If next time you find yourself doing something especially fashionable in London and for a split second you forget where you are and start wondering if you’re actually in, say, Malmo or Reykjavik, you’d be forgiven. London, it seems, is in the throes of an all out love affair with all things Scandi.
Attempting to keep track of all these entrepreneurial nods to Nordic cool that continue to spring up these days can be a never ending, mind boggling task. Looking to shop for vintage Danish design furniture while grabbing an espresso and an open faced smoked salmon sandwich? How about some made Swedish meatballs? And who’s up for Icelandic cheeseburgers?
With the onset of winter making its frosty approach, here’s a list of just a few of the many Scandi-inspired establishments where you can stay cosy, stylish and warm. This list is focused on food and drink, but don’t be surprised to discover a range of Scandinavian furniture, clothing and other businesses around London.
Chase & Sorensen
238-B Dalston Lane, E8 1LQ
One of east London’s best cups of coffee. Like that table you’re seated around or maybe even the chair you’re sitting in? It’s for sale. One part coffee and sandwich shop, one part vintage Scandinavian furnish store, the vibe is relaxed and friendly. When you go strongly consider having an open faced smoked salmon sandwich. Topped with london’s own Hansen & Lydersen’s traditional Norwegian smoked salmon, it’s a savoury local treat!
Cooper & Wolf
145 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LA
Cooper & Wolf in up and coming Clapton offers a delectable assortment of Nordic dishes such as smoked salmon from Hansen & Lydersen (yes, you’re right to detect a theme), home made Swedish meatballs and pickled herring along with plenty of healthy vegetarian options. The coffee here is great – as is the appreciative local vibe.
161A Brick Lane, E1 6SB
Brick Lane’s famous for its myriad curry houses, but that’s no reason to give this mainstay of the Scandi dining scene a miss. Home made gravadlax with dill mustard sauce? Yes please!
61 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PP
When Danish/Swedish tag team Bronte (from Denmark) and Jonas (from Sweden) opened Scandinavian Kitchen in 2006, the plan was simply to make available to themselves and their ex-pat communities all the food and drink they missed from back home. Little did they realize that come six or so years down the line, all things Scandi would become so staggeringly trendy here in London. Now the duo seem to be sitting pretty peddling all sorts of Scandinavian treats from their homey and practical little cafe and shop near Oxford Circus
Tommi’s Burger Joint
58 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2NX
With a one-two punch capitalizing on both the Nordic and the burger crazes happening here in London, Tommi’s comes compliments of Icelandic entrepreneur, Tomas Tómasson. Tomas is famed among his Icelandic compatriots for having launched nearly 20 restaurants and hotels (including the Hard Rock Cafe) in his native country and reckons now’s the time to expand beyond his tiny island’s shores and help feed London’s currently “huge appetite” for burgers. Tomas might be on to something too. These are tasty additions to the London burger scene indeed! When you go, make sure to try the home made cocktail sauce. Apparently, this is one of the things that made his “joints” so craved-after back in Iceland.
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Photo: Chris Osburn