Where to find the best "semlor" Lenten buns in Stockholm
Updated 14 Mar 2019
"Semlor" Lenten buns (singular "semla") were traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday but are now available from January until Easter so if you're in Stockholm during this period don't miss the chance to sample these creamy, cardamom-scented delights. The competition among Stockholm bakers to make the best semla of the year gets hotter every year, and the quality varies considerably, so to make sure you find the real gems - from classic buns to creative takes on the traditional semla, as well as gluten-free and organic buns - we've listed the cafés, konditoris and bakeries where you're guaranteed to find a superb semla. Here are some of the best semlor in Stockholm - sample a few and pick your own favourite!
Semla of the year 2019!
Bullar & Bröd won Best Semla in Stockholm in 2019, in a major semla competition organised by Thatsup and Smakdomarna Stockholm. Their moist bun, almond paste full of almond bits and excellent whipped cream send Bullar & Bröd straight to first place.
Valhallavägen 65, Östermalm
Super semlor for charity
Stadsmissionen's Lenten buns were voted best in town in 2015, in a competition arranged by the Association of Swedish bakers and confectioners. Not too shabby! They use top quality ingredients such as real cream, and by buying your semla from this charitable organisation you're also doing your good deed for the day.
Stortorget 3, Old Town
A truly classic konditori well known for their popular semlor. They bake them here every year, and you don't need to worry about missing the season as they're sold from the beginning of the new year until Easter. Perfect for a long coffee break in one of the charmingly old-fashioned rooms. You can even order the semlor online, with gluten-free or lactose-free options.
Kungsgatan 55, Norrmalm/City
This excellent little bakery right next to the Mariatorget underground station is extremely popular for their bread, and their semlor are just as good. Moist, airy buns with a slightly coarser texture than usual, fine almond paste scented with bergamot and fluffy whipped cream to top it all off.
Swedenborgsgatan 4b, Södermalm
Semlor and ice skates
This uberclassic café between Odengatan and Sankt Eriksplan came in in second place in a major 2018 semlor judging. A perfect semla stop for anyone who fancies doing a little ice skating in Vasaparken before or after their semla.
Odengatan 80-82, Vasastan
Semla of the year 2018
Winner of the Best Semla of the Year award in 2018, in a test organised by a group of expert tasters. Delicious bread, top notch ingredients and unsweetened whipped cream sent Brioche on Alviks Torg straight to first place.
Gustavslundsvägen 34, Bromma
Wrap or traditional bun?
Tössebageriet was the talk of the town in 2015 when their award-winning pastry chef Mattias Ljungberg came up with the innovative 'semmelwrap' - an ordinary semla flattened out and rolled up, wrap-style, to make a handy takeaway variation on a semla. Traditionalists can of course stick to the bakery's prize-winning classic semlor buns.
Karlavägen 77, Östermalm
Worth a detour
Drop by Konditorn & Bagarn in Farsta for breakfast, lunch or a coffee or to buy freshly baked bread, pastries and other goodies. They also took third place in a 2018 judging of the best semlor of the year.
"200% tasty semla"
Fotografiska's head chef Paul Svensson has created a semla that doesn't just taste good but actually does good - it's made of leftover organic almonds and deep-frozen buns from the museum café, produce that would have been thrown away otherwise. The semlor are topped with organic cream and served in the café.
Stora Tullhuset Stadsgårdshamnen 22, Södermalm
Haga Tårtcompani och Bageri's first class semlor are filled with cardamom, almond paste with Tahitian vanilla and real cream - well worth waiting for. You can also buy them online.
Artisan bakers Brunkebergs Bageri, one of the best bread bakeries in town, often come up in discussions about the best semlor. Large, round 'lids' and the bakery's own special filling with almond paste and thickly whipped cream are part of the secret. No additives of any kind.
Dalagatan 9, Vasastan
Artisan bakery in Birkastan
Tuesdays during semla season are dedicated to the beloved bun at this artisan bakery on Rörstrandsgatan, and it's always packed. The semlor are large, well made and extremely popular, so you'll need to hurry if you want to get your mitts on one.
Rörstrandsgatan 12, Vasastan
The new nacho semla
Do you like new twists on old classics? Then get yourself down to Mr Cake, where star pastry chefs Roy Fares and Mattias Ljungberg have launched the new nacho semla. The nacho semla consists of "nachos" made from wheatflour dough flavoured with cardamom, served with cream and almond paste to dip into.
Rådmansgatan 12A, Östermalm
Petit choux semla
Kalf & Hansen has taken temptation to the next level - they've created a petit choux semla with walnut filling, lemon cream and toasted almonds. A must for semla lovers.
There's masses to choose from here. If you don't feel like a classic semla with luxurious almond paste, perhaps you'd prefer a semmelwrap. There are also whole semla cakes to share with a group. Vegan semlor too, and all their products are lactose-free.
Popular sourdough bakery in Östermalm
Small and very popular hole in the wall famous for being sourdough pros. They serve traditional semlor baked in small batches several times a day to be eaten in peaceful reverie at home. Valhallabageriet bakes semlor from January until Easter.
Täby talking point
The Lenten buns at Viggbyholms Stationscafé in Täby draw in semla fans from near and far, and they're a regular feature every year. Their semlor are made entirely from scratch using cardemom, whipped cream and coarsely chopped almonds. They also make a gluten-free semla roll.
Södervägen 5, Täby
A small organic bakery and café on Kungsholmen that sells semlor like hotcakes. Pick up your Lenten buns to go or eat in in the cosy café along with a cup of coffee from the local roastery Johan & Nyström.
Parmmätargatan 7, Kungsholmen
Award winners beyond the city centre
This old konditori has become a really popular spot, partly thanks to their award-winning semlor. The butter-rich wheat flour buns also come with alternative fillings, such as vanilla cream, if you're not a fan of almond paste. Lactose-free cream and gluten-free buns are some of the other options.
Celebrate their birthday on Shrove Tuesday
This family-owned bakery and konditori opened on Shrove Tuesday 2015, and naturally they serve popular semlor, baked from scratch without any additives or pre-prepared elements.
Folkungagatan 58, Södermalm
Reliable semla spot
A good old-fashioned konditori on Södermalm whose semlor, finely powdered with icing sugar, are always popular during semla season. The buns are classically composed, with proper almond paste and freshly-whipped cream. The go-to place for numerous semla fans leading up to Shrove Tuesday.
Götgatan 92, Skanstull/Södermalm
Gorgeous buns at one of the city's favourite bakeries
This popular stone-oven bakery (which also has branches in London) produces some of the best bread in the city, and they also make a mean semla, which coarsely ground cardamom, beautifully piped whipped cream and thickly powdered triangular lids. Branches all over town, see below for a selection.
Creative semla collection
This H&M-group café on Drottninggatan has gone all in with an entire semla collection. Choose between a "freakshake-semla" drink, an organic rawball semla or overnight oats with almond paste and cardamom. All vegan. For slightly more conventional semla fans there are also mini semlor.
Drottninggatan 56, Norrmalm/City