Iceland and ice cream go hand-in-hand. In Iceland, ice cream is enjoyed in any kind of weather, especially blizzards!. It is also common to go to the local swimming pool and treat yourself to ice cream afterwards, and most pools in Reykjavik usually have an ice-cream shop around the corner. Reykjavik is full of options when it comes to enjoying an ice-cream cone with a variety of flavours, styles, toppings, and sauces. The classic among locals is often with something involving liquorice candy and caramel sauce.
Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream, $$$
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Valdís, Reykjavik | Courtesy of Valdís
Valdís is located in the newly developing Grandi neighbourhood of Reykjavik. With everything hand-made, the flavours are like nothing you have tried before. They offer Italian-style gelato as well as sorbet. You can have everything from Turkish Pepper to Pistachio to Black Liquorice.
Established in 1971, this chain of ice-cream shops around Iceland is a mainstay and popular neighbourhood spot wherever it is located. Here, you can choose from traditional-style ice cream or the regular machine-swirled kind in vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. You can have it swirled into a shake with any kind of topping imaginable, with a sauce, or dipped into a hard chocolate or caramel shell. All kinds of options are available.
Hafís is praised for having the most vegan ice-cream options in Iceland. Located in the Reykjavik suburb of Hafnarfjörður, this ice cream shop offers all of the Icelandic favourites when it comes to toppings like liquorice and caramel sauce, with the ice cream in an Italian gelato style. The vegan Turkish Pepper ice cream is particularly popular.
This ice cream company, originally from the north of Iceland, expanded to Reykjavik in 2016. The same recipe for handmade ice cream is used in both places. You can find the usual Icelandic assortment of toppings and possible combinations of sauce and blending styles.
Located inside Mother Knows Best, a health food store in downtown Reykjavik, Joylato is unique in that it is inspired by the spiritual teachings of joy and happiness of the Indian guru Sri Chinmoy. You can read his books and quotes on the walls of the bright shop while you enjoy your cone. Joylato is also unique in that the ice cream is frozen with liquid nitrogen in front of your eyes. You can also choose between vegan coconut milk and dairy milk.
Yoyo ís offers a huge variety of yogurt-style machine-swirled ice cream with flavours such as lemon sherbert, vanilla, stracciatella, Nutella and blueberry. The toppings are equally varied with fruit, candy pieces and sauces.
Eldur og Ís - Ice cream and crepes, Reykjavik | Courtesy of Eldur og IS
Located downtown, this is a popular place for something sweet during a night out. They offer both sweet and savoury crêpes, including gluten-free options. Choose from a pesto-and-cheese filling to maple syrup and apple. The ice cream is gelato-style with a variety of flavours including stracciatella, Nutella, liquorice, and hazelnut. You can also get a variety of cones dipped in chocolate and different toppings. The atmosphere is welcoming and cosy and the shop is often quite full.
This suburban ice-cream shop offers the usual incredible arrange of flavours in a gelato style, as well as all the combinations of toppings and sauces. The possible ways to have an ice cream are endless.
Part of the Ísbúð chain (as above), this ice-cream shop offers the same incredible arrange of flavours in a gelato style, as well as all the popular combinations of toppings and sauces. The possible ways to have an ice cream are endless.
Skalli is a small dining establishment in the Reykjavi’s neighbouring town of Kopavogur. Well-regarded for its casual menu of pizzas, hot dogs, burgers, fish and chips, and sandwiches – a step up from the usual fast-food joint. It is easy to overlook the amazing home-made ice cream or even leave room for it. You can have the ice cream with all the varieties of toppings and sauces as well.
Ísbúðin Laugalæk, Reykjavik | Courtesy of Ísbúðin Laugalæk
This ice cream parlor/gourmet sausage shop is close to the swimming pool in East Reykjavik and is a popular place for both locals and tourists. It offers the usual impressive choice of flavours in a gelato style, as well as all the combinations of toppings and sauces. There’s also an especially nice array of home-made fruit sauces.