28 Feb 2024
Fancy a fika? Sankt Eriksplan
Café Culture Lifestyle

Fancy a fika? Sankt Eriksplan

Olivia Hahne, our hottest new contributor, is on a one woman-and-baby mission to find the best place to have a coffee in Stockholm. This week: St Eriksplan.

Chokladbollen 2

Not your ‘hood? Check out the rest of our café culture series.

Xoko

Address: Rörstrandsgatan 15, 113 25 Stockholm. Tel No: 08-31 84 87  

Walking into Xoko is like walking onto the set of MasterChef ,when the guest chef is a Michelin-starred pastry chef who’s laid out all the immaculately presented goodies  for the contestants to replicate. Except that here you can eat the examples and have a great cup of coffee on the side.

XOKO 1 (480x640)Xoko is a mixture of Konditori, Kafe and Bageri  set in a very cool interior. The back wall is made up of circular orange lightboxes, which add a bit of warm, glowing, disco escapism on a cold January day. I like. This isn’t a cosy café where wannabe writers sit whiling away the hours whilst nursing a lukewarm latte but then again, it isn’t meant to be. It isn’t really meant for latte mamas or pappas either, since the limited space inside Xoko means that it is part of the ‘no buggies allowed’ club, but there are benches and tables outside with plenty of space to park a stroller.

Impressive is the word that comes to mind when I stand at the counter and look at the sweet treats on offer. I half expect Heston Blumenthal to walk out of the kitchen in a lab coat bearing a tray of pralines saying “Aha!” but this is the genius of Xoko’s Magnus Johansson, the man responsible for many a Nobel banquet dessert. Each piece is so perfectly formed that it looks like it might not actually be real; in fact, it seems a crime to destroy the chocolate work of art on my plate by wedging a fork into it. But hey, it’s all in the name of research right? For those without a sweet tooth (who are you, anyway?), there’s organic sourdough bread and in the summer months, Xoko offers home-made ice-cream. Now there’s a date for the diary.

Cost of a Latte: 36 kronor

Perfect for: a first-hand experience of what the desserts you usually only ever see on Master Chef actually taste like, in a very cool, classy setting.

Avoid if: you’re looking for a grungy café to while away the hours slumped in a worn out armchair reading Strindberg.

Musical equivalent: Night Fever by The Bee Gees (purely for the funky lighting on the wall; it screams disco to me).

 

Mellqvist Caffè Bar

Address: Rörstrandsgatan 4, 113 40 Stockholm. Tel No: 08-30 23 80

Mellqvist Caffè Bar’s reputation preceded it; this Vasastan favourite was ‘checked into’ by numerous Facebook friends before I’d even had a chance to see it for myself. It’s been around since 2001 and is considered by many to be one of Stockholm’s best cafés. Quite a lot to live up to then.

Mellqvist 1First appearances are that this is a nice little hole-in-the wall café. The interior is dark wood, creating a cosy environment and there is plenty of seating inside. The coffee I’ve heard so much about lives up to expectations and the sandwiches, bullar and pastries are top quality. Service is friendly and there’s a good atmosphere. Maybe that’s the secret to Mellqvist Caffe Bar’s success – it just does what it does well.

They do well out of both the take-out and eat-in crowds. The clientèle seem to be mainly people who live and work in the area, with plenty of mammas and pappas sat, buggies parked, at the chairs and tables outside. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area and are looking for a high quality Stockholm café that’s good for any occasion – from a take-out coffee and pain au chocolat to a sit-down, cosy catch-up with your bestie.

Cost of a Latte: 35 / 40 / 45 kronor, depending on size

Perfect for: Making out like you’re one of the locals, hanging out in one of St Eriksplan’s most popular cafés

Avoid if: You like to sit in a café with just yourself and the barista for company – this place always has a good smattering of people sat inside and out

Musical equivalent: Perfect Day by Lou Reed

 

Bröd och Salt

Address: Birkagatan 15, 113 36 Stockholm Tel No: 076 949 60 54

More of a bakery with a couple of bar stools thrown in than a café. But Bröd och Salt, particularly this outlet near St. Eriksplan, serves such  a high quality fika that it should be on everyone’s list of Vasastan cafés to visit .

Brod och Salt 1 (480x640)Possibly the bar stools are there to allow patrons who over-indulge in the amazing sourdough bread and bullar on offer a rest. The baked goods really are top notch (my favourite: the blueberry vanilla bulle) while the coffee is strong and full-flavoured. The girl who’s been working there every time that I’ve been in is so friendly that Bröd och Salt stands out in Sankt Eriksplan. Definitely worth popping in if you’re in the area and fancy a quick caffeine and carb fix.

Cost of a Latte: 30 kronor

Perfect for: a good caffeine hit and some quality sourdough.

Avoid if: you’re looking for a place to have the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ conversation.

Musical equivalent: Pit Stop by Loveage

 

Chokladbollen

Address: St.Eriksgatan 92, 113 62 Stockholm Tel No: 08-30 91 96

If you’re new to Sweden (and even if you’re not), chances are that the novelty of that most Swedish of delicacies, the chokladboll won’t have worn off yet. And should your enthusiasm for our little pärlsocker/coconut-coated friend be in any way waning, get yourself down to Chokladbollen pronto.

Chokladbollen 1 (480x640)For greeting you at the counter will be many variants of chokladbollar that haven’t even made it to Delicato’s drawing board yet (Snickers, Daim, nougat, anyone?) Just looking at the display cabinet is enough to send my blood sugar into hyperglycaemic shock, so I order a coffee to compensate. Kind of.

If you’re after an appetiser before you launch into a chokladboll, they also do ‘mix your own’ salads and a decent range of pasta dishes and ciabatta sandwiches. The interior is warm and cosy and the personnel are friendly and smiling (maybe they’re high on sugar too). There isn’t a lot of room for buggies but there is no sign on the window requesting all prams stay outside (yes I’m talking to you, non-buggy friendly café next door).

 

Cost of a Latte: 32 kronor

Cost of a chokladboll as big as your fist: 29 kronor

Perfect for: did I mention it’s great for chokladboll afficianados?

Avoid if: you don’t like generous sized portions of salad and chokladbollar (again, who are you?)

Musical equivalent: Sweet Like Chocolate by Shanks and Bigfoot

 

 

 

Article and photos: Olivia Hahne

8 Comments

  • Sudipa 18 Jan 2013

    Thanks! Being a coffee fanatic, this is of immense help. If you have the possibility then do visit Sköndals Konditori, Spritsvägen 7. Very cosy and extremely pleasant bakers. Cafe latte costs 25 kr & is one of the best I have ever tasted in Stockholm!

  • Jen 18 Jan 2013

    Check out this group on Facebook for ‘Fika’ events around Sthlm!!

    • Olivia Hahne 19 Jan 2013

      Thanks for the tip Jen, will check the FB group out!

  • Faisal 18 Jan 2013

    Last Sunday, I discovered recently opened Cafe Tasman near St Eriksplan. They will score high on all criteria except that they run their business entirely in English http://www.facebook.com/#!/tasmancafe?fref=ts

  • Farrah Gillani 18 Jan 2013

    Thanks for the recommendations! We love hearing your personal views on cafés 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.