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.

Note: The list ONLY features restaurants that have vegan options CLEARLY labeled as VEGAN on the menu.

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

Last updated: June 17, 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.


Follow The Vegan Guide to Iceland on Instagram.

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.

Burro
Culiacan
Íslenska Flatbakan
Gló
Kaffi Vínyl
Hraðlestin
Hamborgarafabrikkan
Serrano

All-Vegan

Restaurants that are vegan.

  • Kaffi Vínyl: An awesome restaurant, coffee house and record shop on Hverfisgata 76. The first all-vegan restaurant in Iceland!! The menu/kitchen is 100% vegan and includes delicious main courses, sandwiches, plant-based milks, cakes and desserts. I recommend the lasagne, the Kawai and the Lone star sandwich. 
    - Personal favorite.
    - Happy Cow link.
Please help fund VEGANÆS!
  • VEGANÆS: Linnea, a vegan chef from Sweden, Krummi, a vegan musician and Örn, a vegan artist/painter/rapper are building a small vegan diner inside of Gaukur á Stöng or Gaukurinn, one of the oldest live music venues in town. Please help fund Veganæs on Karolina Fund crowdfunding site. Click here.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.

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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Aalto Bistro: A nice and high quality restaurant located at the Nordic House in Reykjavík. The lunch menu now contains a vegan pumpkin burger.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
  • American Style: A popular burger restaurant in 6 locations in the greater Reykjavík area and Hafnarfjörður. Recently started offering a vegan burger.
  • Balú Food Caravan: Balú is a food caravan serving burrito-wraps, located by lake Mývatn in Iceland. One vegan wrap on the menu.
  • Bazaar Oddson: A fairly new restaurant at a super fancy hotel in Reykjavík. Very meat heavy restaurant but offers a few vegan options on the menu.
  • 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. Great atmosphere. Often artist playing music in the evenings. Get the vegan Lúxusborgari. It’s really good!
    - HappyCow link.
  • Bombay Bazaar: An indian restaurant in Kópavogur. One vegan course currently on the menu with more to come according to the owners.
  • Bragðlaukar: A lunch restaurant and a catering service in Gnoðarvogur. They offer a vegan dish of the week.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Burro: A really cool tapas-like restaurant in downtown Reykjavík with great atmosphere. Lots of vegan options on the menu. Probably one of the most fun vegan dining experiences in Iceland right now. Unconventional ingredients with weird names but awesome explosions of flavor in every bite.
    - Personal favorite.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Coocoo’s Nest: Located at Grandagarður in the Reykjavík harbour. Offers a vegan sandwiches, vegan pizza, brunch and they also have vegan taco tuesdays. Menu changes quite often.
  • Culiacan: A mexican 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.
    - Personal favorite.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Eldur og Ís: A small place at Skólavörðustígur. Recently started offering vegan crepes. Clearly marked in the window.
    - HappyCow link.
  • El Santo: A mexican restaurant and bar on Hverfisgata. Vegan tacos with Oumph and two vegan starters on the menu.
  • Essensia: Essensia is a new restaurant on Hverfisgata in Reykjavík. Really cool interiors and atmosphere. They offer a 3 course vegan dinner menu that doesn’t break the bank and a vegan pizza for lunch and dinner. Beware: The restaurant is otherwise very meat-centric. You might have to endure the sight of severed lamb legs hanging from the ceiling while eating there.
  • Fish & more: A recently opened fish place on Skólavörðustígur. Surprisingly, most of the menu is vegan though. Smoothies, soups and open sandwiches.
  • Frederiksen Ale House: Family run gastropub located in the heart of Reykjavík. They have vegan hot dogs, grilled vegetables on traditional Icelandic breads, sweet potato salad, falafel and more. Great variety of beer and cocktails.
  • Fönix Restaurant: A Chinese restaurant that offers a few vegan dishes such as Kungpao, tofu and dumplings.
  • Garðskálinn: Garðskálinn is located at Gerðarsafn museum in Kópavogur. They offer vegan soup, sourdough bread and vegan “cheese”cake.
  • 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.
    - Personal favorite.
  • Hafís: An ice cream shop in Hafnarfjörður, just outside of Reykjavík. A good selection of vegan ice cream and gelato.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Hamborgarafabrikkan: This very meat centric (but popular) restaurant 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.
