When you’ve been up since 2am, had two spats over a sodding suitcase padlock (or lack of) by 3am, been manhandled at airport security by 5am and landed in a whole other country come 8 o’clock, a bloody good breakfast is non-negotiable. So after dumping our (duly secured) suitcase and hand luggage at our fabulous hotel in Reykjavik, we exchanged the pounds in our pockets for Icelandic kroner and set about sniffing out just that.
I say sniffing out like it was a process based purely on spontaneity and like I didn’t have a screenshot of my meticulously mapped out itinerary ready to whip out at any given second. Of course we knew exactly where we were headed and on our first morning in Iceland’s increasingly popular capital, of course it had to be the infamous Laundromat Café.
Or at least that’s what we thought…
Turns out, after trawling the cobbles of central Reykjavik and coming this close to committing homicide on account of hanger, the Laundromat Café is no more. If, like I was, you’re doing some research around the best places to eat in Reykjavik or the best breakfasts in Reykjavik yada yada yada, you’ll most probably have the Laundromat at the top of your list. A whole plethora of blog posts and review pages secured its place as numero uno (or númer eitt) on our POA but I can confirm that this alleged hot spot is most definitely vamoosed.
Fear not, my friends, for what lay on its former foundations was one epic consolation prize and it goes by the name of Egill Jacobsen Kitchen & Bar. Who the devil is Egill Jacobsen when he’s at home, I hear you ask. Well, if Google is to be believed (and c’mon, where would the world be if we couldn’t trust good old Google) Egill Jacobsen was a Danish painter who lived in Copenhagen and a former professor at the Royal Danish Academy.
What this has to do with the stylish eatery we wound up sitting in the window of at 10am on a chilly Tuesday morning in Reykjavik I don’t know but let me tell you, the Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote & Bacon we ate there were a damn work of art. A masterpiece in fact. They were fluffy, they were steaming, they were quite literally everything your wildest pancake fantasies could dream up and more.
Pancakes were always the end goal for us at Egill Jacobsen and we made our classic pick from a more contemporary selection which also offered Caramelized Pecan Nuts, Butter & Berries or Maple Syrup, Butter & Toasted Almond Flakes. All of the above come with a rather modest price tag of 1,790 kr. (around £13) which believe it or not, could be considered one of the more cheaper eats on this pricey little island.
There are plenty of gorgeous bakeries and cafes like Emilie and the Cool Kids which will be even kinder to your budget and grocery stores on almost every corner if your purse strings really are unforgivably tight but if you’re happy to treat yo’self, Egill Jacobsen is bob on.
We had a few more culinary pit stops planned for the day, including a Mexican feast at El Santo later that evening and a hike to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja on the agenda. So with that in mind we chose to split one portion straight down the middle, sacrificing any further stomach space for a chocolate milk, an almond milk latte and a small side order of Fried Potatoes only. However if you find yourself here for the long haul, the vegan, veggie and gluten free-friendly menu has plenty to tempt you with.
Breakfast and brunch is served here from 8am until 4pm and offers everything from baked eggs, omelettes and the Jacobsen’s Brunch to the vegan Green Brunch and a range of fresh juices. From 11am, you can also eat from the Egill Jacobsen lunch menu which features Western favourites like burgers, open sandwiches and Pulled Chicken Bruschetta alongside more fusion-style fare including a fragrant Icelandic Oriental Fish Soup.
In a nutshell, this is a really cool place to be whether you’re a solo traveler or dragging the little ones in tow. The plush decor with all its en vogue copper accents looks great, the laid-back atmosphere feels great and the food that gets served up here is on Tony the Tiger levels of grrr-eat and it won’t break the bank either. I can guarantee we’ll be making a return trip.