top thing to eat in stockholm - the top thing

The Top Thing to Eat: Stockholm

Written: The Top Thing Staff | October 3, 2023

1. Meatballs with Lingonberries

Meatballs with lingonberries are an iconic Swedish dish, deeply rooted in the country’s culinary tradition. These hearty meatballs are classic dishes typically served with a creamy gravy, creating a delicious and comforting meal that is beloved by food lovers worldwide.

In Swedish cuisine, this hearty dish holds a special place as it represents the heartiness and flavors of traditional Swedish cooking. The combination of tender meatballs and tangy lingonberries offers a unique blend of sweet and savory flavors that appeal to both locals and visitors.

The popularity of meatballs with lingonberries extends beyond just being a staple at home-cooked meals; they are also widely featured in restaurants across Stockholm. Many chefs take pride in preparing this classic dish using seasonal produce and locally sourced ingredients, adding their own creative touch while staying true to its authentic roots.

Whether enjoyed for lunch or dinner, meatballs with lingonberries showcase the essence of Swedish cuisine through its simple yet satisfying composition. This timeless favorite has become synonymous with Sweden‘s culinary identity, attracting food enthusiasts from around the world to indulge in its rich flavors and dishes.

2. Toast Skagen

Toast Skagen is a classic Swedish appetizer that embodies the essence of Scandinavian cuisine. Consisting of prawns delicately placed on toast, this dish is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The prawns are typically adorned with a generous dollop of creamy mayonnaise and garnished with fresh dill, adding an aromatic touch to the ensemble.

This iconic Swedish dish provides a perfect harmony between the sweetness of the prawns and the savory richness of the mayonnaise, creating an indulgent experience for your taste buds. It’s often served as an appetizer in many restaurants across Stockholm, offering locals and visitors alike a quintessential taste of Swedish culinary tradition.

When visiting Stockholm, trying Toast Skagen at restaurants is not just about savoring its exquisite taste but also embracing a cultural food heritage that has stood the test of time. Whether enjoyed at renowned dining spots or tucked away eateries off-the-beaten-path, this dish presents itself as an integral part of any authentic culinary exploration in Sweden’s capital city.

3. Pickled Herring

Pickled herring is a traditional Swedish delicacy that has stood the test of time. This classic dish involves marinating herring in a mixture of vinegar, onions, and spices, resulting in a unique flavor profile that is both tangy and savory.

When visiting Stockholm, you’ll find pickled herring served as an appetizer in many restaurants or as part of a smorgasbord – a selection of cold dishes typically including bread, butter, cheese, and various toppings.

In Sweden’s food culture, pickled herring holds significant cultural importance. It’s not just about the taste; it represents tradition and heritage. Locals often enjoy it during festive occasions or family gatherings.

If you’re keen on experiencing authentic Swedish cuisine at its best while exploring Stockholm’s culinary scene, trying pickled herring at a restaurant is a must-do. Whether you opt for dining at an old town restaurant or visit one of the city’s food halls – there are plenty of options to savor this iconic treat.

The versatility of pickled herring makes it suitable for all kinds of diners – from those seeking high-end dining experiences to travelers looking for affordable yet delicious meals.

4. Jansson’s Temptation

Jansson’s Temptation is a classic Swedish dish consisting of potatoes and onions baked in cream. This creamy and flavorful casserole has become a staple in Swedish Christmas feasts, offering a comforting and indulgent experience for those who savor it.

The combination of thinly sliced potatoes, onions, anchovies, and heavy cream gives this dish its rich taste and distinctive texture. The layers of ingredients are carefully assembled before being baked to perfection, resulting in a golden-brown top with tender, melt-in-your-mouth potatoes beneath.

This traditional dish reflects the historical influences on Swedish cuisine; it is believed to have been named after Pelle Janzon, a food-loving church warden from Stockholm. Its popularity has endured over the years due to its delicious simplicity and heartiness.

Visitors to Stockholm can find Jansson’s Temptation served at various local restaurants or even try making it themselves if they have access to kitchen facilities during their stay. It offers an authentic taste of Swedish culinary tradition that shouldn’t be missed.

5. Gravlax with Dill and Mustard Sauce

Gravlax is a traditional Nordic dish made of cured salmon, typically served as an appetizer. The salmon is carefully cured with a blend of salt, sugar, and dill, resulting in a delicate yet flavorful taste.

This classic dish is often complemented by a tangy mustard sauce that adds a zesty kick to the rich flavor of the salmon. The combination of dill and mustard sauce enhances the natural taste of the fish, creating a harmonious balance that appeals to both seafood enthusiasts and those new to Scandinavian cuisine.

In Sweden, gravlax with dill and mustard sauce holds cultural significance and is commonly enjoyed during festive occasions such as Christmas or Midsummer celebrations. Its popularity extends beyond fine dining establishments or restaurants; it can also be found at local markets or prepared in home kitchens for special gatherings.

The use of fresh ingredients like dill not only contributes to the dish’s vibrant flavors but also aligns perfectly with Stockholm’s reputation for embracing locally sourced produce in its culinary offerings. This commitment to quality has established Stockholm as a great place for food enthusiasts seeking authentic experiences rooted in tradition.

6. Swedish Princess Cake

The Swedish Princess Cake is an iconic dessert that has gained international recognition for its exquisite taste and visual appeal. Comprising layers of airy sponge cake, luscious cream, and a generous coating of marzipan, this delicacy offers a delightful combination of textures and flavors.

This delectable treat is further adorned with a vibrant green marzipan dome on top, adding to its regal appearance. The smoothness of the marzipan contrasts beautifully with the lightness of the sponge cake and richness of the cream filling.

