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Where and what to eat for survive in Stockholm, without going broke!
Good morning crew!
I have recently been in Stockholm and I take this opportunity to tell you about, as always from my gastronomic point of view.
Although this seems to be the mildest Swedish winter in recent years, temperatures actually reached -16°C: we found the capital covered by snow… and we covered with layers of wool and thermal fabrics.
The atmosphere has definitely earned, thanks largely to the ubiquitous Christmas lights, but to experience the city was certainly more challenging!
Most of all, I missed street foods and markets, the main source of livelihood in my travels. But we managed to survive even there, in spite of the significantly higher prices.
I could then call this article: “How to survive in Stockholm, without going broke”.
Necessary introduction: the quality of food in this city is very good. The raw materials are excellent, and the focus is primarily to organic and local productions. Those who buy or consume shoddy products are looked bad. Preparations always seem to me very accurate. So, it’s really hard to find the low-quality food and prices are justified. In addition, menus have always a vegetarian choice.
Let’s start from the easiest meal: breakfast.
For us Italians, accustomed to sweet breakfast, Stockholm offers everything we could want. Because the real highlight of Swedish cuisine are sweets and baked goods of all kinds, such as Kanelbullar, swivels pasta with cinnamon and cardamom, that can be found in any corner of the city at any time of day (and have helped meet at least 50% of my daily food needs!). In addition, you will find the inevitable pepparkakor (biscuits with spices) and semla, puffs sweets stuffed with custard and whipped cream. I also tasted the prinsesstårta, a cake that alternates layers of sponge cake, red fruits and whipped cream, with the classic green marzipan cover. I had to take calories to resist those low temperatures, don’t you think?
If, however, you prefer salty tastes, you will easily find their extraordinary sandwiches with a thousand different flours and seeds stuffed with roast beef, feta cheese, coleslaw, vegetables, already from the time of breakfast.
Our favorite spot? The Vete-Katten and Fabrique!
Prices, as I said, are high in Stockholm, but many cafe provide water and hot coffee for free. Some even tea. And, during the day, I assure you that you will often want to stop somewhere to recharge, to have a snack and drink something warm. The Swedes call this coffee break with adjoining snack fika, and it’s a real rite to be celebrated at will throughout the day.
Having to walk around all day, often the real meal was skipped and consoled us with the great products of the Swedish bakeries, some real treasures. Both simple breads with a sprinkling of sesame, enriched with seeds, nuts and fruits, or in thin layers, perhaps accompanied by whipped butter. The bread in Sweden is outstanding! So good that it does not even feel the lack of a filling.
We granted only one day a brunch in the Södermalm district, at Urban Deli, an establishment that combines a cuisine to a small market, where in addition to an amazing salad with seared salmon, you will certainly find some culinary souvenirs, such as pepperkakor or marinated sardines.
Oh yes, in Stockholm they dine very early, so one evening we almost did find nowhere willing to cook us something. And there were 9 pm.
The sun goes down at 15:30, so everything is anticipated. Many shops and attractions close at around 17/18, then be prepared in your tour. But dinner is the best time to taste the real cuisine of a people. And what we ate? Hamburger!
Oh yes, getting late we found this micro-luxury burger chain, which is well worth a visit. It’s called Vigårda and has several stores in Stockholm. They apply also here the excellent local raw material rule I mentioned above.
Obviously, we did not stop to the hamburger! If you say Sweden, you say meatballs, so we tried Meatballs for the people (a name you can trust), where I tasted elk meatballs (but do not worry, there is plenty of choice of meat, and there are also fish or, as already said, those vegetarian).
In short, despite the cold and the resulting lack of street food, we survived without receiving threatening phone calls from the bank and having tasted some of the best things that Sweden and Stockholm can offer.
I missed only the salmon, which I adore, because I expected to find it in huge quantities.
Do they hide it in the most expensive restaurants?
Before listing you my top addresses, I close this article by telling you a story. The day of our departure we went to a supermarket to find some local specialties to bring home with us. Attracted by a vintage packaging, we bought a can of what looked like herring. We were not wrong at all: they were surströmming or sour herring, classified as the stinky food in the world. Do not believe us? Read this article and watch the video.
We did not have the courage to open them yet, we’ll wait till the summer, to do it in a place well ventilated. I’ll let you know!
The list of restaurants and bars:
55 Kungsgatan, Stockholm 111 22 Sweden
Different places in the center
Östermalmstorg, Stockholm 114 39Sweden
Nytorget 4, Stockholm 116 40 Sweden
13 Norrlandsgatan Stockholm, Stockholm 111 43 Sweden
30 Nytorgsgatan, Stockholm 116 40 Sweden
59 Folkungagatan, Stockholm 116 22 Sweden