And so it’s here!
The last post that I’ll be writing about Sweden.
But what a most important post!
It goes without saying that we had a most delightful time in Stockholm, and it was truly awesome.
It was my first time to go to Sweden, but it certainly, won’t be the last. If you’re just tuning in, here’s what you missed:
- Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!
- The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!
- Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?
- Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!
And in going to Sweden, we were well aware that we would have to tighten our budget, make the local supermarket our friend, and not go on a spending spree of gastronomic delight, as we did in Croatia!
Having said that though, I’m a strong believer that when you go to another country, you ought to try as much as possible to eat the food of the land.
Sweden was no exception.
And so my task was to visit Stockholm. Sleep in Stockholm. Eat in Stockholm. And survive the horrendous prices.
With young boy tween in tow.
In order to have a great time experiencing all that Sweden has to offer, you’ve got to forget about your budget, otherwise, you won’t be able to eat a single thing!
Sweden is terribly expensive and sadly, there’s no getting around it! Prepare yourself for high prices, and either suck it up, or go elsewhere!
Everybody always wonders how visitors do it, so I’m going to tell you how!
WHEN IN SWEDEN, YOU’VE GOT TO TRY SWEDISH FOOD. HAND ME MY MEATBALLS!
When writing about food, it’s best to let the pictures do the talking but of course, if you have further insight, let me know in the comment section below!
WHAT IS SWEDISH FOOD?
Swedish food can be described as cultured dairy products, crisp bread, berries, stone fruits, beef, chicken, lamb, pork, and seafood.
Due to Sweden’s large North–South land space, there are regional differences between the food of North and South Sweden.
In Northern Sweden, fare such as reindeer, and game – derived from the Sami nomadic culture – are eaten. In Southern Sweden, fresh vegetables play a larger role.
Internationally, the most famous Swedish culinary tradition is the smörgåsbord, otherwise known as a help-yourself buffet, the julbord, otherwise known as a Christmas spread, and traditional Swedish dishes such as gravlax and meatballs!
Sweden has a unique breakfast culture whose roots are firmly grounded in peasant traditions. We were lucky to experience just how a Swedish breakfast should be, as we were staying at the Hobo award-winning design hotel!
The breakfast there was greeeeeeeeat!
There was a variety of fresh-home-made organic Nordic food, rye sandwiches with caviar (yummy!) a variety of chia seeds, nuts, coconut milk, yoghurt, fruit, juices, and smoothies.
Of course, I couldn’t actually eat most of the items on offer ‘cos of my nut allergy, but the staff were able to make me some nut-free yoghurt!
In Swedish traditional homes, breakfast consists of:
- sandwiches on hearty bread with cheese
- bread topped with ham
- bread and eggs
- bread with ham or skinka
- bread with caviar. Oh my!
- bread with a sweet spread made from butter and whey (ala Little Miss Muffet) or messmör
- porridge with milk and jam or cinnamon and sugar
- bread with caviar, and Swedish liver pâte!
- open sandwiches or smörgåsen
- Swedish crisp bread or knäckebröd
- fermented milk or filmjölk
Our hotel breakfast was included with our room, but if you wanted to book it separately then you could! Cost: 120 SEK or €12.30 per person.
TAKE A FIKA!
Meals are expensive in Sweden, so we opted for taking a fika or a coffee break, even though I don’t drink coffee. Ho! Ho!
However, drinking coffee and eating sweet baked goods or fikabröd is a social institution in Sweden, and just like the tea break in Britain, is a traditional way of socializing, and taken quite seriously.
Many traditional kinds of Swedish sweet baked goods are:
- sirapslimpa – a wholemeal loaf sweetened and glazed with syrup, treacle, aniseed, fennel, and tangy orange zest
- yeast buns
- And you really can’t mention Swedish food without talking about cinnamon buns!
In fact, most offices, schedule official time for fika!
In addition to sweet goods, Swedish food also consists of a huge variety of bread that comes in different shapes and sizes such as:
- rye bread
- wheat bread
- oat bread
- white bread
- dark bread
- sourdough bread or surdeg
- whole grain bread
- fine grain bread
- barkis or bergis – a sort of Jewish ceremonial bread
- and of course, crisp bread!
You can also have other snacks such as:
In Sweden, Thursday is traditionally known as soup day!
- One of the most traditional Swedish soups you could have, is ärtsoppa. Ärtsoppa is a yellow pea soup served with pancakes as dessert, and has been on the Swedish menu, as far back as the Middle Ages!
Ärtsoppa is a peasant meal of thick soup made from boiled yellow peas, onions, and small pieces of pork, often served with mustard and followed by a dessert of thin pancakes or pannkakor!
- Västeras cucumber soup
- rose hip soup
- blueberry soup
- pumpkin seeds
- panini sandwiches
- And hot dogs!
We got the hotdogs on the pier not far from the Vasa Museum and the Göna Lund. I can’t remember how much they were exactly, but they were somewhere in the vein of about €5.00 – €6.00 per sausage!
