-21:00 and Sundays from 11:00-21:00.
Favorite Dish: The menu consists of traditional Icelandic food, like fish stew, meat broth, home-made rye bread, trout, skyr, fish balls and other traditional dishes.
Café Haiti.: Very friendly owners - excellent coffee.
Going to Café Haiti was a very pleasant experience. We just started a Facebook coffee-house group and our first choice was Café Haiti. The owners, the Haiti born, Elda and the Icelandic Methusalem greeted us with such warmth that we felt very welcome. We even got a demonstration from Elda on different stages of the coffee bean and got to try Arabic coffee and Turkish coffee in small cups for free. They burn the coffee themselves and specialize in dark coffee. What a lovely couple. Methusalem died in 2013, but the café is still open.
The coffee house is located in one of the ex-fisherman´s huts by the old harbour in Reykjavík. These huts now house coffee houses and restaurants and the ambiance there is so special, I highly recommend going there. In Café Haiti there are seats inside and a terrace outside as well and parking spaces.
Mondays- Fridays: 7:00-23:00
Icelandair Reykjavík Marina hotel café: A funky hotel café
I often meet up with friends at the café at Hotel Reykjavík Marina. This hotel belongs to the Icelandair chain of hotels and is brand-new, opened in the spring of 2012.
There is a fireplace in the lobby and we either meet there or get a table at the café. I must say though that I prefer sitting in the lobby by the fireplace. The decor at the café and lobby is fun, colourful and playful. This is not a traditional hotel and there are funny wooden sculptures in untraditional places. These statues are made by Aðalheiður S. Eysteinsdóttir and I have seen sculptures like these in other Icelandair hotels.
Slippbarinn bar at the hotel is also very popular.
My last photo is of the same kind of statues in Icelandair Hotel Natura.
Favorite Dish: We have coffee and cakes here. And sit by the fire with a glass of white wine during happy hour at the bar.
Bæjarins bestu: Do not miss the Icelandic hot dog :)
Well if you wanna try something else in Reykjavik Iceland go down town to the Bæjarins bestu (Best in town) hot dog stand and grab one hot dog. It is very good and you can have all kind of things on it : raw onion,fried crispy onion,remolade (not sure of the english name of this sauce) ,ketchup and mustard.
Favorite Dish: One hot dog with all but raw onion :)
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KEX-hostel.: A very good café in an old biscuit factory.
There is a new (2011) hostel in down-town Reykjavík called Kex. It is located in a building which used to be a biscuit factory "Kexverksmiðjan Frón". The Icelandic word for biscuit is "kex". When I went there I was not even sure where the entrance was, it only says "Kex hostel" in very small letters and you have to walk up stairs to the second floor. But once you enter it is lovely.
I went there with my coffee group and I loved it. It is spacious, the view is of the ocean and Mt. Esjan, the atmosphere is relaxed and I would defnitely go there again. And there is a terrace facing south so I guess that on sunny summer days it is very warm sitting there. I and my friends are going to do that next summer.
The bar area in the middle of the café/restaurant is called "Sæmundur í sparifötunum" or Sæmundur (a man´s name) in his best clothes ;)
You can even get a shave or a haircut there in an old-fashioned chair (see my photo). And there is a library wall there as well. I just adore their relaxed style - it reminded me a bit of Camden town in London, which is my favourite.
I don´t know what the hostel is like though as I only went to the café, but I would imagine that it is a big funky and good judging from the atmosphere at the café.
The toilets stalls have wallpaper on them in the form of old Icelandic books or magazines, so you have something to read - and there is an old radio transmission which is quite funny - I definitely like their style.
There are free live concerts at Kex hostel on Tuesdays at 20:30.
Worth a visit.
