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Mar 12, 2014 01:40 PM

Stockholm: Ostermalm vs. Sodermalm

We will be in Stockholm for a week in July with our 6-year-old and are choosing between apartments in Ostermalm or Sodermalm. Both are great locations, but I'm having trouble deciding. Food is obviously not the only consideration, but a big priority to me.

The Ostermalm apartment is close to Saluhall, which is very appealing, and the Sodermalm one above a grocer (near Bysistorget—is that a place name?).

We want to be near delicious restaurants we can go to with our child. For a fancier outing, we can take transport and get a babysitter and our location is not important. But I'm curious about how our day-to-day eating experience will differ staying at one place versus the other.

Once I decide, I'll be back on this board for specific recommendations. Thanks!

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  1. I went to Stockholm last October and stayed in Ostermalm. I quite enjoyed its proximity to not only to the Saluhall but also all the other restaurants we went to (Rolfs Kok, Ekstedt, Mathias Dahlgren, and the ones in Gamla Stan Frantzen and Den Gyldene Freden). I can't speak for Sodermalm, but I pretty much never used a cab living in Ostermalm as everything was within walking distance, and would highly recommend it!

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodtyblog

      Would you recommend any of those restaurants with a 6-year-old? He is well-behaved but not an adventurous eater. If there is a simple pasta or meat dish he would be fine.

      1. re: sweetpotater

        Absolutely! Rolfs Kok, Den Gyldene Freden or Mathias Dahlgren's Matbaren would work since they are all a la carte. I think pastas may be a little difficult to find in the three listed above, but meat for sure will be there. Den Gyldene Freden will have the simplest dishes of the three (they serve traditional Swedish home dishes like meatballs, sausages, etc) followed by Rolfs Kok and then Matbaren.

        Ekstedt and Frantzen both work off prix fixe menus only and may be a bit more difficult for the little guy.

    2. I lived in Stockholm between 1997 and 2000, but it has been more than 5 years since I last visited so can't give you many tips on specific restaurants. But I suspect the neighborhoods haven't changed a lot.

      It depends what you are looking for. Södermalm has more places to eat and many are more casual. Östermalm tends to have more expensive places. Stockholm is quite compact and the tunnelbana is very easy to use.

      I do love Östermalm Saluhallen and when my parents came to visit me, they stopped here almost every day and bought their lunch. It has a lot of prepared foods. You can get some prepared dishes like Janssons Temptation (a traditional Swedish dish) to take back to your flat and warm up.

      Probably my favorite place in Stockholm is a very casual place for lunch called Rosendals Trädgårdscafe which is on Djurgården. It is an apple orchard and garden with a café that serves lovely organic salads, sandwiches, and desserts. You sit outside at tables under the trees. It is a place where you will see lots of Swedish families. They also have a bakery there and David Lebovitz wrote a blog article last year on his visit there:
      He has a couple of other recommendations on Stockholm on his blog.

      Anyway, I hope you have a lovely trip. July is a perfect time to visit Stockholm and it is really a beautiful city.

      1. Sweetpotater - I'm probably partial as I live just by Bysis, but I would definentely choose Södermalm. Stockholm isn't that big if you exclude all suburbs and the walk between the two places you mention is around 40 minutes with the old town in between. However that said, if you are looking for fine dining and want to stay very close to those restaurants than you should probably go for Östermalm which is the poshest area in central Stockholm and where most fine dining restaurants are located. Södermalm is more bohemic and casual and restaurants tends to be cheaper. I have no idea where you are from but if you are familiar with New York I would say choose Södermalm if you prefer the vibe of Greenwhich/East Village and Östermalm if you prefer uptown.

        1. Thanks, all. We booked the place in Ostermalm and are very much looking forward to it. Were we not with our son, I would have opted for Sodermalm, but he can get pretty annoying on a 40-minute walk. The proximity to Djurgarden wtih him is appealing.

          I'll definitely dip into Sodermalm.

          We have heard Stockholm and Copenhagen, where we also will be going, are expensive, and we are prepared for the expense. Apartment swaps = free lodging = more to spend on food!

          Thanks, foodtyblog and stockholm28, for the specific tips.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sweetpotater

            Good call, while Södermalm is definitely the nicer neighborhood it has virtually no good restaurants (some great places for food shopping though). Östermalm is a bit too posh and soulless for my taste but is close to most of the interesting places to eat in Stockholm (some of them might be closed in July though...still it's the best month to go there, absolutely wonderful).