Houndin' Around the World - Stockholm
I'm looking for the best of the best in Stockholm - from local spots to five star places. Don't know where I'll be staying yet - any recommendations would be wonderful.
If you're going to Sthlm, you should definitely visit the following:
*P.A. & Co.
Anything you order will be delicious, but I especially recommend their husmanskost (traditional Swedish fare) such as raggmunkar, köttbullar (meatballs!) and anything seafood-oriented, especially the crawfish toast appetizer and warm smoked salmon salad. You can't go wrong, in truth.
Home of the most overwhelming cinnamon and/or cardamom bun in the world. This used to be more of a traditional Swedish café but has recently (I think in the last two years) been transformed into a bistro. However, the buns remain, and they are extraordinary. The French breakfast (yogurt, half sandwich, cafe au lait & juice) is great.
More delicious husmanskost, esp. the sill (cured herring) sampler. Here, I also suggest that you try the raggmunk (crispy grated potato pancakes served with roe & sour cream) and/or meatballs.
I can't really describe this place, only it is my favorite spot in the world and I make sure to go there every time I'm home. It's an organic foundation/garden with a lovely café and bakery - delicious food that's all local, and the garden is so peaceful and inspiring.
Another oasis - a fountain courtyard behind Liljevalchs Konsthall - that has delicious offerings for lunch and dinner. I recommend the salmon with French potato salad -- all desserts are as tasty as they look. Note that they get really busy during lunch hour, and you can often catch a long table full of co-workers enjoying their lättöl and Ramlösa with lunch.
Have a wonderful time! Also make sure to try varmkorv (hot dogs from a hot dog stand, Sibylla is my favorite mainstream offering) and Kebab from pretty much anywhere - I don't have a favorite place, although I'm sure someone else does.
Other favorites that just came to mind - Café Gateau, Guldapan, Sturehof (sill sampler, again!), Sardin, Rolfs Kök, Mosebacke Etablissement, a new restaurant called Kungsholmen just got a write-up in one of the big Swedish dailies: good food ("snacks" sampler for 250SEK was recommended) but austere environment.
Rex Hotel or Clarion Collection Wellington at Östermalmstorg
Note that hotel rooms in Sthlm are more expensive on weeknights and cheaper on weekend nights.
I'm keeping track of this post for my trip to Stockholm (along with Helsinki and Tallinn) in Oct. I was there in 1988 when I paid a lot less attention to eating and am amazed at the prices. I looked at the Tennstopet menu and most entrees were in the $30+ USD range. Can you get a good meal for $15-25 (entree)? I don't like spending tons of money all the time and the friend I'm traveling with can't afford those prices. I see the bar at Pontus in the Greenhouse is supposed to be cheaper, what's the range there? And what about Glenfiddich which was mentioned below? I love game dishes. Hoping we aren't relegated to hot dogs the whole time (as much as I love a good hot dog).
On a similar note, can two people stay in the center with a bathroom for $125 or less? I saw a good rate for Rex Hotel but it jumps to >$200 on a Mon. Surprised that lodging is cheaper in the summer than the fall, bummer for me.
I am staying at the Park Inn in Solna, which is a suburub but only four subway stops away from the city center (less than 10 minutes). I'm paying $108 a night but that's for one person. I found it on tripadvisor, along with the Clarion (not sure which one but it is downtown) for $118 per night.
JW: You can try Kista Mall if you feel up to it. It's on the same subway line. It's huge by Swedish measurements. It's open until 9 or 10 at night.
And Joanie, 20 dollars is 147 sek (at today's exchange rate). That should get you good food if you look for it. Lunches are cheaper. A dagens (today's special) is usually from 70 - 95 sek with bread, salad and beverage. At nighttime the more pricey places usually have a barmenu. You can also look for bakfickor to the big restaurants like Operakällaren. Bakfickor are a bit cheaper than the original.
Some (3) of the dishes at Tennstopet's barmenu is above that. Add wine, and yes 147 sek will not be enough. Pontus in the Greenhouse (www.pontusfrithiof.com) barmenu (main courses) runs from 195 - 225 kr. Kvarnen (on Söder) (www.kvarnen.com) serves main courses at night for between 98 sek and above. Lunches are less. You'll be able to find nice food with a bit of searching. The places suggested have nice food and I for one paid the price of a visit less attention.
Glenfiddich was absolutely delicious and I loved my experience there. It was prettly low key (the dining room was about 1/4 full but it was Tuesday night).
The place is basically a brewpub. They have a wide range of Swedish microbrews on tap.
I ordered the Elk Carpaccio and the Reindeer Tenderloin, and the waiter helped me pair two beers with each item. The beer and the food were both delicious. The carpaccio was served with a Swedish hard cheese in lieu of parmesan with a sweet balsamic / honey dressing and some nice greens. Apparently the elk is marinated in wine for several days. The reindeer was lightly grilled and then baked, which gives it a nice smoky flavor. I had it medium-rare and it was wonderfully tender. It is served with a cream sauce made with a sweet berry (I forget which type but see the menu above), as well as a side of these baked mashed potatoes.
