The Icelandic peoples coffee drinking habits are on the rise, and the country is 3rd on the list of top 5 countries that consume the most coffee in the world per capita, per year. We really do love our coffee here - some say it’s much needed because of the darkness during the winter, some say it’s just the way we Scandinavian people are. I’d say it’s definitely both. The need for a good coffee with something sweet to go with it, is just in our blood – and this multiplies over the dark winter.
A cup or two in the morning and then again after lunch, and maybe even late afternoon, followed by something sweet like a little slice of homemade cake or cookies, is a must do for us. It is also said, that Iceland has the biggest amount of specialty coffee available in the world per capita, and I’m not surprised.
Akureyri, the capital of northern Iceland, has a nice selection of little cafés. Here, I’ll share my guide for the best coffee shops in my town.
Coffee and cake is always a good idea. Photo: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash
Akureyri’s most loved little café (and my favourite of them all), Kaffi Ilmur, has by far the most extensive cake menu in town. A cute yellow house, located on a tiny hill, this is the place where you can have a sweet slice of homemade cake and coffee with a view. I love sitting outside on the terrace, wrapping myself up on a blanket, and sipping away my chai latte whilst watching the world go by, in the towns buzzing little walking street.
One of the best things about here, is that if you fancy some of the delicious cakes, but are not sure which one to go for, they do offer half a slice as well. Perfect for those who might want to try a few different ones. If you decide to stay for a late lunch, their lunch menu is always worth checking out.
Hafnarstræti 107 B, Akureyri
Tel. +354 571 6444
The big windows in Café Laut are perfect for observing the beautiful Botanical Garden. Travelade/Mari
Located in the middle of Akureyri’s best kept secrets – the beautiful Botanical Garden – this café is a little gem. With beautiful design inside and outside, the café was built in 2012 to celebrate the garden’s 100th birthday. I love the huge floor to ceiling windows that give a stunning view over the garden - it’s one of my favourite places to go and enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe some ice cream, if I want to get away from it all and hide amongst all of the beautiful flowers and plants.
Tel. +354 462 7487
Café Berlin is the newbie in Akureyri and always drawing in the young crowd. Photo: Café Berlin
With their famous breakfast and half day brunch going on every day, Café Berlin is also a cool place to go just for a coffee. Popular with the cool kids in town, this trendy place has a nice and young vibe going on.
Skipagata 4, Akureyri
Tel. +354 772 5061
The selection of breads and pastries in Bakaríið við Brúna never lets down. Photo: Bakaríið við Brúna
Now this one is really something. Extremely popular with the locals, Bakaríið við Brúna is worth popping over to and watching the buzzing atmosphere, when the locals queue to buy their favourite cakes and bread.
With a friendly international staff, this is the town’s most popular bakery that’s located conveniently next to a big road and the shopping mall. They bake an enormous variety of bread, pastries, cakes and other goodies, and often offer samples too.
Dalsbraut 1, Akureyri
Tel. +354 461 2700
Bláa Kannan café is a popular place with locals and visitors. Photo: Bláa Kannan café
Located on the walking street close to Akureyri’s most famous landmark, the church of Akureyrarkirkja, this dark blue fairy tale looking building with two high towers, has a relaxed atmosphere and is deeply loved by the locals and visitors alike.
I love coming here in the late mornings, when there brekky people have left and the lunch crowd hasn’t arrived yet. With a good Icelandic coffee and an enormous blueberry muffin, curling up in the cosy corner table and reading the news, is one of my favourite things to do in town.
Apart from their massive and delicious blueberry muffins, their homemade brownies are to die for, and so big and filling that two people can easily share one.
Hafnarstræti 96, Akureyri
Tel. +354 461 4600
Free samples anyone? Photo: Kristjánsbakarí
This one is a small and cute café on the main walking street, opposite side of the hot dog stand. They have a nice selection of freshly baked pastries – my favourite, the pecan nut pastry with caramel sauce, never lets me down. Coffee is good, and it’s a nice place to stop by for a quick break.
Hafnastraeti 108, Akureyri
Tel. +354 460 5930
Mouth melting pastries and good coffee are the best. Photo: Charisse Kenion/Unsplash
Everyone visiting the Kaffi Kú, will fall in love with the place in no time. Overlooking the beautiful valley of Eyjafjarðardalur, not too far from the fascinating Christmas Garden, The Cow Café is a fun place to go and have a coffee. The café is located above a cow-shed, where you can sit back and enjoy your coffee, whilst watching through the huge glass windows of the 120 cows being milked. After your coffee, have a little wander around the farm and say hello to the calves.
My favourite here is to indulge with the Belgian waffles with whipped cream, and if I’m really hungry, the homemade goulash soup is always a good call.
In late autumn and winter time, this is also an excellent place to watch the Northern Lights.
Garður, Akureyri (Valley of Eyjafjarðardalur, on road nr. 829)
Tel. +354 867 3826
Photo: Jason Wong/Unsplash
A super trendy café that operates inside of a book shop of Penninn Eymundsson, it’s always fun to pop in here. Summer mornings are made for sitting outside in the sun and enjoying some of the specialty coffees that they have, whilst watching Akureyri waking up. The sweet selection is rather small, but the coffee and tea options even better. I always find a tasty muffin to go with my coffee, or get a few of those huge cookies that they sell there.
Being a popular meeting point for young moms with their little ones sleeping in the prams, you can really just sit back here and observe the local lifestyle a bit. They have a big selection of magazines to read, even in English, and at the end of the bookshop, there’s a gift shop with Icelandic and Nordic designs.
Located on the corner of the main walking street, just a block away from Akureyri Art Museum, Te og Kaffi can’t be missed. Just look for the big book shop and there it is.
Hafnastraeti 91, Akureyri
Tel. +354 555 1910
Feeling something else instead of coffee? Check out the Akureyri Happy Hour Guide.
Check out these 7 best day tours from Akureyri.
Also check this cool Lake Mývatn tour from Akureyri.
Feeling like exploring the surrounding areas after your coffee? Here is our guide for the regions of the north.