Stockholm: where to eat swedish food (guide)
Stockholm is a great city for foodies. However, rooting out places that serve traditional swedish (“husmanskost”) food can sometimes be difficult. Which is a shame, really, as there are some really interesting and unique dishes to sample in the city.
Having grown up in the city, I thought I'd share a few of my top picks. Whenever I have friends visiting I try to visit at least one of the places below. All are moderately priced (200 SEK or thereabouts for a main course, except for fika and late night grub, of course) and lean towards the “husmanskost” side of things (home-style/traditional food).
This is just a quick list of the top of my head, so apologies if I’ve missed out on some obvious places. As said, I’ll focus on traditional stuff here. If you want modern or international dining there are plenty of other threads out there to browse already (Matbaren/Matsalen, Frantzen/Lindeberg, Djuret, Pubologi and Rolfs Kök are all excellent, in my opinion).
A nice restaurant close to Odenplan tube. Traditional but not stuffy, with excellent service and atmosphere. Crowded most nights of the week - go early or book ahead. The fried herring (stekt strömming), meatballs (köttbullar), cured salmon (rimmad lax) and isterband (coarsely ground sausage) are all excellent and well worth a try. Also - try the biff rydberg, which is diced beef served with fried potatoes, horseradish and egg.
Operakällaren is a fancy but very beautiful dining room serving traditional french-style fare. Next door is Bakfickan, which is a simpler, bistro-style place. I actually prefer Operabaren to both it’s siblings, however. It’s a tiny little bar/dining room just next door to Bakfickan, cozier and with a much more intimate atmosphere. The regular menu is good, but I’d say the place is worth checking out mainly for their daily “husmanskost” specials. If you’re lucky you’ll find classics like pytt i panna, matjessill, fläsklägg or kalvjärpar on the menu.
If the weather is nice, make sure to head out to this place located on Djurgården. The atmosphere is great - an old, beautifully renovated house situated in a big park - and the food is top quality as well. I usually have the herring plate, which is various forms of cured fish served with cheese and bread. They also do good meatballs, biff rydberg and gravlax.
Most people recommend Wedholms Fisk (http://www.wedholmsfisk.se/), which is of course excellent, but this is another great (and slightly less pricey) option for seafood. There are a few branches to choose from - the one at Söderhallarna looks a bit dull and is primarily for lunch, but does a fantastic poached cod with butter and horseradish. The Dalagatan one is more of a proper restaurant with daily and monthly husmanskost specials, all great in my opinion.
Most people recommend a visit to Östermalmshallen (http://www.ostermalmshallen.se/) and I agree. It’s a really beautiful indoors market with plenty of fresh meat and seafood to check out. There are also a few places to eat inside - most are good but quite overpriced.
For a less polished and more international experience - check out Hötorgshallen (http://www.hotorgshallen.se/) located just below the big cinema at Hötorget tube. There you’ll find a few good fishmongers plus a few places selling turkish and middle-eastern wares. There are also cheap and tasty döner kebabs (with free ayran!) to fill up on.
Fika basically means sitting down for a quick break with a cup of coffee or tea and a sweet pastry. Nevertheless it’s a swedish tradition and shouldn’t be missed out.
For the quintessential experience you can’t go wrong with Vete-katten (www.vetekatten.se). It’s a very old fashioned and slightly touristy café in the centre of Stockholm, but very nice nonetheless (I actually used to work there in my teens). Stay away from the sandwiches and the lunch menu - these are nothing special. Instead, get a regular cup of coffee and a selection of baked goods to go with it. I recommend a slice of Princess cake (a light, airy cream cake wrapped in green marzipan), a cinnamon bun and/or a dammsugare (a very sweet, chocolatey mixture wrapped in green marzipan and then dipped in chocolate, made to resemble an old 50s style vacuum cleaner. You’ll find these pretty much everywhere, but the ones here are among the best). Everything is baked on site with high quality ingredients.
