Edited by Holly Stark
Swedish food has long been hailed for its health benefits; good quality salmon lax high in omega 3 fats, lean meatballs and oat milk. From the Stockholm food market serving traditional Swedish desserts to the smorgasbord of cool restaurants we have in the city, choosing where to eat in Stockholm is an endless and ever-growing task.
With the latest uprising of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, the Stockholm food scene is not to be missed. For those who want to experience the best of the city’s culinary world without confusion, check out this roundup of top places to eat in Stockholm to embrace the very best of traditional Swedish food, Swedish culinary basics and fusion flavours.
Swedish meatballs, anyone?
Köttbulla are famous Swedish meatballs made of pork and beef. Stockholm is known globally for its meatballs, so it really is a must-try dinner for any meat-eater. The sides are special too; expect mashed potatoes, lingonberries, rich gravy, and pickles. Each restaurant has its own recipe, with chefs working hard to create the most refined, traditional, or inventive flavor-packed meatballs imaginable.
Meatballs for the People is a quirky restaurant in Södermalm with delicious melt-in-the-mouth meatballs. Meatballs here are made of whatever’s in season; veal, pork, beef, elk, deer, wild boar, and even bear are just some of the options that have appeared on the menu. For vegetarians, the spot offers weekly specials of soup and salads, as well as tasty cakes and pies.
Meatballs for the People is a popular spot, often regarded as one of the best restaurants in Stockholm, so make sure to reserve a table in advance to prevent missing out on their creative approach to traditional Swedish food in Stockholm. It’s located on Nytorgsgatan 30 in Södermalm and is open from Sunday to Thursday 11am–10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to midnight.
Scandinavian Salmon Lax
Generations of families fishing out the North and Baltic Seas means Swedish locals are truly excelling in the art of cooking and preparing seafood and fish; from curing salmon or Gravlax to pickled herring Sil, and pan-fried herring stekt strömming.
Seafood, therefore, plays a crucial role in any Stockholmer’s diet, and trying any seafood or fish dish is highly recommended while traveling through. Try salmon with cream and wild mushrooms at Lisa Elmqvist located in Östermalm.
This sit-down restaurant is a gem with sharing tables. The fish is fresh from the local market and great if you want a taste of authentic Swedish dishes and a truly local experience. It's expensive, but worth it for the most tender Gravlax, and certainly not out of keeping with other restaurants in this pricey capital. As a much-loved Stockholm restaurant, the place can get pretty busy, so it’s always best to make a reservation.
Calling all meat lovers. Try Entrecôte
With an emphasis on local, organic meat, quality cuts, and unique concepts - Stockholm houses an abundance of restaurants specializing in grilled steaks for carnivorous meat lovers. At Djuret, meat-lovers have the world at their fingertips; beef, wild birds, venison, goose, moose, and even horse.
This place is all about animals from land and sea, with a uniquely ever-changing menu that chooses a single animal rather than serving multiple different types. This kitchen claims to be more organic and environmentally friendly, avoiding unnecessary slaughter and using every edible part.
Alternatively try Griffins Steakhouse at Klarabergsviadukten, for an active, friendly vibe. The restaurant is home to an international and Swedish fusion menu including entrecote with chili and onions, flank steak from Nebraska served with corn and chili, and Swedish steak with sun-dried tomatoes and green beans.
Stockholm’s dessert scene offers plenty of classic dishes to satisfy your sweet tooth. Most Stockholm restaurants serve dessert, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try the classics. Prinsesstårta or princess cake is perhaps the best-known; slicing through a spring green marzipan-covered dome reveals a sponge cake with layers of cream and a fruit filling.
Lesser known but very traditional is the Swedish cheesecake or ostkaka. The cake has a unique texture and flavor of almond. It’s served with a generous dollop of jam and cream to top it off. Daim (chocolate-covered toffee) made its Swedish appearance in 1953 and has become a worldwide favorite. Daimtårta is a yummy cake involving pieces of Daim folded into it.
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