Fika is a Swedish word that means having a coffee and something to eat but, more than that, it's a social institution; these coffee breaks (preferably two a day) have an almost sacred place in Swedes' hearts. Of course you can always drink your coffee at home or at work, but nothing beats a creamy cappuccino at your favourite café, a freshly-baked cinnamon bun from the bakery on the corner, or a proper espresso amidst the meetings and emails. Gothenburg is packed with really great cafés and java joints. We show you the way to the city's gems, for the freshest-baked buns and best-roasted coffee beans.
Gothenburg's best cafés
In this guide
The best cafés in Gothenburg
- Da Matteo – Great coffee all over town
- Crippas Café – A green veggie dream
- Kafé Magasinet – Stylish in Långgårdarna
- Cigarren – Best views over Järntorget
- Alkemisten – Where coffee turns to gold
- Lemon Garden – Inspiration from southern latitudes
- Viktors Kaffe – Black magic at Viktor's place
- Göteborgs Pepparkaksbageri – Oodles of pepparkakor
- Kafé Marmelad – Coffee in the heart of hipsterville
- Evas Paley – The café queen reigns
- Brödfabriken i Jonsered
- Steinbrenner & Nyberg – Cinnamon buns & champagne
- Lasse-Maja – Freshly baked each day of the week
- Café Husaren – Historic in Haga
- Junggrens – Old-school fika
- Brogyllen – Classic in the heart of the city
- Café Biscotti – Award-winning in Majorna
- Scandic Göteborg Central – Coffee and cake at the hotel
- Le Pain Français – French fika
- C – Good value fika in peaceful surroundings
- Restaurang Röda Sten – Art + coffee
- Kafé Zenit – Coffee in culturally historic setting
- Rosenkaféet – Romance in the park
- Cafés a little further afield
The best cafés in Gothenburg
Great coffee all over town
Enjoy own-roasted beans, homebaked buns and well-balanced java from Da Matteo's award-winning baristas. This popular coffee chain can be found at several locations around town. You can sit outside all year round at their narrow hole-in-the-wall branch in Viktoriapassagen and the Vallgatan café includes a roastery and bakery.
A green veggie dream
This watering hole for Majorna hipsters, music nerds and other nice folk serves vegetarian and vegan food in the heart of Majorna. Music streams out from the speakers, lending the café its special atmosphere, and colourful sandwiches, great coffee, salads and soups are the order of the day. The café also holds art exhibitions and live musical performances.
Stylish in Långgårdarna
This lively former docks area is home to numerous cool restaurants and cafés, including Kafé Magasinet, which has managed to lift unpolished concrete to new aesthetic heights. Sip cappuccinos from china designed by the owners' own in-house designer. In the evenings it turns into a modern beer café.
Best views over Järntorget
Sit in the heart of the action among regulars and caffeine-fiends. The outdoor area has a great vantage point over Järntorget's comings and goings. Drink coffee under the chandeliers in the historic locale.
Where coffee turns to gold
At Alkemisten they're passionate about coffee, sourdough and seasonal goodies. Come to enjoy carefully brewed filter coffee, tuck into a delicious brunch or just a yummy cake or pastry to go with your coffee. They work with a hundred percent traceable beans, so you always know exactly where your java comes from.
Inspiration from southern latitudes
Lemon Garden brunch café is exactly that - a garden. Walls are clad with leafy plants and the menu is filled with pancakes and smoothies to ensure replenishment for both body and soul. The brunch concept comes from Tulum in Mexico, where brunch has become extremely popular in recent years.
Black magic at Viktor's place
This stylish spot, with its Nordic tones and large windows looking out over the streets, serves all kinds of coffee. If you're a bit of a coffee nerd, or just curious about the pour-over coffee trend, you've come to the right place. Viktor welcomes you personally and as well as coffee he also serves various tasty snacks.
Oodles of pepparkakor
If you fancy trying an iconic Swedish biscuit, or perhaps you're just interested in a hundred years of bakery history, steer a course for Göteborgs pepparkaksbageri. They've been baking award-thinning ginger thins here according to the same secret recipe and using the same artisanal methods since 1924. They also bake buns and bread you can buy to take home with you and you can sit outside when the weather allows.
Coffee in the heart of hipsterville
It's not easy to bag a spot outside at this café in the heart of the trendy Majorna district. The muted colours inside create a peaceful contrast to the hustle and bustle inside and out. Excellent coffee, large slices of cake, quiches and masses of different salads and sandwiches are just a few of the choices available.
The café queen reigns
With a prime position on Avenyn, this long-running café reigns supreme on the city's café map. Drink freshly-pressed juices, munch homemade buns and muffins or enjoy a proper breakfast, lunch or dinner. The café is licensed and you can sit and work here all day long, re-fuelling with both coffee and more substantial alternatives.
This bakery and café, run by actor Eric Ericsson, is housed in the Jonsereds Fabriker former factory area. Stop by to enjoy breakfast, lunch or coffee in light, airy industrial premises. While you're there, buy some sourdough bread, buns and cakes and pastries from the artisanal bakery.