I may have my games inverted in the above paragraph.
I got out for 540 SKR - a little on the pricey side for a casual place but I'd say well worth it. The carpaccio is totally splittable as well - I sort of pigged out but that's what I'm in the game for.
The people at the SAS Radisson did not know of this place, when I asked they thought I was talking about the whiskey or a British restaurant. The waiter told me that Glenfiddich the whiskey pays the restaurant to use their name in the name of the restaurant, which I think is interesting.
Also, if anyone is traveling to Stockholm before fall begins take a boat tour of the Archipelago. My tour was 2.5 hours long and wonderfully relaxing. Beautiful scenery and only 200 SKR. Also, visit Skansin (sp?), which is a large urban museum featuring old buildings brought in from the north of Sweden, an aquarium, a Scandinavian animal exhibit, etc. A great place to kill like three or four hours.
My in-laws got a good deal at the Scandic Sergel Hotel when they came to Stockholm -- not exactly the most charming hotel or location (although proximate to the city center) but I think their rate was decent - 895SEK? Because Stockholm is popular for conferences, weekday rates tend to be higher than weekend rates, usually by 250-500SEK. The good thing, though, is that most hotels offer pretty great (especially by American "continental" breakfast standards - hotel lobby donuts and coffee) breakfast buffets with everything from boiled eggs to yogurt (try the filmjölk!), and cold cuts. So, one meal a day is covered by the hotel cost. There is a very inexpensive place, A & Be Hotell & Vandrarhem, Grev Turegatan 50, Phone: +46(0)8-660 21 00, but (my husband and I scouted it out before our wedding) it's a bit strange, insofar as it's located in an apartment building and really feels like staying in someone's home, albeit a home decorated with a lot of doilies. Can't recommend it, exactly, but if you're on a budget, these things are good to know. I've also been told that Columbus Hotel (http://www.columbus.se/eng/info.htm - on Södermalm, my favorite island) is also worth checking out. Söder is by far the most charming and gastronomically interesting part of Stockholm as far as I'm concerned, and strolling around in the fall is one of my favorite things to do. You can catch 'Street,' Stockholm's very elaborate version of a street market, with an emphasis on local design and organic produce/foods. Wish I had something exciting to tell you about Helsinki and Talinn, but I know very little about those places. Curious to know how your trip goes, though.
Thanks for that info. We already booked at the Scandic Continental which will be convenient, at least as far as going to and from the airport. And we like to walk so bopping over to Södermalm won't be a big deal (right? I assume it's not too long a walk). Rate was okay, 1050SEK for each of four nites for a twin room. With a window, I was surprised how many hotels had rooms with no windows and beds that came out of the wall. Had seen the Columbus in my searching and while we wanted to stay in Södermalm, went with the better price.
Looking forward to a dinner at Glenfiddich. Bakfickan and Grill look good too. We plan on taking advantage of the breakfast buffet, that's why going for a lower priced lunch doesn't work out so well, would rather eat the 2nd major meal at night. Plus that's our entertainment if no good bands are playing.
Will post questions for Helsinki and Tallinn soon and will definitely report back in Nov. Thanks for your help. If anyone has any other tips, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Kungsholmen -
Really cool place. Right on the water (Riddarfjarden). The bar is actually a pier that goes into the river and floats...the boats can come right up to it to dock. There is also an outdoor seating area attached to the restaurant as well as a half open solarium.
It was a scene for sure - a ton of beautiful people, trendy atmosphere, music, ect. This city sure can get fancy.
They had a very small menu wich contained a combination of snack foods (little pizzas, etc.) including sushi, as well as like five large plates (steaks, cod). I had a half salad (which was delicious), the chili jumbo shrimp (not jumbo but still good), a glass of wine, and the dessert (cherry sorbet with tiramisu), which was fantastic. Not five star stuff but a good meal - a little on the pricey side @485 KRS, which is to be expected given the atmosphere. I also could have done some serious value-engineering on the wine.
Great place for a date, kids are out of the question, go with a group to 'party' or to entertain, be sure to visit the floating bar.
That is a wonderful post. Thank you for all the help. Rosendals Trädgård sounds perfect and I'll be sure to try it. I'll let you know. Also, thank you for the lodging tips.
Glad to help. On an indirectly food-related note, you should definitely try to take one of the Waxholmsbolaget boats out into the archipelago: thousands and thousands of islands! Smoked fish sold in little red cabins down by the water! If you can, try one of the many island restaurants, especially Grinda or Fejan, which are supposed to be lovely. I can't necessarily vouch for the food (no one I know has recently been there), but the experience and view are of the once-in-a-lifetime variety.
