Enjoy Stockholm's best semla 2024

- your guide to the city’s tastiest semla
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Is there anything better than a delicious semla? Around Fat Tuesday (‘fettisdagen’), Stockholm is filled with good semlor, and it is one of the year’s highlights for everyone who loves creamy goodies. The city’s cafés, patisseries, and bakeries are loaded with this iconic pastry. And no matter what your preferences are, you are guaranteed to find a variant that suits you. Today you can enjoy both a classic semla and newer innovations like semla wraps and princess cake semla.
Last updated: February 26, 2024
Semla, Shrovetide bun, Fat Tuesday bun, or lenten bun – dear pastries have many names. And this popular bun has a long tradition in Sweden dating back to the 16th century (it got today’s look in the 1930s). The idea behind the bun was to prepare people for a 40-day fast, and to cope with that you needed to fatten yourself with fat cream, wheat buns, and sugar. The successful bun just continues its triumphant march, and today we eat around 40 million buns per year in Sweden. About six million of those are eaten on Fat Tuesday.

What is a semla?


The traditional semla is a light wheat bun with a top filled with whipped cream and almond paste. Over the years, it has been joined by many visionary creations. How about semla wrap, coffee semla, Nutella semla, hot dog semla, wiener semla, croissant semla, chocolate ball semla, chia semla, or princess cake semla, a delicious combination of semla and princess cake. Many places also offer organic and vegan semlor.

Semla Stockholm

Find the best semla in Stockholm


In Stockholm, the semla has been around since 1679 and is usually sold from early in the year until Easter, what is called the lenten period. And for those of you who like this super-popular pastry, there is a gigantic selection. To help you find your way in the city’s semla jungle, we have created a guide to Stockholm’s best semla.

Whether you stick to the traditions and only eat semla on Fat Tuesday or wish that you could eat semla all year round, you can definitely find a favorite in the list. There are cafes, patisseries, and bakeries in the inner city as well as the suburban areas to enjoy the next time it’s time for semla! Which will be this year’s number one goodie for you?

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Ritorno

Ritorno semla
Looking for Stockholm’s best semla? Ritorno is a safe bet

Ritorno, located on Odengatan by Vasaparken in Vasastan, is one of Stockholm’s truly classic patisseries. Since 1959, Stockholmers and tourists have been enjoying good coffee and food here. And you can feel the history as soon as you walk in the door. Time has stood still; it’s like visiting a café from the 1950s or 60s. The charming decor of bygone days has been preserved – the room is full of comfortable chairs and sofas, paintings, crystal chandeliers, curiosities, and even a cuckoo clock. Add to that an extremely cozy atmosphere, and you’ll understand why this café is made for a cup of coffee and a tasty semla.

With a long tradition and its own bakery, Ritorno delivers fantastic pastries – not least semlor. That’s why they’re usually a hot candidate when the city’s semla fans rank Stockholm’s best semla. Enjoy a classic or try one of their innovative varieties such as karlsbader, kremla, gluten-free and vegan semla. Every weekend during the semla season, they also produce exciting weekend semlor with new creative flavors. Don’t miss out! Sit down at the tables or take your favorite semla home for a luxurious “fika”. If you can’t make it past Vasaparken, you can also find Ritorno on Torsgatan and Dalagatan.

3 addresses (click to see)
Odengatan 80-82, Vasastan
Torsgatan 20, Norrmalm/City
Dalagatan 41, Vasastan

Konditori Genuin

If you’re looking for a really good freshly baked semla in Kungsholmen, you should visit Konditori Genuin. This small café and stone oven bakery is located on Pipersgatan and focuses on sustainability. Therefore, they only use organic or locally produced ingredients when making semla and other pastries. Sit down in the cozy room with a cup of coffee and a semla, or buy one to enjoy at home or the office. In addition to the traditional version, there’s nut-free, vegan, and gluten-free semla.

For “fika,” there are also other coffee breads like cinnamon buns and croissants or pastries such as raspberry tart, Mazarin, and raw food balls (and don’t miss their delicious pralines). You can also have breakfast or lunch at Konditori Genuin and choose from a wide range of fresh wraps, sandwiches, and salads. In addition, you can order fantastic cakes or sandwiches for birthdays and other celebrations or buy homemade bread from the bakery. All are made from scratch with quality ingredients and great passion.

