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With its soft pastel skies and crisp, snow-clad streets, the city of Reykjavik is quickly becoming one of the globe’s most beloved winter vacation destinations. Owing to its unique geographical location, Iceland is characterised by its natural beauty and its otherworldly landscapes; but its capital is known also for its sophisticated, Scandi-inspired culture. During the colder months, where temperatures can regularly fall below -3°C, Reykjavik’s numerous coffee houses are filled with the joyful chatter of happy customers, warming their frozen fingers on steaming mugs of coffee or hot chocolate.
With coffee culture contributing so greatly to life in Reykjavik, the city is definitely not short of cafés. We at Zaftyg have compiled a guide to our favourite 4 cosy coffee houses in the Icelandic capital. Read on for the full Reykjavik coffee house guide!
Looking for more winter travel inspiration? Check out our 4 favourite German cities for a winter break.
A vision in whitewashed Scandi décor, Reykjavik Roasters is one of the city’s most sophisticated yet cosy coffee houses. Offering 3 locations throughout Reykjavik, its Kárastígur café is the most popular, just a stone’s throw from the quirky Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral. Order one of their artfully-brewed cappuccinos and settle yourself at one of the window-side wooden tables, watching locals bustle about through the square outside.
Quirky Mokka Kaffi is inspired by the dark wood, retro interiors of a 1950s diner. Located on one of Reykjavik’s most picturesque streets, Skólavörðustígur, this coffee house is known city-wide for its delicious waffle menu, as well as for its rich, creamy hot chocolates. Mokka Kaffi has no Wi-Fi, so you won’t find hard-working students or freelancers here; instead, bring a good book, or chat to one of the friendly locals beside you.
Emilie & The Cool Kids
A small chain which originated in France, Emilie & The Cool Kids draws in its visitors with its mouth-watering window displays, where every possible flavour of cookie is laid out in uniform rows. Inside, this coffee house is quirky and light-hearted, with blazing neon signs and loud, leafy wallpaper. Sample a traditional Scandinavian cinnamon bun, but make sure to arrive with an appetite: Emilie & The Cool Kids’ cakes and pastries are not for the faint-hearted or the small-stomached.
One of the best spaces in Reykjavik for students and remote workers, Kaffitár is a small chain with roughly 7 different locations spattered throughout the city. Its city centre coffee house, located on Bankastræti, offers a range of delicious, flavoured hot drinks, as well as various pastries and cakes. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to meet with old friends or a spot to get through your endless to-do list, Kaffitár is the ideal place.