Reykjavik is a city of many cafés, all of them cozy, warmly lit, and perfect for indulging in a hot latte. There are dozens of places in town to sip coffee while on brisk mornings or snowy evenings, but our favorites have unique features - vintage vinyl, a library of books to choose from, or award-winning beans roasted on site. Here are our top picks for the best coffee shops and cafés in Reykjavik.
Lauded by many as the best coffee in Reykjavik, the baristas at Reykjavik Roasters take pride in their work and their brewing skill has garnered trophies from all over the world. They have two locations: the smaller, more popular one virtually right next door to Hallgrimskirkja church, and the second just a few blocks from Hlemmur Square. The former fills up quickly, so grab a comfy couch and croissant early in the morning and watch the tourists and locals pour in, or head with your laptop to the latter - though you may have to compete with the students from the nearby Iceland Academy of Arts.
Kárastígur 1 and Brautarholt 2
Sandholt Bakery expanded last year and now boasts succulent pastries, creative chocolate bars, and incredible brunches. Many Icelanders claim it's the best bakery in the city, and we won't argue - come here for the croissants and stay for the smoked salmon breakfast. It's also open very early, perfect for tourists arriving into town on the red eye.
Originally from Copenhagen, the Laundromat Café is a popular choice for hipsters and families, notable for its red laundry machines and the huge toy box in the basement. Much more than a café, its menu is extensive, offering everything from cakes and milkshakes to burgers and fries. Plus the friendly décor will make you feel like you're in an old 1950s diner, and it's smack-dab downtown - what's not to love?
Kaffi Loki is popular with tourists, and with good reason. Beyond coffee, their menu offers small plates of Icelandic specialties, so it’s a good place to sample a little bit of everything. Here you can try mashed fish on rye bread, meat soup, Icelandic pancakes, smoked lamb and the notorious fermented shark. It’s also right across from the impressive facade of Hallgrimskirkja, the largest church in Iceland, making it a great central location to take a coffee break while exploring downtown.
Café Babalú is colorful and quirky little cafe right in the heart of downtown. With its large tables and vintage, slouching chairs, it makes for a great place to read or enjoy one of their delicious sweet crepes. It has the charm of an old-timey house, with yellow paint, exposed brick, and a patio to soak in the sun come summer time.
Stofan Kaffihús is a bustling coffee shop that tends to attract the hipster and tourist crowds. Located just off of Ingólfstorg Square and nestled in an old house, its ample vintage couches and cute decor might likely tempt you into a nap if you’re not careful. Come for board games, a large library of books, free wifi, and a great happy hour each day. They close late, making Stofan Kaffihús perfect for the digital traveler working late into the night.