Reykjavík Grapevine - 07.01.2006, Blaðsíða 24

Reykjavík Grapevine - 07.01.2006, Blaðsíða 24
1 Café Roma Laugavegur 118 Roma, at the far end of the main street Laugavegur, is a deli-type coffee house, and one of the best take away places in town. It almost feels unnatural that all the tempting cookies, cakes and other sweet things that are calling your name on the shelves are actually quite reasonably priced. 2 Ráðhúskaffi City Hall Ráðhúskaffi inside the Reykjavík City Hall is a comfortable choice for the view over Tjörnin, especially recommended on the so-called window weather days – the days that are beautiful, as long as you stay indoors. Also art exhibitions, 80m2s of miniature Iceland and municipal politics, all conveniently under the same roof. 3 Grái Kötturinn Hverfisgata 16a Grái Kötturinn (The grey cat) is a cosy place, and that’s why it’s a shame that it’s quite often closed when we knock on their door and peer through the window later in the evening. Don’t follow our example and go during the daylight, it’s especially popular during the morning hours. 4 Kaffi Hljómalind Laugavegur 21 A peaceful café with perfect windows for people-watching and a lot of daylight. Hljómalind is run by a non-profit organisation and it only serves organic & fair trade products. 5 Mokka Skólavörðustígur 3a Kaffi Mokka is the oldest café in Reykjavík, dating back to the 1950s. It’s the place with dark, smoky atmosphere and great numbers of loyal customers. Their waffles are best in town. Seriously. 6 Ömmukaffi Austurstræti A coffee house there you can find all kinds of people - all ages, all nationalities, with very friendly, down-to-earth feel to it. Affordable prices on coffee, cakes and the lunch menu. Try their speciality, the (South) African latte. 7 Babalú Skólavörðustígur 22a The youngest coffee house in Reykjavík is also the homiest. Almost like a living room away from home, Babalú keeps it simple, quiet and cozy with coffee and the occasional crêpe. 8 Tíu Dropar Laugavegur 27 A very nice “grandma” style café. Subterranean, as all traditional coffee shops should be. This place makes you feel warm, both with its atmosphere and the generosity of the coffee refills. 9 Kaffitár Bankastræti 8 Expanded and improved, this is the downtown store for one of the country’s finest coffee importers. While anything here is good, the speciality coffee drinks are truly remarkable: our favourite, the Azteca, an espresso drink with lime and Tabasco. 11 Sólon Bankastræti 7a Sólon is a nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights, but it seems to have more lives than one, since in the day it’s a coffeehouse and in the evening (weeknights) they have a decent menu, as well, and an art exhibition on the walls to finish the package with an artsy touch. 12 Oliver Laugavegur 20a Oliver is one of the biggest hits in town at the moment. Good news for the early birds: they open at 8 in the morning with an extensive brunch menu, staying chic all day long, until late - always crowded, with an everlasting queue outside especially towards weekend nights. Their Mediterranean menu, served in huge portions, is guaranteed to make you smile. 13 Kaffibarinn Bergstaðastræti 1 Kaffibarinn is Cool Hip Reykjavík. Blur’s Damon Albarn owns a share of the bar, probably figuring it was cheaper than buying drinks all the time. This place has managed to serve as a 101 living room for quite a while already, with DJs often playing on the weeknights, with volumes rising towards the weekend. Friday and Saturday nights serve as the weekly 14 Sirkus Klapparstígur 30 “Welcome to the Jungle/ We got fun and games,” quote the bard. Elements of this odd and alternative cultural institution also include an upstairs that looks and smells like a bus, a garden, a flea market and a queue on weekend nights that looks never-ending. 15 Café Victor Hafnarstræti 1-3 Spelled with a C rather than with the more traditional K in order to be more cosmopolitan. This ploy seems to be working, as the bar has become a hangout for foreigners. The Viking ship sitting on top of the house might also add to the appeal. The crowd is very mixed, both in origin and age, and so is the music. 16 Vegamót Vegamótastígur 4 Vegamót (crossroads) has an appealing lunch menu, they serve brunch during the weekends, and the kitchen is open until 22 daily. After that the beat goes on, and you can check the end results in photos published the day after on their website If you like Oliver, try Vegamót and vice versa. 17 B5 Bankastræti 5 B5 is a newly opened bistro with a Scandinavian focus on the menu. Don’t be fooled by the impressive collection of design classics that you see in the window when passing by – it’s neither cold nor overly expensive, but rather a cozy place with friendly service. 18 Rósenberg Lækjargata 2 Perhaps the closest thing to a jazz club in town, with old instruments lining the walls. People go there for conversation and listening to music rather than dancing. The place tends to have jazz or blues- type music, and is developing a bluegrass scene. 