Mikki Refur

Detail from the window of Mikki Refur: Kaffi & Vin.Compared to Reykjavik Roasters, the subject of Monday’s Coffee Spot, who have been around since 2008, today’s Coffee Spot, Mikki Refur, is a comparative newcomer, having only opened in November 2020. It’s also quite different from the rest of Reykjavik’s speciality coffee scene, in that it combines wine and coffee (which, to be fair, is pretty common outside of speciality, with Reykjavik offering multiple wine/coffee bars). However, just as it offers some pretty special coffee, Mikki Refur has similar taste in wine, stocking the produce of a select group of small, organic vineyards.

Talking of coffee, the other difference is that Mikki Refur doesn’t roast its own coffee, instead serving a small range of seasonal single-origins from local roaster, Kvörn, one of which is available as espresso, with another on batch brew using the ever-reliable Moccamaster. If you’re hungry, there are compact breakfast (to 11:30) and lunch (11:30 to 15:00) menus, with bar snacks and small plates the rest of the way, along with a small selection of croissants and pain au chocolat.

In terms of atmosphere, Mikki Refur is very much a coffee shop until mid-afternoon, after which is slowly transforms into a wine bar until closing.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • This handsome building stands on Hverfisgata, opposite The National Theatre of Iceland.
  • It goes back quite a way as well, although not enough to make it square.
  • On the left (uphill) side, it's home to Norr11, a design and furniture store...
  • ... but we're interested in the right-hand (downhill) side, where you'll find...
  • ... Mikki Refur, a speciality coffee and wine bar.
  • Before we go any further, let's check out these magnificent beasts.
  • Right, back to ground level and here's an A-board which spells things out...
  • ... as well as a simpler explanation in the window.
  • The way in is via these doors in the middle of the building, shared by all its tenants.
  • Inside, and Mikki Refur is on the right at the top of a short flight of stairs.
  • Don't forget to look up though, where you'll find this awesome light fitting above the steps.
  • The door is at the back, with a broad window at the front, overlooking the lobby.
  • Let's go in.
  • Immediately to your left as you enter is a two-person bar against the back wall.
  • To the right of the door is a sofa and low coffee table...
  • ... which is opposite the front corner of the counter.
  • There's more seating along the front of Mikki Refur, including...
  • ... another two-person bar between the windows and a pair of low tables at the far end.
  • Mikki Refur continues to the opposite side of the counter, where there are three bar stools.
  • Matching that are three more stools at a narrow bar under a mirror.
  • There's more seating towards the back, including another two-person bar and...
  • ... four more low, round tables, two for each window. Mikki Refur continues...
  • ... to the left where there's a final two-person bar next to an open doorway.
  • Although it looks like a lovely lounge through the door, it's the design store, Norr11.
  • I only discovered a few days later that if you turn right, you'll get to this outside seating!
  • Let's go back, along the back of Mikki Refur...
  • ... around the side of the counter...
  • ... and back along the front...
  • ... where we can get another look at the wing-backed sofa next to the door.
  • There are plenty of neat touches in Mikki Refur, including this mirror...
  • ... and, next to it on the right-hand wall, this illustration.
  • To business. You order at the counter.
  • The menu is on the back wall, to the left of the counter...
  • ... with a more detailed printed menu on the counter itself...
  • ... which is where you'll also find the pastries (pain au chocolat and croissants).
  • The wine, meanwhile, is displayed on shelves behind the counter.
  • There's more off to the right.
  • The left-hand side of the counter is the preserve of the coffee side of Mikki Refur.
  • The coffee is from local roaster,  Kvörn, with retail bags displayed on the front corner.
  • The Nuova Simonelli espresso machine is side on to the counter...
  • ... along with its Mythos One grinder, with the recipe taped to the front.
  • On our first visit, Amanda and I had a pair of flat whites.
  • This was mine...
  • ... while this was Amanda's...
  • ... which had some really neat latte art.
  • We were there for breakfast on that occasion. Amanda had a grilled cheese sandwich...
  • ... while I had avocado on toast.
  • We returned for a quick coffee after our volcano hike later in the week. Amnada had the...
  • ... filter coffee, while I had an espresso...
  • ... and a pan au chocolat, which is where I'll leave you.
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Mikki Refur, which was recommended by the staff at Reykjavik Roasters, Ásmundarsalur, is on Hverfisgata, opposite The National Theatre of Iceland and, conveniently, around the corner from our hotel, so Amanda and I popped by for breakfast the following morning, returning for a quick post-volcano hike coffee two days later.

