Monday’s Coffee Spot is Reykjavik Roasters, Ásmundarsalur, the third of (for now) three Reykjavik Roasters in Reykjavik (there’s a newly-opened fourth location just outside the city). In a rare display of doing things in the right order, it’s also the third one that Amanda and I visited after the original (Kárastígur) and the second (Brautarholt). Ásmundarsalur, which opened in 2018, is in the art space of the same name, occupying the ground floor, with some more seating in the garden at the front.
Although we only visited once, near closing time on Sunday afternoon, it was by far the most relaxed of the three. If you’ve been to Reykjavik Roasters before, everything will be familiar, with a concise espresso-based menu, daily batch brew and a choice of single-origins on pour-over, with either an AeroPress for one or Kalita Wave for two. There’s tea, hot chocolate, a small range of cakes and pastries, plus equally concise breakfast and lunch options. Unlike the other two, Ásmundarsalur has a choice of white or red wine (one of each) by the glass or bottle, plus beer, champagne and a handful of coffee cocktails. And, of course, the usual retail selection of coffee.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Ásmundarsalur is not very far from the original Reykjavik Roasters on Kárastígur, being a five-minute walk away on the other side of the Hallgrimskirkja. In fact, if you draw a straight line between the two, it pretty much goes straight through the statue of Leif Eiriksson which stands in front of the church. Although Ásmundarsalur’s address is officially on Freyjugata, the building, set within its own grounds, pretty much occupies the southern half of the end of the block between Freyjugata and Eiríksgata, with access from Mímisvegur, the road which runs down the hill from Eiríksgata at the back of the church in the direction of the bus station and city airport.
You’ll have noticed from the gallery that I inexplicably failed to take any pictures of the exterior of Ásmundarsalur (it was raining when we visited and I thought I had some from when we walked by two days earlier; naturally, I was wrong). The white, two-storey building is set back from the street, surrounded by a neatly-manicured lawn housing some sculptures. A small, square, three-sided glass porch extends from the front, giving access to a paved area to the left, where there are three round tables. However, the main entrance is along the right-hand side, a path leading to a door towards the back.
This opens onto an entry lobby of sorts, with stairs to the upstairs gallery space on the right. Reykjavik Roasters is ahead of you, occupying the right-hand side of the ground floor, while the other half of the downstairs is another gallery space (with Reykjavik Roasters is also hosting exhibitions).
It’s an interesting space. Indeed, as you step inside, you’re greeted by a wall with a floorplan of sorts. Turning left takes you into the main seating area, while ahead to the right leads to a corridor-like space which runs past the counter, embedded into the back wall. Carrying on, this takes you to the second gallery space on the other side.
Reykjavik Roasters’ layout is simple, bright and uncluttered. It effectively occupies a single space, with the majority of the seating along the left-hand wall, where a row of six two-person tables lines a padded bench. Right at the front, a sofa and matching armchair occupy the three-sided glass porch, with a door on the left giving access to the outside seating. Back inside, the only other seating is in the middle of the space, where a four-person table with extendable leaves stands in glorious isolation.
We’d come for a late lunch, and while Amanda stuck to her favoured sourdough toast with jam and cheese, I branched out and had the tomato soup which was excellent: rich, thick and filling. We also shared one of the chocolate-topped cakes that we’d had at Brautarholt the day before. Continuing our exploration of Reykjavik Roasters’ single-origin pour-over range, we moved onto the I.P., a honey-processed coffee from Brazil, which we had as a Kalita Wave for two. This one had tasting notes of cake spice and chocolate and was lovely, rich and full-bodied, perfect for a cold, rainy summer’s afternoon in Reykjavik!
|FREYJUGATA 41 • 101 REYKJAVIK • ICELAND|
|https://reykjavikroasters.is||+354 835 0644|
|Monday||08:30 – 17:00||Roaster||Reykjavik Roasters (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:30 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Sofa, Armchair; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:30 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:30 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:30 – 17:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||25th July 2021|
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