Where & What We Ate in Stockholm
This beautiful city on the water had me living like a pescatarian for the weekend and I'm far from complaining. Here's the breakdown of all the restaurants we visited.
I have to first toot my own horn because damnnn did I picked out some amazing Stockholm eateries! Toot toot! It just goes to show you that doing your homework really pays off and can make a trip that much more special. In this post, I've documented everywhere Kalo and I went for lunch, fika, dinner and drinks, in the hopes that you all will be inspired to visit and dine in Stockholm someday soon. Warning, warning do not read this if you are hungry because below you'll find all kinds of mouthwatering descriptions and photos. First up is lunch!
So I'm not huge on lunch. On any given day, it's the one meal that I have no problems with skipping, but in Stockholm I had one of the best lunches ever in my life. And yes, I do keep track! My all-time favourites include mussels on the beach in Positano, carpaccio in southern France and now the salmon from Oaxen Slip has made the cut. Imagine perfectly poached salmon that's served cold along with thinly sliced, slightly pickled fennel and warm boiled potatoes, all combined in a dill mayonnaise-base sauce. The dish was all about contradictions ... light yet luxurious, tart but creamy and comforting while seeming contemporary at the same time. You all have to stop at Oaxen and if you do, I recommend ordering from the weekly specials menu, it's where I found this hidden gem. Plus, it's always fun to vibe with a chef's exclusive creations.
Two more standout lunches came from Nystekt Strömming and Meatballs for the People, both of which need to be added to your "want to go" list right now. The first is an outdoor food stand serving up fried fish with all of the fixings. It was at Nystekt Strömming that I ate herring for the first time ever and good lord almighty it is fishy. But trust me when the herring is eaten with pickles, buttery mash and red onions, something truly magical happens. Be brave, it's worth it.
Next, we have to chat about Meatballs for the People, the only restaurant where Kalo and I ditched the seafood and opted for lighter-than-air meatballs. This dish reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner (where are all my Americans at!). All the rich, hearty flavours and smooth textures blend together and are brightened by the pickles and lingon berries much like the cranberry sauce. Oh and everything gets drenched in gravy, it doesn't get much better than that.
I'm going to make a bold statement and say that the best fika in Stockholm comes from Vete-Katten on the corner of Kungsgatan and Klara Norra kyrkogata. Not only is this 1920s-styled bakery adorable on the inside but their pastries, cakes and buns are top notch. We tried 3 different bun flavours starting with the traditional cinnamon then moved on to vanilla custard and my new favourite, toscabulle. This bun was all kinds of flaky, buttery, toasty, almondy, caramely, sticky goodness. That enough adjectives for ya?
Another great fika spot is Chokladkoppen, right in the heart of Gamla Stan. This tiny, hole-in-the-wall café sits in Stortorget Square and is the perfect place to rest your feet while surrounded by all the colourful facades. No joke the cinnamon rolls are the size of your head so they are perfect for sharing and I loved that the coffees always came with a heart <3.
Dinner is by far my favourite meal of the day and man oh man did Kalo and I have some amazing meals on the first and last evenings of our visit. Sturehof was our introduction to Swedish cuisine and what a great way to start the trip. This classic restaurant is massive with outdoor patio seating, multiple dining rooms and even a courtyard pavilion of sorts that is enclosed by fish markets, butchers and cheese shops. My first fish dish in Stockholm came drenched in a lemon butter sauce topped with shaved truffles. Can you say YUM? And Kalo's beautiful whole fish featured sautéd mushrooms and crispy pancetta but the real star was the pickled red onions. These people really know their way around pickling! We washed everything down with crisp white wine and were on our merry way with happy, full bellies.
On our last night in Stockholm we went to a fusion restaurant called TAK, located on the roof of HOBO Hotel, where we stayed (super cool hotel by the way). Kalo's reaction when I told him it was actually a Japanese-inspired restaurant was hilarious. Needless to say he was less than thrilled but as always he just had to have a little more faith in my selection abilities because the food was gorgeous. I mentioned in HFL's March Restaurant Hot List that I wanted to try the whole sterling halibut and that is exactly what we did. Never have I ever had fish cooked so perfectly and we asked our waiter for extra miso butter sauce on more than one occasion because it was just that good. The one disappointment was the amazing view we were promised. We were expecting to see Stockholm lit up at night but instead we could only see our own reflections in the windows. Kind of a bummer in terms of ambiance.
I have to say that Swedish lagers and pilsners are some of my new favourites. Pleasantly fresh are the words that come to mind. The only problem is that the beer glasses are too small and the foamy heads too large but maybe I'm just brainwashed by the massive pints we get at the pubs here in London. Regardless, if you are a beer lover, do yourself a favour and check out Tweed, Akkurat and Bar Central. I give Tweed the "best vibes" award because of its cozy chairs, plaid wallpaper, funky decor and dim lighting. Akkurat wins hands down for "largest and most unique beer selection." And finally, Bar Central gets my "belly up to the bar" award because its a great place to feel like a local and chat with the bartenders.
That completes your HFL food tour of Stockholm. It was one delicious trip and as you are learning I am one hungry girl. I feel so blessed that I get to explore the world and eat at all kinds of different restaurants with my honey. Now that you all have the inside scoop into Stockholm's food scene I'm curious if there will be some travelling for a few of you in the near future? If so, give me a shout and happy travels, skål!