One of the most unusual and consistently delicious places to grab lunch in Gothenburg is Feskekörka – the fish church. It might look like a place of worship from the outside, but this A-framed local landmark was purpose-built as a place to buy fish. Takeaway is the cheapest option, but you can also tuck into the dish of the day at the upstairs restaurant for 169 kronor ($22).
2. Cafe Santo Domingo
The fact that there are so many independent record shops in Gothenburg, even in the age of Spotify, says a lot about locals’ love of music. One street in particular, Andra Långgatan, has a few great record shops all to itself. And one of these places – Dirty Records – doubles up as a decent café were you can sit down and slurp your way through a cup of organic Dominican coffee. It’s served in thick china cups without much ceremony but is strong enough that it fizzes on the tongue. Home-baked cakes are displayed on the front counter and there’s always a vegetarian or vegan soup steaming away just behind.
3. Gourmet Korv
Gourmet Korv lifts Sweden's takeaway hot dog tradition to new heights, with better quality ingredients and lots of unusual flavours. Here you can get a lamb chorizo made with cheese, a spicy garlic sausage, a German bierwurst, or even a ‘wild sausage’ made with venison, cognac and juniper. Lunch with a drink here should cost no more than about 80–100 kronor (from $11).
If you just want a coffee and some cake in cosy surroundings then there are better places in Gothenburg. However, if you’re interested in learning languages and meeting new people then this place is definitely worth a visit. Although the language sessions at Språkcaféet are free, the café asks that you spend at least 45 kronor ($6) on food or drink before you get stuck in. A sandwich or a beer should cover it.
5. Bönor och Bagels
Roughly halfway along Linnégatan, one of the city’s most attractive streets, this friendly café turns out great, reasonably priced coffee and squidgy-soft bagels that have been stuffed with fresh ingredients (if you didn’t already guess, the name means beans and bagels). There are around 18 different flavour combinations on offer, all with cute Swedish names such as Karin and Oscar. Fillings range from salami and brie to chicken with tzatziki and red onion. The veg and vegan options are generally a little bit cheaper.
All photos: Routes North
Steve Vickers is the co-founder of Routes North, a new independent travel guide for Sweden.