Your weekend guide to Reykjavík's best brunches

By Mosha Lundström Halbert
Reykjavík’s Apótek serves one of Iceland's most sumptuous brunches

Photo: Apótek

Brunch is arguably the best meal of the day. For visitors and locals alike, these are the eight most sumptuous brunch spots in the Icelandic capital

Weekends in Reykjavík are at once lively and leisurely — a mix of seaside strolls, art crawls and endless evenings on the town. And with the city’s notoriously spirited nightlife, it’s no wonder that brunch is both an essential meal to either aid in recovery or keep the revelry going. It also provides Iceland’s latest crop of chefs the chance to impress with inventive remixes of traditional favourites, reviving elixirs and bottomless pots of tea.


With that sentiment in mind, here are our favourite spots for brunching, people-watching and imbibing in style. See you in the corner booth.



Before foodie television personality Ólafur Örn opened this Nordic-chic restaurant and wine bar, he cut his teeth as the sommelier and part-owner of the Michelin-starred Dill. For his seafood and vegetable-forward brunch buffet at Brut, the focus is a healthy-ish spins on comfort foods. There’s lots of green things, which can often be lacking on Icelandic menus, but here, glossy kale salads and herb-spiked Middle Eastern grains offer a balanced approach to all-you-can-eat. End the feast with delicious apple blueberry cobbler. Design buffs will also enjoy the 100-year-old building in the heart of town that Brut is housed in, designed by famed architect Guðjón Samúelsson.

Pósthússtræti 2, 101 Reykjavík

Brunch at Brut in Reykjavik, Iceland

Brunch at Brut. Photo: Brut



Smørrebrød is the signature of the Danes, but it might just be at its best when made with the freshest of Icelandic ingredients, as is the case at elegant all-day bistro Jómfrúin. An artfully layered sourdough rye smorgasbord ticks all the boxes: beautifully presented and satisfyingly open-face extravaganzas tricked out with caviar, herrings and hand-peeled shrimps. We recommend the Jakob’s Plaice topped with smoked salmon, paired with a shot of aquavit and finished with an Icelandic cheese platter. In the summer months, secure a table in the courtyard, where live jazz will take you back in time.

​​Lækjargata 4, 101 Reykjavík

Jómfrúin in Reykjavik Iceland

Jómfrúin serves up smart Scandi-influenced brunch dishes in stylish surrounds. Photo: Jómfrúin


Coocoo’s Nest

Husband and wife team Íris Ann and Lucas Keller first met when they were both studying in Florence. Though Chef Keller hails from California, they settled in Ann’s native Iceland and set up shop in the up-and-coming Grandi old port district with Coocoo's Nest. The organic kitchen certainly takes its cues from Lucas' West Coast roots, and brunch service is no exception, with pesto-laced green eggs and ham, breakfast burritos capable of cancelling any hangover and an ever-changing special dish dubbed Vegan Surprise. Equally pleasant is the crowd, a mix of footballers, designers and children enjoying the house-made PB&J.

Grandagarður 23, 101 Reykjavík

Brunch at Coocoo's Nest in Reyjkavik Iceland

Brunch at Coocoo's Nest comes with US West Coast touches. Photo: Coocoo's Nest



It helps that this sophisticated kitchen and bar is located at one of Reykjavík’s most picturesque Art Nouveau corners. It also doesn’t hurt that the mixologists – who call themselves 'pharmacists', a nod to Apótek’s original use as a medicinal apothecary – are award-winning and prone to prescribe elixirs such as the tableside mimosa service. Order a crispy duck confit served with waffles, or any manner of their signature Eggs Benny, from lobster to lamb, and smoked trout. And watch the Apótek team work off a sizzling Argentinian grill, presided over by head chef Carlos Gimenez, an alumnus of El Bulli.

Austurstræti 16, 101 Reykjavík

Reykjavík’s Apótek serves a sumptuous brunch

Reykjavík’s Apótek serves a sumptuous brunch. Photo: Apótek



While the approach to dining here is decidedly fine, the vibe and presentation are purely come-as-you-are casual. Rok’s striking black-stained timber two-storey hosts one of the tastiest brunches in town. You’ll feel as though you’ve been invited to a laid-back house party (with dim, flattering lighting to boot) while savouring the blue cheese eggs florentine, chestnut mushroom toast or slow-cooked beef tacos. And be sure to try the rhubarb lemonade. Skàl!
Frakkastígur 26a, 101 Reykjavík

Rok in Reykjavik has one of Iceland's best brunches

Rok on: this is one of the tastiest brunch spots in town. Photo: Rok


Grái Kötturinn

This snug breakfast spot is tucked into a cellar across the street from the national theater, making it a favorite of thespians and literary types all week long. Whether you’re craving the full brunch shebang with bacon and eggs or just a cup of very good coffee, Grái Kötturinn (or 'the grey cat', as its name translates to) encourages getting cosy. Be warned though: it fills up quickly with dressed-down locals, so arrive early and be prepared to perch at the bar, grabbing one of the many quirky books that line the walls to keep you entertained while you watch the irresistible pancake stacks glide by.
Hverfisgata 16a, 101 Reykjavík


Floran Cafe Bistro

During the summertime, this outdoor restaurant operates out of the Botanical Gardens of Reykjavík. Floran's gazebo kitchen uses ingredients grown on-site and from local farmers, presided over by Faroese chef Marentza Poulsen. Her delightful brunch platters are worth the excursion, featuring a variety of breads, proteins, fruits, vegetables and cheeses to nibble on while taking in all the surrounding florabundance of the beautiful plant and herb collection.

44RJ+2F5, Grasagarðinum Laugardal, 104 Reykjavík

Floran's floral brunch is served in the Botanical Gardens of Reykjavík

Floran's floral brunch is served in the Botanical Gardens of Reykjavík. Photo: Floran Cafe Bistro