Every Swede learns in childhood that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We even invented the Food Plate Model. Sweden has a unique breakfast culture. Our roots are firmly grounded in peasant traditions, and breakfasts are generous. Coffee, fruit, eggs, and sandwiches on hearty bread with cheese, ham or swedish spreadfriendly liver pâté (leverpastej) comprise a fairly common breakfast combination. And Stockholmers are no exception: meeting for breakfast at a hotel or restaurant is a popular trend at the moment.
Health and streamlining the workday aren’t the only reasons that breakfast has become the most popular time of day to meet in Stockholm. It is also an excellent occasion for less formal meetings. In Stockholm, breakfast get-togethers are personal, unpretentious, and perfect for building relationships.
“Stockholmers have returned to their roots and done something new and exciting. We’re picking up an old tradition and taking it a step further, which is apparent in the city’s restaurant scene, and breakfast is no exception. More and more Stockholmers are choosing to indulge in big breakfasts out. That part has definitely gained a strong foothold, and likely has to do with the fact that people are increasingly opting for breakfast meetings rather than lunchtime ones. People would rather have a substantial breakfast and a simple take-out salad for lunch,” says Daniel Lindeberg, creative director of Wienercafeet and former Michelin-starred restaurateur in Stockholm.
Don’t miss a classic breakfast
Breakfast menus in Stockholm have a huge selection, and a classic breakfast looks like this:
- Coffee, possibly the most important ingredient for many people. Sweden, by the way, is among the countries with the highest coffee consumption in the entire world.
- A sandwich with toppings such as ham, cheese, sausage or liver pâté is a must.
- A hard-boiled egg with Kalles Kaviar (smoked and salted cod roe paste, served as a sandwich topping or on eggs).
- A bowl of muesli with filmjölk, a delicious, tangy dairy product similar to yogurt or kefir. And porridge, usually oatmeal with applesauce and milk, or rice pudding with strawberry jam and milk.
- Fruit or juice.
Stockholm: Breakfast 2.0
Our passion for brunch in Stockholm is linked to the fact that we are highly receptive to new trends. We are quick to embrace new influences and try new dishes and flavors. But when it comes to breakfast, the most important factor is to constantly advance our classic morning dishes.
Bread still forms the foundation of breakfast, according to Daniel Lindeberg, who says that no other city in the world bakes as many varieties of bread as Stockholm. There is a bread for everyone here, from light, airy baguettes, to thinly sliced dark rye.
Sourdough, followed by crisp bread (knäckebröd), is the most popular bread choice in Stockholm. According to one survey, no fewer than 40 percent of Stockholmers prefer sourdough bread. Indeed, Stockholmers take their sourdough seriously. Urban Deli in Södermalm is home to the world’s first sourdough hotel, for example. Stockholmers can have their sourdough starters cared for and fed here for SEK 200 per week. We even have Sourdough Day, which is celebrated on the second Saturday in April. Sourdough baking is a thousand-year-old tradition that is experiencing a renaissance among GI-interested bread lovers. The acidity in sourdough bread keeps blood sugar low and steady, resulting in a longer sense of satiety than from bread made with yeast.
Crisp bread (knäckebröd) is the other favorite among Stockholmers. Swedes have been baking crisp bread since the Middle Ages, and it is on the table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a matter of course, served with toppings such as hard cheese, ham, or leverpastej, which is a spreadfriendly liver pâté. In fact, crisp bread is what Swedes living abroad miss the most. Salvation can be found at the nearest IKEA, which sells the beloved bread.
Porridge is a rising trend in Stockholm right now. The classic oatmeal has seen a renaissance, thanks to a growing interest among Stockholmers in traditional cooking. Health-conscious Stockholmers are replacing oats with barley, which has a better effect on blood sugar. Porridge 2.0 is topped with fresh blueberries, cinnamon, almonds, and coconut, then finished with milk.
According to Daniel Lindeberg, Stockholmers consume a relatively high amount of dairy products such as hard cheese, filmjölk, and butter; many people even churn their own butter.
