Iceland Mag

6 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

A charming restaurant at “world’s end”

By Sara McMahon

  • The perfect spot Kaffi Norðurfjörður is a small bistro located in Árneshreppur, Iceland’s most sparsely populated district. It’s run by two childhood friends Lovísa Vattnes Bryngeirsdóttir and Sara Jónsdóttir. Photo/Stefán Karlsson

In Árneshreppur, Iceland’s most sparsely populated district, one will find the charming bistro Kaffi Norðurfjörður. The restaurant is run by two childhood friends and their families.


Árneshreppur is Iceland’s most sparsely populated district, with a population of 53 people. It is located in the remote Strandir region, on the northern part of the wondrous Westfjords, and is home to the tiny fishing village of Norðurfjörður, as well as to Kaffi Norðurfjörður, a small bistro located at the town’s harbour.

The bistro is run by childhood friends Lovísa Vattnes Bryngeirsdóttir and Sara Jónsdóttir. The two are well-versed in catering and the culinary industry: Sara has worked in the business since her teenage years, while Lovísa, a sous chef, used to run her own restaurant in Luxembourg.

“We’ve always wanted to run a restaurant together, but we didn’t want to do it in Reykjavík because we wanted to be able to chat with our guests and respond to their every need. So, when this opportunity presented itself, we jumped at the chance,” Lovísa explains enthusiastically. “We’re very excited about starting this adventure. The area is just so remarkably beautiful and it’s wonderful to sit in the restaurant and watch the small boats come and go.”

And she’s right. The bistro’s surroundings are something else entirely. The lively harbour teems with small boats during the summer; the surrounding mountain range makes an impressive backdrop, and across the fjord lies Trékyllisvík cove, notorious for being the spot where twenty-one people were executed for practicing magic in the 17th century.

Kaffi Norðurfjörður, Strandir

The view over Norðurfjörður is something else.  Photo/Stefán Karlsson


The perfect seafood soup
Lovísa and Sara will run the dining spot, which is only open for three months each year, for the next three years. The twosome have spent the past weeks preparing for the summer season, getting to know their new neighbours, and creating the bistro’s menu, which Lovísa says will focus on locally sourced produce.

“Our menu will consist mainly of locally sourced fish and lamb and is inspired by traditional, Icelandic cuisine. We also spent much time perfecting our seafood soup—I highly recommend it to anyone dropping by for lunch.” She adds, “I can’t forget to mention that we’ll have a wide selection of home-made cakes and sweets too.” 


The local swimming pool How about that location? The fantastic Krossneslaug pool. Photo/Stefán Karlsson

The pair will be joined by their partners, children, and siblings, who will be staying with them in Norðurfjörður this summer and will all lend a helping hand in running the café.

“We can’t wait for summer to start. All of us are extremely excited to take on the task of running this lovely, little restaurant in this beautiful, little village,” she concludes with a smile. 

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