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: Stureplan.
Address: Eriksbergsgatan 6, 114 30 Stockholm. Tel No: 08 611 77 00
Café Saturnus is a Stockholm institution, famous for selling kanelbullar as big as your head. The one that lands on my plate doesn’t disappoint. Technically, I don’t have to eat the whole bulle (they’re probably designed for sharing….with 3 other people) but I can’t let anything this fresh and sugary go to waste. The coffee arrives in a soup-bowl-sized cup and is good and strong. The menu is French and the lunches look great but it’s the amazing-looking cakes on the counter that really catch my eye. However, after the ‘all-I-could eat’ bulle experience, there isn’t really room to taste anything else.
Saturnus has a French bistro feel to it and the wooden interior makes the place feel more cosy than some other cafés in the neighbourhood. In terms of clientele, they do good business out of people who work and shop nearby, as well as tourists probably checking out the urban legend that is Saturnus’s giant bullar. This being Stureplan, there are a few Stureplan Stekare around (for the uninitiated, think men with slicked back hair donning a blazer with a handkerchief in the breast pocket), but that just adds to the great people watching.
As you would expect from a café / restaurant in this area that has been around for a while, quality is top notch and whilst service can be a bit on the stern side (“NO buggies in here – it’ll have to go outside”), personnel are quick and efficient.
Cost of a Latte (café au lait): 37 or 44 kronor (depending on size)
Perfect for: eating kanelbullar as big as your head
Avoid if: you object to having to take an SMS snabblån to pay for a coffee. The café au lait may be one of the biggest in Stockholm but at 44 kronor you sure pay for it.
Address: Snickarbacken 7, 111 39 Stockholm. Tel No: 08 667 10 22
Walking into Snickarbacken 7 (conveniently located at Snickarbacken 7) feels a bit like walking into an underground studio – all stripped-back brick walls painted white and minimalist lighting. A neon light on the wall spells out the café’s name/address, in case you’ve already forgotten it, and the café walls double as an artist’s gallery. At the time of visiting, American artist Larry Clark is exhibiting his Tulsa collection. The café is a long tunnel-like space (read: plenty of space for our 3 and 4 wheeled friends) and adjoining it is ‘the store’ – a space selling the latest and greatest finds across fashion, music, headphones, bathroom gadgets and everything in between. It’s not unlike a mini version of Urban Outfitters to this uncultured eye.
The café component comes courtesy of Kaffeverket (of St Eriksgatan fame) and there is a mountain of coffee accompaniments on the counter in the form of bullar, cakes and other sweet treats. There is a good lunch menu including a range of gourmet sourdough sandwiches.
There’s something about this place that makes me feel like I’m on the set of Project Runway; maybe it’s the photo studio-like interior or the up-and-coming designer fashion on display. I half expect to see Michael Kors perched on a stool, struggling to raise an over-botoxed eyebrow, or Heidi Klum telling me “one day you’re hot, the next you’re not”. Snickarbacken 7, however, is definitely still hot.
Cost of a Latte: 33 or 38 kronor (depending on size)
Perfect for: soaking up a bit of an alternative vibe just off the main drag by Stureplan
Avoid if: you prefer to celebrate post-shopping success with oysters and champagne
Musical equivalent: 6 Underground by Sneaker Pimps
Address: Sturegatan 4, 114 35 Stockholm.
You don’t get much more Stureplan than Sturegallerien and Östermalm’s ladies who lunch need somewhere to put their heels up and recharge their batteries after a hard day’s flexing the plastic. Enter the imaginatively named Le Café, a big lounge-like space situated at the back of Sturegallerien with plenty of space for shopping bags ….and buggies.
Le Café is owned by the Stureplansgrupp (the same people behind Stureplan nightspots Spy Bar and Sturecompagniet) and is the first in what the owners hope will be a string of Le Cafés across Sweden. There is a certain fast food chain feeling to the place and at first glance the menu is a non-controversial amalgamation of the food and drink you would expect to find at any shopping centre café. However, where Le Café is hoping to find a gap in the market is by targeting the eco-friendly consumer. They only use eco-milk and yoghurt; they try to use only fruit and vegetables that are in season and they try to source local ingredients as much as possible.
Possibly not the most exciting or innovative café in the area but possibly one with the most space!
Cost of a Latte: 26 or 32 kronor (depending on size)
Perfect for: shopping and having a fika all under one roof
Avoid if: you’re after a small, independently run café
Musical equivalent: Fresh by Kool and the Gang
I had been planning to check out the highly commended Albert and Jack’s (Engelbrektsgatan 3) which, I hear, produces a mean cup of coffee and great sourdough sandwiches. Coming from the same people behind Vassa Eggen and Boqueria, I wouldn’t expect anything less. But space is tight and with a growing queue of local workers out for their lunch, there is simply no room for my 4-wheeled friend. A similar fate awaits me at Stockholm’s oldest konditori, Sturekatten (Riddargatan 4). Hidden in a courtyard just off Riddargatan, Sturekatten is apparently a relic from Stockholm’s past but, unable to schlep the buggy up two flights of stairs, I’ll have to add this one to the ‘to do’ list.