Malmö, like most of the developed world, is littered with coffee chains. From
Starbucks (yep, they finally made it here too) to Swedish chains like Espresso House and Wayne’s Coffee, and Scandinavian ones like Joe & the Juice (literally my least-favourite café in Malmö – sorry Joe!). They’re everywhere.
While I’m a big fan of the occasional Starbucks gingerbread latte, I’m also a big fan of supporting the local economy, and spending my money in sustainable and environmentally aware outlets. Hence my devotion to finding sweet little independent spots instead.
As a Swede, I’m above all a huge fan of the concept of ‘fika.’ It’s essentially, the act of having a coffee break together – with or without coffee, and with or without cake. You can read more about ‘fika’ here.
During a lifetime of fika in Malmö (even when I lived abroad I’d of course have fika every time I visited), my tastes and the café scene have both evolved. Some golden oldies like Hollandia, Malmö’s oldest café, have admittedly stood their ground and are also worth visiting, but here I’ve listed my four favourites right now.
This is one of my newest favourites, and not just because Fyn is near my house, I promise. Fyn used to be known as Chez Madame and is still a fully vegetarian café, with a relaxed vibe. It’s located near Folkets Park (People’s Park) and about a 15 min walk from Möllevångstorget (vibrant square with a busy fruit & veg market), and a great place to stop off for a coffee during a walk through the Möllevången, Triangeln and Sorgenfri areas.
The decor is very minimalist Scandinavian, and the café is one big open room with both long shared tables and smaller tables. I’ve always found a space here (a big plus, as Fyn is a bit out of the way for most people), and you don’t feel rushed off your feet to give up your space the minute you finish your coffee. Stay, play a board game, do some work on your laptop. Whatever.
The coffee is good and decently priced, and they offer sweet homemade treats. Do try their amazing “dammsugare” (hoovers), in particular.
My summer favourite, Kafé Agnez, has Malmö’s cosiest courtyard, if not the cosiest café courtyard I’ve ever seen. It’s sheltered from the wind, has shaded and sunny parts, and there are even multiple tables covered by a plexiglass roof to protect you from any sudden rain showers.
It is a firm summer favourite however, as the indoor seating is fairly limited. It’s still cosy but offers less privacy as the tables are generally very close to each other. If you’re vegan though, it’s worth coming here all year round for their cakes and lunch/brunch buffets.
Kafé Agnez focuses heavily on organic and sustainable produce. The lunch buffet and “dish of the day” are decent and the interesting salads, tasty bread and flavoursome spreads will fill you up.
The café can be a bit hard to find as it’s on a quiet mostly residential street, so make sure you look up detailed directions. It’s in the Gamla Väster (translation: Old West) part of the city centre, very near the vast Kungsparken/Slottsparken parks, and only a five minute walk from Lilla torg (translation: Little Square).
Website: You’ll have to check out their Facebook page instead
Address: Agnesgatan 11, Malmö
Opening times: See Facebook
Systrar & Bröder
This café has been a regular in my life for almost a decade. I went to high school nearby and we would frequently waste away our afternoons or long breaks in Systrar & Bröder (translation: Sisters & Brothers). Nowadays I usually do go here with my sister, as their glutenfree, dairyfree and lactosefree selection is incredible.
While I’ll concede it isn’t the cosiest place to sit (though still passable), the diverse array of sweet and savoury goodies makes it worthwhile. Systrar & Bröder isn’t a vegetarian or vegan café but caters excellently to both groups.
I especially recommend trying their breakfast buffet (also on weekdays), chocolate balls, and bread. After your fika you can go for a stroll south past Malmö Opera to Pildammsparken – a huge central park with pavillions, rose gardens, a pond, amphi theatre, and several fun playgrounds.
Most of my favourite indy cafés are a little bit out of the way from the main central pedestrian street, but Lilla Kafferosteriet (translation: Little Coffee Roastery) is smack in the middle of the city.
As you might’ve guessed, they even roast their own coffee (available for purchase to brew at home). While we’re not coffee connoisseurs at home, we do usually splurge on Lilla Kafferosteriet’s Christmas roast in December. And their in-store coffee all year around.
In summer you can enjoy the shade of their cobbled courtyard, and in winter you can warm up in their vintage sofas upstairs. The 17th century building is split up into several small rooms, decorated with vintage furniture and paintings. It can get a bit noisy, but the atmosphere is generally cosy nonetheless. If you go here on a cold weekend, expect to scramble to find a seat.
Lilla Kafferosteriet is quite pricey for Malmö, especially the cakes and sandwiches. Though it’s only a couple of crowns more expensive than the mainstream coffee chains nearby, with a significantly better-quality menu.
After your fika, continue along Malmö’s pedestrian street towards the canal (either north or south – you’re in the old town so will hit the canal no matter which way you walk). Or wander east towards Skomakaregatan and Lilla torg out towards the area of Gamla Väster, or even beyond to the wonderful parks Slottsparken and Kungsparken.
If you can’t get enough of fika while you’re in Malmö, I recommend the blog Fika in Malmö, where Pernilla has been fikaing (it can totally be a verb!) her way through the entire city. She has both a Swedish and English version of the site, so you can browse dozens and dozens more Malmö cafés in whichever language you prefer.