“We have an extremely strong dairy tradition in Sweden. That’s because we have a cold climate, and in the past, we could store food outdoors. It was actually the Vikings who taught the French to make butter!” explains Daniel Lindeberg.
Breakfast impacts health
Children in Sweden learn from a young age about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the importance of exercise, having a love for nature, and healthful eating. It starts with breakfast. The “Food Plate Model”, which is widely used all over the world, is a Swedish invention that is still used to teach pre-school children about healthy food.
New studies show that what we eat in the morning can impact our health for 16 hours. Researchers at Lund University have concluded that we can improve memory and concentration all the way until lunch by, for example, eating fiber-rich bread for breakfast.
Our best breakfast tips
Breakfast meet-ups are a widespread trend in Stockholm, and if you’re aiming for brunch at one of the most popular places, you’ll have to reserve a table.
Classic breakfast spots:
- Wienercaféet: A popular, newly opened, classic café in Stockholm’s business district. Address: Biblioteksgatan 6-8, Östermalm. www.wienercafeet.se
- Riche: Riche primarily serves hot food. It is popular among business people and has excellent potential for celebrity sightings. Address: Birger Jarlsgatan 4, Östermalm www.riche.se
- Café Bakverket: Has been designated the best breakfast in Stockholm. Address: Bondegatan 59, Södermalm www.bakverket.blogspot.com
- Café Giffi: An institution for Södermalm residents and construction workers, with generous opening hours. Address: Hornsgatan 65, Södermalm.
Best hotel breakfast:
- Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel: Has a broad selection of everything and a gorgeous view of Stockholm City Hall. Address: Nils Ericsons Plan 4, City. www.radissonblu.com/waterfronthotel-stockholm
- Hotel Rival: Fantastic breakfast in a beautiful, incredibly cozy setting. Address: Mariatorget 3, Södermalm. www.rival.se
- Veranda at Grand Hôtel: Luxurious and delicious. You’ll find everything here. Address: Grand Hôtel, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, City. www.grandhotel.se
- Clarion Hotel Sign: Clarion Hotel offers huge breakfasts in a trendy setting. Order omelettes and pancakes straight from the chef. Address: Östra Järnvägsgatan 35, City. www.clarionsign.se
- Stallmästaregården: A wonderful breakfast in a Gustavian setting. Beautifully situated with a view of Brunnsviken in the Royal National City Park. Address: Norrtull. www.stallmastaregarden.se
Trendy breakfast spots:
- Nybrogatan 38: Serves food from morning to night, with a delightful atmosphere in fashionable Östermalm. Address: Nybrogatan 38, Östermalm. www.nybrogatan38.com
- Urban Deli and the Sourdough Hotel: Bakery, restaurant and shop. Young, hip clientele. The Sourdough Hotel is in Bageriet Urban Deli on Skånegatan 76. Address: Nytorget 4, Södermalm. www.urbandeli.org
- Fabrique: Famous for its stone oven bakery, sourdough bread, and grilled sandwiches. Address: Eleven locations around the city. www.fabrique.se/butiker/
- Albert & Jacks: Organic deli and sourdough bakery. Address: Drottninggatan 22, City. Skeppsbron 24, Gamla Stan. Stockholm Central Station. www.albertjacks.se
- Café Egoïste: A wonderfully bustling spot in one of the city's trendiest malls. Address: Mood Stockholm, Norrlandsgatan 13, www.egoiste.se
For more information contact
Ann-Charlotte Jönsson, PR Manager, Stockholm Business Region, tel: +46(0)8-50828507, firstname.lastname@example.org
The facts in this article are based on an interview with Daniel Lindeberg, creative director of Wienercafeet, who used to run the two-star Michelin restaurant Frantzén-Lindeberg in Stockholm, together with Björn Frantzén.
Stockholm Business Region, with its subsidiaries Stockholm Business Region Development and Stockholm Visitors Board, is the official investment and tourism promotion agency for the Stockholm region. Stockholm is one of Europe’s most dynamic sustainable regions. Stockholm Business Region is fully owned by the City of Stockholm. Our common brand is Stockholm – The Capital of Scandinavia.