19 Grand Rokk Smiðjustígur 6 As the Viking style garden and logo accurately signal, this is no place for the weak— yes, chess bars are that tough. Even if the downstairs atmosphere can feel a bit ominous at times, it’s one of the best venues for live music in town. Chess, beer and rock’n’roll. 20 Bar 11 Laugavegur 11 The rock bar on Laugavegur is one of the late night party venues in town. You’ll feel the floor jumping every Friday and Saturday, and it’s neither you nor an earthquake. Live concerts and a nice foosball table upstairs. 21 Hressingarskálinn Austurstræti 20 The celebrated site of one of the more famous coffeehouses in Iceland, this bar/ coffeehouse/ restaurant brings a European flair to the city. That is until about 11, when things get to rockin’, and you can see the true character of Reykjavík. 22 Pravda Austurstræti 22 Pravda is one of the larger clubs/bars in downtown Reykjavík. It’s divided between two floors and also separately into the Pravda Bar and the Pravda Club. The club section of Pravda is ideal for dancing, while the Bar section is somewhat more quiet and chilled out, with occasional live jazz and sometimes reggae. 23 Café Cultura Hverfisgata 18 The recently expanded Cultura is located in the same building with the Intercultural centre. A good value menu, friendly service and settings that allow you to either sit down and carry on discussions, or dance the night away – tango on Wednesdays starting with free lessons from 20 to 21:00. 24 Prikið Bankastræti 12 Used to be the oldest continuously running traditional coffeehouse on the street, but, after a change of clientele, they now cater to a younger crowd. A diner during the day and a nightclub on weekends, you can also borrow games there, such as backgammon or chess. 25 Ölstofan Vegamótastígur There are no tricks to this one. You know what you want and you know that you’ll get when you enter this simple, straightforward pub. We are talking about drinking beer. Known as the hangout for the intellectual circles of Reykjavík. 26 Thorvaldsen Austurstræti 8 Posh as the fifth circle of hell. DJs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Arrive before 12 if you want to avoid the queue. Civilian attire is looked down upon. Do not expect to get in wearing hiking boots. 27 Gaukur á Stöng Tryggvagata 22 Iceland’s oldest bar is now in its early twenties. During the day it’s a pool pub and on weekday evenings there are live rock concerts by a mix of mainstream and underground bands. On weekends there is usually a lot of action with cover bands playing everything from Britney to the Beatles. . 28 Kaffibrennslan Pósthusstræti 9 Kaffibrennslan manages to be just a nice, “normal” place to go to, and a place to be seen at, surprisingly enough both at the same time. A wide variety of beverages, both bistro menu and a terrace outside the bar when the weather allows it. The iced coffee beverage is a delight. 30 Litli Ljóti Andarunginn Lækjargata 6b They have a fish buffet for 2500ISK every evening, with the magic words “eat-as- much-as-you-can” floating in the air. They also have an Icelandic media person working there every now and then, so watch out for a curly haired, friendly gentleman called Egill. CA FÉS BA RS ´n ´ B IST RO 10 Segafredo By Lækjartorg With McDonalds long departed from the centre of Reykjavík, we got Italian chain Segafredo, which isn’t a bad trade- off. The staff are expert baristi, and, even though Iceland is proud of its coffee, nobody quite tops the Segafredo latte. 29 Glaumbar Tryggvagata 20 One of the few proper sport bars in Reykjavík, so you can go and watch whatever game happens to be on the TV screens. The establishment is basically based around the bar, so you won’t have to go a long way for a drink. Open until five, and has a reputation for late night partying. Laugavegur Austurstræti Bankastræti Skólavörðustígur Hverfisgata Fra kk as tíg ur Barón sstíg ur Læ kja rga ta I ng ólf ss træ ti Be rgs tað ast ræ ti Þin gh olt ss træ ti Óð ins ga ta Tja rna rga ta 2 32 31 38 35 34 37 27 4 40 36 29 15 7 45 1 41 Laugavegur Bankastræti Austurstræti Hafnarstræti Hverfisgata Læ kj ar ga ta In gó lfs st ræ ti Kl ap pa rs tíg urSkólavörðustígur 311 13 14 16 17 1920 4246 44 5 30 33 8 24 25 9 10 6 39 23 28 26 22 48 21 12 49 43 47 18 DOWNTOWN REYKJAVIK Surprising for a community that  prides itself on the best fish in the  world, there are very few options  when it comes to sushi. Still, in  the downtown area, there are two  options if you like your fish raw.  Tucked into the corner of the Iða  mall, Osushi is the more difficult  sushi restaurant to find, and it  has the more celebrated rolls and  sashimi. The upstairs of Iða also  hosts a superb deli.  Osushi in the Iða mall, Lækjargata 2a, 101 Reykjavík, Phone: 561-0562 SP OT thi s Oshushi


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