Stockholmers’ curiosity about the world has helped them find home, and international interest in classic Swedish cuisine is exploding. Stockholm celebrity restaurateurs have found their stride in cooking local, seasonal ingredients and have become experts at how to best draw out their unique flavors. The chefs have paved the way for new trends by reviving old preparation methods, such as slow-cooking, and by reconsidering classic Swedish ingredients. Over the last year, Stockholm’s restaurant scene has gained a handful of niche restaurants specializing in classics like meatballs, herring, and sandwich cakes.
Urban meets nature
When it comes to equality , Stockholm is ranked highest in the world. It is said that Stockholm is one third blue water, one third green parks, and one third yellow buildings. The water and parks are two of the city’s biggest assets, and people enjoy them all year long. Did you know the water in Stockholm is so clean that you can fish for salmon, swim in it, and even drink it outside of Stockholm City Hall? And with 87.5 square meters of green space per resident, Stockholm has tons to offer.
The uniquely Swedish law Allemansrätten (Right of Public Access) gives all people the right to temporarily stay and pick berries, mushrooms and more, even on private land. Stockholmers go outside to pick edible plants that grow wild in nature. Recently, wild garlic has gained renewed popularity. Along with ground elder, it grows wild just a stone’s throw from the home of Crown Princess Victoria in Haga Park, which is located in the Royal National City Park near the heart of the city. In late April and early May, Stockholmers can pick plants in the park for their weekend dinners for free.
Ingredients around the corner
Urban gardening is a rising trend in Stockholm. Globally, small-scale gardening in a flower box on the balcony is new, but Stockholm has a long tradition of locally grown food. The city has over 10,000 allotment gardens, several of which are in the middle of residential areas downtown, where multiple generations of urban residents have carried on the farming tradition. Fruit, berries, vegetables and other edible plants are grown here. When the community gardens were created over a hundred years ago, the intention was for ordinary urban residents to be able to grow fruits and vegetables to keep costs down. The new generation of community gardeners are young, inner-city residents with a great interest in organic, sustainable growing practices.
The Stockholm Farmers Market is a popular alternative for Stockholmers who don’t have the chance to grow their own veggies. The market began in 2000 in Stockholm and quickly became a huge success. Every product sold at the market is locally grown and the producers have to have grown, raised, or refined what they sell themselves. When the market is set up in the Södermalm and Östermalm neighborhoods, Stockholmers flock from all over to stroll around and shop for fresh produce. The market is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in May, beginning on the 10th, and every Saturday in August through October 18. In addition, there are four Christmas markets beginning November 29.
Classic Swedish cuisine in Stockholm
Swedish cuisine usually features ingredients such as pork, beef, or fish as well as potatoes and root vegetables. Stockholm has numerous restaurants that specialize in classic Swedish food. Here are some of our best suggestions.
Gubbhyllan: Restaurant and café with a passion for traditional Swedish cuisine. Gubbhyllan brings traditional preparation methods and techniques into the present, combining these practices with the modern concept of sustainable farming. Skansen, Djurgården. gubbhyllan.se
Restaurang Tradition: This is the place to come for classic Swedish dishes at a good price. We recommend the meatballs, blood pudding, or poached cod. Address: Tulegatan 10, Vasastan www.restaurangtradition.se
Östermalm’s Saluhall Market: If you are looking for a first-class offering of Swedish ingredients, then don’t miss Östermalm’s Saluhall, also called Östermalmshallen, which is an indoor market. The space opened in 1888 and has delicatessens and restaurants. Everything from fruits and vegetables to game and seafood can be found here. Address: Östermalmstorg, Östermalm. www.ostermalmshallen.se/
Urban meets nature
Bondens egen marknad (Farmers’ market): Buy locally produced goods from some thirty booths. The year’s first market will be held on Saturday, May 10 from 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Address: Katarina Bangata, Södermalm. www.bondensegen.com
Koloniföreningen Söderbrunn community garden: Söderbrunn is Stockholm’s oldest community garden, and it is located in the world’s first national urban park: Royal National City Park. The allotments are for cultivation, and gardeners may only have one small shed on their lots. There are also nice community gardens on Långholmen and in Tantolunden on Södermalm. Address: Björnnäsvägen, Djurgården. www.soderbrunn.se/Soderbrunn/Nytt_fran_Soderbrunn.html
Rosendal’s Garden: At Rosendal’s Garden, you can see and learn about biodynamically grown vegetables, flowers and fruits, and enjoy organic food in the popular café. You can also buy plants and pots, see exhibits, take courses or simply enjoy yourself on a blanket beneath an apple tree. Address: Rosendalsterrassen 12, Djurgården. www.rosendalstradgard.se
Strömmingsvagnen: This classic herring cart is perfect for lunch, dinner, or a quick snack. We recommend choosing herring on crisp bread and enjoying it on a sunny bench. Address: Södermalmstorg, Södermalm
Smörgåstårteriet: Naturally, you shouldn’t miss the sandwich cake (smörgåstårta*) here, but the restaurant also serves a tasting menu with dishes from various parts of Sweden. Address: Dalagatan 42, Vasastan. smorgastarteriet.se
Nalle och Kroppkakan: Here, you can taste kroppkakor dumplings from Småland, which are made of meat and potatoes and served with lingon berries. Address: Svandammsvägen 41, Midsommarkransen. www.nalleokroppkakan.se
Meatballs for the People: A shop that only serves homemade meatballs for take-out. Address: Nytorgsgatan 30, Södermalm. www.meatball.se
Restaurang Ekstedt: One of Stockholm’s Michelin-starred restaurants, featuring traditionally prepared, locally produced ingredients. No hot plate, no gas stove – just natural heat, soot, ash, smoke and fire. Simple, yet innovative. Address: Humlegårdsgatan 17, Östermalm. ekstedt.nu/
The facts in this article are based on an interview with KC Wallberg, chef at the historic restaurant Gubbhyllan in the open-air museum Skansen on Djurgården in Stockholm.
*The smörgåstårta is typically made of creamy fillings between several layers of white or light rye bread. Egg and mayonnaise often form the base, and additional fillings may vary greatly but generally include one or more of the following: liver pâté, olives, shrimp, ham, various cold cuts, caviar, tomato, cucumber, grapes, lemon slices, cheese and smoked salmon. Smörgåstårta is common on birthdays and at big family gatherings.
For more information contact
Ann-Charlotte Jönsson, PR Manager, Stockholm Business Region, tel: +46(0)8-50828507, email@example.com
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.