Vegan travelers understand the importance of scoping out the local gastronomy before jet-setting. After all, your trip will be slightly tainted if you find yourself ordering the side salad and water (yet again) from an exclusively meat-packed menu. Thankfully (and perhaps surprisingly) Iceland is a vegan utopia when it comes to dining.
Despite their national dishes, including fish stew, skyr (dairy yogurt), and hákarl—a decidedly non-vegan dish of fermented shark—Iceland is also a fantasia of foraged ingredients, organic veggies, and home-grown edible flowers.
With many vegan restaurants spotlighting on locally-sourced ingredients (wild and cultivated), it’s easy to witness the genuine care these restauranteurs possess for their home environment. And, of course, this translates to fresher-tasting, healthier dishes, too.
From European-style food halls to naughty-but-nice vegan junk food vans, Asian cuisine, and Iceland’s unique gastronomy, you can sample a different fare every night of your trip. Not to mention, you’ll have plenty left undiscovered for your return visit.
Part-time, full-time, and flexi-vegans, gather around: we’ve cooked up the ultimate guide to the best vegan restaurants in Iceland.
The 13 best vegan restaurants in Iceland
- Coocoo’s Nest
- Mama Reykjavik
- Loving Hut
- Cafe Gardurinn
- Flóran Garden Bistro
- Hlemmur Mathöll
- Ramen Momo
- Mai Thai
With four locations across Iceland (three of which are in the Reykjavik area), you’ll never be too far from a tasty vegan pit-stop. Their pièce de résistance? The bowls. Yep, Gló appreciates that bowls are the favored format of vegans (be it Buddha, Mexican, or poke), and their menu is engineered to suit.
Serving both vegan and vegetarian concoctions, each dish has one thing in common: they’re overflowing with rainbow veggies and soul-nourishing health foods.
Address: Fákfen 9, Fákafen, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Friday 11am - 8pm Saturday 4pm - 8pm Price range: $$ Website: www.glo.is
2. Coocoo’s Nest
Family-run and unfailingly welcoming, this vegan restaurant in Reykjavik is spearheaded by Californian, Italian-trained chef Lucas and his partner-in-crime Íris. At first glance, the restaurant oozes Nordic charm; but it’s the dishes emerging from the kitchen that’ll have you reserving a table for the week.
Head to Coocoo’s Nest for tacos on Tuesdays (expect elevated recipes like tequila-marinated fish) and Wednesday is the dayfor expertly pizzaiolo‘d sourdough pizzas. The brunch menu serves the best vegan breakfast in Reykjavik, while the weekends-only menu is where you’ll discover the joys of authentic Icelandic gastronomy.
Address: Grandagarður 23, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11am - 10pm Sunday 11am - 3pm Price range: $$$ Website: www.coocoosnest.is
We don’t think anybody loves fresh veggies as much as the team at Chickpea. This Reykjavic vegan cafe gathers locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and transforms them into imaginative plant-based delights. And, true to Iceland style, there’s usually something pickled.
Hearty enough to tempt the carnivores in your crew (and possibly spark a friendly debate), Chickpea’s plates come piled high. Arranged with artistically uncomplicated presentation, each dish is an abstract masterpiece.
Address: Entrance from Ingólfsstræti, Hallveigarstigur 1, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Saturday 10am - 8pm Price range: $$$$ Website:www.facebook.com/chickpearvk
4. Mama Reykjavik
The lovechild of the most quintessentially Nordic bunch you’re ever likely to encounter, Mama Reykjavik is a true passion project. Dreamed up by an amiable (and suitably bearded) group of yogis, travelers, and wellbeing devotees, the eaterie has gone from strength to strength.
Offering a small but mighty menu with stews and salads taking center-stage, expect African, Indian, and West Indian influence infused into each dish. Our tip? Come for the food, but stay for the aromatic herbal teas; their delicate brews are the perfect digestif.
Address: Laugavegur 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Thursday 10am - 9pm Friday 10am - 8pm Saturday and Sunday 11am - 9pm Price range: $$ Website:www.mamareykjavik.is
5. Loving Hut
Vegans are hardly known for their animosity, and Loving Hut stays true to form with their excellent hospitality. Stop by and dine amongst the pared-back Icelandic interiors, with rustic wooden beams and ambient lighting to complete the sophisticated atmosphere.
Travel from Italy to Vietnam and beyond—without leaving your table—at Loving Hut, where the finest of international cuisine is duly veg-ified. With vegan chicken, pork, and beef dishes to sample, it’ll satisfy new recruits, perennial vegans, and meat-eaters alike.
Address: Laugavegur 164, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Saturday 11am - 10pm Sunday 4pm - 10pm Price range: $$ Website: www.lovinghut.com/is
6. Cafe Gardurinn
Every day is different at Cafe Gardurinn, Reykjavik’s friendliest vegan cafe. Serving one savory dish and a complementing soup each day, this hot-pocket of heaven alleviates the angst of an overwhelming selection. And don’t worry, it’s always a good choice.
With the vibe of a small-town local but dishes worthy of a five-star restaurant, this quaint cafe hits the sweet spot—emphasis on the sweet. Cafe Gardurinn is renowned for its sweet treats, and you simply must sample the famous vegan carrot cake. And, perhaps indulge in a creamy slice of vegan cheesecake for the road.
Address: Klapparstígur 37, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11am - 8.30pm Wednesday 11am - 5pm Saturday 12pm - 5pm Price range: $$ Website: www.heart-garden.is
With cat cafes popping up in cities all over the world, it’s no surprise Iceland jumped on the bandwagon. So, give a warm meow to Kattakaffihusid, Iceland’s first cat cafe. And, like the furry felines roaming within, it certainly landed on its feet.
