Café Babalú, Reykjavik

15 Sep
Café Babalú menu board

Café Babalú menu board

Next up on the culinary trip of Iceland, I’m going to take you to Café Babalú which we stumbled upon after visiting Hallgrímskirkja.

Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavik, and at 73 meters, it’s the largest church in Iceland, and since it’s also built on a hill, it’s also visible from seemingly everywhere in the city. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson, and was commissioned in 1937. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson is said to have designed the church to resemble basalt lava flows in Iceland, and it took 38 years to complete!

A number of streets go up and down the hill to the church, and along Skólavörðustígur, we found Café Babalú while leaving the church with sore feet to head back to our hotel. The interior is eclectic and varied, and from the accent of the gentleman behind the counter who appeared to be the owner or manager, I’m pretty sure the person running the show is an American living in Iceland.

Ham and cheese crepe at Café Babalú

Ham and cheese crepe at Café Babalú

I had the ham & cheese crepe, while my companion had the spinach & cheese crepe (below). The menu wasn’t especially diverse or large, but there were enough little things on there that we had some choice. Honestly our tired feet played more of a role in choosing to have some lunch than our desire for culinary experiences. Soup, chili, lasagna, paninis, and savory crepes filled the food menu, cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate cake, sweet crepes and apple crumble were on the dessert menu. Of course a standard fare of coffee drinks completed the menu, though we both opted for a glass of water instead.

The crepes were accompanied by a bit of salad with (Ranch?) dressing. Served warm, these were really quite delicious… I liked my ham & cheese better, but had a bite of my companion’s dish as well (of course!).  So see.. it’s not ALL fermented shark and thunderbread!

Spinach & cheese crepe at Café Babalú

Spinach & cheese crepe at Café Babalú

For dessert, we split a slice of carrot cake. It didn’t have the typical cream cheese icing we’re used to, and we both found the cake lacking in flavour and moisture compared to what we’re accustomed to. Of course, there was a lovely dollop of whipped unsweetened cream, which I came to adore at every opportunity during our trip to Iceland. It’s served with a lot of desserts, and it’s delicious!

Carrot cake from Café Babalú

Carrot cake from Café Babalú

I’ll leave you with another beautiful photo from Reykjavik – not too far from the cafe along the shoreline.
Could you imagine sights like these right in the city of Calgary?

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Mountains across the water from the Reykjavik shoreline

Café Babalú
Skólavörðustígur 22, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 555 8845


Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Out of town - Europe


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6 responses to “Café Babalú, Reykjavik

  1. wattwurmnashi

    October 22, 2014 at 1:26 am

    The hubby & I were in for a very pleasant culinary almost-shock when we traveled Iceland. Sadly, that was before the term food porn was coined, & camera phones didn’t exist either…

    • Dawn

      November 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      Sounds like a good excuse for a return trip 😉 I’d go back in a minute if I had the opportunity (and if I could get a direct flight… and if I didn’t have a bunch of other places I wanted to spend my travel dollars first…LOL)

      • wattwurmnashi

        November 4, 2014 at 8:23 pm

        We’re the same – we keep talking about all the places we want to go back to but end up prioritizing new places we haven’t been before! Which makes sense, but sometimes the nostalgic feeling of ‘home-coming’ to a place you’ve been before is just as nice.

        • Dawn

          November 18, 2014 at 10:05 am

          Yes – there are some places (mostly ones that are easy to get to) that I return to regularly… It’s nice to have a trip already half-planned before you even book tickets; I know the neighbourhood where I want to stay (and what hotels I’d never go back to again), where to go to shop, to eat, which tourist places I want to visit again and which ones I can skip for a few more years.. and then there’s also still lots of time for new exploration. When it’s hectic at work, and I don’t have TIME to plan a trip.. a well-known destination is just so much easier!
          …. but when I have a longer trip in mind, or when I can get more time away from work – I love going to new places too…..

          • wattwurmnashi

            November 19, 2014 at 8:26 am

            The only places I know well enough like that are Italy around Lake Garda because my parents used to take us there every year when we were small & otherwise places I’ve lived before. I guess I’m not much of a go backer…

            • Dawn

              February 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

              That’s ok too… checking out new things is wonderful – I just sometimes don’t have the energy for the level of stress it can cause. My (usually) annual February vacation is usually like that – I like going back to familiar places, because February is such a stressful month- I go on holiday for the break, not just to explore. During the spring/summer on the other hand.. I want to go to new places!


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