Iceland is the 3rd largest coffee consuming country in the world… per capita. Which is to say, there aren’t a lot of us, but almost all of us are caffeine addicts. There’s plenty of options for coffee in town, but if you’re looking for something distinct, here are my recommendations…
Reykjavik offers many varying levels of coffee quality for every type of drinker. There’s even a Dunkin Donuts on Laugavegur that’s so popular among locals it had lines out the door at opening. Well, at least until we went even crazier for Krispy Kreme.
When stocking up for a campervan trip around the island, instant coffee is probably your best bet. We can also provide you with filter press travel mugs, available when picking up your van. That way if you want to buy some fancy beans at one of these magical shops, you can brew on-the-go!
Coffee shop standbys include Te og Kaffi and Kaffitar (various locations). They’ll always serve a consistently great cup. For other coffee geeks like me out there, the best double shot of espresso I’ve had was at Te og Kaffi Microroast.
Most locals I know actually prefer a spoonful or two of instant coffee from Bónus in the morning, but there’s actually a strong following of coffee aficionados based in Reykjavik. You too can become a proper “lattelepjandi lopatrefillinn” (latte-sipping-wool-scarf-wearing-101-er) during your travels in the city if you’d like.
For the soy-flat-white types, there’s Kaffi Vinyl, debatably the most 101 place you could get a guilt-free coffee (think only coconut, oat, soy, and almond milks). A hipster side-step from there is Reykjavik Roasters (two locations). Roasters is becoming a famous stop on a line of tourist destinations stretching down Frakkistigur from Hallgrimskirkja. Their original location on Kárastígur became so popular that they had to remove the wi-fi to deter people from staying too long. So if you’re looking for a wi-fi-latte, pick up a drink there and use Happy Wi-Fi.
If you’re more interested in finding a quiet corner to read in and sip slowly, Grái Kötturinn is the place for you. It’s a small shop below street level on Hverfisgata that is frequented by local artists and sometimes the queen herself, Björk.
Lastly, my all time favourite shop for a cup of joe with true Icelandic character is Mokka Kaffi. They opened in 1958, and I’m quite sure nothing but the wall art has been changed since. There’s even markings along the booths where you can tell the same customers have sat for years! This is the place to go for a flash-back from the past. The coffee isn’t to the caliber of Roasters, but Mokka was actually the first café in Iceland to even have an espresso machine at all. We’ll give them a break. A+ for charm and 60’s decor.
Traveling with a tea drinker? Reykjavik isn’t all coffee shops. Kumiko is a wonderfully quaint and quirky café in the Grandi harbour area serving up teas, cakes, cookies, and more.