From Iceland — First Vegetarian

First Vegetarian

Published May 31, 2007

First Vegetarian

The restaurant Á næstu grösum, located on the corner of Laugavegur and Klapparstígur, is popular with locals who want healthy and nutritious meals served fast and reasonably priced. This cosy eatery boasts an easygoing atmosphere and a nice selection of vegan and vegetarian meals cooked from quality ingredients without sugar, yeast or manufactured food additives like MSG. Organic vegetables are also used whenever possible.
The small dining room was almost fully seated when we arrived but my dining partner and I were able to get a table by the window, overlooking Laugavegur. After bringing us fresh orange juice and organic soda for drinks, our friendly waitress invited us to the buffet. At Á næstu grösum there is no actual menu and it is sort of a self-service dining-spot featuring an impressive buffet and a waiter armed with a large spoon who will stuff your plate with anything you find appetizing.
The today’s specials constantly change, so the many regulars will always find some new and exciting dishes written on the blackboard above the counter. The buffet itself, which is divided into diverse hot and cold dishes, always features numerous wholesome courses such as soups, lasagne, veggie-stews, pea patties, quiches and side servings as fresh salads, rice and sauces. It’s worth mentioning that Fridays and Saturdays are dedicated to Indian cuisine, a particularly popular weekend feast.
I opted for a mixed plate and sampled a portion of vegetables in Thai curry, aubergine terrine, delicious lasagne, well-flavoured fried chickpea patties with spicy tomato sauce and rice, potato salad as well as tomato-fruit salad and fresh vegetables on the side. Although my plate was completely stuffed, I couldn’t resist some freshly baked bread with hummus, but the choices of chutney, butter and extra virgin olive oil are also offered as toppings, and you can have as much as you can eat.
After mixing all the tasty delights there was no room for anything else than a cup of coffee, which was a shame as the cakes at Á næstu grösum are ’world-famous’ (at least among the regular clientele). I’ve tried the sugar free banana cake before and can easily recommend it to future visitors. Here, dining out can be both quick and enjoyable and the take-away offered can become useful as well, whether you need to grab a meal or a yummy piece of cake to take home for a late-night snack

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