You need five servings of fruit and vegetables a day; why not start with a lemon? Mix in an avocado, apples and ginger and you’re in for some Good Times—one of Lemon’s sweetly refreshing juice drinks (and, incidentally, the only one that actually contains a lemon).
Forget hamburgers and greasy fries—this is a terrific spot to set yourself right after a hard night’s drinking. Step aboard the fruit express and order your meal at the juice bar, which coincidentally looks a bit like a metro station with its white-tiled pillars and industrial lamps. But the distinguishing factor would have to be the fruit baskets lined up on the counter, including one filled with Pink Lady apples, my crunchy favourite.
(Fun fact: Pink Ladies mature on the tree for 200 days before picking. For more arguably useless information, check out the walls of this otherwise inviting establishment).
The menu is relatively simple: sandwiches to eat and fresh-pressed juice or skyr-based smoothies to drink. Early birds can also opt for oatmeal porridge or yoghurt.
Their most popular sandwich is the Chickencado (chicken, avocado, tomato, pesto), which sounded pretty good to me. My lunch date ordered the Chango (chicken, mango, peanut sauce, chilli), but only because it was the only sandwich that didn’t contain pesto. To drink, I decided to try a Honey Bunny (passion fruit, pineapple, orange) while my date went for a small Indian Flirt smoothie (Vanilla-flavoured skyr, banana, cinnamon, apple). Then, before I could stop myself, I ordered a ginger cappuccino out of sheer curiosity.
Our juice and smoothie were pressed and mixed before our eyes and arrived in what seemed like seconds. Mine was zesty and refreshing; my sister’s sweet and slightly exotic. Be warned: portions are quite smaller than the astronomical sizes we first-world consumers are used to. However, this has got to be a step in the right direction in terms of health and waste-management—I can’t imagine that anyone would really want a gallon of carrot juice anyway. The only downside is the price: 990/790 ISK for a mug/teacup-sized serving is pretty steep.
Our sandwiches were ready shortly after we were seated, in paper and plastic packaging that must have been scientifically designed to be hard to open. Bring an engineer to help you unwrap it, because you’ll only end up getting frustrated and tearing the packaging half to bits.
Despite technical difficulties, the sandwiches are reward enough: a mass of juicy ingredients squeezed between two slices of crunchy grilled bread. The Chango was nutty and spicy and the Chickencado just as tasty, with that sumptuous mushy texture only a ripe avocado can produce. The finishing touch was a dusting of coarse sea salt that added just the right amount of oomph. Highly recommended as a light meal or snack.
As for the ginger cappuccino, I can happily announce that Lemon has succeeded where others have failed. Maybe I’ve had too many bad experiences with weirdly flavoured coffee (I will never again be tempted to try gingerbread or pumpkin flavoured coffee and neither should you), but I was caught completely off guard by this totally drinkable combination! Neither too bland nor too overbearing, I might even order it again the next time I stop by—probably sooner than later.
What We Think: A fast, fresh pick-me-up
Flavour: Crunchy, fruity, juicy
Ambiance: Bright and busy as a bee
Service: Can’t complain
Price for 2 (with drinks): 1890/1490 ISK combo whole/half sandwich with large/small juice
Our Rating: 4/5