It’s 7am on a Saturday morning. You’re up early, or maybe you’ve just arrived in Reykjavík, and you’re walking down Laugavegur amidst the detritus of last night, complete with a few post-party zombies that haven’t gone to bed yet. But you don’t care about all that—you’re hungry. Very hungry. Everything looks closed, but don’t worry—we at the Grapevine have your back. Here’s a list that’ll guarantee your survival until lunch.
One of the biggest Icelandic coffeehouse chains Kaffitár opens on Bankastræti at 7am every day, and will treat you to bacon and egg sandwiches, hummus and cream cheese toasts, and sweet satisfiers like croissants and cinnamon buns. Oh, and they have great coffee, too. If you’ve just arrived in Iceland, and had your pre-flight coffee at a Starbucks, maybe you wanna try something else. Go to Bergsson (pictured) at Templarasund—they open at 7am and serve a wholesome breakfast of salad, fruit, eggs and bread until 11am. If you’re after something more substantial like a classic English fry-up or US-style bacon and pancakes, try the cosy basement joint Grái Kötturinn on Hverfisgata, open from 7.30am—2pm daily.
Whether you’re carbo-loading before a marathon or carbo-loading after partying, Prikið’s breakfast kills it. With big portions and a homely vibe, you can get everything from pancakes to an English breakfast at this local hotspot. Our pick? The ‘Breakfast of Champions,’ with eggs, bacon, oranges, skyr and camembert, or the ‘Hangover Killer,’ which includes a massive sandwich and a hangover shake that contains both coffee and Jack Daniels.
Reykjavík has a few brunch places that are guaranteed to make you go “yummy yummy in my tummy.” Café Paris on Austurstræti is top of the list, with its near-perfect eggs Florentine, top-notch fried chicken with waffles, and a hulking stack of pancakes with maple syrup. Yep, we know, you’re drooling now. Hverfisgata 12 is also a good option, serving a brunch menu all week that includes eggs how you want them, Korean chicken, savoury porridge and breakfast pizzas. For a continental-style cooked breakfast, try Snaps on Þórsgata, which serves omelettes, eggs benedict, and croque-monsieur (pssst, they serve a great bloody mary, too).
It’s a new day—why not start it cruelty-free? Kaffi Vínyl on Hverfisgata serves hands down the best vegan breakfast in town. Whether you’re craving melt in your mouth croissants, toast with avocado and cashew cream cheese, or sweet cupcakes that make your taste buds tingle: they’ve got you covered. Vínyl opens at 10am on weekdays, and 11am on weekends.
Egill Jacobsen is located on Austurstræti, in the spot that the late and lamented Laundromat Café used to be. They opened very recently, not that you’d be able to tell from the great food—they serve breakfast and brunch from 8am-4pm every day, including a customisable (choose four ingredients) breakfast, fresh juices, a breakfast burrito, a breakfast for champions, oatmeals, yoghurt, pancakes…you catch our drift.
Get more city guides and tips via our Best of Reykjavík magazine.