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coffee house chains and greasy spoons, the lunch options around the Aldgate East area have always been pretty unexciting, so when we heard there was a new Swedish cafe tucked away just off Commercial Road, we had to go and have a nosey. SMAKA, which means “taste” in Swedish, serves up fresh and healthy Scandi-inspired grub, from homemade muesli and eggs in the morning, to sandwiches, salads and a rotating selection of traditional hot specials at lunchtime.

There are a range of Nordic salads to choose from, plus the option to pimp it up with extra meat or fish, so you get both generous portions and lots of variety. And if you want a little lunchtime treat, you can’t go wrong with the sticky sweet cinnamon and cardamom buns, a perfect match for the killer Löfbergs coffee. We had every intention of grabbing something to go but the light, bright and airy cafe, decked out in Scandinavian design, was way more appealing than lunch al desko. And with plans to introduce outdoor seating when the sunshine eventually appears, there’s definitely going to be a return visit.

77 Alie Street, London, E1 8NH