Kaffibarinn is the granddaddy of Reykjavík bars/clubs.
Featured prominently in a gazillion guidebooks and magazine articles over the years, Kaffibarinn is probably the best known bar in
the universe Reykjavík.
Founded back in the early nineties by some really, really fun people whose names escape us, this Reykjavík institution featured prominently in a little film called 101 Reykjavík (and even more so in that book we’ve been meaning to read).
Basically, what this means is that as you enter, you are more than likely to get a strange feeling, like you’re walking into a set. Sort of like Central Perk or Cheers, except there won’t be much of a laugh-track, and everybody probably won’t know (or care) about your name.
Still, given the somewhat elevated T/R ratio (Tourist to Regular Person), you might be interested to know that the Rs don’t seem to be very hostile to the Ts, or, you know, at least not the relatively cool ones.
Over the years, Kaffibarinn (not unlike a lot of its patrons) has both settled down a bit and grown larger, but there is life in the old girl yet. During the day, it’s a nice laid-back kind of place, perfect to hang out and
pick up foreign chicks meet people, update your MySpace profile and talk about your film school assignment. But at around midnight on Friday and Saturday, it begins to flex its muscles and show its teeth.
(By the way: we don’t know if Damon Albarn still owns that 1 percent or whatever it was. We went there to check, but we didn’t see him anywhere. Maybe he was in the back, doing the dishes, but somehow we doubt that.)
Kaffibarinn is on Bergstaðastræti 1, just off Laugavegur (just follow the noise or look for the queue). Open till 1 in the morning from Sundays to Thursdays and till 5 on Fridays and Saturdays. Rated R for salty language and occasional nudity.
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