Travel Tips for Iceland

Where to Get the Best Coffee in Iceland


Coffee is still a favourite in Iceland and there are many good Icelandic coffee houses around the country so coffee enthusiasts who rent a car to drive around Iceland don´t have to fear being without their daily creamy latte or steaming espresso.

 

Many travellers love visiting coffee shops when in a new destination, getting to know the local coffee culture and mixing and mingling with the residents who are stopping by for their daily dose of caffeine. If you’re one of these travellers, and you have an impending trip to Iceland planned, you’ll want to take a few café recommendations from the locals at Lava Car Rental. 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about coffee in Iceland, and what to expect when at a coffee shop in Iceland. You’ll likely find a café in Iceland to visit during your trip — or even two or three!

 

The Culture of Coffee in Iceland

While the culture of coffee in Iceland might not be as well known as the culture of coffee in countries such as Italy or Turkey, coffee is nonetheless important in Iceland, and we have our own traditions and preferences that you’ll want to explore, if you consider yourself a coffee aficionado.

While, of course, there’s no real way to grow our own coffee in Iceland, we’ve been importing coffee beans for more than 300 years and, today, it’s estimated that the average Icelander drinks about 18 pounds of coffee every single year. In fact, Iceland is one of the world’s largest coffee consumers overall, per capita.

As is the case in many countries, coffee in Iceland is a staple part of Icelanders’ everyday lives. We wake up and enjoy a cup or two of coffee. We offer our guests cups of coffee when they come over for a visit. At offices and other workplaces, coffee is a necessity.

All of this leads to cafés in Iceland being quite plentiful. You’ll find a range of coffee shops and cafés in Iceland, no matter where in the country you might be. From local spots and cosy cafés, to city cafés where you can grab a cup of coffee on the go, there’s something for everyone.

 

How much does coffee cost in Iceland? 

You might be accustomed to paying a lot of money for a cup of coffee in your home country, particularly if you’re ordering a specialty cup of coffee that includes a lot of extra ingredients and specialty preparation. However, in Iceland, coffee is relatively affordable. A plain coffee with no extras is about 400 Icelandic Krona, which is about the same as a 3 USD or 3 EUR, give or take a little bit.

Better yet, many of the coffee shops in Iceland offer free refills!

 

Can you get free coffee in Iceland? 

If you’re travelling Iceland on a budget, you might not have an extra 400 Krona or 3 USD or 3 EUR to spare, even if that cup of coffee comes with free refills. The good news? There are many places where you can get coffee in Iceland totally for free! That’s right — some businesses will give you free cups of coffee, with no other purchases required.

You can get free coffee at many Icelandic supermarkets, as well as at certain offices, like at banks. You can also get free coffee when you come into the Lava Car Rental office to pick up your rental car

Additionally, if you rent a car with Lava Car Rental, you’ll enjoy discounts and special perks at Icelandic gas stations, including free coffee at many of those gas stations. And, if you’re worried that this gas station coffee is less than stellar, don’t be. Icelandic gas station coffee is pretty good!

 

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The Best Icelandic Coffee Brands

Just as is the case in many countries, Iceland has its own coffee brands, as well as coffee shop brands, with chain locations scattered throughout the country and coffee available for purchase in many of our grocery stores. If you want to experience coffee the way an average Icelander might, go to one of these chains or pick up some coffee from one of these brands at the nearest grocery store. A bag of Icelandic coffee is a must-have especially if you’re renting a campervan for a camping road trip around the country!

 

Te og Kaffi 

Te og kaffi in Iceland

Photo by Te of kaffi

If you don’t speak Icelandic, you might not immediately understand this brand’s name, but, essentially, it means “tea and coffee.” It’s both a coffee company and a chain of cafés. The brand also operates the largest coffee roastery in the country. 

You can stop into a Te og Kaffi location and try its wares fresh, or you can purchase its beans and ground coffee in the grocery store. The cafés also serve food like sandwiches, pastries and other items, so it’s a nice spot to stop for a quick lunch or light breakfast.

If you’re specifically travelling in or around Reykjavik, you can find a handful of Te og Kaffi outposts in the city. You can also find Te og Kaffi cafés inside select bookstores, such as in the Penninn Eymundsson bookstores that are located throughout Iceland, not only in Reykjavik, but also in Akureyri and Egilsstaðir. You also buy Te og Kaffi coffee in supermarkets. 

Anytime you need a little break from your Iceland road trip, consider a stop into a Te og Kaffi café. It’s a great way to get to know the Icelandic coffee scene, while also enjoying a quick bite to eat and maybe even browsing an Icelandic bookstore! 

