It is safe to say people in Iceland love coffee and we don’t need no Starbucks to drink alot of the black stuff!
We are always in the top three seats Per capita in coffee consumption.
Maybe it’s the darkness & cold in the Nordic countries but we sure like our cup of the coffee;).
As a bonus you could get a local seer to tell the future base on the leftover coffee in you cup. No it’s not a joke, and I will tell you more about that tradition down below.
Here is a list of my favorite coffee houses in downtown Reykjavik.
Number 1 : Reykjavik Roasters
My favorite Coffee in Reykjavik is without a doubt the wonderful Reykjavik Roasters coffee houses (They have three locations now).
The coffee is roasted on-site and mostly imported from farmers to ensure quality.
The original one is a very popular place just by Hallgrímskirkja Church so it’s perfect to check out the church and then afterwards have a wonderful cup of coffee
Mon-Fri: 08:00 – 17:30
Sat-Sun: 08:00 – 17:00
Three locations: Kárastígur 1, Freyjugata 41 and Brautarholt 2
This is a favorite hangout for many artists, writers and simply lovers of good coffee since it’s opening in 1958. The style hasn’t changed much and guest can admire the Art Deco interior. I recommend the Icelandic Waffles to go with the coffee
Daily from 08:00 – 18:30
Location: Skólavörðustígur 3a (red door)
Iceland’s first and only cat coffeehouse.
Perfect for families or simply if you are fond of cats around while you sip on you latte. There is something relaxing about playing with kittens while enjoying a hot cup of chocolate in the cold of winter. They run a kitty adoption and rescue program so they take good care of the resident cats. If you want something to nibble on with your coffee I recommend their sourdough bread with your topping of choice.
Daily from 10:00 – 18:00
Location: Bergstaðastræti 10a
With 7 locations in Reykjavik it’s easy to drop into one of their coffee houses for a good cup of coffee and a chat. They have a pretty chilled atmosphere and usually serve great coffee so it’s a perfect place to chill for a while and read the newspapers.
They roast their own coffee and sell to supermarkets and shops.
Daily from 07:00 – 17:00
My favorite location: Bankastræti 8
The Laundromat Cafe
This coffeehouse opened up again in 2019 and families are grateful for it as this place has a rather large play area in the basement so you can enjoy your Cappucchino while your young ones enjoy themselves. Like the name implies you can also do your laundry if needed because they provide a fully functioning laundromat also in the basement.
The breakfast and brunch is well proportioned.
Mon-Wednesday from 08:00 – 22:00
Thursday: 08:00 – 23:00
Location: Austurstræti 9
The literal translation of the names Stofan is “Living Room” and the place is decorated like one. With old and cozy furniture on two floors and a relaxed fun vibe around it.
This is one of my favorite places to go for a coffee when meeting someone.
They also have a wide selection of board games for you & your friends to play, books to read and a free WiFi. They have also have refill coffee which is kind of nice if you are there for the long haul.
Mon-Wednesday from 10:00 – 23:00
Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 – 24:00
Location: Vesturgata 3
Te og Kaffi
They pride them selves on being Iceland’s leading coffee roastery and have 13 coffee houses in Reykjavik so in a way the Icelandic version of Starbucks.
To be honest their coffee houses lack a little soul but have free WiFi :).
Their coffee is good but their selection of pastry could use a little work.
Mon-Friday from 08:00 – 17:00
Saturday-Sunday 10:00 – 17:00
My favorite Location: Aðalstræti 9
The name translates to : The black coffee and it’s a great little place to pop into for coffee and even a Guinnes or two. The service is always friendly and the atmosphere welcoming and lively. As a bonus they serve two excellent soups served in a bread bowl (meat or veg) that I can totally recommend.
Daily 11:30 – 23:00
Location: Laugavegur 54
A quirky place that’s full of love, star wars themed bathrooms and Vegan options.
They have a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff that serves good coffee. What more could you ask for? Ok let’s throw in the free WiFi to make it perfect.
Daily 08:00 – 23:00
Location: Skólavörðustígur 22
This is an excellent choice for you first morning coffee and their breakfast option called Trukkurinn (Truck) is simply wonderful.
It’s very easy to walk past this place without noticing it as it’s in the celler of an old building but when you find it you will discover it’s a delightful morning place to jumpstart your system before you head out into your day.
Daily 07:30 – 14:30
Location: Hverfisgata 16a
The names translates to the Coffee Roaster and it’s location is perfect on the main shopping street of Laugavegur. Me and my guides think it’s a perfect place to work, learn and / or read :). Good cup of coffee and great carrot cake. I recommend going up to the 2nd floor and get a table by the window so you can watch the shoppers while you zip on your Espresso.
Mon-Thursday from 08:00 – 23:00
Friday 08:00 – 01:00
Saturday 09:00 – 01:00
Sunday 09:00 – 21:00
Location: Laugavegur 21
This places get’s a friendly nod as their pastries are excellent and the coffee pretty good.
Usually busy in the mornings as it’s a perfect breakfast option
Daily 07:00 – 18:30
Location: Laugavegur 36
Coffee to tell your future?
When I was growing up I remember my mother, sister and their friends studied their coffee cups trying to tell each other what the future had in store for them.
The process is as follows:
You need a cup of black coffee (no milk and sugar) and when you have finished it you turn your cup upside down and turn it in three horizontal circles clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Finally you turn the opening of the cup towards you and move it in a cross in front of you, first up to down and then left to right, all the while blowing a bit at the cup and thinking about your future.
After this you put your cup upside down somewhere (prefferably an oven) and wait for it to dry. Then someone with the gift or talent can read your future from the coffee dregs that are left in the cup. True story :).
I just asked my mother about this tradition and she told me that it was custom anywhere she went as a guest to turn one coffee cup or two.
If you want to learn about more Icelandic magic we suggest you join us for our Reykjavik Folklore Walking Tour.