For a small city, Reykjavik has more than its share of cafes, most of which are concentrated in the city center. Though many cafes (and restaurants) become lively clubs on weekend nights, during the day they are excellent places to sit and relax with a cup of coffee, read a book, make use of the free wi-fi or just chill out and people watch. Here are some of the best cafes in Reykjavik.
Cafe Paris is equally charming on a warm summer day when you can sit on the patio as it is on a cold winter day when the interior is bustling and warm. Dishes range from light bites like crepes, salads, pastries and cakes to hearty meals like burgers, grilled salmon and garlic fried lobster tails. Coffee, espresso, hot chocolate, and tea are served, along with soft drinks, beer, and wine.
Trendy coffee shop in the afternoon, raucous club by night, Kaffibarinn is a Reykjavik institution. Rumored to be partly owned by Blur’s Damon Alburn, it’s definitely a scene, but the coffee justifies the buzz. They don’t open until after 4pm so this is an ideal spot for a late afternoon caffeine stop.
With a prime position on the main street of downtown Reykjavik, this coffee shop (which also becomes a lively club at night) is one of the city’s most popular. In summer, sit outside on the patio for people-watching. In addition to coffee and light bites, Kaffi Solon serves tapas, salads, sandwiches and pastas.
DOWNLOAD OUR TRAVEL GUIDES
The Icelandic version of Starbucks, you’ll find Kaffitar locations all over the city. This is the place to come if you just want some good quality coffee and a pastry to go. It’s a reliable choice with consistent quality across the different locations.
Mokka is the oldest cafe and Reykjavik and impresses not with trendy music (they don’t play any) and hip clientele, but with consistently good coffee and a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. They’re open from 9am daily and serve an exceptionally good hot chocolate in addition to espresso and cappuccino drinks.
Another cafe-by-day/club-by-night establishment, Prikid does a total about face in the late evenings, transforming from quiet coffee bar to packed hip-hop club. They also serve excellent burgers. Try the hangover killers – a hearty sandwich and a “Bruce Willis shake” with a shot of Jack Daniels and a painkiller tablet.