Babalú: An extremely cosy café in the city center
Now this is a cosy coffee-house in the center of Reykjavík. It is on the second floor of an old house with a lovely terrace. When you come up the stairs you feel like you stepped into somebody´s living room, there are old sofas and shelfs with books and all kinds of games and cards (see my photos). Never have I felt so at home at a coffee-house:)
They even have a vegan carrotcake!
I went there with a VT member, Barbara from Switzerland, on a very cold winter day after visiting Hallgrímskirkja church, which is very close to Babalú. We were just looking for some place to warm ourselves, but got pleasently surprised by the lovely atmosphere here.
And I frequently go there with VT member, Ana from Slovenia, just love it there :)
It is open from 11:00-22:00. I have not yet found their website, I guess they don´t have one?
I highly recommend going there if you want to relax from the stress of daily life.
Kaffismiðja Íslands.: A café owned by my second-cousin :)
Kaffismiðjan is a lovely, cozy little coffehouse owned by my second-cousin. It has a wonderful atmosphere and a true 101 (old down-town Reykjavík) feel to it. The owners are Sonja Grant, who is a national coffee-judge and the best trainer for baristas in Europe in 2007, and Ingibjörg Sigurðardóttir, who holds a double Icelandic record for baristas in Iceland. So you know that you are in good hands when visiting Kaffismiðjan. Sonja sold her café last year, but it is still a very lovely café :)
The coffee is freshly roasted almost daily in the only pink coffe roaster there is :) It is located inside the coffe shop.
The furniture in the coffee shop is old and cozy, coming from the home of the owners. It has such a feel-good energy visiting Kaffismiðjan, and there is even an old record player in use there. I guarantee you will not be disappointed visiting Kaffismiðjan.
They also run a coffee school at nights.
Opening hours: 8:30-17 weekdays and 10-17 Saturdays.
Café Loki: Icelandic lunch
Close to the Halgrimskirkja there is the Café Loki. We stopped there for lunch and again were lucky to get the last table. They have a large menu with Icelandic food. We had the flatbread with smoked Icelandic lamb and Skyr, a sort of joghurt, both very good. And of course some coffee. I'm happy to say the the coffee we had in Reykjavik was always very good, real strong coffee, not the weak dishwater kind of coffee you sometimes get in restaurants.
I could have stayed in the café Loki much longer, but we wanted to see something more of the city and there were other customers looking for a free table, so we left instead of having seconds.
Sorry , I forgot to take any pictures.
Café Babalu: Don't miss the loo
Before our trip we were told we'd absolutely have to go to Café Babalu and also to use the toilet there. Well, I have often got recommendations for cafés and restaurants, but very seldom for a toilet.
The café is very colourful from the outside and very interesting inside. It was packed and we were lucky, just as we entered some people left. Later we noticed many people who couldn't get a table.
I had a very good piece of cheesecake, my husband had an equally good spinache crèpe. Quite suddenly I heard the cuckoo, cuckoo of a cuckoo clock from the Black Forest. When I looked up I saw it hanging at the wall, not what I had expected to see in a café in Reykjavik.
When I entered the toilet I was faced by Princess Leia from the Star Wars films and at the other wall Han Solo points his gun on the unsuspecting customer. So yes, this is a very unusual toilet.
Harry's: Conveniently located and very good
On our first evening in Reykjavik we were tired and decided not to walk to a restaurant in the centre, but rather just try the one across the street from our hotel.
We both ordered fish and chips. It took a while, but we noticed why: everything was freshly made. When we got our meal it was excellent.
So the next evening we checked the menues of several other restaurants and in the end decided to go back to Harry's. This time we both ordered the lambchops, again very good.
We were in Reykjavik for just four nights and each night we had dinner there. I went back to the fish and chips, my husband tried some spring rolls from the admittedly small menu, before he also came back to fish and chips.
The price was reasonable for Iceland, the staff very friendly and after a good dinner all we had to do was to cross the street to our hotel.
Favorite Dish: Without doubt the fish and chips. Freshly made, not greasy or too salty, just very good!
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