The Cuisine of Stockholm

During the last two decades Stockholm has seen an ever increasing number of new high standard eating places. Today Stockholm can offer an impressive amount of high quality restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars.

In addition to the well established restaurants that serve traditional Swedish dishes, a variety of ethnic restaurants have sprung up during the last two decades. Fish has a prominent place in the modern Swedish cuisine, do not leave town without tasting it.

Breakfast (frukost) is a fairly big and healthy meal consisting of eggs (scrambled or hard-boiled) with Kavring bread or knäckebröd, ham, cheese, sausages and yoghurt. Most hotels have impressive breakfast buffets. Breakfast is normally included in room rate.

Lunch (lunch) is usually a lighter meal. Visitors can also enjoy big buffet tables (smorgasbord) where one can sample a variety of Sweden’s culinary specialties all at once.

Dinner (middag) is normally eaten sometime between 6 pm to 10 pm. However, in Stockholm, you will find that dinners are served as late as midnight at a range of establishments especially during the summertime.

Wine, liquor and beer prices are high in Sweden because of heavy taxation. Beside restaurants and bars, liquor and strong beer can only be purchased in state-owned shops (Systembolaget), during business hours on weekdays.

Two lively areas for eating and drinking for both locals and tourists are Sodermalm and Kungsholmen island, but forget about eating cheaply in Stockholm with the exception of good-value set menus for lunch, and Chinese food or pizzas for dinner.

Although modern day Swedish cuisine is in large parts highly internationalized, many “typical” Swedish attributes, traditions and dishes remain, some of which are many hundreds of years old, others perhaps a century or less. Anyway, authentic Swedish food is not so common nowadays.

Internationally, the most renowned Swedish meal is Köttbullar, Swedish meatballs generally made from a combination of pork and beef. They are usually served with mashed potato and a sweet jam.

Pickled herrings are another one of the most famous traditional Swedish dishes, but in Stockholm, you will find herring prepared in a number of styles.

Other classic dishes you will find in Stockholm are
  • Janssons frestelse (“Jansson’s temptation”), a traditional Swedish casserole made of potatoes, onion, pickled sprats and cream;
  • Kräftskivor (Boiled crayfish), small lobsters primarily consumed during the fishing season in August. The boil is typically flavoured with salt, sugar, ale, and large quantities of the flowers of the dill plant;
  • Ärtsoppa (Pea soup), basically consisting of yellow peas, a little onion and often pieces of pork. It is often served with a little mustard and followed by thin pancakes;
  • Gravlax, Scandinavian dish consisting of raw salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill. It is usually served as an appetizer, sliced thinly and accompanied by hovmästarsås (also known as gravlaxsås), a dill and mustard sauce, either on bread of some kind, or with boiled potatoes;
  • Falukorv, a traditional Swedish sausage which uses a mixture of pork and beef or veal. The meat is then smoked and salted. It can be served boiled or grilled;
  • Pyttipanna (“leftovers in pan”), is a hodge-potch of food similar to hash. Traditionally consisting of potatoes, onions, and sausage or ham, diced and then pan fried, it is often served with a fried egg, pickled diced beets, sour pickled gherkin, and capers.

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