From Iceland — The Troubadour's Guide to Drinking

The Troubadour’s Guide to Drinking

Published October 11, 2012

The Troubadour’s Guide to Drinking

By Alexander Aron Guðbjartsson

Whatever your opinion of them and their music, the trusty troubadour is for many people the mortar on which a great night is built. So for some reason we thought it would be fun to ask one of them to recommend a few places to grab a drink—that is, for people who enjoy some Creedence Clearwater “Have you ever seen the Rain” to go with their beer. It turns out this may (or may not) have been bit of a silly idea as Alexander Aron Guðbjartsson—a staple troubadour in 101 for the last five years—explains.

Despite what you think, troubadours like myself really don’t go out that much. The thing is that when we’re playing over the weekend, we’re working. Some of the guys that I know in this business will have a drink after work, but they are really loyal to the places that they play at—they really only go to three or four places where we know the bar staff really well.

But there are some good places to go drink and have a good time. One such place is Úrilla Górillan (Austurstræti 12). There’s live music there every day. Even though it’s officially a sports bar, it’s also a restaurant too as well as a great place to have a drink. Even though there may be sports playing, it’s never too loud.

Pubs can be really crowded especially over the weekends, but if you come early in the evening and beat the crowd then there are some bars that have a nice atmosphere. One such place is Den Danske Kro (Ingólfstræti 3). It’s not that big and it feels really homey because they have loads of regulars. If you’re a tourist, don’t worry they’re really friendly. They also have a nice 2-for-1offer until 19:00.

Otherwise I’d recommend the English Pub (Austurstræti 12), which is busier and more crowded, but still has a great vibe. It’s popular for a reason (i.e. it’s good).

Then there’s Ölstofan (Vegamótastígur 4), which I like because a friend of mine works there. It’s easy-going and the music they play nice background music.

If you’re looking for a place to have something to eat with your drink, then there’s also Laundromat (Austurstræti 9). It’s actually a nice place to go to. It feels different from some of the other places because it closes a bit earlier and doesn’t ever turn into a party. You can go there with friends and actually hear each other speak.

Most requested song?
The most requested song I get is probably “Wonderwall” and the most requested Icelandic song is the Þjóðhátíð song, “Lífið Er Yndislegt.”

Favourite songs to perform?
Right now my favourite songs to play are Adele’s “One And Only,” and Ray Charles, “Unchain My Heart.”

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