The Eating Guide to Stockholm, Sweden

Sweden

The Scandinavian region up north has always seem a little separated from the rest of Europe. The temperature drops to an unfamiliar low, snow is a common sight, and this is also where the mysterious Northern Lights can be seen. Having not been to this part of the world before, I have always identified Stockholm with icy blue frozen lakes, and snow topped palaces and castles characteristic of illustrations in fairy tale books. The Stockholm of today is a city that marries the charms of the old city and the modernity of its flourishing design scene.

Design seems to be an innate thing in the Swedish capital. Every café looks designed with that recognisable Scandinavian aesthetic of allowing light to flow into its interiors, planting indoors to add a touch of airiness, and perfectly matching wood overlays with every piece of cream coloured furniture.

The café culture is strong in Stockholm, much due to the practice of having fika. Pastries are readily available anywhere. Even the 7-Eleven stores are well stocked with readymade sweets such as caramel pastries and brownies. This fondness for all things sweet is evident in Swedish cuisine, where you can find savoury foods complimenting fruity sauces or sides.

Look forward to: Seasonal greens and pastries

Nybrogatan 38 

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Where: Nybrogatan 38, 114 40 Stockholm, Sweden
What: Meatballs and mac & cheese
For: A trendy bistro 

The Swedish working crowd finds refuge in this trendy bistro perched along Nybrogatan street in Östermalm. Nybrogatan 38 is filled to its capacity at almost any time of the day. In the afternoons, you will find locals grabbing a quick lunch during work breaks. In the evenings, dinners will last through the night with drinks. Don’t just pop by hoping to get a seat. Make a reservation if you don’t want to get disappointed.

The food is an eclectic mix of local Swedish fare and other European food. If you’re expecting a typical meal of Swedish meatballs, you will get that with a smooth puree of mashed potatoes and a side of lingonberry jam. If you’re looking for something Italian, there is always the osso bucco with saffron risotto.

Speceriet 

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Where: Artillerigatan 14, 114 51 Stockholm, Sweden
What: Rotisserie grilled chicken
For: Date nights

Speceriet is the sister restaurant to the Michelin starred Gastrologik, located just adjacent to each other. Although priced lower than Gastrologik, Speceriet does not scrimp on quality ingredients, and the elaborate menu is fit for any gourmet. The intimate setting also makes it a popular date spot for couples.

The grilled char is a perfect dish of fish baked in a light buttery sauce with an assortment of juicy vegetables. But the real star of the evening is the bread and butter served upon ordering. The fresh bread and the natural taste of the butter makes this simple starter a standout on its own.

Magasinet 

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Where: Fiskaregatan 1, 185 32 Vaxholm, Sweden
What: Baked goods
For: A bright and sunny meal

Magasinet is located in Vaxholm, the capital of the Stockholm Archipelago – one of the closest region from the city where you can immerse yourself in nature. This quirky café is a combination of a bistro, yoga studio and a shop selling handicrafts and kitchenware. The stacks of pastries and crumbly homemade pies sitting on the countertop are enough to tempt you. The side salads of mixed berries and greens reflect the flavours of the Swedish countryside.

The Eating Guide to Gothenburg, Sweden

Sweden

To many, Gothenburg isn’t much to talk about and is often passed over as a sleepy unexciting city. But even sleepy cities have a certain appeal to tourists looking for a laid back holiday. With its quiet sprawling gardens, old school charm of the Haga District and benches overlooking sea views coaxing you to just sit back and relax, you might just feel like you’re selling short of Sweden’s second largest city.

Look forward to: Fish and seafood

Café Husaren

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Where: Haga Nygata 28, 411 22 Gothenburg
What: Fika
For: Breakfast

There is one thing every tourist must do when they go to Sweden – get a fika. Fika is a Swedish culture where people grab a coffee and some pastries. What better place to grab a fika than Café Husaren. The largest cinnamon buns in the world can be found in this classic cafe with roots in the 1800s. You can’t miss it when you walk along Haga District, with its window display of tempting pastries, cookies and cakes.

Trattoria La Strega

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Where: Aschebergsgatan 23B, 41125 Gothenburg
What: Risotto with breaded pike-perch fillet and sage butter
For: A treat

People who have been to Gothenburg must have heard of Trattoria La Strega. Garnering rave reviews on Tripadvisor, this restaurant went right on top of my list to visit. I even went as far as to make a reservation a few weeks in advance just to secure a spot. The rustic interiors and dark wooden tables resemble an Italian wine cellar. For starters, the Självinporterat meats is a good selection of cured meats. For the mains, I went straight for the owner’s recommended dishes, which was the pasta with king crab and risotto with breaded pike-perch fillet and sage butter.

Sjöbaren

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Where: Haga Nygata 25, 413 01 Gothenburg
What: Cod fish
For: Cheap Swedish food

Located in the heart of Haga District, Sjöbaren prides itself on serving fresh fish and seafood from the Gothenburg harbour. Their lunch sets are a steal, which changes daily. The menu is small but expect quality food due to their careful sourcing of ingredients.

Mellow Cafe & Bistro

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Where: Östra Klevgatan 4, 452 30 Strömstad
What: American Breakfast
For: A charming cafe 

Sweden is no lack of charming cafes that serve gorgeous breakfasts, and Mellow Cafe & Bistro is just one of them. The cafe is in Strömstad, a small town two hours away from Gothenburg. Think American style breakfasts with a Swedish twist. The menu is all in Swedish, but the friendly staff are more than happy to translate it for you.