When I was in the process of planning my trip to Scandinavia this summer, one of the things I was very excited about was trying the many excellent coffee shops in each of the cities I was visiting. Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo all have an outstanding café culture but I thought that the coffee in Stockholm is a notch above all others. Below are some of the ones I tried and liked.
This hip coffee shop was located right below the apartment we were renting in Stockholm. This would be the kind of café I would sit and work in if I lived in the Swedish capital. The front of the café is flooded with light and furnished with a few communal tables and a great pastry and sandwich display. The room in the back is cosy, quiet and has a great view of a charming courtyard. I visited this café a couple of times during my stay and took advantage of their cute front terrace. Their simple avocado toast with chili oil served on vintage plates is delicious and oh-so-pretty, as are all the other sandwich choices. The cinnamon and cardamom bullar (buns) made by the lovely Bakery & Spice bake shop down the street are delicious and perfect for breakfast or a fika break.
I had heard that this café had some of the best (oversized) cinnamon buns in town. And although I cannot say that I agree (they were good, but I don’t know if they were the best), I still enjoyed a great breakfast here. The inspiration here is clearly French and the decor colourful with an overabundance of baked goods covering the counter. And although I was only there for breakfast, the lunch menu looked great as well.
Behind the oversized doors of this café was a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The space also houses an art gallery and a beautiful design store. Music, art, food, books and design come together seamlessly in this seemingly cavernous space that seems to go on forever. I didn’t eat but the food looked delicious. I did, however, have a coffee and some cake, of course. I also loved the concept store filled with carefully selected objects, magazines and books.
JOHAN & NYSTRÖM
Located in trendy Södermalm, I came upon the lively Johan & Nostrum terrace and happening outdoor scene before even seeing the store. Here is definitely one of Stockholm’s best coffeeshops. They roast their own fair-trade beans on the premises and offer courses for those who want to know more about the world of coffee. They also serve fair-trade tea as well as accessories. The store is bright and colourful but I truly enjoyed the terrace where it seemed like it was peak fika time with crowds of locals occupying every seat available.
Often cited as one of the best coffeeshops in Stockholm, Kafé Esaias serves a well curated, high-quality coffee. I had a salad for lunch at this spot but I must honestly say that the coffee far surpasses the food. The small space is simply decorated and complemented by an even smaller yet charming terrace on a quiet pedestrian street. I had a long conversation with the barista who explained at length the day’s beans and made recommendations based on my preferences. He was so nice and gave me great recommendations of other cafés to visit in Stockholm.
This was my last coffee stop in Stockholm, right before I boarded my train to Oslo. I was greeted by the charming owner who I discovered that morning was also the owner of Kafé Esaias (listed above). His passion for truly exceptional and high quality coffee was palpable and I wish I had time for a more lengthy conversation. Still, my latte that morning was great and made especially more cheerful by sitting on the bright yellow chairs outside the café. I also had a taste of the yogurt with granola which was truly delicious.
The ones I missed…
I obviously didn’t have enough time to visit all of Stockholm’s great coffee shops in the short time I was there but I was really bummed about missing Café Pascal, which were closed for holidays and Drop Coffee, one of the first spots to bring quality coffee to Stockholm. That’s ok though, there’s always a next time, right?
For more on the Stockholm coffee scene, plunge into Drift Magazine‘s Volume 4, which is all about Stockholm! It’s one of my favourite magazines and if you’re a coffee lover, I highly recommend you purchase a subscription.