Cinnamon buns & champagne
Steinbrenner & Nyberg can be found at several different addresses in Gothenburg and Mölndal. Some of their outlets are bakery stores but at this branch you can sit and enjoy a great cup of coffee with your bun, or a glass of champagne - which may just be the perfect accompaniment to a classic cream-filled pastry. You'll also find their popular soup buffet and accompanying dessert buffet here.
Freshly baked each day of the week
This bakery with accompanying café is housed in a listed, rounded building from the functionalist school of architecture. The smell of fresh baking wafts out over the neighbourhood from early in the morning, all week long. On Fridays there's always a long queue as people stock up on sourdough baguettes and sweet treats for the weekend. Fairtrade organic coffee is served.
Historic in Haga
Imagine sinking your teeth into a cinnamon bun as big as your face. Here, at this historic café in Haga, you can do just that. Husaren is well-known for their gigantic buns, but they also serve other kinds of fika, as well as sandwiches and light meals.
Junggrens is a really classic Swedish café, serving filling sandwiches and no-frills coffee and cakes. They're well-known for their prawn sandwiches and you can watch the world go by from the outdoor seating area right on Avenyn. The café has been around since the late 19th century and it's said the Sweden's most famous artist, Carl Larsson, drank coffee here.
Classic in the heart of the city
The huge windows at this classic café look out over the canal and Västra Hamngatan. There are large flower arrangements dotted around and the counter is filled with tempting pastries, sandwiches and smoothies. They also serve lunch and if you want to kickstart the day with a city breakfast, sink into one of their armchairs and enjoy some freshly-baked goodies.
Award-winning in Majorna
This popular corner café is a favourite among fika fans and business lunchers alike. The small kitchen one floor up whips up delicious pastries as well as lunch dishes for meat-eaters, fish-lovers and veggies. During the summer months you can sit out on the sunny al fresco dining area.
Coffee and cake at the hotel
Enjoy a coffee or a light lunch in Scandic Göteborg Central's light, airy café area. Choose from substantial sandwiches, smoothies, wraps, bowls, cakes and pastries and hot and cold drinks - to eat in or take away. There are also work spaces where you can charge your phone or laptop.
Take your coffee in extravagant, Parisian-style surroundings. The waiting staff in their velvet bow ties serve up treats such as macarons, brioche and creamy mousse cakes. They also offer substantial salads, chevre chaude and quiches. If you want to buy a baguette to take home with you they sell bread from behind the counter.
Good value fika in peaceful surroundings
Drop by for top-notch coffee, a sandwich or a cake or pastry at unusually reasonable prices at this open-all-day restaurant inside Carlanderska Hospital. Both the dining room and the green outdoor terrace offer plenty of space for a quiet coffee break, but if you're on the go, you can also grab a take away.
Art + coffee
Check out the current exhibition in the art gallery before you sit down for a warming cup of coffee, or perhaps a cheeky Kaffe Karlsson (coffee with Baileys and Cointreau). They're famous for their weekend vegetarian and vegan brunch and during the summer months you can sit outside and look out over the entrance to the city's harbour.
Coffee in culturally historic setting
This café next to Djurgårdsparken is within walking distance of Gothenburg's Maritime Museum and several exciting music venues. It's a well-loved watering hole for students, music fans and Majorna locals. There are also plenty of parents here as the café is next door to a popular playground.
Romance in the park
In Sweden's oldest public park, with a rose garden just inside the entrance, you'll find one of the park's oldest buildings housing Rosenkaféet. Enjoy coffee, homebaked cakes, hot food and drinks in beautiful, leafy garden surroundings. Numerous happy couples have celebrated their wedding parties here under the scorched wooden beams, which survived a fire in 1967.
Cafés a little further afield
Archipelago restaurant with a café
Homemade food with a sea view - that's what you get if you visit Nimbus Öckerö in the Gothenburg archipelago. Come here by car or boat, or by bus and ferry. As well as simple lunches such as quiches and salads, they also serve tasty cakes and pastries, sandwiches and waffles.
Fika with a view
Enjoy excellent cakes and pastries and spectacular views at Vallda. The golf club's café is open every day from morning until evening, serving fika, artisanal ice cream and other tasty treats baked by Vallda's own pastry chef. During the winter months you can enjoy your coffee next to the open fire in the lounge, and in the summer the sunny outdoor dining area draws in the crowds.
Experience the archipelago
Between March and October you can enjoy the salty island life at this picturesque garden café. This yellow-painted wooden house serves up everything from coffee and cakes to classic dishes such as Västerbotten-cheese pie and pickled herring to fish soup and pastries. The house band plays live at regular intervals, along with other musical performances.
Coffee cabin in nature reserve
This little red-painted, early 19th century cottage within Delsjön nature reserve is straight from the pages of a fairytale. Stop off here when you're out for a nature walk and enjoy their homebaked buns and sandwiches all made in their own mini bakery. During the winter months you can warm up next to the open fire and in the summer you can borrow picnic blankets and eat and drink al fresco.
Organic in historic surroundings
The park and beautiful walks around Gunnebo Slott & Trädgårdar are worth a visit in themselves. After a stroll around the park a cup of freshly brewed coffee tastes specially good, perhaps accompanied by one of their award-winning lemon and almond buns. Everything is organic and vegetables come from their own gardens.