Welcome to Citizen Femme’s guide to Scandi food culture – one phenomenon that has seen resurgence in recent years, making Stockholm a very foodie destination.
Noma in Copenhagen, which shut her doors last year, but has now re-opened, was the driving force behind putting this cuisine on the foodie map. But I’m not convinced that they did anything more than make it sexy. The concept was there already. In cold harsh climates, it makes sense to eat local and seasonal which means a lot of fish and often reindeer. Vegetables, scarce in such a landscape, are to be revered and can crown a meal.
Noma and their followers took the focus to the icing on the cake- the vegetables- and pushed it further and visitors to Copenhagen, Stockholm etc are reaping the rewards. Here is your list of must visits for a foodie experience in Stockholm.
Classic with a side of hipster
Nytorget 6 based in the very cool Sodermalm neighbourhood is the place to go on a Saturday night to hang with the cool kids AND eat the best meatballs in town. It is not lost on me that very recently the Swedish government said that meatballs were no longer the national dish- it seems they are now Turkish! Frankly this is irrelevant as they are so embedded in the culture. Upstairs has a funky vibe complete with glitter ball but I personally prefer the red room downstairs for a more intimate vibe. You must order the berry strudel dessert.
Nouveau Cuisine at it’s best
Book in for chef’s table, this is theatre of a very earthy variety centring around a wood fired oven. We were served roasted vegetables on gently smoking branches of Christmas tree to begin and I was hooked. It was challenging, it was different, it was so so cool and very seasonally inspired. So much so that the food felt healthy! Great for veggies as per Noma and indeed many of the superstars in the kitchen trained there. Be hungry you will have at least five courses. If there is one reservation you must make prior to your trip, this is it.
If Swedes made Pizza
I know it sounds crazy to tell you to eat pizza in Stockholm but this is no ordinary pizza. This is where Stockholm’s best chefs go on a Sunday night to hang out and talk foodie gossip. There are rotating non-pizza options but don’t bother with them. Pizzas have seasonal toppings and so you really can’t go wrong. Margherita always wins for me, simple and showcasing the skill of the pizzaiolo. Three sommeliers co-founded the restaurant so do the wine pairing , a standard coke isn’t going to cut it here with your pizza! Do reserve if you plan to go at the weekend.
Comfort with a side of Cuddle
Temperatures in winter can put off many tourists from visiting Scandinavia but don’t let it put you off going to Stockholm! The city was made for colder climates, it’s filled with cosy coffee shops to warm up, fascinating museums with industrial heating and is so pretty that you will want to brave the cold. However, it is very important to eat heartily and sometimes we all crave comfort food. Enter Campfire, a large but beautiful restaurant in the Downtown Camper by Scandic hotel. With several roaring fires to sit next to and thaw yourself out, this is a wonderful place to chill. I loved the hearty veggie stews they serve, the quinoa veggie burger was outstanding but each week the veggie burger recipe changes. They serve a beautiful smoked asparagus and there are flexitarian options too. For dessert order the roasted marshmallows with baked chocolate!
Bun bun bun bun bun
Now that it has been announced that Swedish meatballs aren’t actually Swedish, I personally think that Swedish buns should be made the national dish. Perfectly sweet, perfectly moreish and often made of dark rye flour to form a substantial baked good. This is absolute perfection with a cup of coffee for elevenses or indeed breakfast. The classic is cinnamon, the perfect contrast is cardamom. Fabrique has bakeries all over Stockholm and we loved the relaxed atmosphere and great coffee and sandwiches they serve. Other more classic bakery institutions in Stockholm are Valhalla, Petrus and Tosse. So… are you a cinnamon or a cardamom girl?