Where's home? Stockholm
TMR's European correspondent hits the Spotify city
Matty has been at it again. Matt takes time out of his plot to get Spotify to fix the ‘bug’ that made Taylor Swift his top artist of 2022 (cough), to try the best coffee spots in Stockholm.
Welcome to Stockholm
City of Spotify, where software developers roam freely, and subway ads are written in pseudo-code. Boomers dress like they’re off to low-key festivals, and you can go long stretches of time without seeing a car, and not long between seeing Canadian tuxedos (that is denim-on-denim combos, for the fasionably-ignorant).
It’s bright and sunny at almost all hours of summer, and simultaneously disproportionately chilly.
I find myself with two hours to kill before taking my “end of year wrap up” bug report directly to Spotify’s developers - is Taylor Swift really my “most played” artist every year?
I am a little star struck to be hanging at the Spotify offices today though; these people are rock stars…of the Software Development circles. At my work we normally win arguments by concatenating our statements with “in Spotify they…”. It makes sense then for me to imbibe on some Colombian Courage to get me in the right frame of mind for the afternoon.
Here’s the list of what fine establishments you are in for today:
So, let’s start by painting the backdrop upon which our cafe-crawl shall be painted. Stockholm city is manageable in size and very peaceful, with what feels like 99% of people getting around on bicycle.
The Swedes have a penchant for bright, hygge cafes with trendy couches, hipster styled houseplants, and incredible music. No cafe has mastered this vibe better than at Slow Hands, where their in-house DJ is playing background bangers on some legit audio-candy gear.
Their natural wine selection is almost as incredible as the owners’ abilities to make matching moustaches look super cool (they’re identical twins, and super friendly). Once my facial-hair envy subsided I enjoyed a sensational pour over, delicious ravioli in an incredible buttery sauce, and perfect orange, red, and pet nat wines.
An absolutely palatial hangout space, with a banging menu, phenomenal coffee, and a decor that hints at retro spaceship-diner. Did I mention that the staff are really lovely too? I’m sad I don’t have time to enjoy their menu - there are many exciting things, but the rosti and toasted cheese sandwich sections both fascinated me the most.
Hopefully my Magic Roast stipend will enable me to sample one of these in the near future (made possible only by gracious and selfless donations from you, dear readers).
This looks to me to be a laptop friendly space, and I could happily call this my 127.0.0.1 for a few hours.
I utterly love this place, from the delightful staff to the moorish food. This is definitely more of a brunch-vibe cafe, and I feel like it would not be amiss on Cuba St (Wellington).
Revitalising Bloody Marys, banging hollandaise, own-brand habanero sauce, yummy coffee, are all reasons to come check this place out.
I vibed with this cafe immediately and completely. I loved the atmosphere and enjoyed utterly baking outside in the morning sun waiting for my incredible pourover to apparate. The extent of pourover choice here is utterly mind blowing, and my final beverage was executed to perfection. This cafe is simply a must-go, and no trip to Stockholm shall ever be complete without a stop here.
So. Much. Coffee. Yet another cool hangout space, with different methods offered, and the widest range of beans to buy in the most appealing of packaging. My pour-over rocked hard. This was a great spot to wander to while waiting for my brunch table to free up at Greasy Spoon.
This stop is a soft start to any day. I think this is a perfectly adequate experience - a commuter’s dream cafe, insofar as if this was in between my home and my office I would happily stop in here on my commute. It is a chain, everything is at a consistent level of nice, and it's only real fault is that it is close to some really exceptional cafes.
The Supreme of Sweden perhaps...
a cafe-roaster which has a high quality product and is making coffee-coloured waves all in the name of delighting customers. I would love to meet friends here and doordle in the sunshine outside, or (and maybe this is a theme) potentially bring a laptop (I spied some inside room which would give you peace for a Work From Cafe session). I spied pour overs on the menu, but went for a flat white, and was not disappointed. They know what they’re doing and they are clearly well established in their field.
Invite only; this is an office, not a cafe for the public
I saw two menu items here which I could not pass by. Cold brew with lemon, and iced matcha. I ordered both. I thoroughly enjoyed both!
The sweetness of the lemonade did drown out some of the mellow beauty of the cold brew, but the result was a light-hearted malty mocktail, satisfying and refreshing. The matcha - a classic - was just beautiful. While I personally make mine stronger and - I almost never say this - sweeter, I was so happy from first to final sip.
The views from their rooftop terraces (yes, plural; tiered) are incredible too, and I spent ½ my time working out how to get a job here. The fact that they have artists play at the occasional staff party is mind blowing, and having Fat Boy Slim rock out at your office seems insane. Still, my work did get Che Fu in for one staff party.. 💛
My photo doesn’t showcase the office at all as I felt like this might not be kosher to do so, and the no-photos culture of the Berlin club-scene is fresh in my mind.
That, and I signed an NDA.
Okay, I’m taking a liberty on a coffee-post, but my heart is racing by this stage and I need, more than anything, to sit down and recharge. I’ve walked through the old town, past noisy packed bars, to a wee spot called Cork Vinbar; the proprietor is from Portugal and has brought with him his passion and knowledge of wine. How could I not? Each glass of wine I have sampled has been exquisite; new to me, delicious, and utterly enchanting. I have found true love in the bottom of each glass…Cupid’s sweet sauce.
This is one of the coolest bars I have ever been to. The architecture of the “restaurant” side is high-ceiling, warehouse-conversion vibes, and interior design is minimalist with real character and splashes of sharp colour mindfully thrown around the place. The natural wines on tap are incredible, and their food menu is utter perfection with flavours that demonstrate the chef has a complete mastery of their trade (the deer tartare tasted even better than it rhymes).
Things escalate considerably as you go further down the rabbit hole to a luxury oubliette, except, only this is accessed via a utilities cupboard. Like Alice, your world is no longer to scale. Large couches (that are both trendy and comfortable) are generally facing a wall which has oversized art, an absolute monster of a monstera, and a very likeable DJ facing us throwing out epic yet chill beats. The speakers are my highlight of this entire space, and even they dwarf their already gigantic surroundings. The music was just amazing, and was mind-blowingly crisp. My entire life goal is to buy these speakers (and the DJ).
I’m getting older, and the fact that the music was there and perfect but also not too loud was hugely appreciated. I’m sure the high-ceilings throughout the venue actually contributed to how easy it was to hold normal conversations without yelling.
I’ve never seen everything I want in a night out executed to such a high standard all in one place. I cannot rate this venue highly enough, and I cannot wait to return.
And the other pictures
And that’s a wrap
Ant here - that’s a wrap. I’m exhausted just reading this! Matt is a legend and did all of this, for you!
You can keep up with Matt’s adventures on his Instagram. Fire him some love - he deserves it!
Check out the other great coffee tours Matt has done: