Guide to eat cheap breakfast in Reykjavik. Know where to eat in Reykjavik on a budget.
Skyr, coffee and pastries are breakfast essentials in Iceland—they may provide just the fuel you need to spend a day riding horses, hiking snow-capped peaks or traveling to waterfalls. But if you’re on a tight budget, you may not know where to go or what to look for. Thankfully, Reykjavík offers plenty of affordable breakfast options.
Here are five of the best ways to get your morning meal in Iceland’s capital without breaking your wallet.
If you’re walking down the street and smell freshly baked bread, you know you’ve come to the right place. Hour by hour, Sandholt churns out some of the country’s best baked goods.
For the early riser, Sandholt can’t be beat. It’s open at 6:00 in the morning, so whether you’re a natural early bird or have just stepped off your plane from a red-eye flight, this combined café and bakery is a necessity. While you can easily sit down and order a full meal—be it waffles or fried eggs—the cheaper option is to grab something on the go. Line up at the counter to grab something savory or sweet. With its delicious sandwiches and warm pastries, Sandholt will have you covered.
Sandholt is located on Reykjavík’s main shopping street at Laugavegur 36.
If you’re a coffee fiend, you’ve come to the right place. Iceland is renowned for its rich, smooth brews—and Reykjavík Roasters is consistently ranked among the finest of coffeeshops. You can choose from any of your favorite styles and even get a pastry on the side. Then, relax and soak up the quiet, quirky and eclectic atmosphere: Roasters definitely has personality. Hip Icelandic music is often playing over the stereo—and you can browse their record collection yourself.
While it may not fill you up, a cappuccino and a croissant could be a perfect fit for the lighter eater. No matter what you get, Roasters is almost guaranteed to draw you back.
Reykjavík Roasters has two main locations: one at Kárastígur 1 in the middle of downtown and another at Brautarholt 2 (close to Hlemmur Square).
Brauð & Co
For those with a sweet tooth, there’s no better spot than Brauð & Co. Their delectable cinnamon rolls and unique Icelandic confections are essentially doughy nuggets of heaven. Don’t forget to admire the mural on this bakery’s original building—the entire façade explodes with color. Part of the fun, too, is in the anticipation, because a line can slink down the block when Brauð gets busy.
Pastries here are inexpensive and definitely filling. Try their hjónabandssaela, or “happy marriage cake”—an Icelandic-style rhubarb crumble that will have you eating every crumb.
Brauð & Co.’s main location is Frakkastígur 16 in downtown Reykjavík, though they have several locations—including one inside the food hall at Hlemmur Square.
Though they may be an unconventional option, grocery stores are a great spot to grab breakfast, and some even have tables or counters where you can sit down and eat. Food here is often cheaper than in restaurants, and you’ll have more variety. Some stores even have hot food ready for you to eat on the spot.
Plus, these shops can be an ideal place to try out the local cuisine. In Iceland, be sure to taste skyr, a traditional, yogurt-like dairy product that’s especially rich and creamy. It’s packed with protein and has almost no fat, so it makes for a filling, scrumptious breakfast.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for stores that are open during morning hours. In the downtown area, several stores—such as 10-11 and Krambúð—are open 24 hours a day. A cheaper option is Bónus, Iceland’s budget grocery chain—though its stores never open earlier than 10:00, and sometimes as late as 12:00.
You may think of your hostel as merely a place to sleep. But your hostel may be the cheapest breakfast option yet. Sometimes, if you know where to look, you can eat for free.
Many hostel kitchens—and especially those in Hosteling International’s Reykjavík locations—offer shelves for guests to leave extra food. While they’re often overlooked, these shelves can be loaded with goodies that the last visitor simply couldn’t take when they left. Not only does this practice reduce food waste, but it also makes your meal an exciting way to try things you wouldn’t have bought yourself. Plus, if you offer to share the extra food with other guests, it can be a quick way to make friends.
Hostels also frequently sell food—and some may even provide breakfast as part of the cost of your stay.