Skåne in Southern Sweden has a rich culinary history. Join us as we explore Skåne and enjoy excellent locally produced food and wine. Yes, we said it – Swedish wine.
We were hungry after taking a four and a half hour train ride across the massive country of Sweden, from Stockholm to Malmö; however, we can’t say the same about our return journey just two days later. Our exploration of Skåne, the vibrant province on the bottom tip of southern Sweden, was full of great food. Perhaps we ate a bit too much, but we have no regrets. And, hey, isn’t salmon healthy?!
Scandinavian writer Hans Christian Anderson famously said that “to travel is to live”. We like to think that Andersen spent some time in Skåne where he would have surely lived through the food. Skåne, nestled in deep southern Sweden, is known as the breadbasket of the entire country. Much of Sweden’s produce is grown here, and the area is also a mecca for seafood and other fruits de mers. The culinary richness that permeates the culture is integral to the daily life of the province.
A two-day visit was just enough to whet our appetite for a return trip to Skåne. Perhaps we’ll journey there next autumn for the Kiviks apple festival or maybe we’ll just visit in the summer to enjoy the temperate, balmy days on Skåne’s breezy seashore that glances at the Northern edge of Denmark. Warning – after you see the food we enjoyed during our two-day sojourn, you may want to plan a trip to Skåne in southern Sweden too.
Our Gastronomic Tour of Southern Sweden in Skåne
Lunch at a Castle
Svaneholm Castle is the perfect spot to start a culinary exploration of Skåne. Built in 1530, the historic castle now houses a museum as well as a restaurant offering seasonal food in a unique setting. During our visit, we enjoyed a hearty plate of pork and potatoes served tableside in a stately room that makes guests feel like royalty.
Svaneholm Castle is located at 274 91 Skurup, Sweden.
We were justifiably skeptical about wine in Sweden until we visited Hãllåkra Vingard and tasted the excellent wines being produced at this vineyard in the southernmost part of Sweden. It turns out that Skåne, with its long days and moderately cool weather, has a climate that is conducive to growing grapes. The vineyard transitioned from a farm to a winery in 2003 and is now one of Sweden’s biggest wine producers with 10,000 vines growing grapes like Rondo, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. For such a cool climate, some of the wines, like the Rondo, made from merlot hybrids, possess surprising muscle and fullness.
During our visit, Karl Sjöström guided us around the vineyard and, in addition to the Rondo, poured us a white wine made with the winery’s Solaris grapes and a Pinot Noir rosé. As we sat in the garden sipping wine with new friends, our skepticism dissipated into the fragrant air with each satisfying sip.
Sjöström said that the winemakers fight some of the natural elements of the Skåne terroir to grow the luscious, rich red wine grapes. After our tasting, we believe that Hãllåkra is winning that battle.
Hãllåkra Vingard is located at Hällåkravägen 47, 231 72 Anderslöv, Sweden.
Farm Dinner and Hotel
Just 21 kilometers south of Malmö, Ängavallen is a unique farm where everything in its family run restaurant and farm shop is organic and grown on-site. The Nordström family and their diligent staff make every effort to treat the animals with the highest level of respect and kindness. At Ängavallen, our excellent meal started with a bright gazpacho seasoned with tarragon and kept flowing with dishes like salmon with a fennel immulsion, risotto with ramps, pulled pork ragu, sausage with whiskey sauce, flavorful pork saddle (pictured above) and rhubarb soup with buttermilk sorbet.
As much as we enjoyed the food, we loved the wine pairings even more including viognier from Ardèche, syrah from South Africa, Malbec from Argentina. Our generous hosts at Ängavallen pulled out all the stops (not to mention the corks) on a varied range of wines produced by boutique wineries around the world.
Tasting Tip: Maximize the enjoyment of your dinner at Ängavallen by staying at the farm’s charming hotel. Not only are the rooms comfortable, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a generous buffet breakfast and a pleasant morning walk around the farm.
Ängavallen is located at Ängavallensväg 17-9, 235 91 Vellinge, Sweden.
