Welcome to the Capital of Fika…
Sweden is a country that loves its coffee, so much to have a designated “coffee break time” of the day. Known as Fika, this time-honored tradition consists of sitting down with a cup of java, often with delectable pastries and sandwiches.
The city of Gothenburg, resting on the western coast of Sweden, is a perfect place for a fika. Chilly seafaring breezes and a charming city center makes a great excuse to nestle in with comfy cushions and a cozy cup of cafe latte.
Gothenburg’s cafe scene really sprung to life in 2003, when Matts Johansson founded cafe Da Matteo. A self-declared “cafe romantic,” Johansson grew up traveling around the world with his father. It wasn’t long before he noticed that, unlike his homeland Sweden, cafe culture was alive and well across the globe. Gothenburg, in contrast, didn’t have many places for young people to hang out, other than restaurants and pubs. In an effort to create a more homey urban environment, he opened Da Matteo in downtown Gothenburg. Four years later, they began to roast their own coffee, and have since expanded to three other locations in the city. From there, the cafe scene has really boomed in this seaside city!
Here are our recommendations for cozy cafes in Gothenburg:
Viktor’s Kaffe is a digital worker’s hangout, with clean and crisp interior and a rotating selection of art. Just above the countertop sits a shining La Marzocco Linea Classic espresso machine, a Mahlkönig EK43 grinder and a row of Hario V60 brewing cones. Not an unimpressive display of barista prowess.
Open: Weekdays 7am to 7pm, weekends 9:30am to 6pm.
Down the Rabbit Hole.
As you might be able to tell from the name, this creative cafe has the imaginative trappings of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland books. Fanciful swirls and giant playing cards cover the walls. The light dishes are Asian-themed, but the main attraction here are the homemade cupcakes. Limited seating leads to a snug ambiance–so come after lunchtime if you’re coming with a group!
Open: Tue to Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat 12 to 4pm, Sun and Mon closed.
Stop: Vasa Viktoriagatan.
This elegant cafe’s welcoming atmosphere and delicious chocolate does wonders for its international reputation. Kanold is a famous chocolate company, so you can’t leave Gothenburg without picking up some of their toothsome truffles! The hot chocolate is some of the most fulfilling you’ll ever have. A terrific place for an afternoon Fika.
Open: Weekdays 11am to 6pm, 11am to 4pm Saturday, closed Sunday.
Cafe and the Bakery.
Just next door to Down the Rabbit Hole is the cozy Cafe and the Bakery. The warmly lit cafe has all the sweet pastries you could ever wish for. Saffron buns, gingerbread cookies, fresh croissants, giant cinnamon buns, homemade jams, Swedish macaroons–need I say more? The interior has a snug, homey feeling, with white arched doorways and the smell of freshly baked bread.
Open: Weekdays 7am to 6pm, Sat 8am to 3pm, Sun closed.
Stop: Vasa Viktoriagatan.
In the heart of downtown, Da Matteo remains hugely popular with locals and tourists alike. This roastery-cum-bakery on Valigatan is just five minutes from its outlet cafe at Victoriapassagen outlet. And you don’t even have to be a cafe connoisseur to love them–their hot chocolate is to die for. They have locations at Victoriapassagen, Valigatan, Magasinsgatan, and Sprängkullsgatan. Look out for the Julkaffe (coffee especially for Christmas), crepes, galettes, and soups.
Valigatan 5: Open weekdays 8am to 7pm, Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 5pm.
Sprängkullsgatan 10A: Open Mon 8am to 7pm, Tue to Fri 8am to 9pm, Sat 10am to 9pm, Sun 11am to 5pm.
Magasinsgatan 17A: Open weekdays 7:30am to 6pm, Sat 8am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 5pm.
Southern Larmgatan 14: Open weekdays 8 to 7pm, Sat 9am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 5pm.
Cafe Hebbe Lelle.
Smack dab in the middle of the charming Haga neighborhood, Cafe Hebbe Lelle is an airy breakfast joint set in an old house. Floral wallpaper, homemade croissants, frozen yoghurt and Swedish pancakes make this place an absolute delight.
Haga Nygata 23B.
Open: Mon to Thu 9am to 6:30pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 6pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm.
Cafe Nina has an old Latin vibe, with pictures of cuban musicians adorning the walls. Bite-sized couches, Cuban photos, earthy colors. A great place to grab a healthy breakfast, with specials like yoghurt and granola that include coffee or tea. Or drop by in the afternoon after a visit to the Maritime Museum, just across the street. Music events and live concerts on certain nights.
Karl Johansgatan 5.
Open: Tue, Thu, Fri 8:30am to 5pm, Wed 8:30am to 7pm, Sat 10am to 4:30pm, Sunday 11am to 4:30pm, Monday closed.
Café Santo Domingo & Dirty Records
Cafe Santo Domingo & Dirty Records is a record shop / cafe, a relaxing and unpretentious hangout. Naturally, they boast everything you could hope for at such a mixed joint: discount records, rare albums, soups, homemade breads and of course coffee. Come in for live music every Friday from 6pm to 7pm.
Andra Långgatan 4A.
Open: Weekdays 9:30am to 6:30pm, Sat 10am to 4pm, Sunday closed.
Kale’i is a sweet darling of a coffeeshop, with cozy wooden benches and porcelain mugs. Come early in the morning for their breakfast buffet of fresh bread and Turkish yoghurt. If you like, you can even stay for the “cupping,” or coffee tastings, on Fridays. This is a drop-in course where you’ll learn all about beans and sample some of their best coffees. The coffeeshop also offers small courses in brewing technology, the origins of coffee, and how to be a barista.
Open: Weekdays 8:30am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 5pm, and Sun 10am to 4pm.
Visited a Cafe in Gothenburg and just dying to tell us about it? Let us know in the comments!