coffee and cake in a Stockholm cafe

Cafes and Coffee

coffee and cake in a Stockholm cafe

a handmade kanelbulle from Helena’s at Järvafältet

One of the great things to do on any holiday is to have a coffee and a cake in a cafe and just watch the world go by. The same goes for when you’re not on holiday of course, and if you’re a coffee addict like me, then there’s not many a day goes by when you don’t pop into a cafe for an espresso or whatever your particular favourite is. Stockholm is a fantastic city for this, often it feels like there’s an espresso bar on every corner, but unlike London, they’re not all run by the large chains. Don’t get me wrong, you can find those chains if you really want, but I’d prefer an independent cafe any time, and the thing I most notice about Stockholm cafes generally is that the coffee nearly always seems to be made with love and attention.

For me the Swedes have a rather sweet tooth (I’d prefer a marmite sandwich most days to a sweet bun or cake) but I understand the joy of those that do love them, and if you’ve got a sweet tooth then you’re in luck in most Stockholm cafes and bakeries. There’s always a selection of great sandwiches anyway for those that prefer the savoury like myself (although I’m still reminded of my first job in Sweden when I spent ages trying to explain the nature of savoury to my colleagues, in the end we settled on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umami – but I never did convert them to marmite all the same)

This picture is of a classic Swedish bun, the kanelbulle which I bought at Helena’s at Järvafältet, versions of which you can expect to find just about everywhere, although I’m told by my work colleagues, who I liked to take up to Järvafältet, that this was one of the best that they had tried.

You can find various links to cafes throughout this site, just click on the cafe category or browse through the post tags. To get you started though here’s my current top 3 cafes in Stockhom (a purely personal preference based upon the quality of the espresso, the vibe, and sometimes the food as well). Your mileage may vary as they say, but there are mine.

1. Mellqvist Cafe & Bar – Vasastan – fantastic espresso and great sour dough sandwiches. Small but perfectly formed shop in one of my favourite places in town. When I was there last month I saw that they were refurbishing and growing it slightly. I hope this doesn’t destroy the vibe.

2. Helena’s at Järvafältet – northern suburbs – ok I mention this place time and again, but it’s a hidden gem, just go there!

3. Baresso Coffee at Nybrogatan – Östermalm – great espresso and also great lunches, salads and “health plates”. Right next to Östermalms food market as well which is worth a trip afterwards. Very close and central to loads of other tourist sites.

If you don’t fancy exploring yourself and want something more organised, you can book a guided Stockholm food tour through our partner site.

 

sourdough poolish baguettes

Great sourdough breads and coffee in Birkastan

sourdough poolish baguettes

Some sourdough that I made myself

Bread is my favourite food and always has been. I’ve also got quite a coffee habit and so there’s nothing more I love than going to a bakery or deli that sells great sourdough breads and coffee, preferably so I can have a top notch espresso whilst I’m there buying a fantastic sourdough bread. Luckily for people like me Stockholm is a great city for such activities.

There are innumerable websites which deal with the cafe culture of Stockholm but I’ve listed a few of my personal favourites in this site. it’s by no means an extensive list and doesn’t claim to be, it’s just some places that I love and where I’ve had some nice breads and coffee.

When I was last in Stockholm I was staying in Karlbegsvägen right in the middle of Birkastan, which is one of my favourite areas of town, and I was lucky enough to be very close to “Bageri Bröd & Salt”, whose website you can find here. It’s a tiny little bakery, where only about 2 people can fit in at once, and it’s got a tiny table outside where one can take a quick coffee. Like so many of these little bakeries that you find all around Stockholm though, size doesn’t matter and both the coffee and the sourdough bread are obviously made with love.

I had a classic levain, which was truly lovely and chewy with deep sour flavours, all that a good levain should be. I also had fine little espresso sitting outside for a couple of minutes watching the world go by. All in all well worth a visit and if you do drop by, there’s tons of other interesting shops, bars, cafes and restaurants all within a couple of hundred metres.