The best brunch in Reykjavík
Coocoo's Nest Located in the great Grandi area by Reykjavík’s old harbor. See more below.
I’ve enjoyed eating for decades, but I used to be picky. But my pickiness belongs in the past, and now ‘strange’ sounding food combinations intrigue me - mostly because the taste is nearly always worth it and the strangeness turns out to be well-thought out and delicious. With that in mind, I’ve combined a list of my top five favourite places, in no particular order, to brunch in Reykjavik.
I. Public House Gastro Pub. As the name suggests, Public House is a gastropub that’s located in downtown Reykjavik. The restaurant opened this past May and has met and exceeded everyone’s expectations. The menu is different from what you may be used to, but somehow they manage to turn a pulled-duck-waffle into the perfect brunch. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.
Where: Laugavegur 24, 101 Reykjavík
II. Nauthóll. Nauthóll bistro is located by Reykjavik’s one and only (man-made) beach. One a nice summer (Sun)day, you can sit outside and watch the planes come in; the locals enjoying the good weather by biking or rollerblading by the ocean, and best of all: You can do this while brunching. Nauthóll is perfect for those with ‘decision-making-anxiety’ because there’s only one brunch that’s served. Fruit, sourdough bread, pancakes, and egg in a jar. It’s simple made fancy, and it’s always good.
Where: Nauthólsvegur, 101 Reykjavík
III. Coocoo's Nest. This tiny little place may be slightly difficult to locate by Reykjavik’s old harbor, but it’s worth it. Coocoo’s Nest offers the classics with a twist: Cinnamon Pancakes; Green eggs and ham; Breakfast Burritos, and many more. And to top it all: They only use organic eggs! It’s quaint, it’s charming, it’s a stop you won’t regret making.
Where: Grandagarður 23, 101 Reykjavík
IV. Vegamót. I think everyone that's been to downtown Reykjavik knows Vegamót Kitchen and Bar. It’s popular among the locals for a variety of reasons, only one of which is their brunch. Vegamót serves brunch Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 11am until 4pm and you can choose from four different brunch plates. There’s also a children’s brunch for those travelling with little ones. Vegamót is easy on the budget while giving you lots of grub. It’s a win win situation.
Where: Vegamótastígur 4, 101 Reykjavík
V. Snaps. Snaps Bistro and Bar is located in downtown Reykjavik, much like Vegamót. It’s the restaurant at the Odinsve Hotel, but luckily for those of us not staying at the hotel, the restaurant is open to everybody. It’s a favourite among locals and it’s usually packed – whether it’s for brunch or weekday dinner, but it’s packed for a good reason too. Snap’s brunch menu is reasonably priced, has a good variety of different options, and the atmosphere is cozy. If you get there and every seat is occupied, I recommend waiting. Perhaps while sipping on one of their signature brunch cocktails.
Iceland Magazine update in November 2016:
We would like to add to this list of still going strong places, restaurant Hverfisgata 12 (located downtown Reykjavík), which began serving brunch earlier this year.
VI. Hverfisgata 12. Whether you are dealing with a hangover or want to have a healthy weekend family celebration, the brunch menu at Hverfisgata 12 has you well covered.
Since opening in 2014, the restaurant has made its name with gourmet pizzas crafted with Icelandic-inspired toppings and dough made from whey and barley.
Staying true to its origins, three brunch pizzas top the menu. If you go for the one with homemade tomato sauce, fire-baked eggs, bacon, and black pepper, you should not need more nourishment until dinner time.
Less calorie-laden options include avocado with crème fraîche and herbs on the restaurant’s splendid rye bread, and smoked trout on rye bread with poached egg and sauce hollandaise.
If you like your brunch to involve some booze, Hverfisgata 12 won’t let you down. You can choose between the restaurant’s own take on the Bloody Mary (vodka, pizza juice, and house spices), a Blumosa (blueberry syrup and bubbles), and a wide selection of craft beers.
The brunch scene has gone way too far in too many places around the world, with gastronomic grandstanding and pretentiousness. There is no such nonsense at Hverfisgata 12. The menu is simple and honest, as it should be. -jk
Hverfisgata 12, 101 Reykjavík, Tel. +354 4370203
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