We fell in love during our recent Stockholm trip. Don’t worry, there was no cheating involved. We fell in love with Stockholm.
Our recent Stockholm trip was a revelatory experience. Though we focused on the city’s food scene, we were struck at every corner by the city’s cool vibe.
Considered to be one of the most livable cities in the world, Stockholm is progressive with its cashless society and also quirky with a subway system that doubles as a modern art gallery. This is a city where you will not be bored whether you have 24 hours in Stockholm or a full week.
What We Loved the Most during our Stockholm trip
If you’re wondering whether you should visit Stockholm, the answer is yes. Not surprisingly, Sweden’s capital is hip and filled with great Swedish food. Plus, there are a ton of fun things to do in Stockholm at all hours of the day and night.
These are our (mostly edible) favorites things to do in Stockholm:
Thanks to the Swedish Chef and Ikea, we expected to find good meatballs in Stockholm. We were not disappointed.
Traditionally prepared, Swedish meatballs are pork or beef meatballs covered with brown gravy. We had hoped to try Swedish meatballs at popular Meatballs for the People, but alas, the restaurant was closed in July along with many other Stockholm eateries. Luckily, we enjoyed an excellent version at the Restaurant Pelikan, an established Swedish restaurant that was a men’s only pub in a previous life.
Not into meatballs? No worries – Restaurant Pelikan has a varied menu that includes dishes like a flavorful anchovy starter served atop pumpernickel bread and a boiled pork knuckle that was as big as Daryl’s head.
Eating smoked salmon in Stockholm is a must for any trip to the city. Local purveyors procure much of the farm-raised, fatty fish from nearby Norway for their luxurious, cold smoked product.
We ate salmon all over Stockholm from stalls at the Hötorgshallen Market Hall to fancy Pelikan and everywhere in between.
We would have been happy to eat smoked salmon at every meal if it weren’t for the shrimp. It turns out that the shrimp in Stockholm is just as good as the salmon!
We first realized the quality of the local shrimp during our lunch at Lisa Emqvist in the Östermalms Saluhall. We later indulged in an excellent bowl of shrimp at Urban Deli.
Can’t choose between salmon and shrimp? Order them both or at least a side of salmon roe.
Hötorgshallen Market Hall is located at Hötorgshallen, 111 57 Stockholm, Sweden.
Lisa Elmqvist is located at Humlegårdsgatan 1, 114 46 Stockholm, Sweden.
Urban Deli has two locations. We ate at both and preferred the location at 111 34, Sveavägen 44, 111 34 Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm is well known for its high-end dining scene, but any visit to Stockholm must include hot dogs or korv as they’re called in Swedish.
Taking the standard hot dog topped with mustard and sauerkraut to the next level, hot dog stands in Stockholm sell the turnnbödsrulle. They make this unique sandwich by putting a hot dog in a large flatbread (think flour tortilla) and then top the tubular meat with mayonnaise, mashed potatoes, onions and shrimp salad.
Yes, in Stockholm, you can eat your hot dogs with mashed potatoes and shrimp salad.
Hot dogs are widely available in Stockholm both with and without these fixings, making for a cheap, filling and comforting dining option that is especially attractive after a night at the bars.
Though Günters and NK Kory & Glass are the most revered hot dog stands in the city, these two are just the tip of the city’s hot dog iceberg. We liked them both as well as Bruno Korvar, a German-style sausage stand in the city’s Södermalm neighborhood.
Brunos Korvbar is located at Rosenlundsgatan 20, 118 53 Stockholm, Sweden.
Günters is located at Karlbergsvägen 66, 113 35 Stockholm, Sweden.
NK Korv & Glass is located at Hamngatan 18-20, 111 47 Stockholm, Sweden.
Most travelers like to collect things when they travel. In fact, souvenir shopping is an industry in itself.
In the past, we collected tchotchkes and magnets during our travels. Now, as full-time travelers, we’ve abandoned the practice of acquiring things and instead collect memories and ideas. The Fika concept is definitely an idea that we will take with us on our travels and eventually back home to Philadelphia.
In Stockholm, Fika is similar to a coffee break but better.
Not only does Fika often include bulles (sweet, tasty, knotted pastries often spiced with cardamom), but it also involves taking a literal and mental break from the busy day. The word Fika can be used as a noun or verb.
People in Stockholm Fika at home, at coffee shops and even at work. We fully embraced Fika during our time in Stockholm at several spots. We list our two favorites cafes here.
It’s a well-known fact of life that a person either loves or hates licorice. There’s really no middle ground when it comes to this strong, anise-flavored candy.
One of the 2foodtrippers adores licorice and also loves chocolate. Imagine her delight in finding candy that combines salty licorice with milk chocolate in a convenient roll?! The other 2foodtripper was equally happy eating local favorites like Plopp chocolate bars.
Gamla Stan, the old town section of Stockholm, is a charming neighborhood with a mix of artisan and touristy shops. We particularly liked Polkagris Kokeri, a cute confectionery store with a colorful selection of home-made candy including signature polkagris, straight candy canes available in different colors and flavors.
Gamla Stans Polkagris Kokeri is located at Lilla Nygatan 10, 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden.
Lagom and Stockholm Style
Stockholm residents fully embrace the concept of Lagom. This word translates to ‘just the right amount’.
This Swedish approach to life shows up in so many ways throughout the city, perhaps most of all in the city’s sense of style which combines clean lines and comfort without neglecting the importance of aesthetics.
Ironically, considering the Lagom philosophy that rejects excess, the people in Stockholm have one of the highest qualities of life.
We were excited to experience a glorious sunset from the rooftop deck at Eriks Gondolen on our first night in Stockholm. Little did we realize, the city is filled with many spots to watch the sky erupt in fiery colors while the sun makes its daily descent.
We have not yet visited Sweden in the winter, but it’s hard to imagine that the winter sunset can rival dusk at the end of long summer days. Thanks to its geographic position, Stockholm’s summer sunsets are late, long and colorful. In other words, they are magic.
Eriks Gondolen is located at Stadsgården 6, 104 65 Stockholm, Sweden.
Plan Your Stockholm Trip
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.