Thanks for the recommendations. Just one point - I visited Kungsholmen last week, and I wouldn't really call it austere. It was nicely decorated, with comfortable seating and a very trendy crowd. They also have a very lively bar out back, floating on the water. The food was well above average, and reservations are definitely recommended.
Another recommendation at Sturehof is the 'isterband', which is a traditional Swedish sausage and potato dish (I think it's listed as 'sour sausage' on the English menu).
Another nice place for traditional Swedish food is Glenfiddich (08 791 90 90) in Gamla Stan, in the same location as the Ardbeg Room (which has been recommended here in the past). They have nice game dishes (reindeer, elk, etc.), and sixteen Swedish microbrew beers on tap.
I'd skip Rosendals trädgård, unless you go on a weekday. It's been hyped up to a point where I no longer go unless I have to.
A nice place for husmanskost is Kvarnen on Söder, a pub with high ceilings and a folksy atmosphere which I love. They carry about the same range of food as Sturehof but at less cost. Kvarnen is situated on Tjärhovsgatan 4, subway station Medborgarplatsen. Not far from Medborgarplatsen is a restaurant or rather a hole in the wall, that serves great kebab. Don't have the specific addy though.
Another restaurant for traditional swedish food is Tennstopet, Dalagatan 50, www.tennstopet.se
Also, try Pelikanen, Blekingegatan 40. Subway station: Skanstull, exit Blekingegatan. They offer really nice sill and alot of traditional dishes.
If you want high-end gastronomy try Edsbacka krog in Sollentuna has some stars in Michelin. i'm uncertain if it's one or two but very nice food. It's best to reserve table in advance. They're not in the middle of the city but worth the travel. Addy: Sollentunavägen 220, www.edsbackakrog.se
If you go into the archipelago Oaxen skärgårdskrog has a very good reputation and the food is great. Table reservations is a must. You have to travel by ferry to Hölö. www.oaxenkrog.se
Two other restaurants that has received wide recognition (you pay accordingly) is Esperanto and Hälsingborg.
Overall you see a pretty good collection of restaurants in the archipelago. Recently another one than Oaxen found its way into the news (Dagens nyheter). They make their own schnaps, the only restaurant in the country with such a permit, Skansholmens sjökrog. It's away from Stockholm, between Trosa and Södertälje. A famous one is a restaurant on Fjäderholmarna. Also requires a ferry ride but I've never ben there.
Swedes love to fika which means to have coffee with pastries (or not). There are great places. My alltime favourite is Vetekatten (Kungsgatan 55). It's a traditional coffee house with lots of traditional cookies and pastries. Chokladkoppen in Gamla Stan (Stortorget) is also very nice (it's a rainbow café, just so that you know). You get a great view from the cafe in Kulturhuset overlooking Sergels torg. Most coffee houses are nice. Åhlens departmentstore at Sergels torg coffee floor has a pretty good buffe assortment, both of food and pastries. If you stroll off the main tourist lanes you are likely to find pretty good places. Along Götgatan, starting at Slussen and onwards to Medborgarplatsen there are great coffee places. Stay away from the Waynes and Georges.
I can go on and on and on so I'll leave you with those. Can't help with accomodation as I live here ;).
One more point - many places in Stockholm are closed at the moment for summer holidays, so it's essential to call first to make sure they're actually open. And some are just reopening now, so they may be crowded....
I'm glad to hear that Kungsholmen was better than the SvD review, and I'm also very glad that the subject of fika was brought up -- may I also recommend Sturekatten (Riddargatan 4). However (and I don't want to ignite a chowhound epic), I do have to disagree about Rosendal: although I have also noted that it has been ridiculously written up and that a weekday (rather than weekend) visit is to be recommended, I do think that the ethos of the place (despite a shift of ownership from the original founders) is significant in an international context. Although one may argue that sustainable and organic farming and foods remain a largely bourgeois luxury, the fact of the matter is that - in my experience - a place like Rosendal is relatively unique in its proximity to an urban center, level of social and economic success, and consistent use of organic and local produce. Hype can be terribly annoying, especially when the consequences include having to navigate a labyrinth of strollers for a cup of coffee; nonetheless, many of my friends from abroad have found Rosendal to be quite inspiring and delicious.
We had a good meal at Cafe Opera a few weeks back. My wife and I both had a very nice fish and shell fish casserole, almost a deconstructed bouillabaisse. The kids each ordered köttbular (meatballs) off the kids' menu. The menu was short, but well-executed. With a glass of wine for each adult and a soft drink for each child, the tab was 1100 kronar.
Later that evening, we ended up in Glenfiddich in Gamla Stan, recommended by Robb S a few replies up. The beer selection was excellent and the bartender was very helpful in helping parse the beer menu.
Be sure to visit Östermalmshallen ( a food hall) to see where well heeled locals shop for food - fascinating. Stockholm is a great city - have a great time
Out of Stockhom, onto Istanbul.
Thanks for the help everyone - wonderful input and you helped make my time in Stockholm great!