Mikki Refur is located on ground floor of a handsome two-storey building, which it shares with Norr11, a design and furniture store, while upstairs are various offices, including a wine importer (which owns Mikki Refur). With a pleasing display of symmetry, two broad, stone steps lead up to a central door which in turn opens onto a spacious lobby, accessed via a further four steps. At the top, doors open to the left (Norr11) and right (Mikki Refur), while directly ahead stairs lead to the offices upstairs.

Mikki Refur occupies exactly half the ground floor, wrapping itself around the stairwell in a reverse C shape (or a closed square bracket, ], if you prefer). The front is dominated by the amazing, tiled counter, which faces the windows along Hverfisgata. The door brings you into the back, left-hand corner, where you’ll find a narrow, two-person bar against the back wall next to the counter. Moving around, you pass a two-person wing-backed sofa with a low coffee table on your way to the front of the counter, where you order and pay.

There are two large, square, floor-to-ceiling windows at the front, with another two-person bar against in the wall between the windows. Carrying on, Mikki Refur runs down past the counter on the right. There are three bar stools against the counter on this side, while a bench runs along the right-hand wall with a pair of round tables. A broader, three-person bar follows, under a wide mirror opposite the end of the counter, then there are four more round tables under a pair of windows at the back of the right-hand wall.

You’re now at the back of Mikki Refur, which continues to the left. There’s another two-person bar against the back wall, followed by a door which leads to the kitchen, after which there’s a final two-person bar. If you carry on, an open doorway leads into a gorgeous lounge-like room of tables and sofas, but before you get too excited, it’s part of Norr11, so best not to take your coffee in there!

However, I’ve since discovered that if you turn right, you’ll come to the back door, where a terrace runs along the back or Norr11. There’s a long, thin table with benches out here, while a ramp leads down to the car park at the back, where you’ll find a further two picnic-style tables.

Returning to the counter, you’ll find retail bags of coffee from local roaster, Kvörn, on the left-hand end, next to the espresso machine, while there’s a menu on the wall to the left, with a more detailed printed menu on the counter (all in Icelandic with no English translation). The current coffee choices (one espresso, one filter) change every two to three weeks, and are displayed on the menu on the wall. During our visit, these were two washed coffees, a Colombian (espresso) and an Ethiopian (filter).

Although we went for breakfast, we arrived just after 11:30, ordering from the lunch menu. Amanda had a grilled cheese sandwich, while I had (smashed) avocado on (sourdough) toast. Both were excellent, with my (single) slice of crunchy sourdough toast being loaded with avocado and salad.

We paired this with a flat white each, our coffees lovely, creamy and rich. The Colombian went really well with the milk, producing a well-balanced flat white with classic chocolate notes, the best ones we’d had up to that point of the trip.

December 2021: Mikki Refur was a runner-up for the 2021 Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.

Monday 08:30 – 23:00 Roaster Kvörn (espresso + batch brew)
Tuesday 08:30 – 23:00 Seating Tables, Counter, Bar, Sofa
Wednesday 08:30 – 00:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Bar Food, Cake
Thursday 08:30 – 00:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:30 – 00:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 12:00 – 00:00 Wifi No
Sunday 12:00 – 23:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 26th, 28th July 2021

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2 thoughts on “Mikki Refur

  1. Pingback: Travels with my Coffee: Iceland 2021 | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: 2021 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting | Brian's Coffee Spot

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