Why Sweden Should Be Your Next Foodie Destination

By Natalia Kvitek,

Have you discovered how delicious Sweden is? While your previous exposure may have been limited to the Swedish meatballs and cinnamon rolls of the Ikea cafeteria, Swedish food is simple, wholesome and unexpectedly delicious. These are the best places in Stockholm to experience your new favorite cuisine.


Get your taste of Stockholm at this Foodie Festival

Taste of Stockholm Food Festival

A delicious sampling of Sweden. Photo by Taste of Stockholm.

A strong foodie scene has taken Stockholm by storm, starting with the Taste of Stockholm festival from the 26-28 of September.

Not only will you be able to browse and sample the wares of some of the best chefs in Sweden cooking up a storm, but your entry ticket grants you participation in a cooking school where you’ll learn how to whip up your own meatballs and lingonberry sauce. This event will be a foodie heaven.

Stockholm Food Fesival

Succulent oysters. Photo courtesy of Taste of Stockholm

Östermalms Saluhall Since 1888!

Food market Stockholm

Östermalms Saluhall Stockholm. Photo by Maya CC BY

Generations of stall sellers have descended daily upon Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm’s indoor food market, since 1888. There are 17 incredible restaurants to be found among food stalls where you can pick up some of the best ingredients in the city. If you’re feeling lazy, grab a lunch at Tysta Mari where they serve authentic Swedish food like the salmon bake and fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberries…we’re salivating just thinking about it. Alternatively, grab picnic ingredients and head to one of Stockholm’s beautiful parks.

Swedish food market

Buttery Swedish chanterelle mushrooms. Photo by Maya CC BY

In search of a “Fika”

Fika break in Stockholm

Stockholm bakeries. Photo by Mikel Ortega CC BY

Head to the locally-loved, Old World atmosphere at the Vete-katten bakery for a traditional Fika, (coffee break) which is usually accompanied by something sweet. You’ll be able to pick from many delicious types of traditional Swedish cakes and pastries to take the edge off your mid-day hunger.

Those famous Swedish cinnamon rolls

Swedish Cinnamon rolls

Those delicious Swedish cinnamon rolls. Photo by Anya CC BY

If you’re craving a better version of the famed Ikea Kanebullar (cinnamon bun), Rosendals trädgård at the Djurgården is the place to get one, or even a dozen. The lovely cafe is located in one of the greenhouses of the Djurgården park. Leave with a loaf of bread under your arm along with your Kannebullars or regret it eternally.

Lunch in Stockholm

A seagull helping himself to some lunch. Photo by Ulf Bodin CC BY

Hot chocolate at Stortorgets Kaffestuga

Hot Chocolate in Stockholm

Swedish hot chocolate for those colder Stockholm days. Photo by Marc H Anbinder CC BY

If you’re running around the Gamla Stan (the Old Town), warm up with a proper hot chocolate at Stortorgets Kaffestuga. You might as well go to town on the sugar and indulge yourself in the classically Swedish chocolate and oatmeal balls or, if you’re feeling for something a bit more savory, one of their stout open-faced salami smörgås (sandwiches).

Wedholms Fisk Seafood

Seafood restaurant Stockholm

Dining in style at Wedholms Fisk. Photo by Wedholms Fisk

Wedholms Fisk restaurant is one seafood averse folks might want to skip: with a menu almost entirely devoted to seafood, if you are fond of the fruits of the ocean, your mouth will be salivating as soon as you get your hands on a menu. You’ll have a view of the ocean from your lunch table and you can look forward to things like fresh oysters on pumpernickel bread or trout roe with their famous champagne sauce. It’s a perfect mix of simplicity and decadence in both the food and the atmosphere.

Blasieholmens Akvarium O Restaurang

Best seafood in Stockholm

B.A.R might be Stockholm’s best seafood. Photo by B.A.R

The Blasieholmens Akvarium O Restaurang, or better known as B.A.R combines local, seasonal produce with specialty important ingredients for a palette that is Stockholm through and through. You can pick out your own fish, meat or seafood straight out of the tank or counter and request unique combinations of ingredients. If you want to leave the combos to the experts, choose a set course befitting of the season and harmony of flavors. This restaurant is one of many taking part of the Taste of Stockholm food festival.

Oysters in Stockholm

More succulent Oysters courtesy of B.A.R. Photo by B.A.R

Extra Foodie Tips

traditional swedish cake

Swedish princess cake. Photo by MLB CC BY

Make sure to eat a green prinsesstårta (princess cake) during the third week of September when it’s officially princess cake week in Sweden. This chameleon green cake has layers of yellow sponges, jam and vanilla custard, and whipped cream sealed with green marzipan.

Thursday is pea soup and pancake day — many restaurants still serve this traditional meal on this day, although its origins remain mysterious.

Don’t expect two slices of bread with your smörgås.  The open-faced sandwich dates back to the 1400s and is usually piled high with shrimp, salami or fish, hard boiled egg, lettuce, tomato and cucumber and creamyromsås — crème fraîche blended with dill sprigs and roe. It’s a delicious mouthful.

Classic Swedish sandwiches

Swedish open-faced sandwiches. Photo by Warl CC BY