On your way home from drinking, you absolutely shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to try a tunnbrödrulle (thin-bread roll). It’s a classic type of swedish fast food that I haven’t come across anywhere else in the world. Basically, it’s soft, thin bread kind of resembling a tortilla wrapped around mashed potatoes and a grilled sausage. Most people - and I absolutely recommend you do - ask for a big dollop of prawn sallad to go inside it (“räksallad” in swedish). It’s tasty, very filling and the prawns oddly go very well together with the grilled sausage.
Pretty much any streetside grill (look for big signs saying “Sibylla”, “Grill” or “Gatukök” do these well. Myself, I prefer Rörstrandsgrillen close to St Eriksplan tube.
Verandan at Grand Hotel (http://www.grandhotel.se/upplev/mat-o...) does this very well and is absolutely worth a visit.
If you’re in town in december, make sure not to miss out on the Christmas variety (called Julbord). Claes på Hörnet restaurant (www.claespahornet.se) does this in an amazing, 18th century setting with wonderful food.
And that’s it! Again, this list is far from complete but all the places above are well worth a visit, in my experience.
Any questions just post them below - I’ll be happy to answer!
Malaclypse, this is great. I am heading to Stockholm in July with my husband and 6-year-old son. I'd love to know specifically which restaurants can offer my husband and I great food but also accommodate my son, who is a more boring eater (steak, meatballs, basic pasta, etc.). We'll be staying in an apartment in Ostermalm next to the food hall.
Great list, thank you for posting! We are actually heading to Stockholm mid-November to visit our daughter over US Thanksgiving holiday. We know it will be cold, and are planning accordingly. We're going to concentrate on lunches for our "big" meal, and would like to find some good local places, not touristy. Don't need to be fancy, but focus on good food instead. I'd prefer less than 200 kr for a menu if that's possible/reasonable? Any help would be greatly appreciated - I haven't found too many good resources on "affordable good Swedish food" yet!
I am a San Francisco hound who will be visiting Stockholm for two days in July prior to boarding a cruise ship. We will be arriving on a Sunday afternoon and are staying at the Skandic Grand Central Hotel. I see that the hotel restaurant is closed on Sundays and we will be looking for a restaurant near the hotel that evening. It seems that many restaurants in Stockholm are closed on Sundays. Are any of the restaurants you mention above near our hotel. If not, can you recommend some moderately priced restaurants near the hotel that are open for dinner on Sundays? Thanks in advance. I think we would prefer traditional Swedish cuisine that evening but are open for anything else.
On our trip (November 2014) our favorite meal was at Oaxen Slip, though it's over near Djurgarden, and would be a taxi ride. It was by a good margin our favorite meal of our trip.
Also on Djurgarden is the Rosendal cafe, located in the middle of a garden - a wonderful place for lunch or afternoon fika (coffee). And we had a nice lunch at Bla Porten (the Blue Door) on Djurgarden (which we kept returning to to enjoy the walk around the gardens and museums).
Near your hotel is Vele-Katten, which is a classic Swedish bakery to get kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls) and coffee.
Down in Sodermalm, we had a surprisingly good falafel lunch at Falafelbaren, which is VERY casual and inexpensive (but not particularly Swedish).
If you're so inclined, the Fotografiska (Photography Museum) is a great place to visit and has a nice cafe on the top floor with excellent views of the city, and a good selection of reasonably priced food.
Another place we wanted to try but missed, was Smak på Restaurangen, which are small plates - not inexpensive but they had interesting things on offer.
Not sure if it is appropriate but you may want to check out Hötorgshallen, which has a number of places to check out.
And we visited the K25 food court, which is casual and (mostly) international, but a good place to sample a variety of tastes.
Enjoy Stockholm - it is a wonderful city to walk around, and Djurgarden is an oasis within close distance!
Tranan is open on Sunday evenings as I just ate there last weekend. The meatballs aren't on the menu but they always have the, just ask. The portion is big so if you are having a starter you can order a half portion of meatballs unless you are really hungry.r Another good place for traditional Swedish food is Pelikan which is an old beer hall from the 1700s. It's also open Sunday's. Both are a 2-3 stop T-bana (metro) ride from your hotel or if the weather is nice both are about a 30-minute walk