This steampunk roadside hangout invites visitors into an alternate reality where steam-powered machinery still churns to life in a whirl of gears and mechanical, industrial gadgets.
Dularfulla Búðin in Akranes, Iceland, translates to “The Mysterious Shop.” The establishment offers light meals, traditional Icelandic food, and local beers, but that isn’t what makes it stand out. The building also houses a small steampunk science fiction center, the only one of its kind in Iceland.
Steampunk, a genre of science fiction, has an aesthetic based on 19th-century steam-powered technology. It’s an imagined world filled with romanticized retro-futuristic machines and fashions, one that has yet to move on beyond vintage Victorian technology.
In addition to the eclectic mix of dining furniture and plush chairs, Dularfulla Búðin is full of steampunk’s signature retro-futuristic gadgets. Industrial-themed artwork adorns the walls, somewhat in contrast to its warm, cozy atmosphere. Bits of steampunk costumes, like Victorian top hats, are scattered about. You can also find items related to the fictional worlds of famous steampunk authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.
While there, the curator (a passionate steampunk enthusiast) will tell you stories and lead you through the mysterious shop. He may even sing you a song. Dularfulla Búðin hosts live music and events and also organizes the annual Steampunk Iceland festival.