 

Reykjavik Roasters 

Reykjavik Roasters in Iceland

Another great option — particularly if you’re looking for a café to visit or a bag of branded beans to pick up and take home with you as a souvenir — is Reykjavik Roasters. Reykjavik Roasters is known for offering some excellent, imported and high-end coffees, so you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands when you order at this brand’s three café locations. You’ll find coffee from premier coffee-growing regions located all across the planet, including in Africa, Central America, South America and beyond.

Looking for a particularly interesting travel experience during your visit to Reykjavik? If you’re a foodie or coffee fan, you may want to visit a Reykjavik Roasters location for one of the brand’s brewing and roasting workshops. You’ll be able to try your hand at professional coffee brewing and take home some newly learned skills, as well as some coffee beans, available for purchase in the coffee shop.

 

Kaffitár

Kaffitar coffeeshop in Reykjavik

Photo by HappyCow

Since 1990, Kaffitar has been a favourite on the Icelandic coffee scene. The brand has four cafés in Reykjavik, but you can also find Kaffitar coffee products available for sale at grocery stores throughout Iceland, so you can buy your own beans and take them home.

Kaffitar offers a variety of coffee-based beverages, not just black coffee, so if you prefer a flavoured variety or a specialty drink, this is where you’ll want to go. Think Christmas-inspired beverages around the holidays or pumpkin spice lattes in the fall months, or other seasonal favourites with lots of sweet notes and toppings.

Did you visit Iceland and fall in love with Kaffitar’s offerings? Take some home! You can purchase the brand’s coffee, tea, syrups and other products at the nearest Icelandic supermarket.

 

The Best Coffee Shops in Reykjavik

You can easily visit the above chain and more prominent coffee shops listed above, while in Reykjavik, including the locations for Teo g Kaffi, Kaffitar and Reykjavik Roasters. 

However, beyond these larger, more visible brands, you’ll also find some great cafés and coffee shops in Reykjavik that are independently operated, with just one location to visit for a truly special experience. Here are some of our favourite standalone coffee shops in Reykjavik.

 

Café Babalú: The Quirky One 

Cafe Babalu in Reykjavik

Photo by Viko van Dijk on Wikimedia

This colourful, fun café in Reykjavik is near downtown and one of Reykjavik’s most notable sightseeing spots, the Hallgrimskirkja church. Stop in for not only the great coffee and convenient location, but also for the free WiFi and world-famous cheesecake. This is easily a coffee shop where you could stop and sit for a while, and enjoy a nice little break while sightseeing.

In addition to coffee-based beverages, the café also offers a full menu of light breakfast and lunch dishes, so you can fuel up before you head out to explore for the remainder of your day in Reykjavik. The menu includes soups, sandwiches and crepes, all at an affordable price, with a few vegan options as well. Plus, you can enjoy free coffee refills at a help-yourself coffee station.

Address: Skólavörðustígur 22, 101 Reykjavík

 

Flóran Garden Bistro: The Garden One

Floran coffeeshop in a garden in Reykjavik

Photo by Floran

If you plan on visiting the Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, you have to plan a stop by the gardens’ bistro, Floran Garden Bistro, which sits amid the gardens’ plant and herb collections. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy some nature and all the greenery in the summertime. The outdoor tables and nearby greenhouse furthermore make this café an Instagram-worthy stop for any traveller who wants an aesthetically pleasing place to get their caffeine fix and maybe a bite or two to eat.

The menu includes Scandinavian-inspired dishes and incorporates ingredients that are grown right on-site, in the botanical gardens’ own greenhouses. Other ingredients come from nearby farms. Menus are seasonal and brunch is served on the weekends. Drink options include not just coffee, but also organic wine, beer and other options. Whatever you order, though, you can expect that every plate and every bite will be just as beautiful as the bistro’s surroundings.

Do note that, because of the bistro’s garden setting and outdoor dining experiences, it’s only open during Iceland’s short summer season, from May until September.

Address: Reykjavik Botanical Gardens, 101 Reykjavík

 

Hús Máls og Menningar: The Music Lover

Hús Máls og Menningar in Reykjavik

Photo by MBL

If you love visiting a coffee shop and finding that live music is on the menu alongside all your favourite coffee-based beverages, then you need to make sure you visit Hús Máls og Menningar while you’re in Reykjavik. 

The downtown-set café is filled with books and music, as well as great coffee, pastries, beer and other drinks. The casual café is the perfect spot for socialising, too, so feel free to grab a chair and relax for a while, as you enjoy a few games, chatting with your fellow travellers or just taking in the live shows.

The coffee shop is open until late at night and you can check out the upcoming acts on the coffee shop’s website or Facebook page.

Address: Laugavegur 18, 101 Reykjavík

 

The Best Coffee Shops and Cafés in Iceland

Reykjavik isn’t the only city in Iceland that boasts a great coffee culture. You can find amazing coffee shops and cafés throughout the country. 

