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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5 thoughts on “Quirky and cool – Cafe Babalú”

  1. Fred Kaijser says:

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


  2. Rachael says:

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

  3. Warren Austin says:

    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. Claudia Kemper says:

    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. Kurt Messick+ says:

      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!


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