Serving Food, Washing Clothes, and Entertaining Kids
Visitors to central Reykjavik who run out of clean clothes have few options. They can pay by the article of clothing to have their hotel do their laundry, or pay by the kilo at two wash and fold laundry/dry cleaners. Or they can do their own laundry at the multi-functional Laundromat cafe/laundry room/playground.
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The Café Feels Like Home
Upstairs The Laundromat is a diner-style restaurant serving the best milkshakes in town—try the caramel one—plus affordable food to satisfy locals and tourists alike. The staff is outgoing and the decor may best be described as funky-quirky/friendly.
Photos of the exteriors of laundromats from around the world hang on the walls, along with fun posters featuring the restaurant's cool, retro branding. Shelves of books line the service island for guests who wish to stay awhile. It's easy to strike up a conversation with other guests at the counter, making the cafe a great place to come for company, inspiration, or just tips on where to catch the Northern Lights.
In keeping with the place's welcoming theme, the wifi password is "Iloveyou." How sweet is that!
If you think the upstairs is fun, take a walk downstairs, but be prepared for a few surprises. The first thing you see in the stairwell is this sign:
The Laundry Room is Bright and Cheerful
At the bottom of the stairs is a 3-washer, 3-dryer laundry room with instructions written in Icelandic and roughly translated into English. It's best to consult with someone who has solved the mystery of using these machines before plunking any Kroner into them. If you don't decode the broken English and get the operational order just right, you can spend hours and mucho dinero down there without ever getting your clothes wet.
There's a big table outside the laundry room where parents and kids hang out eating. (Wait staff from upstairs will deliver food downstairs.) On the wall behind the table hang past issues of The Grapevine, Reykjavik's English-speaking newspaper, a great source of things to do, interesting character studies, music reviews, and such.
The Playroom is Every Kid's Fantasy.
It's likely that much of the Laundromat's revenue comes from the mouths of babes begging their parents to come here. Cool, durable toys and books are everywhere. BIg, soft cushions make great fort-building materials, and jumping on the couches is encouraged. Three well-lit raised alcoves welcome groups of kids.
The Laundromat is a place for kids, families, singles, locals, tourists, and anyone with a dirty bag of laundry. Unpretentious, cozy, and utilitarian, it's got a little something for everyone who stops by.
There are three Laundromat's based on the same concept in Denmark. The one in Iceland is located at Austurstræti 9 Reykjavik.
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