Stockholm is a haven for foodies. I quickly discovered there is certainly more to it than Swedish meatballs! The Swedes also take dining very seriously with 11 Michelin stars to the city’s name.
The food scene is a blend of culinary influences from preserving the Nordic traditions like pickled herrings, or lingonberry sauce ranging to inventive Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants, along with an array of international fusion bistros.
And fellow veggies fear not, although Swedish cuisine is heavy on the meatballs and fish there’s nearly always a vegetarian dish or several on the menu. You won’t be served up the standard risotto. I found the restaurants rather inventive and was never made to feel like I was eating an afterthought.
We managed to squeeze in a few lovely eats on our four-day break and here are my top five:
The Flying Elk
A stylish family gastropub in the old town Gamla Stam is little sister to the two-star Restaurant Frantzén. This is Bjorn Frantzén’s take on casual food blending Swedish classics with contemporary dishes, which is also reflected in the relaxed interiors
The à la carte menu offers diners fish and chips, a whole lobster to burgers. They have a kids menu too, which was a winner for me. The girls lit up at the dessert menu and the words ‘Organic candy bag’.
My starter of green asparagus with pistachio mayonnaise, curried pickled pearl onion and chervil was delicious. Mr S was also seriously impressed with his pan seared scallop which sat on top of truffle scrambled egg, ‘pommes paille’ and smoked brown butter.
The mains followed in the same creative vein. My first vegetarian dish in Stockholm came in the form of a celeriac casserole – barbecue style with a ragout of smoked cauliflower and king oyster mushroom, caramel, bee pollen and truffle. Whilst Mr S enjoyed the oven baked arctic char with butter glazed spring vegetables and trout roe.
Happily full, we couldn’t leave without sampling a little something from the dessert menu and shared an Eton mess – fresh strawberries, strawberry and lime sorbet, vanilla mousse, meringue with toasted coriander seeds and sun-dried strawberries
Definitely worthy of a stop when on a sightseeing day around Gamla Stan.
We enjoyed lunch at the brasserie Nytorget 6, located on a lovely square in the hip SoFo neighbourhood of Södermalm. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner it offers classic Swedish food with influences from Southern Europe.
Completely sold on my own little section of the menu labelled ‘For those who love green’, I ordered the salad with steamed broccoli, deep-fried halloumi, croutons and aioli.
There’s also reindeer heart on the menu. This time I refrained from doing as the Scandinavians do!
The girls indulged in some much-needed pasta and quaffed apple juice from a wine glass. The restaurant is only one part that draws the crowds, it also has two cocktail bars, a dance floor and small theatre in the basement. Clearly one not to miss!
When it’s time to fika (Sweden’s coffee break) probably the most instagrammed café in Gamla Stan needs to be on your list. Colourful Chokladkoppen sits in the middle of the charming main square in the old town. Right next door is it’s equally colourful sister café KaffeKoppen.
You can expect coffee galore along with sweet treats and their famed hot chocolate. We partook fully in the Swedish tradition with coffee, hot chocolate and a kanelbulle (cinnamon roll). The sweetly spiced doughy goodness was a real joy.
Fika is a Swedish tradition everyone must try and what better way than in a cosy little café.
If you want to splash the cash on one dinner in Stockholm, make it Gastrologik in the exclusive area of Östermalm. This one Michelin star restaurant is known for its innovative take on Scandinavian cuisine. We were blown away by our dinner: creative, delicious, beautiful and inimitable. Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr really know how to tantalise your taste buds and your senses. You can read more about it here.
A Stockholm institution with a culinary history that spans over a 100 years resides in Stureplan a public square in Stockholm. The classic brasserie with white linen tablecloths and uniformed waiters serves French bistro classics and a few Swedish ones, but seafood and shellfish is their speciality.
Sturehof is the place to be seen for late night drinking, we enjoyed an early dinner and feasted on grilled bread with creamed chanterelles and poached lightly salted cod with prawns, horseradish, poached egg and browned butter hollandaise.
My veggie dish of baked summer cabbage, truffle, chanterelles, Jerusalem artichoke and truffle emulsion was an utter delight! There is no kids menu as such, but we applied our standard trick of ordering a main and splitting it between the girls. I had food envy of their potato gnocchi, pesto of sage and hazelnuts, tomatoes and deep-fried artichoke. Now, that’s one fancy pasta! The flavours were on point along with the presentation and service. You can see why it’s been around for so long.
Have you been to Stockholm? Which foodie treats did you love?
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