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Being Vegetarian In Iceland

Being Vegetarian In Iceland

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Published April 3, 2012

After a few weeks in Reykjavík, I immediately felt welcome, and it was easy to adjust to everyday life. As a vegetarian, however, I struggled a bit to find exciting food options. Of course you get all the veggies and fruit you want at the supermarkets, and the prices are even okay, but when it comes to restaurants or take away food, the options are rather slim.
Nearly every supermarket sells a variety of sandwiches, but they typically only have one vegetarian option at the most, and the smaller shops don’t have any. Most of the coffee shops have sandwiches on offer as well, but you have to know where to go to get vegetarian ones. A tip: Litli Bóndabærinn offers wonderful vegetarian sausage rolls and paninis.
And the further you travel outside Reykjavík, the slimmer the chance gets that you might find something vegetarian on the menu (I couldn’t find a veggie sandwich in Selfoss to save my life). And I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for vegans.
While I could probably survive on kleinur and flatkökur, it’s good to know some restaurants and cafés where you can have a nice meal out with friends. So here are some options that I’ve discovered for all the vegetarians out there.
Restaurants:
Grænn Kostur, Skólavörðustígur 8b. A lovely, small restaurant that also offers vegan food. Their special of the day is 1590 ISK.
Á Næstu Grösum, Laugavegur 20b. This restaurant on the first floor of 20b is currently closed for renovations, but will reopen soon.
Kaffihúsið Garðurinn (“Ecstasy’s Heart-Garden”), Klapparstígur 37. A small restaurant that offers a special of the day (1500 ISK) and a soup of the day (950 ISK).
Gló, Engjateig 19. This is not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, but it offers healthy vegetarian dishes that are cooked at 47°C or less. Their special of the day is 1690 ISK.
Cafés:
C is for Cookie, Týsgata 8. A cosy café in the heart of Reykjavík. In addition to their vegetarian dishes, they offer a vegan soup and cake every day.
Café Babalú, Skólavörðustígur 22a. A small coffee shop that offers coffee with soymilk and vegan muffins and cakes. The American owner prepares everything according to his own recipes.

Disclaimer: This list of vegetarian restaurants and cafés is limited to downtown Reykjavík and may not be complete


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