‘Lagom’ might be the Swedish lifestyle buzzword of the day, but ‘fika’ is still the foodie/wellbeing movement most associated with Swedish culture. It feels that most of the world is mightily impressed — and a little bit envious — that the Swedes take time out of their day for coffee and cake for some light relief from the pressures of everyday life, some time to reflect and an appreciation of truly living in-the-moment.
There are two important elements at play here though: the sweet treat and the coffee. When one isn’t good, the other suffers and vice versa. An establishment getting their bakes wrong would be embarrassing, but rare. But the coffee is also very dependent on personal taste. Some like it strong, some like it milky, but thankfully Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, has an incredible array of coffee houses and food-led cafes that are perfect for fika or just your everyday caffeine fix. If you’re ordering coffee (ours is a flat white, tack!), here are our eight favourite coffee shops in Stockholm!
It’s exactly as it sounds: coffee + office = Coffice! This is a freelancer’s paradise and, of course, it’s located within the trendy SoFo area of Stockholm on Södermalm. Here, you can work away for a few hours (with WiFi) while sipping away on excellent coffee and choosing a treat from the small but delicious selection of fresh pastries and mini cakes. It’s a bit rough and ready with its interiors and not a pristine, perfected cafe like you might think, but for most this is a place to get work done whilst enjoying the coffee. So it’s maybe not the hyggelig fika spot (for those options, keep reading below) but it’s certainly functional, efficient and friendly. As they say themselves, “we are passionate about creating a fun and creative meeting place for all who don’t want to work in the regular office or at home”. If you’re feeling extra committed to Coffice, membership is available which provides access to their printers, kitchen areas and meeting rooms.
Secluded down an Östermalm side street, Snickarbacken 7 is high on many peoples’ list for the best coffee shops in Stockholm. What looks small and unassuming from the outside holds within what some might call “the perfect coffee shop”. High ceilings with a long and narrow passage, candles on each table (of which there are a wide variety, mostly communal), a mix of vintage and contemporary design details and even an in-house lifestyle store. Snickarbacken has so many quiet nooks to sit in, you won’t even notice the hours slip away. Their bakes are some of the best in the city, all lined up at the counter and you won’t be able to resist the call of at least one of them with your cappuccino or cortado (or as a post-breakfast or lunch treat). Walk through towards the back and browse the adjoining store selling designer clothing, stationery, curated books and unique homewares.
J&N is more than just a coffee shop, it’s a concept! From their consistent rotation of coffee beans and roasts to their daily classes taught by their in house experts, Johan & Nyström are trying to change the way people feel about coffee. To them it’s more than a drink, it’s a craft and it’s most definitely worth visiting. You’ll find them on Swedenborgsgatan in Södermalm and Norrlandsgatan in Östermalm as well as a branch in Arlanda Airport, too!
Sweden, as you know from reading this blog, is an incredibly equal and open society when it comes to sexuality. One of the effects of this, if you can call it that, is in cosmopolitan, modern cities like Stockholm you might not find as many LGBTQ specific nightclubs and venues as in the past few decades because there’s an acceptance and inclusivity across the board. LGBTQ people don’t necessarily need individual spaces to allow them to express and be who they are, but we will always cherish places that wholeheartedly encourage that, just like gay-friendly, gay-run cafe Chokladkoppen. Right in the heart of Gamla Stan — the old town — on Stortorget, the setting, the food, the artwork, the friendly welcome and the HUGE bowls of hot chocolate all combine to make this one of the city’s best cafes whilst still being a little bit off the beaten tourist track in the historic old town.
If you are unsure about where to find a branch of Albert & Jack’s, don’t worry, you’ll smell the sweet smell of cardamon wafting through your nose before you see it! Ideal for a nice quiet space to work away, or catch up with friends, this cafe and deli brand has several locations across the city.
Another popular spot, again in the hipster-hood of Södermalm, il caffe is one of the more rustic cafes in this list. Concrete floors, wooden tables, even with a dedicated florist in one corner, there’s always a crowd here and the coffee is Italian and strong. You can also find other branches of this cafe group on Broadway, Bergsgatan, Drottninggatan, Långholmsgatan, Central Plan and Mäster Samuelsgatan.
As well as being a great lunch and brunch spot, Cafe Pascal ticks the box with doing great coffee. In one of the most aesthetically pleasing cafes you will ever encounter, it might be hard to find a seat especially at busy times but if you do, you won’t want to leave!
One of the most picturesque suggestions we could possibly share, Rosendals Trädgård is located on the enchantingly beautiful green island of Djurgården, arguably the lungs of Stockholm city. Many will drop by solely to visit the ABBA Museum, Skansen or the Vasamuseet, but we beg of you: go a little further. Just at the edge of the royal park Kungliga Djurgården, stay a while and sip some coffee at the greenhouse cafe, where you can also feast on their organic and biodynamic produce, as well the best bakes from their in-house artisanal wood-fired bakery. It’s a market garden, so you can pick up plants, organic vegetables, herbs, flowers and they also organise regular events and exhibitions too.
For more caffeine-fueled (and otherwise) inspiration on Stockholm, go to www.visitstockholm.com