Visiting an Icelandic bakery is a must on your trip to Reykjavik. When you stroll down the streets of our charming capital, smells of freshly baked bread waft through the air. A quick walk downtown can result in your taste buds salivating and your stomach rumbling. Reykjavik has an ever-growing food and beverage scene that is perfect for foodies and food lovers alike, but high-quality baked goods have been a staple in Iceland for generations. Nothing warms the soul better than a hot cup of coffee and freshly fried kleina. With so many options available, you’ll naturally want to know the best bakeries in Reykjavik. In a perfect world, you could visit all of the city’s bakeries. Time is of the essence though, so let’s narrow our focus and get to noshing.
Brauð & Co
Brauð & Co (Bread & Co) is one of the newer bakeries in the city, and they have quickly gained renown for their scrumptious cinnamon rolls and high-quality ingredients. When you walk into this Icelandic bakery, nothing is hidden. The artisan bakers expertly prepare their delicious baked snacks in an open-air kitchen. It isn’t uncommon for patrons to ask them questions about their process, ingredients, and opinions on treats they are baking. While the store doesn’t have any official opening hours, you can bet on them opening early. Whether you are a jet-lagged tourist or a groggy resident of Reykjavik, head down to Brauð & Co for a cinnamon roll morning pick-me-up.
Sandholt has been a staple in Reykjavik for generations. As one of the oldest family-run bakeries in the city, they know a thing or two about baking sweet and savory pastries, along with bread that is to die for. You can smell the tasty sourdough bread baking, fresh every day, before you actually see the store. Located at 36 Laugavegur street, this bakery is continuously experimenting with new grains from all around Europe and the Americas. If you have a craving for the Icelandic take on a breakfast sandwich, get here early, and you may just get one before they are all gone.
Bernhöftsbakarí opened its doors in 1834. They take the top spot for the oldest bakery in Reykjavik. You don’t become the oldest player in the game without having picked up a thing or two along the way. This quaint Icelandic bakery has a wide variety of different products you can choose from, for almost any event. Party platters stacked high with Icelandic sandwiches, intrigue and masterfully designed birthday or wedding cakes, along with a cookie tower (no you didn’t read that wrong). Depending on your order, your column of baked cookie dough can feed between 20 and 80 people. The two previous bakeries on our list have a café-esque feel to them, and that is not the case here. Most customers order and then leave, but there is a tiny section of stools along the window for those looking to take a load off or enjoy their freshly made pastry.
Passion Reykjavik has a serious passion for making for tasty treats. This bakery’s counter display seems like an endless field of sugar-filled goodness. Customers’ eyes grow wide when they see the freshly baked cinnamon rolls, kleinur, snúður, pekanhnetuvínarbrauð, and many, many, more. Passion also has the unique distinction of being one of the better bakeries for sitting and enjoying your snack on our list. The cozy cafe is the perfect spot to hide out from a sudden rainstorm or just a great place to catch up on a book. Swing by and make sure to loosen your belt when you leave.
Iceland for Foodies: Best Bakeries in Reykjavik
Like I said previously, there are many, many more bakeries, cafés, and even donut carts sprinkled throughout Reykjavik. These are just some of my top recommendations for the time being. Reykjavik pastries and baked goods are influenced by surrounding Scandinavian and European cultures, and in my opinion, they take the best aspects from each and make them their own. Make sure you swing by each of these places as the weather begins to get colder. Nothing is better to combat a biting Icelandic cold front than a hot cup of coffee and a freshly baked pastry. Leave a comment below with your favorite bakery in Reykjavik and what you love to order there.