Reykjavik: Icelandic Sunday

Posted on April 20, 2006














by jared bibler

Perhaps the most laid-back place for a weekend cup of coffee is the relaxed Te og Kaffi store on Laugavegur, the Main Street of Iceland. Te og Kaffi (I’ll leave the translation as an exercise for the non-Icelandic reader; it ain’t hard) is smoke-free and street-level with big windows that look out onto the sidewalk, where women sometimes leave their babies parked in snuggly weatherproofed baby carriages.

There are a few choice "doubles" tables at the front of the store, and then further in some larger round tables for groups, and booths in back. The waitstaff are full of smiles and friendly in that shy Icelandic way, and when they bring the cappuccino over it’s made with a heart in the foamed milk. Then they’ll let you sit and enjoy that cappuccino and read for the better part of an afternoon.

I have been going there the last few weekends, bringing my namesake’s Guns, Germs, and Steel with me, but I often end up instead puzzling through some article in the Sunday Morgunbla, totally engrossed, the sounds of Icelandic Sunday chit-chat pattering on around me.

Photo via Lunapark