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Quirky and cool – Cafe Babalú

Although I have some reservations about using the word quirky to describe all things Icelandic I have to say that it’s the best word to describe one of my favorite cafes in Reykjavík: Cafe Babalú. Cafe Babalú has been around for a while but it took me a long time to visit it for the first time. The reason for that seems rather silly now but to be honest I was a little bit scared of it. Back then the cafe only consisted of the top floor of the brightly yellow painted house, later they then added the bottom floor, and I felt it was too small, too local and just too much somehow.

Actually, if I tell you more of these personal stories you’ll soon realize what a neurotic freak I am so maybe I should quit while I’m ahead.

So back to Babalú and my irrational fear of it. One day, after trying to dodge the bullet  for years, I was feeling particularly brave and just said yes when someone suggested we’d meet there. As soon as I got in I realized what a moron I had been (or you know, a untreated social anxiety patient) because instead of people pointing at me and laughing (like, does that ever happen?) what I actually experienced was a super cozy atmosphere, friendly service and some heavenly homemade cakes. I told you the whole thing was silly.

Although I don’t go there nearly often enough, every now and again I drop in and I almost always have one of their delicious cakes (the cheesecake is the one they are best known for – yum). Actually, reflecting on that last sentence maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t go there more often.

Babalu-005 Babalu-013 Babalu-045 Babalu-020 Babalu-004 Babalu-033

All of these lovely photos were taken by the very  talented and equally nice Mimi Giboin, a California based photographer, who I met with at Cafe Babalú on my birthday back in February. Of course we had some cake (carrot this time- also yum!) before we headed out for a bit of an expedition around the city. Super nice girl and a fantastic birthday buddy!


So if you have a bit of a sweet tooth or you’re just looking for a nice place to chill after a long day walking you should definitely check out the quirky cool Cafe Babalú in Skólavörðustígur. As you can see there’s no reason to be scared of it. Yes yes, I know, that was just me.

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  1. Ah yes, looks juist fine for a nice break, while walking around in Reykjavik!


  2. MMMMMMMMMMm i love this place. The chili and carrot cake are soooooo good.. i want to go back.

  3. I visited here last week, and it was fabulous! Quirky is definitely the right word to use to describe it, but also friendly and warm. My friends and I stopped in for a warming beverage during our sight-seeing, and we all loved it. One of my friends in particular went slightly nuts over the cinnamon tea, and vowed that she’d track some down and buy it. I indulged in a hot chocolate, but sadly no cake – I feel like a fool for missing out now!
    Myself and my fellow nerd geeked out somewhat over the Star Wars wallpaper in the toilets! Very cool.
    A funky, welcoming place; two enthusiastic thumbs up, and somewhere I’d definitely go again on my next visit : )

  4. I am at Babalu right now, I walked by, really liked what I saw, but needed to get some cash first. Really enjoying the kjötsúpa. Very young clientele upstairs, fun to listen to. Will finish my soup before it gets cold.

    1. Claudia, you and I might have been there at the same time! It is a great place. I go to Iceland three or four times a year, and Cafe Babalu is one of my must-see spots each time I am there. The tomato-pesto panini is the best!