Reykjavík is widely known for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe and veganism is often reported to be one of the most expensive diets in the world. With that in mind, the term ‘cheap’ is being used pretty loosely here. However, that doesn’t change the fact that these vegan eats are totally yum and worth every króna, so if you’re sick of cooking lentils and rice at home, here are some spots you should hit up.
Anything at Emilie and the Cool Kids
This French-owned café has it all: bagels, pastries, scones and more! Prices range from just a few hundred ISK for sweet pastries to 1,990 ISK for the Vegan Breakfast (vegan cream cheese and avocado bagel, a glass of OJ and any hot drink). The cinnamon rolls are also a great value because seriously: they’re huge. We’d put forth that they are not a dessert, not a snack, but in fact, a full meal. During your visit, you might also notice the 70s/80s U.K. music they’re playing—on my last visit, it was “Roxanne” by The Police—which makes this the perfect spot to hit if you’re a Brit missing home (like me).
Hamborgara Bullan’s Vegan Burger
This 1,190 ISK veggie burger—if you want it made vegan, you need to specify when you order—is hands-down the best vegan burger in Reykjavík (in my opinion, at least). The only thing that could be done to improve it would be if Bullan could add a slice of Violife cheddar but this burger is certainly impressive enough as it is. The glossy bun encases a deep-fried veggie patty, topped with crunchy lettuce and all the condiments you’d expect to find in a picture-perfect junk food burger. Go for the meal deal (1,990 ISK) and you get fries and a drink, too.
Taj Mahal’s Vegan Special
1,499 ISK might sound like a lot, but at Taj Mahal, that’ll get you a main, a side of rice and a whole naan bread. The two vegan mains on offer are the Tofu Tikka Masala (bright red and perfectly spicy) or the Mixed Vegetable curry (equally yum and contains at least one of your five-a-day, probably). Historically speaking, spicy = pricey, so it’s no surprise that Taj Mahal’s vegan options are among the more expensive on this list. However, their portions are generous and delicious. Taj Mahal’s menu also boasts an array of vegan sides, starting at 790 ISK. With masala fries and masala onion rings, samosa and pakora—you’ll find comfort at this authentic South Asian restaurant.
Veltusund 3b & Faxafen 9
A good falafel wrap can totally change your day, but a Mandi falafel wrap will change your whole week. With prices ranging from 650 ISK for a falafel bowl with hummus and salad, to 1,650 ISK for a falafel meal, you can get your falafel fix at the price point you choose. If you order the falafel wrap and want to make it vegan, remember to specify that you want it without yoghurt sauce. There are two Mandi locations in the city, so you’re never too far away from this classic vegan option.
Brauð & Co.’s Cinnamon Roll
This humble dessert would definitely be classified as broadly Nordic rather than strictly Icelandic, but Iceland certainly knows how to do cinnamon rolls right and Brauð & Co.’s is incredible. The colour of the dough alone gives everything away: baked to a beautifully caramelised hue and topped with sugar crystals. The filling itself is a perfect blend of sweet and cinnamon and, at 490 ISK, this treat is the cheapest item on this list. If you’re a loyal customer—which you soon will be once you’ve tried these cinnamon delights—you can buy a snazzy Brauð & Co. tote bag and get 10% every time you bring your bag in-store. Your savings can really stack up if you visit often. Their sourdough loaves are also very good if you’re looking for a more savoury treat.
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