Cafe´s in Reykjavik are legion and in my experience coffee in Reykjavik is quite good compared to other cities in Europe. This is no cooincidence, since coffee was first introduced to Iceland at the end of the 17th century we Icelanders have been addicted to the stuff. Indeed it was a common complaint among the high and mighty in the old times that the common people spent too much on coffee. I am with the peasants on this one, coffee is my go to pick-me-up. At work I drink three massive cups of coffee each day and I confess that I really look forward to that first cup of the day. Yes, I suppose I am a bit of an addict.
So what does a guy like me go when he wants to splurge on a great cup of joe in Reykjavik? There are many great coffeehouses in Reykjavik. You can´t really go wrong with Te og Kaffi or Kaffitár but I want to recommend an especially cozy small café by the harbor in downtown Reykjavik. Its in an area of town that used to be derelict but has become a real hot spot for great resturants, cafés and art galleries.
This place that I love is called Café Haiti (Website – Facebook Page) and I really enjoy to go there with my wife and daughter on a pleasant weekend afternoon or by myself. The coffee is great, I just like the plain black coffee but they do offer a great variety of course. But what I really love about the place is the “Marriage Blizz Cake” (Hjónabandssæla) in English. It is just a plain oatmeal cake with jam, savory rather than sweet. Its really my favorite. They also do nice pancakes and loads of other pastry which is all made by the patron, Elda who is from Haiti Apparently, the coffee is all fair trade and imported from Haiti and roasted every morning. Café Haiti is one of those places you love to hang out and read a great book while you indulge in some really guilty pleasures.
In addition to the pastries you can buy food there for lunch such as the Icelandic staple, fish stew with rye bread. All of this stuff is made by the patrons That is something I got to try soon.
Make sure you also check out the article by Tor Bilski about the best café´s in Iceland.
Nearby attractions include:
- The Settlement Museum – the real story of the Icelandic settlers. Nobody with a horned helmet in sight though!
- The Reykjavik Maritime Museum – a nice, if not a bit old fashioned museum on all aspects of fishing. I am geeky enough to love it to bits
- Valdís – this place is always full because the ice cream is awesome
- The Northen Lights museum
- The Saga Museum – a few gruesome highlights from Iceland´s history. For those not steeped in Icelandic history it may a bit out of context but personally I enjoyed visiting it
How to get there?