You could have a variety of sausages, spices and toppings, and The Tall Young Gentleman declared them to be quite acceptable!
- new potatoes served with pickled herring, chives and sour cream
- raw food salads
- cabbage or sauerkraut
- mushroom delicacies or chanterelle. The chanterelle is usually served as a side dish with steak, or fried with onions and sauce served on bread
- porcini mushroom or karljohansvamp
- dumplings with blueberries or blåbärspalt
I’m not really a fan of burgers as I have a thing about eating beef in restaurants…
I don’t like ’em!
Anyhoo. Since we were having cocktails at the ICEBAR by Ice Hotel, we decided to have dinner there too!
The Icebar is attached to the Hotel C Stockholm, and since the manager had kindly given us a 10% discount card for a meal, we happily used it!
We had quite a nice dinner at Hearts – a blend between an American diner and an Italian family restaurant. We had the Hearts Burger. Cost: SEK 175 or €18.00 per person.
- pig’s trotters served with beetroot or grisfötter
- lingonberry jam – a traditional way to add freshness to stodgy food such as steaks and stews
- turnips or kålrot, otherwise known as swede. Yuck!
- cabbage rolls or kåldolma
- And of course, meatballs!
Meatballs are a traditional Swedish dish, and one that that many people would recognise.
In fact, in order to get our Swedish fix, we often go to the Ikea Food Hall in Berlin, just to get a taste of Swedish meatballs.
Of course, once we were in Stockholm, we just knew that we were going to get ourselves a good healthy portion of meatballs, with mashed potatoes, brown creamy sauce, with tangy pungent lingonberry berries, and a leafy salad.
And we did!
We went to a lovely Swedish restaurant whose staff were mostly Italian! The restaurant was slap bang in the middle of the Old Town or Gamla Stan and our Swedish meatballs were fantastic! It was called Jerntorgiths Café. Cost: SEK 139 or €14.50 per person.
I love seafood and Sweden has a lot of it!
As far back as 1000 AD, Sweden has been trading and preserving seafood which is salted and cured. If in Sweden make some time to try items such as:
- crayfish or kräftskiva, which is usually boiled and then marinated in a broth with salt, sugar, and a large amount of dill weed!
- pickled sweetened herring or inlagd sill
- baltic herring or surströmming
- gravlax – a Nordic dish consisting of raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill, usually served as an appetizer, sliced thinly and accompanied by a dill and mustard sauce or hovmästarsås, and served with bread or boiled potatoes.
In order to fill the appetite of my growing sprog, I decided to go to an Asian restaurant for dinner which would kill four birds with one stone! Thus, we would be able to satisfy our craving for Asian food, seafood, the belly of a teenage boy, and without heaving to sell my soul!
- The restaurant was in the centre of the city. It’s called Restaurang Tang. You also get free jugs of water with no hassle at all! Cost: SEK 179 or €18.50 per person.
- Chocolate. Ughh!
- Frozen sorrel
- Meadowsweet or mead wort ice-cream
- Applewood ice-cream!
I’ve got nothing left to say!
DRINKS & REFRESHMENTS:
Alcohol is awfully expensive in Sweden so I only had a drink on my first night, and on our last afternoon!
- As you know, we spent a rather pleasant evening at the ICEBAR by Ice Hotel in Stockholm – the world’s first permanent ice bar – sipping on cocktails and non-alcoholic champagne, in a glass made entirely of ice!
That was quite delightful!
Cost: It’s cheaper to pre-book or if you’re a hotel guest. Adults 199 SEK or €20.50. Non-alcoholic drinks – 170 SEK or €17.50. Children between 3-17 years – 99 SEK or €10.00.
On the afternoon, we were leaving Stockholm, we decided to visit the rooftop bar next door!
TAK is a Nordic-Japanese restaurant, and raw / rooftop bar that literally had hundreds of people queuing to get into it, so if you’re going out of an evening, I strongly recommend making a reservation!
We opted for a little after lunch-time, and had the place almost to ourselves.
- We had a non-alcoholic cocktail and a small Swedish beer that was still quite reasonably priced. Cost for the cocktail (non-alcoholic): SEK 65.00 or €7.00. For the small beer: SEK 72.00 or €7.40.
I could go on and on, but I ought to leave something for you to discover, don’t you think?
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
WHEN IN SWEDEN, YOU’VE GOT TO TRY SWEDISH FOOD. HAND ME MY MEATBALLS!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the delicious Swedish and Nordic food that we tasted, are my very own!
I’ve got a surprise for you. I’m going to London!
It’s part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, or the Long Night of Sciences at the Centre for British Studies. My discussion panel will be at 20:00 and the topic will be Brits in Berlin after Brexit, so if you’re in Berlin at this time, come and watch me, and hear me speak!
From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin right now, you’re mad!
Save the Date!
June & July are going to be amazing!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!