Trip: July 2016
City: Stockholm, Sweden
In July this year, as part of my global food research, I had the pleasure of spending five days in Sweden. My first port of call was the southern town of Malmo - the first stop for all travellers entering from Copenhagen. Over the next two days I experienced traditional Swedish hospitality in a range of country towns and villages and if I were to choose one that stands out, it must be Talldungens Gards Hotel in Brosarp. This converted sanitarium is now a boutique hotel offering outstanding personalised service and delicious paddock-to-plate food and wine. It used only organic local produce, it bakes all its breads and offers a wide selection of organic wines. Breakfast consisted of a smorgasbord of local fruits, cheeses, cured meats, honey and local preserves all served with a selection of homemade breads and pastries served by the chef to the shared table.
One would need many weeks to taste the many local and adopted cuisines which reflect the multicultural city it is today. Whilst meatballs are popular in Sweden (or in any city globally that boasts an IKEA) they are not the staple dish. That's because Stockholm's food scene is a rousing blend of culinary influences—from Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants preserving Nordic cuisine to Asian and Mexican fusion bistros, Middle Eastern kebab joints, street food trucks and local food markets. The waterways of Stockholm also offer a range of moored floating bars and restaurants. A ‘must-do’ is a visit to the world famous Stockholm food market, Saluhall (note that it’s closed until mid 2018 for a major renovation but the pop-up version is very still very impressive).
Seafood plays an essential role in the Stockholmer's diet and ordering any fish dish off the menu comes highly recommended. Centuries of fishing out the North and Baltic Seas means Swedes have truly mastered the art of ocean cooking—from curing salmon (gravalax) to pickling herring (sill)—in what feels like a million different ways. The shrimp sandwich (räksmörgås) remains the most popular type of open face sandwich, topped with generous amounts of baby shrimp, boiled egg slices, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and a creamy dressing.
In addition to the list of restaurants and cafes listed below, I visited the Mall of Scandinavia located just three train stops from the centre of Stockholm and offers an diverse mix of some thirty plus international cuisines as well as local favourites.
If you're looking for small and intimate then this is your spot. It only seats 28 guests along the bar and very narrow tables. It's been around since 1962 and is all about traditional Swedish food. If you're in Stockholm in Summer time, there is an al fresco option for you as well.
Everything is about natural produce at this restaurant. You can order a few dishes to share and as the menu is ever changing with the produce then you can go back again and receive an entirely different meal.
This is the best fish restaurant in Stockholm which means the food doesn't come cheap. Go there for lunch instead they have daily specials for 195 kr which is good value since the fish is excellent. Location Nybrokajen close to the Royal Theater Dramaten.
Serves traditional Swedish and french food in a modern way. Staying true to Thore Wretman's (the chef that took Swedish cooking into the 19th century), but still trying to innovate. Extra plus for the very nice and bustling bar. Location Close to Sturplan near the Royal Theatre Dramaten. In the vicinity, also try Prinsen, which has recently been awarded a Bib Gourmand by Guide Michelin.
This is the neighbourhood bar everyone wants to get a drink at. You can get cocktails, a delicious pulled pork sandwich at the bar all the while listening to some great music in this local drinking spot.
Bistro Sud brings France to the centre of Stockholm. It's popular with tourists and locals alike and they come for the mix of French classics with a touch of Sweden. Book a table if you plan on going as it's small and packs out quickly.
This bar is all about atmosphere when you can sit alongside the Gondolen with a bottle of wine and watch the city go by. Every staff member who works here is a trained sommelier and there are over 50 wines on offer by the glass. Bar snacks are also available in case you end up at this bar for the long haul.
One last note, long established and respected restaurant, Hermans ( http://www.hermans.se/) is an amazing vegetarian restaurant with fantastic views over the harbour. Sit on the covered veranda and enjoy the wonderful views across the harbour and city’s many islands.
As the Future Food team continues to travel the world for business, projects and pleasure, we continue to experience and unlock the latest and most diverse culinary offerings from every corner of the globe. The Global City Hopping series is designed to share these experiences with you and open your eyes to what is happening in the food and beverage international scene.