In Sweden, it’s not uncommon to see this cake being served during special occasions such as birthdays or celebrations. Its popularity extends beyond local boundaries, making it a sought-after item in cafes and bakeries around Stockholm.

With its visually striking presentation and harmonious blend of ingredients, the Swedish Princess Cake exemplifies the artistry and finesse present in traditional Swedish baking.

7. Västerbottensost Pie

Västerbottensost Pie is a delectable savory cheese pie that originates from the Västerbotten region of Sweden. This renowned dish is crafted using the distinctively flavorful Västerbottensost cheese, known for its rich and nutty taste. The use of this particular cheese in the restaurant gives the pie a unique and irresistible flavor profile.

Traditionally served as a starter or snack, this pie offers a delightful combination of creamy texture and robust cheesy goodness. Its versatility allows it to be enjoyed on various occasions, whether as an appetizer at gatherings or as a satisfying treat during leisurely moments.

The Västerbottensost Pie encapsulates the essence of Swedish culinary tradition and showcases the country’s expertise in creating dishes that are both simple yet bursting with flavor. It has become an integral part of Swedish cuisine, celebrated for its ability to captivate palates with its uncomplicated yet exquisite taste.

This iconic dish has gained popularity not only within Sweden but also internationally, attracting visitors from around the world who seek to savor its authentic flavors when visiting Stockholm.

8. Surströmming (Fermented Herring)

Surströmming is a traditional Swedish delicacy made from fermented Baltic herring. This unique dish has gained notoriety for its pungent odor, which often leads to divided opinions among food enthusiasts.

The fermentation process of surströmming involves storing the herring in barrels for several months before it’s ready to be consumed. During this time, the fish undergoes a chemical reaction that produces its characteristic strong smell.

Despite its intense aroma, surströmming is enjoyed by many Swedes, particularly in northern regions like Södermalm. It’s commonly served with boiled potatoes, sour cream, chopped onions, and flatbread. The combination of these accompaniments helps balance the potent flavor of the fermented fish.

In recent years, surströmming has garnered attention on social media platforms and international television shows due to its polarizing nature. While some people are intrigued by its cultural significance and bold taste, others find it challenging to overcome the initial olfactory shock.

Transportation around Stockholm makes it convenient for visitors to explore different districts and experience authentic Swedish cuisine firsthand—surströmming included.

9. Knäckebröd (Crispbread)

Knäckebröd, also known as crispbread, is a traditional Swedish staple made from rye flour and water. This simple yet versatile bread has been a part of the Swedish diet for centuries.

The process of making knäckebröd involves rolling out the dough thinly before baking it to achieve its characteristic crispiness. The result is a crunchy, dry texture that pairs perfectly with various spreads and toppings.

In Sweden, knäckebröd is commonly enjoyed with butter or cheese. Its sturdy nature also makes it an ideal base for open-faced sandwiches topped with smoked salmon, pickled herring, or creamy cheeses.

This beloved Scandinavian snack offers more than just satisfying crunch; it’s also packed with fiber and nutrients due to its whole grain composition. As such, it provides a healthier alternative to regular bread while offering a unique taste experience.

Despite being readily available in grocery stores worldwide today, tasting authentic knäckebröd in Stockholm allows visitors to appreciate the cultural significance of this iconic food item within its place of origin.

Whether sampled on its own or paired with local delicacies in Stockholm’s charming cafes and bakeries, knäckebröd offers an authentic taste of Swedish culinary tradition that shouldn’t be missed during any visit to this vibrant city.

10. Semla (Sweet Cardamom Bun)

Semla is a traditional Swedish sweet bun that boasts a delightful cardamom flavor, making it a unique and cherished treat. This delicacy is typically enjoyed during the Lenten season in Sweden, adding to its cultural significance.

The sweet bun is filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that captivate the palate. The combination of soft bread, rich almond paste, and luscious cream makes Semla an indulgent delight for those with a penchant for sweets.

During the Lenten season in Sweden, bakeries and cafes across Stockholm proudly display their own versions of this delectable pastry. It’s not uncommon to see locals and tourists alike savoring Semla while gathered around communal tables at quaint cafes or bakeries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some traditional Swedish dishes to try in Stockholm?

If you’re visiting Stockholm, be sure to try traditional dishes like Meatballs with Lingonberries, Toast Skagen, Pickled Herring, Jansson’s Temptation, Gravlax with Dill and Mustard Sauce, Swedish Princess Cake, Västerbottensost Pie, Surströmming (Fermented Herring), Knäckebröd (Crispbread), and Semla (Sweet Cardamom Bun).

Where can I find the best meatballs with lingonberries in Stockholm?

For a classic taste of Sweden, head to local restaurants or cafes known for their authentic Swedish cuisine. Many places in Stockholm serve delicious meatballs with lingonberries as part of their menu.

Is Surströmming a popular dish in Stockholm?

Surströmming is a polarizing dish made from fermented herring that has a strong smell. While it’s not commonly served in restaurants due to its acquired taste and pungent odor, some locals do enjoy this unique delicacy.

Can I purchase traditional Swedish crispbread in Stockholm?

Yes! You can easily find traditional Knäckebröd (Crispbread) at supermarkets and specialty food stores throughout Stockholm. It’s often enjoyed with various toppings or as an accompaniment to meals.

What is the best time of year to try Semla (Sweet Cardamom Bun) in Stockholm?

Semla is traditionally associated with Shrove Tuesday or “Fat Tuesday” before Lent begins. During this time of year leading up to Easter, bakeries across Stockholm offer these delightful buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream.