Vegan guide to Iceland

Hello. I am Ragnar Freyr and I’m a vegan from Reykjavík, Iceland. This is a non-comprehensive list of vegan-friendly places in Iceland. It is based on my personal experience and tips from friends and readers.

I hope it helps fellow vegans who are living in Iceland — and those who are travelling to the country — to find something that doesn’t contain meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey or any other animal products. The list is presented in alphabetical order.

I’ll try my best to keep the list up to date and true.

Last updated: March 23, 2017.


The Vegan guide to Iceland was awarded “Best of 2015” by the The Icelandic Vegan & Vegetarian Society.

Want to learn more about the importance of veganism: Read Vegankit.com

This guide is inspired by Leo Babauta’s Vegan Guide to San Francisco.


Personal favorites

Since this list is growing rapidly I’ve been asked repeatedly to list my top 5 places to eat in Reykjavík area. Instead I’m listing my personal favorites in no particular order. I’m not affiliated with these establishments. The list may change regularly. You can find more information about the restaurants in the full list below.

Culiacan
Íslenska Flatbakan
Gló
Kaffi Vínyl
Hraðlestin
Hamborgarafabrikkan
Núðluskálin
Tokyo Sushi
Serrano

All-Vegan

Restaurants with only vegan food.

There are currently no 100% vegan restaurants in Iceland.

All-Vegetarian

These restaurants serve no meat and are usually great places for vegans.

  • Garðurinn (e. Ecstasy’s Heart Garden): This is a cozy little place in the heart of Reykjavík. Menu changes every day. Usually two dishes on the menu, one vegan and one vegetarian. Simple food, which is sometimes just what you need. Also offers some nice vegan desserts clearly labeled. Not open for dinner time and not open on Sundays.
    - Pictures: Soup & Vegan labeled desserts.
    - Vegan labels on menu: Yes.
  • Kaffi Vínyl: A fairly new coffee house on Hverfisgata 76. The first vegan restaurant in Iceland! The menu/kitchen is 100% vegan (except for that one cow-milk container at the counter that they insist on having) and includes awesome main courses, sandwiches, plant-based milks, cakes and desserts. Try the lasagne and the Kawai and the awesome Lone star sandwich. (Once they remove the cow milk Kaffi Vínyl will jump straight up to the All-Vegan category.)
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Silva hráfæði: Silva is quite off the beaten path. It’s located in Eyjafjarðsveit in the northern part of Iceland. Silva offers its guests cooked vegetarian dishes and a raw diet options with healthy cakes and desserts. I haven’t been to this place but I intend to the next time I head up North so it’s on my list. According to their website they have vegan or choice of vegan version for every dish, bread, cakes and sweets available. Be sure to check if it’s open.
    - Vegan labels on menu: Yes.
  • Súpubarinn: A vegetarian/vegan soup restaurant in Borgartún, Reykjavík. I’ve heard they have the best soups in town from vegans and omnis alike. Always at least one vegan soup on the menu.
    - Vegan lables on the menu: Yes.

Vegan-Friendly

These restaurants serve (mostly) meat courses but also offer vegan options on the menu. These places clearly label their vegan courses on the menu.

  • 17 sortir: Bakery in the Reykjavík harbor area. They offer vegan cupcakes and sometimes cakes by order.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Aalto Bistro: A nice and high quality restaurant located at the Nordic House in Reykjavík. The lunch menu now contains a vegan pumpkin burger.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Aktu Taktu: Probably one of the last food establishment we expected to offer vegan food in Iceland but in Veganuary 2017 Aktu Taktu announced a new vegan burger. People say it’s good.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • American Style: A popular burger restaurant in 6 locations in the greater Reykjavík area and Hafnarfjörður. Recently started offering a vegan burger.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Bazaar Oddson: A brand new restaurant at a brand new, super fancy hotel in Reykjavík. Very meat heavy restaurant but offers a few vegan options on the menu.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Bike Cave: A restaurant/bike repair shop located at Einarsnes, near the Reykjavík Airport and Hafnarfjörður. Three kinds of vegan burgers on the menu, fries and onion rings. Really good prices.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Bombay Bazaar: An indian restaurant in Kópavogur. One vegan course currently on the menu with more to come according to the owners.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Bragðlaukar: A lunch restaurant and a catering service in Gnoðarvogur. They offer a vegan dish of the week.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Bryggjan Brugghús: A brand new brewery, bar and bistro at the Grandi harbor district in Reykjavík. They brew their own beer. Vegan club sandwich, portobello taco and something called „vegan club“ on the menu.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Café Babalú: Great café on Skólavörðustígur. They offer vegan carrot cake every day and various juices and healthy soft drinks. Recommended after a good walk down-town.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Coocoo’s Nest: Located at Grandagarður in the Reykjavík harbour. Offers a vegan sandwich on the day-time menu between 11–18. Menu changes quite often. Be sure to call first or check the Facebook page.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes. At least for the daytime menu.
  • Culiacan: A mexian restaurant at Suðurlandsbraut in Reykjavík. Announced a vegan menu in Veganuary 2017. (The menu is not on the website yet) Probably one of the biggest vegan menus in Iceland. The burger and the burritos are amazing.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Eldur og Ís: A small place at Skólavörðustígur. Recently started offering vegan crepes. Clearly marked in the window.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes, kinda.
  • Fish & more: A recent fish place on Skólavörðustígur. Surprisingly, most of the menu is vegan though. Smoothies, soups and open sandwiches.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Fönix Restaurant: A Chinese restaurant that offers a few vegan dishes such as Kungpao, tofu and dumplings.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Gamlibærinn í Reykjahlíð: A bistro beside Hótel Reynihlíð at Mývatn in the north of Iceland. They have a vegan burger on the menu and some other vegetarian options.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Garðskálinn: Garðskálinn is located at Gerðarsafn museum in Kópavogur. They offer vegan soup, sourdough bread and vegan “cheese”cake.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Gló: You’ll find Gló in four locations accross the greater Reykjavík area. This is a fantastic restaurant (and store in Fákafen) run by award winning raw food chef Solla Eiríks. It offers vegan, vegetarian, raw and gluten free dishes accompanied by fresh vegan salads every day. Menu posted daily on the website. I personally love the raw courses and the vegan burger is so good.
    - Pictures: Vegan burger.
    - Vegan labels on menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Hafís: An ice cream shop in Hafnarfjörður, just outside of Reykjavík. A good selection of vegan ice cream and gelato.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Hamborgarafabrikkan: This very meat centric (but popular) restaurant just surprised the vegan community in Iceland by announcing FOUR new vegan burgers on the menu AND a vegan lettuce wrap. The burgers are amazing! Topped with vegan mayo and vegan cheese! They are working on a vegan dessert and more. The menu design needs a slight quality-of-vegan-life improvement but everything marked with “Oumph!” is confirmed vegan. 
    - Pictures: Burger and wrap.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Hannesarholt: A non-profit organization located in the historic home of the late Hannes Hafstein, Iceland’s first prime minister. A restaurant and cafe is operated on the first floor offering vegan dishes regularly.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Havarí: A guesthouse, artist-residence and café in Djúpivogur countryside. HAVARÍ produces Bulsur vegan sausages and Sveitasnakk chips from home grown vegetables.