Lunch on the Harbor
Skåne was part of Denmark until the 17th century, but many locals we met relate closely to their Danish neighbors, partly due to the region’s storied history and partly due to proximity. To put it in perspective, the train to Stockholm takes over four hours, but the ride to Copenhagen is just 35 minutes. We appreciated the figurative and literal closeness as we strolled on the Öresund’s sandy beach with Denmark on the other side of the Nordic strait.
We continued our enjoyment of the Skanör harbor with lunch at Badhytten, a local restaurant and beach club. The menu features local lunch favorites like smoked salmon and shrimp salad (items we couldn’t seem to get enough of) along with hamburgers and mussels.
Badhytten is located at Skanörs hamn, 239 30 Skanör, Sweden.
Michelin Dinner at Ambiance à Vindåkra
We had high anticipation for our dinner at one star michelin restaurant, Ambiance à Vindåkra. After stepping into the charming 19th century farmhouse, sipping on champagne and enjoying the first bites of Ambience’s heavenly cherries filled with foie gras, we knew that our expectations would be more than met. Ambience’s solid, French inspired, modern cuisine displayed the high level of skill and craftsmanship we expect from a kitchen that’s just across the strait from Copenhagen’s world class dining scene.
Each course of our lux five course dinner offered an exciting take on French cuisine prepared with local ingredients grown in Southern Sweden. The young chefs cooked and plated the food in the open kitchen just feet from our table. The ending results were as artful as the many paintings decorating the restaurant’s stylish interior.
As cheese lovers, we appreciated the generous cheese cart filled with mostly French tommes. We got to pick our cheeses of choice, including one of our all-time favorites – Époisses de Bourgogne.
We’d be remiss to not give a special shout-out to the fabulous desserts served toward the end of our epic dinner. From the pre-dessert of mango and passionfruit with a vanilla twill to the parade of berries, petit fours and macarons that marched their way to our table, our senses were both overwhelmed and happy. This happiness continued the next day when we ate the petit fours that the staff kindly bagged for us.
Summer days are long and sunny in Sweden, so it was a treat for us to be out late enough to gaze at the stars. As we waited for the ride to our Malmö hotel, the stars sparkled over the restaurant’s tranquil farmhouse.
Ambiance à Vindåkra is located at Vindåkravägen 3, 218 75 Tygelsjö, Sweden.
Malmö Food Tour
Malmö may be the third largest city in Sweden, but it’s second to none when it comes to gastronomy. Benefitting from its closeness to food-centric Copenhagen as well as its agricultural bounty, the city is a serious player on the culinary front. We visited a solid sampling of local favorites during our visit and can recommend the following establishments.
Blâ Hoddans Fisk
Founded in 2004 and located in Malmö’s centrally located fish market, Blâ Hoddans Fisk is a father/son operation that smokes and sells cod, mullet, brown trout and salmon. Tobias Hammar, the younger of the multi-generational owners, proudly showed us the alder wood smokers where the duo smokes salmon then and gave us samples of the finished product.
Blâ Hoddans Fisk is located at Banérkajen in Malmö, Sweden.
Salt & Sill Deli
An offshoot of a bigger restaurant in Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast, Salt & Sill Deli opened its Malmö location in the city’s bustling train station in 2015. We indulged in creative delicacies like herring with fennel and aquiver, ceviche in oyster shells and fried herring pickled in cinnamon and sandalwood.
Salt & Sill Deli is located at Central Station, Central Hall, 211 20 Malmö, Sweden.
Kaka på Kaka
To fika in Sweden is to socialize with coffee and pastry. Our newly founded fika love hit a new level at Kaka på Kapa, the adorable female-owned cafe that literally translates to Cookie on Cookie. We savored locally brewed coffee in antique china cups along with treats like coconut torte, chess cake and raspberry cookies with homemade jam.
Kaka på Kaka is located at Tegnérgatan 25A, 216 14 Limhamn, Sweden.
Gastronomi & Harmoni
Paul Andersson opened Gastronomi & Harmoni just a year ago after working as a chef in the area. With a personal mission of selling local products whenever possible, he sources much of his product from Skåne farmers. After tasting a selection of salami and cheese, we can see why the shop is a popular local spot for lunch.
Gastronomi & Harmoni is located at Gustaf Rydbergsgatan 9B, 217 55 Malmö, Sweden.