Here are a few of our favourite options, which you’ll find in a range of top spots, from Keflavik to Vik to Akureyri. Wherever your Iceland road trip takes you, these cafés are ready to welcome you.

 

Kokulist Bakery in Keflavik: For Greedy Ones

Kokulist near Keflavik airport in Iceland

Photo by Restaurant Guru

Keflavik is probably most well known as the home of the Iceland international airport. However, this part of the country has so much more to offer — like this great bakery. Before you drop off or pick up your rental car and head on your way, grab a cup of coffee at Kokulist Bakery, plus a sweet treat. The bakery is known for its excellent pastries, cakes and other delights, as well as savoury options, if that’s more your preference.

Address: Reykjanesbær, Hólagata 17, 260 Njarðvík 

 

Skool Beans in Vik: The Unusual One

Skool Beans coffeeshop in Iceland

Photo by Skool Beans

If you’re headed down to Vik on a Iceland South Coast road trip, then you need to be sure that you make a stop by Skool Beans. This ultra-cool and hip coffee shop is near some of Vik’s top attractions, such as the black sand beaches, but it’s just as photo-worthy as the top sights located just steps away — and it’s all because this is a coffee shop situated inside a refurbished school bus.

You’ll be amazed at just how much awesomeness they’ve been able to cram inside this unassuming bus. There are seating areas, a coffee bar, artwork and more, all inside. Just head in and grab a coffee and a table, and soak up the cool. Be sure to say hello to the café’s cat as well!

Address: Klettsvegur, 870 Vík 

 

Café Vatnajokull in South Iceland: Cosy Café  on the Road

Coffee in Cafe Vatnajokull in Iceland

Another café that’s worth a stop if you’re taking a South Iceland road trip, Café Vatnajokull is, as the name suggests, located nearby the border of Vatnajokull National Park. It’s also very close to Vik and Diamond Beach, so it’s incredibly convenient.

Stop in and get a cup of coffee, as well as a pastry or dessert, and enjoy the quaint, cosy setting before you head back out on the road.

Address: Fagurhólsmýri, 785 Öræfi 

 

Skaftfell Bistro in Seydisfjordur: The Hidden Gem for Coffee or Lunch

Coffeeshop in Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Photo by Resartis

Founded in the late 1990s, this locally owned coffee house and restaurant is known not only as a coffee shop, but also as a place to find great pizza, desserts and other food and drinks. The atmosphere is comfortable and cute, and there’s an art gallery within the same building. There are vegetarian and other options if you have special dietary needs, and, all in all, it’s just a great spot to stop during your travels and grab a quick, delicious meal, whether that includes coffee or otherwise.

Address: Austurvegur 42, 710 Seyðisfjörður 

 

LYST Café in Akureyri: Café in a Botanical Garden

LYST cafe in Akureyri, Iceland

Photo by Handpicked Iceland

We’ve already mentioned one café set in a botanical garden as a favourite spot for coffee and lunch or brunch during your Iceland travels. However, Reykjavik isn’t the only city in the country that can lay claim to a garden-set café. You’ll also find one in Akureyri, to the north.

The café, named LYST, is situated within the Akureyri Botanical Garden, and offers not just coffee and other warm drinks, but also baked items and light lunch options, with a focus on seafood and fresh produce.

Address: Lystigarðurinn Eyrarlandsvegur 30, 600 Akureyri 

 

Café Valeria in Grundarfjordur: Specialty Coffee

Coffee beans in Iceland

If you’re planning an Iceland road trip to Snaefellsnes Peninsula, make sure you stop by Café Valeria. It’s in a convenient location near both Kirkjufellsfoss and Kirkjufell Mountain, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.

The café roasts its own beans and offers a variety of coffee-based beverages, both warm and cold. This is one of the few spots where you’ll find cold brew, as cold brew isn’t as popular in Iceland as it is in other countries. If you find that you love Café Valeria, taste this little spot home with you, when you buy a bag of the house-roasted coffee beans.

Address: Grundargata 24, 350 Grundarfjörður

 

Map of the Best Coffee Shops in Iceland 

 

 

What are You Waiting For? Iceland Has Plenty of Cafés and Coffee Shops to Fuel Your Adventures

Whether you’re planning a Ring Road road trip in Iceland or just a quick trip to Reykjavik, you’ll find plenty of coffee shops and cafés that embody the Icelandic coffee culture and that will fuel you up with delicious drinks and eats to power your adventures.

You’ll need more than just coffee to get you around, though. You’ll also need a rental car, and that’s where Lava Car Rental comes in. Check out our array of available rental cars and book yours for your upcoming Iceland vacation now.

 

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