April 14, 2018
The man bun is alive and well in Reykjavik. Just today I counted seven men sporting the somewhat questionable hairstyle while on my way to a café. It’s funny in a way, because in Los Angeles the man bun generally represents a dude that only drinks organic coffee, has been vegan for all of 37 days, and boasts about his weirdly impressive knowledge of kale. The “man bun men” of Iceland are definitely not interested in talking about kale.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived in the country, but in the last few days, I have been pleasantly surprised. Reykjavik is a cozy city nestled between bodies of water, stunning mountains, and landscapes that are in a word: overwhelming. It is a place that is just as suited for adventure as it is for a lazy day spent reading by the water. I’m half in love.
After traveling around the Golden Circle and visiting the gorgeous Þingvellir, Iceland’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (also a Game of Thrones filming location), a geothermal playground dotted with boiling puddles of water—geyser included—and the Gullfoss waterfall, it was time to head back to Reykjavik. Dressed in charming architecture, quaint cafes, an alarming amount of chocolate covered licorice (Why Iceland? Why?), caviar in a tube, and genuinely wonderful people, I’ve picked out my top four must-try cafes in downtown Reykjavik.
1. C is for Cookie: I cannot rave about this place enough. The friendly atmosphere is offset by yummy bites and illy coffee. For those who prefer tea (like me) there is a selection of organic teas that really hit the spot. Everything is made in-house, and like the rest of the city, it’s made fresh.
2. Svarta Kaffid: As my trip was filled with cold rainy days, a bit of hot soup was exactly what I wanted at the end of a long day. The café serves two different kinds of soup (which varies from day-to-day) and is served in homemade bread bowls with a side of Icelandic butter. There are only a handful of tables, so get there early if you don’t want to wait.
3. Braud & Co.: This place is all about the bread, and thank Thor for it. The colorful exterior of this hole-in-the-wall establishment is filled with warm, homemade breads. The smell alone is better than any candle ever made. I snagged a fresh chocolate croissant that was buttery, crisp, soft, and gooey on the inside. It was everything a croissant should be and more. Amazing.
4. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (Icelandic Hot Dogs): Seems random, but I assure you it’s a must-try. This delicious quick bite is available in the classic beef hot dog or the Icelandic version, which includes fresh/organic lamb, beef, and pork. Top it off with a warmed bun, some raw and fried onions, along with a dash of ketchup, sweet brown mustard, and a mayo caper and herb sauce.
See you Edinburgh, Scotland!
As always… Choose compassion, be kind, live with your eyes open and your ears ready to listen.