What's the best cafe in Stockholm? My vote goes towards a tiny shop among the cobblestones of Gamla Stan.
As a travel writer, I am dedicated - nay, committed - to bringing you, my beloved readers, only the finest in-depth reports on history, culture, and anthropology from the furthest corners of the globe. And, if sometimes those reports focus on coffee - purely as a vehicle for understanding said history, culture, and anthropology - so be it. And if those reports happen to include a side order of meringue the size of my head, all the better.
I know there's no one else who will appreciate this combination of jumbo meringues and anthropology quite like all of you. That's why I felt compelled to bring you this tale of our spontaneous visit to Coffee Stop, a teensy tiny coffee shop in the heart of Stockholm's Gamla Stan neighbourhood. It might just be the tiniest cafe in the city! Here's why we loved this wee spot so much.
Crafty signs and enticing riddles.
How could I stroll around Gamla Stan - Stockholm's oldest and most cobblestoned neighbourhood - and not stop at these signs? A coffee shop that makes me laugh and gives me a discount if I correctly solve their riddle - yes please! That sounds like a winning formula to me!
Gamla Stan is home to some of the Stockholm's best attractions, but some of the restaurants and cafes can run towards the pricey, touristy side of the spectrum. I was thrilled to find something with a bit of personality.
Coffee Stop is the sweetest, most charming coffee shop in the entire world (or, at the very least, in Gamla Stan). Admittedly, its decor combination of soft pink with brass accents doesn't sound great when I write it down but for whatever reason, it completely works. It's just lovely and is a wonderful place to read and write and dream. But dreamers and writers, take note: There's no washroom here.
Sorry espresso-rich Europe, but sometimes a traveler just wants a huge cup of coffee. Ryan got his fix with a personal French press of freshly ground coffee beans (his choice of dark or medium roast). I stuck with a cappuccino and I was happy to have the choice between small and large (obviously I picked large!) They also sell coffee accessories and bags of freshly ground beans, which make for great souvenirs.
Super friendly staff.
The English speaking staff were great. They provided us with their WiFi code and patiently waited for us to order while we swooned over the shop. And when Ryan later lamented that he should have ordered the large French press instead of the small and approached the counter to order a second drink, they very generously gave him a second fresh small French press for free. (I doubt that this is standard - we probably just looked extra pitiful and jet lagged).
And, of course, the meringues!
Meringues are nothing more than whipped egg whites and sugar, sometimes flavored with vanilla or a streak of cocoa, piped out into puffs and baked on a low temperature for hours and hours until they are crunchy and a wee bit chewy in the middle. They are super sweet and a little goes a long way - which does not in any way explain why I kept seeing massive meringues all over Stockholm. Exactly who is able to eat that much crunchy sugar? No matter - I'm glad I gave it a try!
If meringues aren't your thing, the cafe does have a small assortment of sweet and savory snacks but it's not a full service restaurant.
This is my happy spot in Stockholm.
Sweden is famous for its tradition of fika, the cozy practice of enjoying a break with coffee and a treat. And while I'm no expert on Stockholm's coffee shops (there are a lot - this city is serious about its fika) I'm going to go out on a limb and declare Coffee Stop as the best. It absolutely felt like my kind of happy place and I can't wait to visit it again. And I think you'll love it too!
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