Airwaves 2017

The Sóley Guide To Being Vegetarian In Iceland

Words by
Photos by Alísa Kalyanova
 
The Sóley Guide To Being Vegetarian In Iceland
 

Being vegetarian or vegan in Iceland keeps getting easier. I’ve been an on-and-off vegetarian/pescatarian for ten years, but last year I finally took the step, and now try to live the vegan lifestyle as much as possible.

Music takes me all kinds of places, so I travel a lot, playing shows and whatnot. On such trips, I often find myself wandering around strange new cities for prolonged periods of time trying to find a local vegan restaurant. It can get tough. So, to save you fellow veggie people from spending too much time hungrily wandering the streets of Reykjavík, I’m gonna guide you around my favourite places!

Coffee, pastries, sandwiches

First of all, there’s coffee and breakfast. To start the day, I would go to Reykjavík Roasters in Brautarholt, where you can get the best coffee (ever!) and some really good vegan croissants, cakes and sourdough bread with avocado or hummus. So good! And the coffee is so strong and tasty.

I also like to go to a nice little place called C is for Cookie. They offer these grilled sandwiches filled with whatever you like–and if you’re vegan, make sure to ask whether the vegan cheese is on offer. You can also get vegan carrot cake and other delicious sweet stuff.

Falafel party goodness

On to lunch and dinner… OK, there are actually a lot of good places to choose from these days, so I’m going to have to name a few. If you’ve been partying like crazy all night, or if you’re just in the mood for a nice falafel, I heartily recommend Mandi by Ingólfstorg. Their stuff is really, really good—if you’re vegan, just remember to skip the yogurt sauce.

If you’re into noodles, which I am, I advise you to enjoy a bowl at Núðluskálin. Their fare is yummy, spicy (if that’s your thing) and filling, too. Of course, there are also various Indian places around that work well for vegans, like Austur-Indíafélagið and Hraðlestin, both on Hverfisgata. The first one is a little fancier (and far more expensive), but both are really good.

I definitely also recommend K-bar on Laugavegur, where you can get a Korean dish called bibimbap. I’m not usually a big fan of deep-fried foods, but an order of bibimbap brings you rice with vegetables, kimchi and lots of delicious deep-fried tofu. I love it!

If you like sushi, check out Sakebarinn/Sushibarinn (a pair of conjoined restaurants on Laugavegur, which share owners and a menu). You can get nice vegetarian mix there—I always go for the lovely vegan mix.

They have a vegan burger at Kaffi Vest up in Vesturbær, a short walk from downtown. Kaffi Vest is conveniently close to Vesturbæjarlaug, so if you’re nursing one of those music festival hangovers, you can do the hot tub thing and then go have a burger.

Then, there’s this 100% vegetarian place called Garðurinn on Klapparstígur. It’s very hippie—just like you’d imagine a vegetarian place would look and taste!

Last but not least is Gló, which is owned by a locally famous vegan/raw chef Sólveig Eiríksdóttir, aka Solla. They always have a vegetarian dish, soup AND a raw food meal. They also have chicken (booo!), but, I mean, if you’re going for a bite with your carnivorous friends, that maybe helps ensure that everyone’s happy. Gló also offers various raw sweets—they’re probably full of sugar, but oh so good.

As for beer… someone told me the Icelandic beer Einstök was vegan! I don’t know (yet) what non-vegan things you could (or would want to) put in your beer, but Einstök is a nice beer anyway!

There are also a couple of nice ‘vegetarian’ food stores downtown, Góð Heilsa and Heilsubúðin. One is on the corner of Laugavegur and Klapparstígur, and the other lies a little bit further up the road, on Klapparstígur.

Also, you should definitely get an app that’s called ‘Happy Cow’. It’s like YELP, but only for vegetarian/vegan food.

So! I really hope all this helps you a little bit if you’re feeling lost and “hangry” (hungry & angry)… because I’m that person all the time when I’m travelling. At least, I am when I’m stuck at the gas stations on the Autobahn in Germany, where they only serve schnitzel with bread. They make me both “hangry” and “had” (“hungry” & “sad”). But once you’re vegan there’s no way back—your only way from thereon is towards harmless living for you, the planet and, of course, the animals. Peace! <3

Addresses

Reykjavík Roasters
Kárastígur 1, 101 Reykjavík

C is for Cookie
Týsgata 8, 101 Reykjavík

Mandi
Veltusund 3b, 101 Reykjavík

Núðluskálin
Skólavörðustígur 8, 101 Reykjavík

Austur Indía
Hverfisgata 56, 101 Reykjavík

Hraðlestin
Hverfisgata 64a, 101 Reykjavík

K-bar
Laugavegur 74, 101 Reykjavík

Sakebarinn/Sushibarinn
Laugavegur 2, 101 Reykjavík

Kaffihús Vesturbæjar
Melhagi 20-22, 107 Reykjavík

Garðurinn
Klapparstígur 37, 101 Reykjavík

Góð heilsa
Njálsgata 1, 101 Reykjavík

Gló
Laugavegur 20b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Sóley is performing at the following dates at Airwaves:
-Thursday, November 5 at 18:30 at Slippbarinn (off-venue)
-Friday, November 6 at 14:00 at KEX Hostel (off-venue)
-Saturday, November 7 at 22:40 at Harpa Norðurljós

Posted October 23, 2015