Sweet + Savory: A Food Guide to Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is more than quaint cobblestone streets and brightly colored buildings – its dining scene is completely underestimated. Meatballs and pickled herring might be obvious items to order, but Stockholm offers a variety of traditional and modern restaurant options that should not be overlooked. This Summer, I visited Sweden with my brother and his girlfriend. We had no idea what to expect, but boy, were we surprised! The city was warm and welcoming and the culinary scene was spectacular. Included below are some restaurants that embody the spirit of Stockholm: modern yet cozy and refined yet affordable.

Gästabud | On the first night of our visit, we were sitting on a bench in Old Town, Stockholm deciding on a place to have dinner when an older gentleman sat down next to us. Humored by our indecisiveness, he leaned over and suggested Gästabud, a small, cozy restaurant known for its traditional Swedish dishes. I can’t tell you how grateful we were for that nosy man because the food was exquisite. I can honestly say that the taste of the slow-cooked pork cheek with cherry sauce will remain permanently ingrained in my memory forever.

Glashuset Kajplats 18 | This trendy riverside restaurant is located on the Promenad Strandvägen in Stockholm. From the outside, this restaurant looks like a glass box along the river, but inside, it’s adorned with decorative white lanterns and covered in plants. We popped in here for an impromptu cocktail and we were pleasantly surprised. Aside from having a beautiful interior, Glashuset Kajplats 18 also has great appetizers and cocktails. For us, in the dead of Summer, this was the perfect place to grab a refreshing cocktail after a long walk along the river.


Kornhamnstorg No. 53 | We were looking for a place to grab a nightcap and stumbled upon No. 53, which, luckily, was a hop, skip and a jump from our Airbnb. The vibe of the restaurant is dark and moody, with cozy booths and a backlit bar. The cocktail menu was very unique, which is exactly what we were looking for. I ordered a tasty lemon vodka drink and my brother got a delicious old fashioned. I looked over at the patrons next to us and they had a smörgåsbord of late-night stacks including cheese plates, fried risotto balls and flatbread pizzas.

Meatballs for the People | There was no way I was going to leave Stockholm without eating Swedish meatballs. And what better place to try meatballs than Meatballs for the People. They have every type of meatball – from veal to beef to moose to wild boar – hell, they even have vegetarian meatballs. Whether it’s the veal meatballs with grandma’s tomato sauce or the classic meatballs with potato purée and creamy gravy, you can’t order wrong at this place. And if you’re feeling REALLY adventurous, you could take a page from our book and try smoked reindeer heart (sorry, Santa). One friendly tip, try to get there on the earlier side of the evening as the wait tends to get lengthy.


Cafe Schweizer | In addition to coffee and other scrumptious pastries, Cafe Schweizer has amazingly delicious, freshly squeezed orange juice. This cute little cafe caught our eye the moment we arrived in Stockholm. It can’t be missed. There are heaps of bags filled with orange peels piled up outside its doors and cups of orange juice lining its shelves. We must have walked by this cafe at least ten times in the two days we spent in Stockholm, so before we left, I insisted we grab a cup of orange juice. I never knew orange juice could taste so good!


Österlånggatan 17 | Österlånggatan 17 was another local suggestion we were extremely pleased with. We were looking for a brunch spot that was still serving eggs and did not have a line out the door. Enter Österlånggatan 17. Located in historic Gamla Stan, this is a scenic spot along a cobblestone street. And, because we didn’t make a reservation, they seated us outside so we could enjoy the view and people watch as we ate. The food was solid: from omelets to kebabs to burgers to salads, they had it all. Oh, and the fries. The fries were incredible.



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