Sweden is obsessed with fika and everything it has to do with it, especially coffee. Ask any of your Swedish colleagues how many cups of coffee they’ve had just today, and you’ll be surprised to hear that the number is higher than you expected. My previous manager was at ten cups of black coffee per day, while he said that the number was a result of several reductions of cups in the past years.
If you’ve lived in Sweden long enough, then you know the concept of fika. If you’ve just arrived, I can summarise it for you: Swedes love to spend half an hour having coffee and a pastry – or something salty, but that is rarer – around 3 PM to unwind a bit from work and socialise with others. At work, it is normally held in a common area such as the kitchen, and it is the perfect time to ask your co-worker about that trip he once mentioned he wanted to do, or to bond a bit more with the new intern that just arrived from another city.
But fika can also be done in other surroundings: at home, at uni or in any of the beautiful cafés in the cities of Sweden. I live in Stockholm, and after four years of learning the processes of fika, I’ve developed a guide of the best cafés in the city to take a break, to protect yourself from the cold or simply to enjoy the surroundings.
Kaffeverket (Sankt Eriksgatan 88)
Kaffeverket is a very special café in the beautiful neighbourhood of Vasastan. Come in for the delicious coffee and the beautiful and tasty pastries, stay for the art hanging from the walls and the whole interior design of the place. Its very instagrammable little corners are worth the metro ride.
Systrarna Andersson (Karlbergsvägen 45)
This bakery, café and lunch spot is located very close to Kaffeverket and opposite to Acne Archive, one of the “must” shops for fashion lovers. Their pastries are out of this world, like their danish, and they offer breakfast and lunch packs that are simply irresistible. Moreover, the deco of the place will make you feel like you travelled into a retro living room – notably the beautiful old map of Europe hanging from one of the walls -.
Konditori Ritorno (Odengatan 80-82)
Ritorno is one of my absolute favourite spots to meet with friends, study or simply spend a cosy afternoon. The space is big enough to have different rooms and ambiences and reminds of a bakery in the thirties. Enjoy the multiple paintings hanging from the walls while you devour one of their great pastries – their kannebullar are to die for-and refill your cup with “bryggkaffe”.
Café Pascal ( Norrtullsgatan 4, Skånegatan 76)
This café can be found in Odenplan and Södermalm, so choose the closest one to you and enjoy their simply amazing coffee. My favourite is the cappuccino with oat milk since it is super foamy and tasty. They also offer freshly baked bread and pastries.
Vette-Katten (Kungsgatan 55)
Possibly the most famous café in Stockholm, and for a good reason! Vette-Katten offers a wide range of pastries, cakes and chocolates, as well as it also has salty options. Sometimes it can be hard to find room in the main coffee hall but take into account that the café has more than five rooms where you can find a cosy spot to sit in.
Gast Café (Rådmansgatan 57)
This über-cute café is located on top of a small hill next to Sveavägen. It is the little brother of Kaffeverket, and it shows! The decoration is impeccable, as much as their coffee and pastries. It is ideal to go there for a break during work or to study in the morning since the space is quite reduced and it can get filled easily.
Johan och Nyström
(Swedenborgsgatan 7, Odengatan 62, Hantverkargatan 7)
With its many locations, Johan och Nyström has now become a symbol of good coffee in the city. Their coffee is so delicious that you can buy it roasted and grounded and bring it home to recreate their coffee. They also hold barista courses for the ones that want to learn how to make the perfect espresso, cappuccino, macchiato and many more.
Bageri Petrus (Swedenborgsgatan 4B)
This cute little bakery does not offer many places to sit, but if you feel like walking around with your coffee or simply pick some kannelbullar to enjoy at home, this is your spot! Their pastries are possibly the best ones in town, so it is a must to try them at least once.
Drop Coffee Roasters (Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10)
This café is specialised in coffee from different parts of the world. Their baristas know loads about the different origins and tastes of the coffees they prepare, so it’s always a good idea to ask them for the best option for you. You can also purchase their selections so that you can prepare delicious coffee at home!
Café Bio Rio (Hornstulls strand 3)
This cute café inside the cinema Bio Rio is the perfect spot to take a pause either if it’s before watching a movie or just because you’re in the area. The decoration reminds of the cafeterias in the fifties, and the coffee, pastries and lunch options are worth staying.
I hope you enjoy this selection of cafés, and if you discover new ones please let us know!