Grái Kötturinn (Reykjavik, Iceland)

We took the red eye to Keyflavik (it’s hard not to, actually), which had us arriving all bleary-eyed at a time which was either 3:30 or 7:30, depending on which clock you are looking at. Attempting to get on local time, we wandering into downtown Reykjavik to find some coffee and breakfast, looking for a nice, solid breakfast to get us going.

We ended up finding a couple of good options (Prikið, in particular, looks like a place I need to check out on another visit), but we ended up finding exactly what we needed at the Grái Kötturinn (Gray Cat) in a basement just off of the harbor area.

Nestled into that basement space with a small coffee service counter and six tables, Grái Kötturinn has the ambiance of someone’s study or library, but it really a US style breakfast joint. The menu consists of various egg and bacon combos, or even pancakes and syrup, along with a full array of coffee. And, for my jetlagged self, their egg and bacon breakfast was exactly what I needed.

Not really icelandic, but this American-style eggs and bacon breakfast hit the spot. The eggs were nicely cooked sunny-side up. The bacon was flavorful and fully cooked without being burnt. The potatoes were nicely seared up as well, and this combo made for the good-but-greasy sustenance that really helps me recover from a long flight.

However, the high point in this breakfast was the giant inch-thick slab of toast with Icelandic butter on it. It’s not just marketing, Icelandic cultured butter really is a lot more flavorful than your typical generic US butter pat, and it was something I enjoyed throughout my visit in Iceland.

Carol took a distinctly different approach, going for the gravlax on a bagel. Where this worked was the gravlax, with a really nicely seasoned slab of salmon (excellent fish turned out to be another constant during our visit to Iceland). The bagel, however, was (not surprisingly) a bit disappointing… it was more a feeble attempt at a bagel than an actual bagel. But I don’t suppose Reykjavik has a large population of Jewish bakers….

In any case, for our purpose of getting a nice recovery breakfast after the red-eye, Grái Kötturinn will stay a favorite of mine for breakfast purposes in Reykjavik. If my hotel (the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica) didn’t have such a great breakfast included with our room, I can guarantee I would have returned.

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