A CITY GUIDE
A true nordic gem, sprawling across countless islands Stockholm holds a reputation as Scandinavia's undisputed capital of cool - with its colossal coffee culture, effortlessly stylish boutiques, exceptional restaurants and award-winning design scene, it's easy to see why.
Yet despite its almost-excessive-coolness, there is a real romance to Stockholm. Warming, pastel rendered buildings lining cobbled stone streets, beautifully grand architecture, and countless pockets of nature around every corner you might forget you're in a city. It might be one of the most wondrous cities we've enjoyed. Here is our city guide for you to get the best out of it.
TOP 5 PLACES TO EAT
Stockholm enjoys a vibrant and eclectic food scene and boasts a frankly ridiculous list of exceptional restaurants with a huge variety of offerings. We tried to focus on more traditional fare whilst there to get a real taste of Swedish cuisine
FEM SMÅ HUS
Located in the heart of Gamla Stan, a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, Fem Små Hus boasts a fabulous historic setting. On warmer days, you can dine outside, enjoying the sun as passers-by tread the beautiful tree-lined street. However, the restaurants interior is not to be missed. A twisting labyrinth of nine rooms in 17th-century vaulted cellars - the restaurant has a warm, cosy atmosphere seemingly tailor-made for cold winter evenings. The menu features delicious traditional Swedish dishes with a French twist. The smörgåsbord is a sensational array of the classic herring, salmon gravadlax, prawn Skagen and cheese, served with crisp-bread, bread and butter. A perfect way to initiation into the delightful seafood that makes up a large portion of the Swedish diet. On the other hand, the classic meatballs, served with lingonberries, pickled cucumbers, silky smooth potato puree and a generous amount of gravy, make for a hearty and delightful meal.
Nygränd 10; mains 205-410kr
Set inside the Grand Hôtel overlooking the waterfront, Grands Verandan is worth the trip alone to fully experience the art of the Swedish Smörgåsbord. From the word smörgås (sandwich) and bord (table), smörgåsbord is an array of many small dishes that can be easily brushed off as ‘one of those Nordic buffets’, and the quality and ceremony of it seem often forgotten. Not at Grands Verandan - here you can expect to find smörgåsbord at its very best.
Before you start, you'll be offered a guide as to how to correctly tackle the Smörgåsbord. You should begin your experience with a delightful array of herring, pickled in more ways you could imagine possible and accompanied by new potatoes, bread and cheese. The next suggested course is an array of cold fish and seafood, hot smoked, cold smoked, cured, steamed - all delicious. Followed up with salad, cold cuts and eggs and you’re just about hitting your stride midway through.
Next up comes the warm dishes, the infamous meatballs and lingonberry with mashed potatoes or Jansson’s Temptation. Your meal ends with a selection of sweet Swedish puddings and berries. It’s quite the experience and if you only try Smörgåsbord once, this is the place.
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6; smörgåsbord 545kr
As you stroll around Södermalm, the Southern and hippest neighbourhood of Stockholm, you’ll find yourself surrounded by excessively-trendy restaurants and cafes, vintage shops and edgy fashion stores. Pelikan, however, feels like the exception to the rule. First established in 1733, the century-old beer hall provides a glimpse of Stockholms old world. With impressively high ceilings, delightful murals and wooden panels you will feel transported in time. When it comes to the food, expect Swedish home cooking at its best, with generous portions of pork knuckles with mustard, Arctic Char and meatballs as big as golf balls. The hefty list of aquavit is worth trying out too.
Blekingegatan 40; mains 188-335kr
In the centre of Gamla Stan, tucked away down a cobbled-stone, narrow alleyway sits Kryp In. A small and cosy Swedish restaurant with an atmosphere to match. Serving Swedish food with a creative twist, the food which uses quality Swedish ingredients is all absolutely delicious. The grilled reindeer is cooked to perfection whilst the classic seafood stew with aioli is a must-have. A memorable dining experience that we highly recommend in Stockholm, booking ahead is highly recommended in order to snare a table.
Prästgatan 17; mains 198-290kr
A stylish food market established in 1888, Östermalms Saluhall is packed with food stalls offering local produce, and reputable restaurants. Currently undergoing renovation, the merchants from the original food market have been relocated to a temporary food hall. The original historic market will reopen in early 2020. For the time being, the wooden clad temporary market remains a perfect destination to experience more of Sweden’s delicious cuisine and regional ingredients. It’s also a great place to score some Swedish goodies to take home, like Swedish cheese or Lingonberry jam. If you are fond of seafood, definitely try Lisa Elmqvist, which is located inside, which offers fantastic fish from the day’s catch and other delicacies from the ocean.
COFFEE & FIKA
We did not have a single bad cup of coffee in Stockholm, something that is unusual when visiting a new city. We certainly aimed for a few renowned speciality coffee shops, but the bakeries and restaurants all served excellent coffee too. A true delight.
An institution in Stockholm, Vete-Katten - which means ‘the cat knows’ - was founded in 1928 and is a must-try when visiting the city. The charming bakery offers a delectable array of pastries and cakes faultlessly presented, as well as mouthwatering sandwiches. It is a wonderful place for Fika where you can try various Swedish specialities such as the Princess cake and almost every type of bun you can think of.
Kungsgatan 55, sweet buns 28kr
Located on Djugården Island, Rosendals is worth the detour. Set in the western part of Djrgården, surrounded by beautiful apple orchards and flower gardens, the cosy organic cafe, charming shop and bakery inside grand greenhouses make an idyllic setting. Much of the produce served there is grown on-site and ranges from fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and delicious pastries. A space we think every city should have and a Stockholm gem!
Rosendalsterrassen 12; mains 99-145kr
Cafe Saturnus is a lovely cafe overlooking a quiet street near the city centre. With mosaic floors, yellow tables and red striped wallpaper it feels homely and characterful. Boasting one of Stockholm’s largest, and most scrumptious cinnamon and cardamom buns, it’s a perfect place to experience some true Swedish Fika.
Eriksbergsgatan 6; sweet rolls 50kr
Drop Coffee is an unassuming coffee shop in the trendy Södermalm neighbourhood, which has gained a reputation for its exceptional coffee. Inside you’ll be able to pick your coffee according to various origins, which has been sourced ethically from Bolivia, Ethiopia or Costa Rica. The owners have also earned a reputation worldwide for their roasting skills, which is clearly reflected in your cup. A must for speciality coffee fans.
Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10
JOHAN & NYSTRÖM
We entered one of the three Johan & Nyström’s coffee shop branch located in the Östermalm area and we were delighted by the minimalist, bright and calming interior. The cafes offer a range of slow brewing options such as V60 or Chemex accompanied by typically delicious pastries. A perfect setting to sit back and enjoy a tranquil coffee break.
We have a few Fabrique cafes in London which have unquestionably contributed to full-blown cardamom and cinnamon bun addiction. It was a joy to get to experience them in their place of origin. Always consistent in quality and taste, they are truly the perfect parcels of spiced dough, enjoyed with a cup of black coffee.