What is it?
One of the city’s favourite bohemian bars, marked by the characteristic London Underground insignia above its entrance.
Featured in the classic film 101 Reykjavik, Kaffibarinn has long been cemented as the crown prince of Icelandic bars, attracting international superstars such as Jarvis Cocker, and Blur/Gorillaz frontman, Damon Albarn (who even owned a 1% share in the property and opted for the Underground sign outside), as well as a host of regular locals and inquisitive visitors.
Its intimate upstairs loft (ideal for daytime chats) and rustic interior decor seem to be somewhat at odds with the bar’s constant stream of electronica, soul, and jazz. But when the lights are dimmed and the music cranked up, the scenery comes together with the venue’s true nature. Nowhere in Reykjavík better represents Icelandic nightlife than Kaffibarinn.
But Kaffibarinn (literally, “the coffee bar”) is anything but a quiet drinking hole. It’s one of the most popular venues in Reykjavik, particularly on weekend nights. Because the venue isn’t exactly spacious, the weekend crowds can make it seem almost claustrophobic. Despite its packed Saturday nights, the bar has still managed to make its name as a popular dancing spot, and locals have no reservations about letting loose in the bar’s back room.
The beer offerings are fairly standard for Reykjavík, with staples like Gull, but the venue also offers more sophisticated Icelandic microbrews on a rotating tap.
The bar is resoundingly popular, and, on the weekend, there’s always a queue out the door (occasionally, wrapping around the corner). The snaking lines streaming into bars and clubs are something of a rarity in Reykjavik, but they’re definitive proof of the devotion that Kaffibarinn draws from its customers.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 3PM – 1AM
Friday – Saturday: 3PM-4:30AM
Price Range: Bottom shelf lager: 1.100ISK; Icelandic IPAs: 1.550ISK