Svarta Kaffi and My Walk Through Reyjavik, Iceland

I had landed in Iceland the night before – sick.  After a great dinner at the Hotel Holt Gallery restaurant and a tour that night, then an Icelandic horse ride that next morning,   I was exhausted and hungry. Prior to landing I had been in the the U.K. where the illness started.  I had been on a mission to find Chicken SOUP.  My quest was unsuccessful. Now, in a new country, I was hopeful that maybe this country embraced the clear soup I used as penicillin for what ails me.

Elena, the receptionist (and a very nice person) at the Hotel desk directed me to a restaurant that is known for their bread bowl soups – Svarta Kaffi.  She outlined the shortest walk to the restaurant on a map.

Clutching the directions and not caring how touristy I looked,  I ventured into the cold in search of soup.

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Town of Reykjavík

Up and down the side streets I walked, …soup…must have soup…. I came upon some artwork and stopped to admire it  – but only long enough to snap this picture.

Pretty Wall Reykjavik, Iceland

Pretty Wall Reykjavík, Iceland

I pressed on…trying to pronounce the names of the streets and, when I simply couldn’t figure them out…making the names up.  As I forged on, I came upon a view of the water.   I wish I felt better, I would have liked to go whale watching or at least get closer to the water.  Unfortunately, with limited energy, the search for soup is priority.

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Ocean View on the Streets of Reykjavík, Iceland

This walk seemed like an eternity (it was only 15 minutes).   Just as I considered other options…. there it was.

With a sudden surge of energy, I climbed the stairs (it is on the second floor).  The decor was not fancy but the atmosphere was warm.

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Svarta Kaffi, Reykjavík, Iceland

Once seated in the Svarta Kaffi, the waiter announced there were two soups today –  one vegetarian, the other meat – neither was a clear broth.  Trying to hide my disappointment I ordered the South American Meat Soup.  I was promised  heat, my second preference for curing a cold/sinusitis/ear infection.  Within minutes the hot steaming bread bowl was before me.

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It tasted as good as it looked and  hit the sweet spot of meat to soup to vegetable ratio.   Medium heat was perfect for me and the dark bread was a happy surprise.  If I couldn’t have my broth, this was a superb substitute!

Full and satisfied, I marvel at the irony of this café’s name –  Svarta Kaffi (translation – black coffee) which is known most for its bread bowl soup.  I was grateful this budget friendly family owned café was there to comfort and heal me on my Icelandic journey.

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