My Stockholm food story

Stockholm has a seriously good food scene, so it was very hard to choose places to eat during a recent visit to the city. But every meal I had there was absolutely top notch.

For most restaurants in Stockholm, I highly recommend booking in advance. Please note prices of dishes are steep compared to London, but portions are generous, so if you are watching your spend, skipping a starter or dessert course might not be a bad idea. Prices for mains in relatively mid-scale restaurants can often start from 200 SEK (£18), so pick wisely!

Below are my top picks:

MEATBALLS FOR THE PEOPLE – SÖDERMALM

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Entrance-MFTP

This is an informal and trendy restaurant serving (you guessed right) Swedish Meatballs. Theirs is a modern take on the classic dish. On the day we arrived, the place was fully booked so reservations are highly recommended. However, we were lucky to get a seat at the bar only after a few minutes of wait.

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Interior views- MFTP

The prices are fairly reasonable compared to the rest of Stockholm restaurants. The decor and atmosphere is casual and relaxed, similar to an upmarket cafe.

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A lovely table by the window

Both Husband and I tried the Classic Swedish Meatballs (179 SEK; £16.5) which came with cream sauce, potato puree, lingonberries and pickled cucumber. The choice of meatballs changes daily. On this occasion, I had the beef and pork one while Husband chose the deer version.

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Swedish meatballs

Perhaps the only time I will enjoy meat and fruit together would be when presented this way. The ingredients were high-quality, the meatballs rich and gamey, the mash creamy, and the lingonberries were tart and slightly bitter that surprisingly went well wth the meat. Altogether, it was like a party in my mouth. The pickled cucumbers were also a nice touch!

MFTP have a good selection of beers. In general, this is a good place where modern meets tradition.

More information can be found here.

GÄSTABUD – GAMLA STAN

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Gästabud entrance
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Outside seating

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Located inside the historic old town of Gamlastan, Gästabud is a quaint and charming little bistro serving traditional Swedish food.

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Interior views

I ordered the Swedish meatballs again to compare and contrast with the meatballs served at Meatballs for the People. Personally, I preferred the Gästabud version. Not only were the portion sizes fairly substantial, the food here had a rustic and home-cooked feel to it.

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Swedish meatballs

Husband had the slow-cooked pork cheek with a gravy of lingonberries, mashed potatoes, parsley and truffles. It was rich and full-flavoured; a perfect cold weather dish.

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Pork cheeks

More information can be found here.

TRADITION – GAMLA STAN

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Outside Tradition

Contrary to its name, Tradition is a modern and upscale restaurant, literally two doors down from Gästabud, serving classic Swedish dishes with a twist.

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Interior views

The restaurant had a stylish but relaxed vibe to it.

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Homemade bread basket

I ordered the Seared Char (a type of cold-water fish related to salmon and trout) with Västerbotten cheese sauce and oven-roasted cauliflower. My fish was beautifully cooked – it was rich but not ‘fishy’ with a crispy skin. The cheese sauce added salty flavours and the cauliflowers added the contrasting textures.

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Seared Char

Husband wanted to try something classically Swedish, so went for the Fried Mustard Breaded Baltic Herring with lemon, brown butter and potato puree. It reminded me of crispy fried fish but done elegantly – soft fish with a delicate crunch. The accompanying potato puree was deliciously luxuriant and he had a hard time keeping me away from it.

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Fried Baltic Herring

More information can be found here.

RIVAL BISTRO – SÖDERMALM

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For our last evening, we chose to have dinner at Hotel Rival’s own Bistro. You can read all about my stay in Hotel Rival right here. The Bistro is located on the first floor of the hotel with gorgeous evening views of Mariatorget. Serving breakfast and brunch during the day, it transforms into a stylish and elegant bistro for a special evening meal.

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Our delicious bread basket

I had the one of Rival’s classic dishes – the Beef Rydberg (tenderloin, fried potatoes, onion and mustard cream). It had some really lovely flavours and I enjoyed it, but was missing something green on my plate to balance it out. But of course, you cannot tamper with a classic dish.

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Beef Rydberg

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The winner that evening, hands down, was what Husband ordered – Juniper fried venison with pickled cow berries, game juice, truffle-coated savoy cabbage and Hasselback potatoes. To me, this was a very balanced dish, with different elements coming together in perfect harmony. The meat was absolutely delicious and the sauce to die for!

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Husband’s Venison

More information can be found here.

SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS

When in Stockholm, you have to try Swedish Cinnamon buns. We tried quite a few of them at different places. They are a perfect accompaniment to a nice, strong black coffee. But to me, who is an avid tea drinker, it was also perfectly paired with nice hot mug of tea, and the combination reminded me of the cinnamon-infused (Masala) tea I have back home in India.

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Swedish Cinnamon buns

My top places to eat Swedish Cinnamon buns are Vete-Katten and the coffee chain Johan & Nystrom.

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Vete-Katten
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Johan & Nystrom

Food in Stockholm is all about using high-quality ingredients to create innovative dishes. Comfort food looks stylish and restaurants are constantly re-inventing and setting gastronomic trends here.  I know I have barely scratched the surface with my short trip to this city, but I hope to revisit soon and carry on my Swedish foodie adventures.

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