Pipersgatan 20, Kungsholmen

Café Pascal

Café Pascal, which can be found both in Södermalm and in Vasastan, is one of Stockholm’s most popular cafés. Here you have coffee in a cozy and stylish room with cool brick walls, and Café Pascal is known for its fantastic coffee from selected micro-roasteries.

During the semla period, it’s a given stop for those who love semlor in general and coffee in particular. Here they have created the unbeatable combination of semla and coffee – the famous coffee semla, made from the café’s espresso with, among other things, coffee wheat dough, almond filling, and creamy, fluffy coffee cream. No wonder Stockholmers queue for this treat, and a tip is to hurry there and grab one before they sell out. Following the success is the French-scented ‘cremla’, a mix of croissant and semla, which is also a big favorite among the guests.

Norrtullsgatan 4, Vasastan
Skånegatan 76, Södermalm

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Magnus Johansson Bageri & Konditori

For a really good semla, it’s worth going to the suburban areas. In Hammarby Sjöstad, you can find Magnus Johansson Bageri & Konditori (Bakery & Confectionery), run by the respected chef Magnus Johansson. The national team of chefs, desserts for the Nobel Banquet, and chocolate mousse provider for the Swedish king’s birthday are just some of the highlights on his resume.

The focus is genuine craftsmanship and high-quality raw materials, and everything is created with a lot of love. Of course, that includes the semlor, usually long-awaited by customers throughout the city. A slightly more odd but popular variant is the vegan semla in a fantastic pink color – 100% plant-based with beetroot, raspberries, pumpkin, and almonds. And why not surprise your best friend, your mom, your co-workers, or someone else you like with a semla card. The perfect gift for Fat Tuesday!

Lugnets Allé 7, Hammarby Sjöstad

Gunnarsons Specialkonditori

A true Stockholm classic. Ever since 1946, Gunnarssons Specialkonditori has provided gourmets and connoisseurs from all over Stockholm with everything from breakfast bread to coffee bread, cakes, and pies. Here, professional knowledge and tradition are deeply rooted, and every morning the smell of freshly baked goodies spreads all over Skanstull. And, of course, these experienced bakers are among the best in town when it comes to baking semlor. Their classic semla is baked according to the original recipe from 1946 with freshly ground cardamom filled with real almond paste and freshly whipped cream.

For those of you who like to avoid almond paste, there’s the vanilla semla which is instead filled with custard. And if you’re a whole bunch of semla fans, the semla cake is your best friend. If you want to enjoy the good stuff on site, there are two floors with genuine Swedish ‘fika’ culture – perfect for a short break from Götgatan’s lively pulse. Bring your best coffee buddy and settle down in the beautiful and classy patisserie.

Götgatan 92, Södermalm
Semlor Stockholm
Photo: Dani – Unsplash

Vallentuna Stenugnsbageri

How far can you go for the perfect semla? Definitely to Vallentuna and the family business Vallentuna Stenugnsbageri. 35 kilometers is nothing when the reward is Stockholm’s tastiest semla, as many people call it. How about a juicy, delicious wheat bun made of cardamom and sourdough, filled with a heavenly almond paste flavored with vanilla and chopped almonds. And as the finishing touch, decorated with lightly whipped cream and almond flakes. It’s pure perfection in semla form and no surprise that it has been named the best in tests in Stockholm several times. If you want something smaller, there’s a mini semla, and the almond paste opponents can enjoy a vanilla semla. Everything is home-baked from scratch and with the highest quality ingredients.
Allévägen 6, Vallentuna

Bergstrands Bageri

Bergstrands Bageri in Vasastan is a small craft bakery where everything is made from scratch from genuine ingredients. Here you can buy everything from bread to buns, pastries, and cakes. And, of course, a semla. The bakery’s semla is many people’s favorite, a classic variant with a large amount of cream. A guaranteed winner for those who like a little extra lactose with their coffee. And for those of you who are craving a creamy treat already in December, there’s also a saffron semla sold from the end of November until New Year.
Frejgatan 46A, Vasastan

