Mårbacka Café. Foto Kjell Sundström.

The coffee and snacks culture in Värmland - The Swedish fika

The scent of freshly baked pastries and freshly brewed coffee are an unbeatable combination In Värmland we make pilgrimages to cafes and never before has the selection been greater. Whether you prefer black coffee or hearty pastries there is guaranteed to be something for you in Värmland’s café world. Here we recommend some favourites and talk about coffee and snacks trends with two experts.

Kafé Rosteriet – Paradise for the coffee lover

At Kafé Rosteriet in Karlstad coffee is at the centre. Manager Emma Johansson describes it as a little “nerd café” within the massive Löfberg coffee skyscraper. A place where you go to drink micro state coffee that cannot be bought in normal shops.

“We now talk about coffee in the same way that we talk about the character of wines. People are becoming increasingly interested in the different subspecies and tastes of coffee.

Emma believes that people are increasingly choosing black coffee in preference to latte and cappuccino, which were previously more popular. But what is most important of all is to have good raw materials and to offer good service.

“We want our guests to feel welcome here, this is why we treat them in the same way that you would treat your best friend. When you visit us it must feel like you are coming into our living room”, says Emma.

KaffeKvarnen – Tastes from the past

Close to the Klässbol Linnen Weaving Mill is their own café KaffeKvarnen. Here you can eat ice cream and homemade confectionary from their own bakery in premises constructed from an old flour mill.    The Managing Director Andreas Johansson explains that everything is made from scratch, which is noticeable in both the taste and in the response from the guests.

“People appreciate the taste of what we make. The older generation that comes here often feel that the pastries taste like they did in the past when our grandparents used to bake.

In addition to pastries, KaffeKvarnen also offers food and shrimptoast, which according to Andreas sells incredibly well. But their signature is of course their famous mill bun.

“The mill bun has of course always been the focus. It is a vanilla bun made from scratch without any artificial ingredients. It is exactly what people want to have - homemade pure and simple.

Mårbacka Café – A genuine Värmland pearl

At the café in Selma Lagerlöf’s Mårbacka you can enjoy homemade bread, vegetables from its own garden and apples from the manor house’s own apple trees. Mårbacka Café is known for its unique kama flour crêpes and fantastic Mårbacka cake, the reputation of which extends far beyond the borders of Värmland. If you fancy trying to bake it yourself you can find the recipe here:

More convivial coffee and snacks destinations in Värmland

The café at Naturum i Värmland

In the Karlstad city park Mariebergsskogen can be found the café Naturum i Värmland. You can come here to eat Värmland Cake amd other delicious cakes and pastries and enjoy the beautiful view from the large panoramic windows. Of course you can also buy your own coffee and snacks and have them in the park.

Niklasdams Trädgård

Delightful destination with a geranium museum, café and garden centre.  Besides wandering around the 400 different types of geranium you can also eat an irresistible geranium cake. A real highlight for all geranium enthusiasts.

Alsters Herrgård café

The cosy Alsters Herrgård café offers homemade bread and classic cakes and pastries such as Fröding Cake. A number of other businesses also operate here including an art gallery, manor house shop, craft shop and an exhibition of Gustaf Fröding.

Clarion Collection Hotel Bilan

A real hotel gem located in central Karlstad. Round off the week with a cup of Fairtrade coffee and delicious confectionary from the cake buffet at the hotel’s Lazy Sundays. What better way to end the week.

Kafé Tant Blå

Tant Blå is situated on the second floor of Ulvsby Herrgård. This is a little, unique café with a breathtaking view over the Fyrken Lakes. You can relax here with a book from the little library. or gather family and friends for a proper coffee party. Cakes and bread using raw ingredients from the local area are baked in the kitchen downstairs. Not the coffee of course - that still comes from Karlstad!

Värmland’s best cafés according to White Guide

  • Artisan Bread & Deli, Karlstad
  • Carli Choklad, Karlstad
  • Nordells Bageri & Konditori, Arvika
  • Östra Torggatan 4, Arvika
  • Swenströmskas Stenugnsbageri, Karlstad

Mårbacka Café’s own Mårbacka cake


  • 5 dl kama flour
  • 200 g butter
  • 2 ½ dl sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ dl water
  • 2 teaspoons baking powders
  • 3 drops bitter almond oil or 4 bitter almonds (ground)

This is what you do:

Whisk the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Mix the kama flour and baking powder in a bowl. Measure the water and pour in the bitter almond or or the ground bitter almonds. Gently stir the flour mixture and the water in the egg and sugar syrup alternately. Finally mix in the melted butter. Pour the syrup into a buttered and breaded mould and bake in the oven at 175 degrees C for 50 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and lingonberry jam.

Text: Marcela Elofsson

Cake buffet Clarion Colletion Hotel Bilan.
Photo credit: Cake buffet Clarion Colletion Hotel Bilan.
Cake buffet Clarion Colletion Hotel Bilan.
Freshly-baked cinnamon buns.
Photo credit: Freshly-baked cinnamon buns.
Freshly-baked cinnamon buns.
Mårbacka cake. Foto Ann-Charlotte Fägerlind.
Photo credit: Mårbacka cake. Foto Ann-Charlotte Fägerlind.
Mårbacka cake. Foto Ann-Charlotte Fägerlind.