AND the Stockholm edit comes with one guarantee – one of the restaurants selected has now made it onto my favourite restaurants of all time list… so it might have taken me a while to share these beauties with you, but it will sure be worth the wait.
I should also forewarn that top nosh was one of the objectives of this trip, so we did spend more than usual on food. But there are ways to eat on a reasonable budget in Stockholm so don’t feel you have to tick all of these off your list in one trip. I am just super greedy and super impatient.
Den Gyllene Freden, Gamla Stan
We arrived in Stockholm on a Thursday morning, and started a quick stroll around the city straight away (you can find out more about the tourist element of our trip here, with lots of things to do and see in Stockholm). We soon grew hungry though, and one of the places that we had singled out as a spot for lunch was Den Gyllene Freden in Gamla Stan, one of the stops on our walk (I told you we planned this carefully).
Den Gyllene Freden is one of the oldest restaurants in Stockholm renowned for their traditional meatballs. (And rumour has it this is where the Swedish Academy members meet to decide the winner of the Nobel Prize).
Situated in a gorgeous old building, we nearly walked straight past as the building seemed quite sleepy and uninhabited from the outside. Once we had plucked up the courage to heave open the huge door, we were greeted with a beautiful traditionally Swedish minimalist décor. We had to wait for a table but it was well worth the wait.
As newbies to the country, we decided that we had to tuck in to the traditional meatballs and they were nothing short of glorious with velvety mashed potato and tangy lingonberries on the side.
Despite the dozy appearance from outside, the restaurant was actually bustling (and I suspect this bustle overspills onto the street when warmer weather reaches Stockholm). It was the only place we dined out at for lunch, opting to grab something quickly for our remaining days, but I am so pleased we did. I am still thinking about those meatballs several months later…
This is an absolute must for your list if you want to sample truly traditional Swedish fodder.
Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren, Norrmalm
This is the restaurant that has made it onto my favourite ever places to eat list (yes, I have one of those. Albeit only mentally).
Mathias Dahlgren is a bit of a celebrity chef in Sweden, and given that he has been selected as the Swedish Chef of the year an impressive four times; it’s easy to see why. The guy does good food. His mug shot even appears in a line up of famous Swedish faces at Stockholm’s airport.
His upmarket, self titled restaurant, Mathias Dahlgren is only the second Swedish restaurant ever to receive two Michelin stars. But we dined at sister restaurant (not far away on the opposite side of a reception) Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren, which is also the proud owner of one Michelin star. This in itself is quite incredible for the style of food on offer there.
I LOVE ‘picky food’ like Tapas, because you get to try lots of different things and flavours, so the small plate style of Matbaren was absolutely perfect for me. The boy and I each devoured two savoury small plates each and still had room for a sweet plate to round up the meal.
The staff were fantastic, talking you through the menu and offering recommendations. The menu is split by produce from Sweden and produce from other countries, so it was really easy to see when you were eating local.
Two of our favourites from the standard menu were the “Steamed bun” deep fried chicken, avocado and coriander and the dry aged sirloin steak from Svartadalen, aged cheer, tarragon and pickled onion, but they also had fantastic specials on offer.
For pudding I dined on baked wild chocolate from Bolivia with sour cream, toffee ice cream and nuts. It was nothing short of devine, velvety goodness. The boy had fresh and frozen apples with ginger, mint and meringue. I am not usually an apple fan, but it looked so good that I gave it a whirl and it was delicious, light and fresh.
If you are looking for one indulgence while you are in Stockholm, this has to be it.
Bakficken Djuret, Gamla Stan
At Djuret two set menus are available every evening, but there is a slight difference. Both of these menus are dedicated to just one animal and seasonal greens to accompany them.
Luckily for me, on the evening that we went my absolute favourite was on the menu – duck!
Now I have a bit of a disclaimer, I didn’t manage to get any pics in this restaurant. It majors massively on mood lighting, which was perfect for a cosy but decadent meal with my boy, but not so conducive for picture taking. So I contented myself with simply enjoying under the promise that I would relay the whole experience to you faithfully here.
And then do you know what happened? I even forgot to take a picture of the menu and as it has taken me to long to write up my places to eat in Stockholm list, I am now clueless on the details of the many glorious ways that we were presented with our duck (though one was certainly smoked, and one roasted, I remember those well).
I know, I know, all of my good food blogger points should be deducted right? But what I can remember is that Djuret found irresistibly delicious and gloriously rich ways to serve duck that had my mouth watering.
I would say if you are picky about your meat, then this isn’t the place for you. But the boy and I are avid meat lovers (there isn’t much we wouldn’t try) and I was trying to disperse the predictably fishy fair that Stockholm has to offer for my non-fish-eating other half.
We had dined on Stockholm’s finest for the majority of our break, so we didn’t feel too guilty when we sauntered over to a slightly French affair for one of our final nights.
As with Matbaren, there is more than one Eriks in town, and Eriks Bakficka is the slightly more subdued affair in comparison to its extravagant counterpart – Erik Lallerstedt’s Gondolen, a glass-box dining rom that overlooks Stockholm from the vantage point of the top of a crane. We saw the establishment in question, and although it looked fabulous, we opted for the Bistro style of Eriks Bakficka.
There is a daily specials menu, and the fodder available revolves around simple classics with a french feel.
With this in mind I deemed it my opportunity to go fish mad, with a starter of Lobster Bisque, and a main of mussels and chips. It was perfectly cooked and suitably rich as expected. And that Bisque? Lightly whipped and creamy. Perfection.
Naturally, the boy went for a less fishy affair…Sweetbreads, Asparagus and an amazing pea puree.
The food was delicious and the surroundings were quaint and friendly. Perfect for a pleasant evening meal.
Touted as an ‘extremely popular neighbourhood restaurant’, we visited Nybrogartan 38 on our last night. We had booked a late table, but we were so shattered that we begged them to bring our booking forward, which they were more than happy to accommodate.
Now, I had my eye on the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese since I had spied it on their website online, but when I got there after several days of gluttonous daily consumption, I opted for something a bit lighter, the most delicious salad with beetroot more ways than you knew existed. It was absolutely delicious. The boy was still on fighting form and opted for a steak.
It sneakily sounds like we didn’t indulge in starters, and of course we did, with scotch eggs and a lobster bisque making another appearance, because you know, I’d got a taste for it by then.
A great restaurant with an incredible vibe, albeit in what felt like quite a subdued neighbourhood when we were there.
Plus, if you don’t want the full shebang of a sit down meal, you can just perch at the bar and sample that mac ‘n’ cheese that I was on about. Then come back here and make me really jealous by telling me all about it…
Den Gyllene Freden // Mathias Dahlgren Matbaren // Bakficken Djuret // Eriks Bakficka // Nybrogatan 38