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S:t Paul Bageri

One of the highlights of the bakery dense Södermalm is S:t Pauls Bageri. In a cozy room, where bakeries have been operated since 1930, a bunch of the city’s most experienced in the café industry have created a place where everyone is welcome. The counters are full of coffee bread and other goodies – including completely magical semlor. With home-baked fluffy buns, a yummy almond paste filled with pieces of nuts, lightly whipped cream, and a lot of powdered sugar on top, St. Paul’s Bakery has a natural place on many semla lovers’ top list. And if you prefer plant-based, their vegan semla is also a delight. Good job!
Sankt Paulsgatan 24, Södermalm

Tössebageriet

Name the person in Östermalm who doesn’t know Tössebageriet, a classic Swedish bakery and patisserie in Stockholm dating from 1920. Here, everything is baked with quality and care, and they still work according to the founder Helga Södermark’s vision: ‘Here at Tössebageriet we create pastries, we don’t produce.’ In recent years, several of the staff have been members of the National Chefs’ team and the Confectioners’ national team, and there are also winners of Confectioner of the Year. How about those quality marks!

But a long history doesn’t mean a lack of modern influences. For example, did you know this bakery invented the successful semla wrap that caught on in Sweden a few years ago? Baked according to a classic recipe, the traditional semla is also a big favorite. These juicy wheat buns with creamy almond filling and delicious freshly whipped cream are repeatedly awarded, are available in several sizes, and every year make people from all over the city head for Karlavägen. If you have coffee on-site, you can enjoy period decor with details that have remained since the beginning, including beautiful ceiling roses and ceramic tiles.

Karlavägen 77, Östermalm

Lillebrors bageri

Do you usually pass Rörstrandsgatan in Vasastan? Then you have probably seen the long queue outside the famous neighborhood bakery Lillebrors bageri. And around Fat Tuesday, this queue is extra long because world-class semlor are baked with superb craftsmanship. A perfect bun, organic cream, and a crunchy filling of almond paste with fantastic saltiness – it’s no surprise that customers return every year when it’s time for semla.

Lillebrors bageri is a place that leaves nothing to chance; it goes for everything from the raw materials to the design of the premises. The range is a bit smaller than in other places, but on the other hand, it means that the bakery always has freshly baked goodies on the counter. In addition, there is the opportunity to surprise customers with temporary pastries based on the season.

Rörstrandsgatan 12, Vasastan
Stockholm's best semla

Lundbergs Konditori

If you want to visit a classic Swedish patisserie in a well-preserved 40s environment, you should go to southern Stockholm and Gröndal. Several of Sweden’s most skilled bakers and confectioners work here with qualifications from both the Swedish Championships, the European Championships, and the World Cup.

In other words, the ambitions are high, so of course, they can deliver one of Stockholm’s best semlor; baked with love from ingredients of the highest quality. Traditional semla, semla in the form of ice cream and croissant, gluten-free semla, lactose-free semla, and vegan semla – at Lundbergs Konditori there’s something for everyone. It’s a given that the queue during the semla period is long with both loyal regulars and new customers.

Besides semla, there are also classic coffee bread, innovative desserts, bread, and everything else you could wish for when you’re in the mood for a delicious ‘fika’. Sit down at one of the tables, admire the checkered floor, and just have a good time.

Sjöbjörnsvägen 2, Gröndal

Vete-Katten

No list of Stockholm’s master semlor is complete without the Stockholm classic Vete-Katten, which has been on Kungsgatan since 1928. And it’s no surprise that this sweet combination of café, patisserie, and bakery has provided Stockholmers and tourists with everything from good coffee to pastries and buns for almost 100 years. The selection, the pleasant atmosphere, and the knowledgeable staff have given this historic institution an unthreatened location on Stockholm’s café map, and it’s often crowded from morning to evening. The semla is in a classic style – one with almond paste, one with vanilla filling, and a lactose-free one. A gluten-free semla muffin complements these, and they’re all divinely good.

In addition to the original, Vete-Katten has expanded the business with several smaller branches around the city. You can find them at the Central Station, Gallerian, Åhléns, Karolinska Hospital, and more. In other words, you have great opportunities to get one of their coveted semlor.

Kungsgatan 55, Norrmalm/City

Enjoy Stockholm’s best semla


There you have our guide to the city’s best semlor. Just to go out on the town and taste your way to Stockholm’s most delicious semla.

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