Sweden probably doesn’t come immediately to your mind as a top food destination. It has nothing on culinary powerhouses like France or Spain. But Sweden does rank up there with some of the best places to discover and taste new foods, which often is what culinary travel is all about.
When you’re visiting Stockholm, one of the best tours in town is with Food Tours Stockholm, who are eager to help you discover Swedish specialties and learn more about the culinary history and rich food traditions that have been forged in Sweden.
You might also want to check out our self-guided Stockholm subway art tour while you’re there!
I was lucky enough to join in on a Stockholm Food Tour around the city while I was in town for a blogging conference. The tour began in Haymarket Square in the center of Stockholm and immediately delved into the delicacies and treasures inside the ages old market, before venturing into other parts of the city.
If you love food even the smallest amount, you’ll want to check out this Stockholm food tour for an introduction to Swedish food. You’ll quickly find that Stockholm has a pretty incredible foodie scene.
Here’s a short video of our tour.
The tour started in Hotorsget at Hotorgshallen, a food market that has been around in Stockholm for many years and contains dozens of food shops.
Hötorgshallen at Hötorget (Haymarket Square)
Located in Hötorget (Haymarket Square), is the Hötorgshallen – a market that has been open since the 1880s. This area has been a meeting place for Sweds for a hundred or more years and now it is home to a lively produce market that gets step up in the square so residents can purchase fresh vegetables and fruits. On Sundays, the produce stands turn into a flea market.
The current Hötorgshallen was opened in 1958 and houses some of the city’s best food stalls. While there are a bunch of Swedish shops, featuring specialities you absolutely must try, like fish soup and herring, the market is also full of international specialities from around the world. It’s a fantastic place for lunch.
What we ate at Hötorgshallen
You’ll find a steaming bowl of fish soup from Kojsas Fish & Restaurant, a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been tucked into the corner of the market and run by multiple generations. The picture below is a small sample bowl. The soup you’d order from the restaurant is in an enormous bowl, and patrons who finish it and are still hungry can get a second bowl for free! I really doubt you’ll need it though.
You’ll find incredibly fresh fish from Har, where you can sit down with a beer and some smoked salmon. You’ll find an exceedingly popular reindeer pate from Hellbergs, a truly local delicacy. And you’ll find dozens of cheeses at Fromageriet to nibble on. One of my favorite finds at the market was karelian pies at a shop run by a Finnish family. Mother and three daughters run the shop, where you can find many different Finnish products and prepared foods. The karelian pies are served pipping hot with a mixture of butter and egg on the top that blends into the potato or rice filling like a dreamy sauce.
Opening Hours (Hötorgshallen)
Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Sundays and holidays.
Urban Deli opened in Sodermalm in October 2009, inside an old Post Office building, as a sort of conglomeration of food concepts. It began to redefine the idea of a food hall as a place where you can food from many different aspects. It’s not just a deli or restaurant or market. It’s a place where you can go to eat, pick up a prepared meal to take home, have a drink with a friend on the balcony and do some food shopping as well.
The concept has really caught on in Stockholm and has enabled the team to open another location at Sveavägen 44 that also includes a hotel. Inside, you’ll find a trendy bar and restaurant serving fantastic chef creations, alongside take out food that is prepared and packaged with the intent of saving your precious time at home. They take on the cooking for you, so you don’t have to spend your evenings making a healthy dinner.
What we ate at Urban Deli
I am a huge fan of steak tartar. There is nothing like sinking your teeth into a succulent and well prepared steak tartar. The dish we ate at Urban Deli reminded me a lot of a steak tartar. It was cubed raw beef that had been smoked, served alongside fresh peas and aioli. It was a very well rounded dish with bold flavors that complimented each other very well.
What they do best: They do it all! Hotel, restaurant, food hall, supermarket
Address: Nytorget 4 | Website: http://www.urbandeli.org
After Urban Deli, we walked a few blocks to one of Sweden’s oldest delicatessens, Osterqvist, who have been around since 1888. They are the only store in Sweden that sells many of the worldy delicacies they import from suppliers around Europe. You can find many types of cured meats and cheese, olives, bread, and spreads.
What they do best: International Deli Foods
Address: Odengatan 84 | Website: http://www.osterqvist.se
No food tour in Sweden is ever complete without a plate of meatballs. So many of the restaurants in Stockholm sell this ubiquitous dish. If we had more time there, a meatball quest would definitely be in order. During the tour, we tried the meatballs at Tennstopet, a beloved classic tavern among Stockholm residents, where they serve many Swedish classic dishes. Meatballs are always served with potatoes (we encountered both boiled baby potatoes and mashed), with a small plate of lightly pickled cucumber slices and lingonberries.
What they do best: Traditional Swedish Classics
Address: Dalagatan 50 | Website: http://www.tennstopet.se
Bakery & Spice
There are breads of all kinds available at Bakery & Spice – sourdough is their specialty, but they also make Danish rye bread, baguettes, apricot bread and many different kinds of nut and seed breads. Once you’ve filled your bag with delicious breads, you’ll want to try a handmade chocolate or two.
What they do best: Organic sourdough bread
Address: Torsgatan 46 | Website: http://www.bakeryandspice.se
Café Rorstrands Slott
A concept that defines a Swedish afternoon, which you’ll catch on to fast when visiting, is Fika. Fika is a term used to represent an afternoon coffee/tea break, where you sit with friends over a drink and pastry or snack around 3pm. A great spot for a fika in Stockholm is Café Rorstrands Slott. It is located near one of the busiest tourist areas. You might also be interested to know that the café operates out of a castle that is several hundred years old. There are even dungeon tea rooms.
What they do best: FIKA!
Address: Rorstrandsgatan 5 | Website: http://www.rorstrandsslott.se
I have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure what type of foods we’d be trying on this tour, and I was very pleasantly surprised by all the really creative and great foods we were able to sample. This tour is absolutely packed with stops, so you really get a well-rounded view of the food options in Stockholm.
Contact Food Tours Stockholm for more information and to book a tour while you’re in Stockholm!
(I participated in this tour for free in conjunction with TBEX Stockholm. As always, all opinions are my own.)