Café Tabac – Stockholm, Sweden


It had been raining all day in Stockholm. After a visit to the magnificent Grand Palace we wandered the streets until we were soaked through. My jeans were so wet that they started to fall down. Worried that I may scare innocent bystanders, we sought the sanctuary of our hotel for a while, dried out, made a cuppa, and watched the news. But now we were hungry, and could not agree on a restaurant or even a style of cuisine. Armed with umbrellas, we ventured out once more. Tempers soon began to fray as we stopped outside every restaurant on our route, read the menu, and bickered over its suitability. Then finally, we found a haven in Café Tabac.

I do NOT need one of these!This trendy restaurant serves meals, snacks, or even a simple beer. Our friendly waitress led us to one of the stainless steel tables in a quiet corner. The tables are high, so the chairs are high. I am short. Much hilarity ensued while my children insisted on helping me up onto my highchair. Well, at least their mood improved once they had poked fun at their mother (cue heavy, long-suffering sigh).

The menu offers pasta dishes, burgers, sandwiches, and Swedish cuisine. We wanted to try tapas, and so ordered twelve dishes from a varied list of 27 tapas. Each pretty little dish contained the equivalent of two small portions, but we all got a taste of everything. The food wasn’t too oily, which can sometimes be the case, or too spicy. I normally avoid over-indulging in hot chorizo sausage (unless I have access to a bucket of peppermint tea), but here it had been cooked in honey. Very moreish indeed.

Happily, we had room for dessert but found it difficult to choose from the mouth-watering options on the menu. My daughter and I decided to order a Crème Catalane and a White Chocolate Panna Cotta, with the intention of swapping halfway through. Not a hope. The inconsiderate child took one spoonful of Panna Cotta and decided she didn’t want to share more than a teeny tiny taster. Mind you, she took a whopping big dollop of my warm Crème Catalane, which was lovely and creamy.

Although I have tasted better tapas at Café Andaluz in Edinburgh, I enjoyed my meal at Café Tabac. Meals in Sweden are taken at a leisurely pace, so we were not rushed, and that was greatly appreciated by this much put-upon mum (who does not need a boost to get up into a tall chair, thank you very much).

Café Tabac, Stora Nygatan 46, 111 27, Stockholm. Website.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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