  • Hraðlestin: Indian restaurant in four locations around the Reykjavík area. Hraðlestin finally decided to add a vegan course to the menu and it’s delicious! Ask for the Vegan Thali.
    - Pictures: Vegan Thali.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • IKEA: Yep, IKEA has a restaurant and they have vegan “meat”balls. Good if you are in a hurry or shopping for some furniture.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Íslenska flatbakan: Fairly new pizza place in Kópavogur. Amazing vegan pizza on the menu (Sú Góðhjartaða) and vegan breadsticks filled with vegan cheese. This is the best vegan pizza I have ever tasted.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Johansen Deli: A brand new deli in Reykjavík, focusing on quality foods. According to the Facebook page there’s a vegan option every day.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes. (At least on Facebook)
  • Joylato: Ice cream parlor in Reykjavík down town and Kópavogur. Lots of vegan options with ingredients such as cashew cream, almond milk and more.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Julia & Julia: A newly opened café in Safnahúsið, a beautiful old house on Hverfisgata. Serves breakfast, lunch, drinks and coffee. Some vegan options.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Kaffihús Vesturbæjar: A neighborhood cafe in the western part of Reykjavík. They have a vegan burger and fries, topped with avacado cream. All drinks can be made vegan with oat milk, including my favorite, Chai Latte.
    - Pictures: Vegan burger.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Kaffitár: A chain of coffee houses around Reykjavík and in Keflavík. I’ve been told they offer bread with hummus and black bean paste, sandwiches and soy, oat and almond milks in their coffee.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Kopar: A nice restaurant in the harbor area of Reykjavík. Recently started offering vegan courses on the menu. One of the few restaurants that offers a vegan dessert. I don’t see a vegan dish on their main course dinner menu though.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Krúska: A health food restaurant at Suðurlandsbraut in Reykjavík. Recently started offering vegan food on the menu such as soups, kebab wraps, stews and curries.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Laundromat Cafe: A popular restaurant in down-town Reykjavík. Offer a “vegan toast” on the menu. Also vegan: soya hot chocolate, bread basket with hummus. Carrot and ginger soup that can be made vegan if you ask them to skip the sour cream. WARNING: I’ve been told the vegan toast is in fact not vegan. I will investigate and update soon.
    - Vegan labels on menu: Yes, at least for the vegan toast.
  • Lemon: A juice and sandwich place in two locations in the Reykjavík area, in Hafnarfjörður and also in Paris, France. Recently started offering a vegan falafel on the menu.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Local: A nice salad place in three locations around the Reykjavík area. They recently changed their menu to include one clearly labeled vegan salad. In addition to that the menu now shows which dressings are vegan. All soups are also vegan.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Mathús Garðabæjar: A new restaurant in Garðabær (capital region). Vegan nut loaf on the menu with beetroot, kale, spinach and mushrooms.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Messinn: A fairly new seafood restaurant in down-town Reykjavík. One vegan option on the lunch menu; Ratatouille and pearl couscous with a berry dessert added on the dinner menu.
  • Nam: Asian restaurant on Laugavegur in Reykjavík. Recently started offering vegan options on the menu. (Online menu is lagging behind!)
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Nat.kitchen: A recently opened restaurant on Laugavegur in Reykjavík. Vegan wraps, smoothies, juices and sandwiches to go. Salad bar and sometimes vegan soups. The owners are just working out the full menu and will label everything soon.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes, for some things. Full labels coming soon.
  • Núðluskálin: A small noodle soup restaurant at Skólavörðustígur. The base for every course on the menu is vegan so you can literally get anything vegan there. Also, you can get tofu instead of meat. There’s a special “Green through” soup that’s really good.
    - Vegan labels on menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite
    - Pictures: Green through soup.
  • Paradís Ice Cream Parlor: Ice cream shop in the heart of Reykjavík. Offer vegan gelatos.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
  • Passion Reykjavík: A very nice bakery located on Álheimar, Reykjavík. Offers some delicious vegan and raw baking. The selection has been taking a hit recently. All vegan breads are still labelled though.
