Sweden is a country with a rich and varied culinary tradition. Near our venues are to be found numerous restaurants that serve not only local food, but also international cuisine. The most touristy of these is in Gamla Stan, but all areas of the city are host to excellent opportunities to sample the cuisine.
Breakfast is usually provided by the hotel, though if you are staying at an Airbnb, it may not be part of the service. Most breakfasts are buffets that include a wide variety of dishes. In general, these are extensive, with various pickled fish, meats, cheeses, pastries, and hot dishes.
The traditional buffet, however, is the smögåsbord, which can be found in some of the larger hotels.
Lunch is usually the best time to visit a restaurant, many of which have what is known as the Dagens Lunch (Daily Lunch), usually a special at a reasonable price. Included are a main dish, salad, bread, and drink.
The morning and afternoons have intermediate snacks of coffee and (in the morning) pastry or (afternoons) cakes. These are known as the Fika. This is a Swedish tradition whereby people break from whatever they are doing and take a moment to socialize over these snacks.
Dinner is generally quite expensive in Stockholm, and so if there is a budget, it is best to eat one’s main meal at lunch. Usually, purchasing cold cuts, cheese, etc. from one of the markets, along with bread and other picnic style food avoids this cost.
A trip to the city should include a visit to one of the main markets, either Högtorget downtown (a bit of a walk from the venues) or Östermalm. Both have places to eat, as well as shop, and in the former one can find the Izmir Kebab, which has been around for several decades and serves a great pita.
Alcohol can generally be purchased at the various Systembolagen throughout the city. These are state run and have decent prices on wine, etc. The various beers found in grocery stores are all lighter, and come in three strengths: lättöl (light beer), mellanöl (medium, sort of akin to Coors), and starköl (strong, maxing out at 5.2%). Various restaurants and Värdshus (pubs) serve it on draft or in bottles, but it is quite expensive. One can also find imports, generally weakened for public consumption.
The brewpub movement has, however, become all the more apparent in Stockholm. There are several in the immediate vicinity of the Venues, a couple in Gamla Stan.
Swedish cuisine is healthy and quite extensive. Some of the items that one should try are:
As it lies close to the Baltic Sea, fish in Stockholm is wonderful and fresh. Cod is a favorite, but one should try the cured salmon (gravad lax) and pickled herring (sill).
Pyttipanna (a hash made of leftover meat and other things such as beets, with an egg on top)
Pea soup and pancakes (traditional Thursday night dish, served with lingonberries)
Jansson’s frestelse (Jansson’s Temptation, an anchovy casserole)
Princesstorta (a cake covered in marzipan and containing copious amounts of whipped cream)
For the not-so-faint of heart, Surströmming (illegal allegedly to open the tin indoors)