This vegan bakery, Reykjavik, serves cafe classics with a vegan twist—from grilled sandwiches to oozing waffles—as well as vegan cakes, cheesecakes, and brownies. And don’t miss the kleina, the naughty-but-nice deep-fried Iceland donut. Oh, and the cats? They’re all available for adoption. So, you might just leave with more than you bargained for.
Address: Bergstaðastræti 10a, 101 Reykjavík Opening days and hours: Monday to Sunday 11am - 5.30pm Price range: $ Website: www.kattakaffihusid.is
8. Flóran Garden Bistro
A Scandinavian bistro set in botanical gardens? Table for two, please. Now. Indeed, Flóran Garden Bistro’s dishes not only reflect the leafy surroundings, but are quite often made with them. Yes, using home-grown ingredients from the kitchen garden and greenhouse, Flóran Garden Bistro whips up plant-based plates worthy of kings.
The kind of place where edible flowers come as standard, make sure you bring your camera. With an ever-changing menu and a delectable selection of organic wines (or zesty homemade lemonde for the tee-totallers), this vegan bistro is an experience for the memory bank.
Address: 44RJ+2F5, Grasagarðinum Laugardal, 104 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Sunday 10am - 9pm Price range: $$$ Website: www.floran.is
If there’s any culture synonymous with vegetarian cuisine, it’s Indian. Located in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, Hradlestin plates up some of the best Indian vegetarian food in Iceland, and serves every aromatic dish with 17 years of experience behind it.
With decor as colorful as the menu, you’re sure to be swept up in the vibrant atmosphere at Hradlestin; leave with a full heart, and a belly to match. Vegans, don’t miss Vegan Wednesdays, when the vegan thali is available at a special price.
Address: Hverfisgata 64a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Friday 11am - 9pm Saturday and Sunday 5pm - 9pm Price range: $$ Website: www.hradlestin.is
10. Hlemmur Mathöll
Okay, we’re cheating a bit. Guilty as charged. But, we couldn’t leave Hlemmur Mathöll off of our guide. Reykjavik’s first international food hall, Hlemmur Mathöll this one-and-done destination is bustling with vendors peddling their wares.
Sample the delights of SKÁL!, taking “hands-on” cooking to the next level. Specializing in Icelandic dishes, this stall favors locally-foraged ingredients. Sucker for spice? Fuego’s got your back with their LA-style tacos. KRÖST is the destination for Francophiles, with fine wines, cured meats, and bleu steaks abound. And to finish? Tea & Kaffi, pouring steaming cups of FairTrade coffee.
Address: Laugavegur 107, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Friday 8am - 10pm Saturday and Sunday 10am - 10pm Price range: $$ Website: www.hlemmurmatholl.is
11. Ramen Momo
A truly up-to-the-minute vegan-friendly restaurant, Ramen Momo built their business on the pillars of locally-sourced ingredients and sustainable initiatives (bring your own container and recieve a handsome discount!). The first organic noodle bar in Iceland, it’s no wonder health fiends flock here en masse.
Transporting an authentic taste of Korea to Reykjavik, Ramen Momo serves steaming bowls of ramen (shocker), in addition to delicate gyoza, plus tastebud-tingling sides of wakame, edamame, and sour kimchi. Don’t miss the Iceland beer to wash it all down.
Address: Tryggvagata 16, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Thursday 11.30am - 9pm Friday 11.30am - 9.30pm Saturday 12pm - 9.30pm Sunday 12pm - 4pm Price range: $$ Website:www.ramenmomo.is
12. Mai Thai
Founded in 2005, Mai Thai whips up authentic Asian cuisine with a focus on—you guessed it—thai. Tuck into your pad thai, noodle soup, and massaman curry amidst clean, contemporary interiors, and breathe in the refreshingly zingy aromas emanating from the kitchen.
This family-run restaurant favors simplicity, allowing the inherent freshness of Asian flavors do the talking. With plenty of vegan options (where tofu reigns supreme) this is the perfect post-spa spot for debriefing the day with carnivores and herbivores alike.
Address: Laugavegur 116, Reykjavik, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Friday 11am - 8pm Saturday 12pm - 8pm Price range: $$ Website:www.maithai.is
A satisfying alternative to the famous (and now-closed) Veganaes, Iceland, Junkyard stands out. Disrupting the misconception than vegan food is always leafy, green, and laced with tofu, Junkyard embraces the naughtier side of vegan life. Serving piping hot vegan burgers, gyros, and other defiant delights fresh from the grill, this fantastic food van is a must-visit.
Don’t miss the unexpected star-of-the-show: Junkyard’s own special vegan burger, stuffed with a veganized version of Hungarian sausage. Reworked from an old family recipe, Daniel, Junkyard’s founder, is proud to offer something totally new to his plant-based patrons.
Address: Skeifan 13A, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland Opening days and hours: Monday to Friday 5pm - 8.45pm Price range: $$ Website: www.bestjunkintown.is
Frequently asked questions about vegan restaurants in Iceland
Despite Iceland being famed for its shark meat and fish dishes, it’s actually a fantastic destination for wanderlusting vegans. With plenty of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in Reykjavik and beyond, you’ll be far from starving. Check our list of the best vegan restaurants for options.
Fun fact: Iceland is one of the most vegetarian and vegan-friendly countries in Europe. Boasting 24.8 veggie and vegan eateries per 1 million people, it scores highly on the scoreboard in terms of vegan choices.
With two front-runners (Bristol, and Brighton and Hove) when it comes to the award for the most vegan-friendly city in the world, the UK naturally takes the gold. The UK is closely followed by Sweden, while Ireland, Austria, and Germany make the top 5.
Brighton and Hove in South East England has recently been named the vegan capital of the world. Prior to this newcomer, Bristol in South West England and Portland, Oregon held the accolades.