Last September I finally made it out to the magical country of Iceland for five days of un-planned, spontaneous adventure. When I booked my trip, it was going to be a solo adventure. I later discovered that a fellow EWC member, Juhea of Peaceful Dumpling, and two flight attendant friends would be there at the same time. Needless to say, their company made for a truly unforgettable trip.
I thought I was going to have a really hard time eating vegan in Iceland. When you think of Scandinavia, you typically think of meat, fish, and potatoes in some variation (I’m all for potatoes, but not for five days straight). I was pleasantly surprised to find that the capital city of Reykjavik, where we spent most of our time, actually has a burgeoning and rather impressive vegan scene.
1 | Kaffihuis Vesterbauer
This cozy coffeehouse exudes Scandinavian “hygge” and they have an amazing vegan burger on their menu. I spent hours here working on my computer, drinking coffee, and, uh, eating, on one of my more relaxing days in the country. It’s a little off the beaten path, but definitely worth the trek!
2 | Kaffi Vinyl
My other vegan friend (and co-founder of Peaceful Dumpling) Juhea and I ended up here a couple times because it was just that good (and only a five minute walk from my hostel). In addition to serving up some remarkably good vegan comfort food during the day, they also turn into a lively bar serving local beers at night.
3 | Glo
I had my first meal in Reykjavik here and it sure did set the bar high! Think updated-cafeteria-style with a Scandinavian aesthetic and healthy comfort food. This here was a vegan pesto lasagna with some delicious vegetable sides.
4 | Nudluskalin
What better way to warm up from a brisk day in Iceland than with a warm bowl of noodles? Options for vegetable broth, coconut, or tomato based noodle soups, and tofu instead of meat make it a great option for vegans.
5 | Gardurinn
I didn’t make it to this little vegan establishment, but Juhea had lunch here on her first day and had wonderful things to say. Below is a picture of her peanut stew and hummus plate (jealous!).
6 | Pulsa
All of us girls met up at the hostel bar/ restaurant Pulsa for a hearty meal before a night of drinking and dancing. The vegans in the house ordered a vegan sausage with coconut creamed kale and sweet potato mash. It was ahhh-mazing!
7 | Joylato
I didn’t make it here, but word on the street is they have some delicious vegan options at this ice cream establishment. So if you need a sweet treat and you aren’t already freezing your buns off, make sure to check out this place!
In addition to being vegan-friendly, Iceland really is thus far the most amazingly beautiful place I have ever been- and also very focused on sustainability. In total, 81% of Iceland’s energy requirements for electricity, heat, and transportation are powered by hydro and geothermal sources. So you can feel a little bit better about taking your next adventure to a country with such a strong commitment to sustainability.