Meeta's wonderful article about German bakeries on The Daily Tiffin reminded me of a topic I've been wanting to write about for a while: Swedish bakeries, or rather, Swedish cafés because that’s what they usually are.
A typical Swedish café is far from cool. Nor is it stylish, designed or anything like that. The proper word for it is comfortable.
Swedes drink a lot of coffee, but, unlike say the Italians, they don't consider it to be a hip or sexy thing to do. It's a comfort thing, something to do with your family on a Sunday afternoon. And that is how Swedish cafés look and feel – a little like being invited to your grandma on a sunday afternoon, in a lovely, maybe a bit oldfashioned house. The coffee isn't espresso (though some cafés have started to serve that too) but filter coffee, but there is lots of it. And oh! the good food!
Apart from delicious bakeries (a photo of these is still forthcoming, as I didn't manage to take one last time), most cafés will have a lunch menu. There is no big restaurant tradition in Sweden, but a lot of places traditionally offer lunch with coffee at really nice prices.
Outside lunch times you can usually order smörgas – stuffed or single-layer sammiches with lots of nummy fillings! The ones my café makes are especially nice – you can see one with shrimp on the left and one with meatballs on the right!
The toast bread is also homemade and delicious – one of the few types of Swedish bread I really love, as it’s unsweetened! Most Swedish bread is sweetened, as opposed to German – it’s an acquired taste I guess, but I crave nice black bread!
The real deal though, of course, is the sweets. Mmm. I’ll continue about them next time – with photos!