I went to meet a friend who lives in Hafnarfjörður for a chat and some coffee. We decided to meet up at Súfistinn, or The Sufi Coffee house in bad translation. It has nothing to do with religion at all, just a cool name for someone who is suave or relaxed. This place is in a beautiful old house on the main shopping area of the Hafnarfjörður old town. A really nice place to walk around in and enjoy some old houses and brutal looking Lava fields they are built on.
This place has been there for a quite number of years, although their logo has a slight Starbucks feel to it. The coffee is good. The menu is better than the last time I was there. They have nice looking cakes, and the Pannini sandwich there is very nice, and if my memory serves me correctly, it is the first place I can remember that actually served Pannini in Iceland. They have soups and Indian style small dishes. Have to try them sometimes. Since my passion is not only coffee but Indian / Pakistani food as well.
The patrons of the coffee house are a mixed bunch. Local people, students, young and older professionals. I nice blend of people hiding behind the laptop enjoying coffee trying to write profound Facebook messages or a blog like this one, to people discussing school projects, boyfriends and politics. I liked the vibe there. The top floor is sometimes open and there are smaller rooms with sofas and tables. Very nice if you come with a few people in a group.
The coffee was American as usual, and it tasted nice, smooth and well balanced. Did not have time to ask for a refill, so I am not sure they offer one. Many places in Iceland do that.
Súfistinn has been a stable in Icelandic coffee culture for many years and stays open because it is a good place with good small dishes and good a atmosphere. The first snow of this winter came when I was enjoying my cup. So it looked nice outside the window and the cold blended well with the warm cup. I walked out of a too short a visit as happy man. Good coffee, good atmosphere, and a good chat with a friend.
Súfistinn has a another place in downtown Reykjavik at the second floor of the large bookstore Mál og Menning at Laugarvegur 18. A bookstore coffee place. I drop by there once in a while, when I want to read a magazine or work. I prefer the Hafnafjörður place for the simple reason that it is not always the destination, it is the journey. It is a more pleasant place, but the bookstore location is more cosmopolitan in location and feel.