    - Pictures: Pastries & Bread.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Pylsa / Pulsa: European style sausage house at Hlemmur square. Vegan Bulsur sausage on the menu, served with mashed sweet potatoes, pickled fennel and orange. A good selection of craft beers and wines.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Prepp: A coffee house in down-town Reykjavík. One vegan sandwich on the menu. Also apple pie and hummus. Lastly, they offer Oatly milk in your coffee.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
  • Prikið: And old coffee house, bar and restaurant on downtown Reykjavík. Two vegan burgers on the menu.
    - Vegan lables on the menu: Yes
  • Rauða Húsið: This restaurant is located at Eyrarbakki, a small village on the south coast of Iceland. From the owner: “Last year we added a gluten-free vegan hnetusteik to the menu, along with a vegetarian pasta dish that can be made vegan upon request. Vegetarian/vegan-friendly options are marked but the vegan option must be requested so we know to leave out the mashed potatoes and sauces that contain cream.”
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
  • Reykjavík Chips: A brand new Belgian-style fries place. Two of the sauces are vegan (Cashew and tomato). The cashew sauce is clearly marked vegan on the menu. The owners have announced their vegan-friendliness in the news on multiple occasions.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
  • Saffran: A restaurant chain in four places in the Reykjavík area. They just started offering a vegan pizza on the menu.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
  • Sakebarinn: A sushi place in the heart of Reykjavík. They have a clearly labeled vegan course on the menu called “Vegan Combination”.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
    - Personal favorite.
  • Serrano: My favorite burrito place. You watch as the clerk makes your burrito and you get to choose your own ingredients. Kinda like Subway. You can select all vegan ingredients. My burrito consists of: Pan-fried vegetables, all beans, hot salsa, japaneos, nachos and lettuce. Very good. Vegan ingredients are clearly labeled on the counter. And now they have a pre-made vegan burrito on the menu. Yay!
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Shirokuma Sushi: One of the few food trucks in Reykjavík. This one is located at Lækjargata (Mæðragarðurinn). Vegan sushi on the menu.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Símstöðin: A health restaurant in Akureyri. Varying menu. One raw vegan dish every day and sometimes cooked vegan food.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Smurstöðin: A restaurant located inside Harpa in Reykjavík. A few vegan dishes on the menu, including carrot soutp and a bread with falafel, soy mayo and vegetables.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Stofan Kaffihús: A cozy coffee house in the heart of Reykjavík. The soup courses are always vegan.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Sushibarinn: A tiny sushi place on Reykjavík’s main shopping street. Offers a vegan sushi plate on the menu called Vegan Mix. I have not been there myself but plan to soon and will report.
    - Pictures: Vegan Mix
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Taco Barinn: A cool taco bar on Hverfisgata in Reykjavík. Vegan tacos every day. Very good stuff.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Teni Express: Recently opened Ethiopian restaurant in Ármúli in Reykjavík. Five vegan options clearly marked on the menu.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
  • The Coocoo’s Nest: Cozy lunch-brunch place at Grandagarður in Reykjavík. They offer a vegan sandwich on weekdays, some vegan soups and other courses. The menu seems to change quite frequently.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Tokyo Sushi: A popular sushi restaurant at four locations in Reykjavík. Awesome vegan menu. Lots of vegan options.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Valdís: A fun ice cream place at Grandi in Reykjavík. Always offers two or more delicious vegan sorbets. Very nice for hot summer days. Note: The waffle ice cream bread contains butter.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes
    - Personal favorite.
  • Vefjuvagninn: A food truck located near Harpa concert hall. Offers vegan chili wraps. Opening times vary, based on weather and ingredient availability.
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.
  • Vegamót: This popular place recently changed their menu and added a most delicious nut loaf clearly labeled as vegan. The vegetarian burrito can be made vegan by skipping the cheese and sour cream. Lots of food on that dish if you are hungry. Beware that the veggie burger can not be made vegan as the burger itself contains cheese. Also serves pizzas that can be modified.
    - Pictures: Vegan nut loaf
    - Vegan labels on the menu: Yes.