    - 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
    - Personal favorite.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Íslenska flatbakan: A pizza place in Kópavogur. Amazing vegan pizzas on the menu and vegan breadsticks filled with vegan cheese. They recently expanded their vegan menu to include 5 vegan pizzas and 3 vegan starters. This is the best vegan pizza I have ever tasted.
    - Personal favorite.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Johansen Deli: A brand new deli in Reykjavík, focusing on quality foods. According to the Facebook page there’s a vegan option every day.
  • Joylato: Ice cream parlor in Reykjavík down town and Kópavogur. Lots of vegan options with ingredients such as cashew cream, almond milk and more.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Julia & Julia: A newly opened café in Safnahúsið, a beautiful old house on Hverfisgata. Serves breakfast, lunch, drinks and coffee. Some variable vegan options offered.
  • Kaffi Sel: Kaffi-Sel is a restaurant and a 18 hole golfcourse near Flúðir in Hrunamannahreppur. Three very nice looking vegan pizzas on the menu with Oumph and vegan cheese. Also a black bean burger and vegan carrot soup.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathús Garðabæjar: A new restaurant in Garðabær (capital region). Vegan nut loaf on the menu with beetroot, kale, spinach and mushrooms.
  • 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!)
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
    - Pictures: Green through soup.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Paradís Ice Cream Parlor: Ice cream shop in the heart of Reykjavík. Offer vegan gelatos.
  • 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.
    - Personal favorite.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Prikið: And old coffee house, bar and restaurant on downtown Reykjavík. Two vegan burgers on the menu.
  • Ramen Momo: A very small ramen restaurant in downtown Reykjavík offering vegan make-your-own Ramen with miso, kimchi and vegetables.
  • 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.”
  • Reykjavík Chips: A 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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • Saffran: A restaurant chain in four places in the Reykjavík area. They just started offering a vegan pizza on the menu.
  • Sakebarinn: A sushi place in the heart of Reykjavík. They have a clearly labeled vegan course on the menu called “Vegan Combination”.
    - 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!
    - Personal favorite.
  • Shake&Pizza: A restaurant located in Egilshöll entertainment center. You can go bowling and see a movie there. They offer one vegan pizza on the menu.
  • Shirokuma Sushi: One of the few food trucks in Reykjavík. This one is located at Lækjargata (Mæðragarðurinn). Vegan sushi on the menu.
  • Skúbb: A new ice cream parlor at Laugarásvegur (near Reykjavík’s main camping site). They offer a few kinds of vegan ice cream and sorbet.
  • Símstöðin: A health restaurant in Akureyri. Varying menu. One raw vegan dish every day and sometimes cooked vegan food.
  • 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.
  • Staðarskáli: Staðarskáli is a grocery store, restaurant and a gas station in Hrútafjörður. A popular stop on the way between Reykjavík and Akureyri. The restaurant recently started offering a vegan burger on the menu.
  • Stofan Kaffihús: A cozy coffee house in the heart of Reykjavík. The soup courses are always vegan.
  • 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
    - HappyCow link.
  • Taco Barinn: A cool taco bar on Hverfisgata in Reykjavík. Vegan tacos every day. Very good stuff.
  • Teni Express: Recently opened Ethiopian restaurant in Ármúli in Reykjavík. Five vegan options clearly marked on the menu.
  • Tokyo Sushi: A popular sushi restaurant at four locations in Reykjavík. Awesome vegan menu. Lots of vegan options.
  • 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.
    - Personal favorite.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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
  • Von mathús: A restaurant and a bar in Hafnarfjörður. They offer a 3 course vegan dinner, a vegan brunch, traditional Icelandic waffles and more.
  • XO: Located in Reyjavík and Kópavogur. Vegan tandoori salad on the menu and you can also get a vegetable pizza with vegan cheese.

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.
    - HappyCow link.
  • 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.
  • Vefjuvagninn: I think Vefjuvagninn has closed. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
  • IKEA: IKEA in Iceland still has vegan vegetable balls but I didn’t find any vegan labels there the last time I visited.

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 ☺