Vurma – a Stockholm hotspot that is more than a café

There are three Vurma cafés in Stockholm: Östermalm, Hornstull and Vasastan. The one on Gästrikegatan in Vasastan is the oldest and was opened 18 years ago by Neta Brandin. She had inherited a hötorgstavla (a really tacky painting) from her grandmother. When she turned it over she found a bread recipe glued to the back. It was then that Neta knew she would open a café that would be warm, welcoming, and full of love. The name? Vurma, of course.

Customers loved that Vurma was anything but your usual contemporary cafe and patisserie and as a result the small empire grew. Today, all of the cafes feature hötorgstavlor that Neta collected over the years. On takeaway cups you’ll find a singoallamotiv (a busty brunette throwing a come-hither look) as a tribute to Grandma. The three cafes all have the same kitsch style but each with a unique touch.

Cafe Vurma paintings

Vurma’s hearty salads featuring unusual touches like apple and horseradish crème are often found on the big food bloggers sites. Because the sandwiches and salads are prepared to order you know you’re getting the freshest ingredients. While all Vurma menus are similar each outlet serves some original dishes. At Vurma in Vasastan you can eat smoky bean stew with tabouleh & feta cream, as well as Vurma’s amazing veg curry with jasmine & mint yoghurt.

“Our menu has also crept into Gotlandska saffron pancakes with jam and cream,” says Klara. “That recipe came from a guy who used to work at Vurma.”

Café Vurma food

Klara met Neta quite awhile back and eventually leased Vurma Vasastan five years ago. With the exception of when she was studying Klara has worked in the restaurant business her entire life. In the 80s, she worked at Operakällarens, Bakfika, which was then owned by Tore Wretman. It was there that she learned how to prepare Swedish fare. When she came to Vurma, after 15 years as head chef at the hotel and hostel Zinkensdamm, it was the food that she focused on.

“I wanted to change the food, but not Vurma the café,” says Klara. “It’s a shame so many cafés are quick to renovate. For me, it’s important to allow Vurma in Vasastan to retain its feel, because it was the first.”

As a result Vurma Vasastan doesn’t follow design trends – instead it tells a story. While the neighbourhood that surrounds Vurma has developed over the years once you walk through the door you will find things have stayed the same, with the great coffee, interesting menu, and a warm welcome.

Where: Gästrikegatan 2, Vasastan
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Sponsored article in collaboration with Café Vurma.

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