Other

Grocery stores and other places of interest to vegans.

  • Bónus: The biggest low-price grocery store chain in Iceland with stores all around the country. Recently started offering vegan yogurts. Also have the best selection of the Himneskt products which are mostly vegan.
  • Fræið-Fjarðarkaup: Fjarðarkaup is a grocery store in Hafnarfjörður near Reykjavík. They have a section called Fræið that specialized in health foods. Lots of vegan products can be found there including plant-based milk, cheeses, seeds and other stuff.
  • Frú Lauga: A super cozy mini-farmers market grocery store in near Laugardalur in Reykjavík. High quality fresh produce, straight from Icelandic farms. Also imports delicious organic fruits.
  • Gló verslun: The Gló restaurant has a small grocery store at Fákafen in Reykjavík. Bunch of vegan products can be found there. Probably the only place that sells seitan.
  • Hagkaup: Large grocery stores scattered around Iceland but mostly around the Reykjavík area and Akureyri. Sometimes carry Tofurky products, vegan cheeses and plant-based milks. Also have the Himneskt products.
  • Heilsuhúsið: Health products store with four locations in Reykjavík and one in Akureyri and Selfoss. Vegan snacks, bars and protein powders.
  • Krónan: A grocery store chain with multiple locations around the Southern part of Iceland. Mostly in the Reykjavík area. Krónan has been importing loads of vegan food lately. Lots of new stuff coming in each week. For example: Veganz products and Alpro.
  • Mamma veit best: A health food store in Kópavogur. Has been advertising vegan products lately such as vegan cheese and vitamins.
  • Nettó: Nettó is a grocery store chain at multiple locations around Reykjavík and the country. For the best selection of vegan products head to Nettó in Mjódd in Reykjavík.
  • Samkaup: You’ll mostly find these grocery stores in the small towns of Iceland. I am told that you can get some plant-based milk products and vegan snacks and quick meals. I wouldn’t count on these though.
  • Víðir: A general grocery store in three locations in Reykjavík and Garðabær. People tend to agree that Víðir has the best selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Sandwhiches and wraps: In several grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations you can find vegan sandwhiches and wraps from either Dagný or Sómi. They are clearly labeled with a vegan sticker.

Closed or no longer vegan-friendly

These places have been closed or are no longer vegan-friendly. I keep them here for reference only. They are unfortunately still listed on many vegan and vegetarian guides to Iceland.

  • Á næstu grösum: This used to be a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant but is now unfortunately closed.
  • Bast: Closed. Used to offer the best vegan burger in town and some awesome vegan deserts.
  • Grænn kostur: Another great vegetarian restaurant that offered limited vegan plates. Now closed due to bankruptcy of parent company.
  • Kaffi Hljómalind: Closed.
  • Íslenski barinn: No longer serves vegan food.
  • Góð heilsa: Closed.
  • Lifandi Markaður: Closed.
  • Perlan: Closed.

Helpful words and phrases:

Ég er vegan (I am a vegan)
Ég borða ekki kjöt (I don’t eat meat)
Ég drekk ekki mjólk (I don’t drink milk)
Ég borða ekki mjólkurafurðir (I don’t eat dairy)
Grænmeti (Vegetables)

Kjöt (Meat)
Kjúklingur (Chicken)
Fiskur (Fish)
Mjólkurafurðir (Dairy)
Mjólk (Milk)
Smjör (Butter)
Rjómi (Cream)
Ostur (Cheese)
Skyr/Jógúrt (Skyr/Yogurt)
Hunang (Honey)
Egg (Eggs)
Mysuduft (Whey powder)

The Icelandic word for “vegan” is simply “vegan”. No translation is needed. Sometimes you need to explain what it means though. Many restaurants will be accommodating. Probably best to ask for something with no animal ingredients. Most Icelanders know some English.


For restaurants

How to label a vegan course on the menu: Simply put “(Vegan)” behind or in front of the course name if the course doesn’t contain any meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey or any other animal products.

Do you own an Icelandic restaurant that offers vegan options but is not on this list? Or have you made recent changes to your menu and want to let vegans know? Have I written anything that’s not true? Want to change your menu but don’t know where to start? I’d be happy to visit your restaurant and give advice. ☺

Send me an email at r@ragnarfreyr.com


Let me know if this guide has helped you in any way. Also send me tips and suggestions at r@ragnarfreyr.com ☺