Skåningen Kaffebar – Skånegatan 92, Södermalm, Stockholm: Skåningen Kaffebar would be my home away from home if, a) it was closer to home, and b) if it wasn’t so small and always packed. They have hands down the best morotskaka (carrot cake) in all of Sweden, especially if you are a cardamom fan. They make it in house, as they do all of their sweet treats. I’ve tried to acquire the recipe but the baker is tight-lipped and only smiles and says, “It’s a secret.” Well, I will happily visit Skåningen Kaffebar in order to partake. They also have the best lattes that side of Södermalm and they made the best decaf lattes in Sweden.
One of my absolute favorite things about Sweden is the Swedish fika, or coffee break. Swedes have utterly perfected this fika thing, which actually encompasses much more than simply taking the American “ten minute coffee break” at work. It is a social institution, utilized by friends, family and the work place alike, and almost always includes a goodie, such as a *kanelbulle, **kärleksmums, or other delectable Swedish bakverk (bakery treat in English). And I love this part of it because it seems to provide an “excuse” to eat a goodie when I wouldn’t normally eat one. I mean, I want to be sociable. Its the polite thing, right? Then again, my pants seem to be telling me that perhaps I have fika’d and been sociable a bit too much lately.
Well, the good news is that it is warmer and lighter out now and I feel sure that I will be on my bike again soon. Which means that all of those fika goodies will simply melt away. That’s my hope anyway and I am sticking to it. So what’s all this nonsense below? Just a list of some of my favorite cafes in and around Stockholm. Around having a wide circumference. The cafes are in alphabetical order to avoid any biases or prejudices, as they are all equally loved for different reasons.
da Matteo – Södralarmgatan 14, Gothenburg: We discovered da Matteo on my first trip to Gothenburg. Located within Victoriapassagen, a small walkway between Södra Larmgatan and Vallgatan, and near Grönsakstorget, which literally means vegetable square! Cute! da Matteo serves the best lattes I have ever had and their vegetarian smörgåsar (sandwiches) and surdegskanelbullar (sour dough cinnamon buns) will rock your world.
Granola – Vaernedamsvej 5, Frederiksberg C, Denmark: This lovely gem was discovered on our trip to Copenhagen last August. Our hotel served breakfast but, since it was not included with our room, we decided to venture out into the city for some local fare. So glad we did! The photos below tell the story… rich strong lattes, homemade breads, fresh fruit, pancakes with maple syrup, and their own hazelnut chocolate spread. Mmmmm! Highly recommended!
iL Caffe – södermannagatan 23, Södermalm, Stockholm: iL Caffe we stumbled upon one day while browsing around the quirky charming neighborhoods of SoFo (South of Folkungagatan). Their assortment of freshly grilled sandwiches are their specialty, and of course a latte goes nicely with one. You can also pick up some freshly baked bread at Fabrique, their on site bakery. I recommend the Mr. Toast or the Gotland bread. (Sorry no photo available!)
Kaffe – Sankt Paulsgatan 17, Södermalm, Stockholm: Featured in the American version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, this cafe is not only famous worldwide but they have the most amazing toasts, otherwise known as grilled sandwiches. Probably not the healthiest but certainly the most tasty, two slices of white bread framing the creamiest filling of chanterelle mushrooms, Västerbotten cheese, and a touch of cream. And the best lattes this side of Södermalm! 😉
Kalaset – Vendersgade 16, Copenhagen, Denmark: Kalaset I came across when we were planning our trip to Copenhagen last summer and after one of the employees of Larry Vs. Harry (in Copenhagen) recommended it as well, we made a b-line straight there. We had a late lunch here (awesome veggie burger) on our first day and we liked it so much we returned the next morning for breakfast (pancakes, granola & yogurt). A fun little haunt with a funky, eclectic style. The food was fantastic but in our hunger we failed to think of photos. Except for this adorable wooden spoon. They had an assortment of adorably painted wooden spoons that they used to identify you when delivering your food.
Mellqvist Kaffebar – Hornsgatan 78, Södermalm, Stockholm: I found Mellqvist Kaffebar just after we had moved to Stockholm. Out looking to grab a quick snack while we [my husband] painted the bedroom wall of our new apartment, I ducked in here and ordered two sandwiches (with bread from Valhallabageriet below) and a latte for the man. At the time I was not drinking coffee but that is what living in Scandinavia does to you. It’s only the coffee drinking capital of the world. That said, their lattes rival those from Kaffe.
Rosendals Trädgård – Rosendalsterrassen 12, Djurgården, Stockholm: If this cafe and garden were closer I would visit them every day. They grow their own organic ingredients in the gardens surrounding the cafe grounds and the food and atmosphere are absolutely lovely, especially on a sunny day. On our first visit here one late February, early March, I saw many people sitting outdoors (it was still minus Celsius) taking in the sun. At the time I thought they were crazy but after living here for three years, I now clearly understand the sun worship in freezing temperatures.
Stationshuset – Saltsjöbaden Train Station, Saltsjöbaden, Stockholm:
The “Station House” sits literally at then end of the Saltsjöbanan train line to Saltsjöbaden, a resort area along the coast of the Baltic Sea. It is an easy twenty minute train ride from Stockholm. The surrounding area is beautiful and includes the lovely Grand Hotel (behind me in the photo below). We were there in early spring and brave souls were still skating on the melting ice. Brave, crazy, your pick. The cafe was the only thing open on this quiet afternoon, aside from the Grand Hotel, which seemed a bit rich for our blood that day so we ventured into Stationshuset for a light lunch. What a pleasant surprise. Handmade sweets and organic ingredients plus a lovely selection of teas, this cafe is definitely a new favorite and makes a lovely day outing from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Valhallabageriet – Valhallavägen 174, Stockholm: If there is a better croissant in Stockholm, please tell me where it is. This bakery and [tiny] café make the best croissants outside of France, in my humble opinion. They also have wonderful breads and sweet rolls and their smörgåsar, or sandwiches, make a great pick-me-up after an outing on cross-country skis in the nearby fields of Gärdet, or even a tranquil bike ride around Djurgården. Just be prepared to be seduced by the rich, buttery flavors, as the baker here definitely does not have a problem with butter, nor cream either most likely!
I hope with all my heart that you get to try at least one of these lovelies in your life. If you live in Sweden it will be a bit easier but for those of you who live faraway…. Well, it’s a great excuse for a visit to the world’s northern Venice!