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Learning to live gluten-free in a new city can be a challenge. YLC contributor Hannah Bradley spent 6 months exploring options: the result is her fantastic guide to gluten-free Stockholm.

Navigating a new city can be tough for anyone but to find your way around the gluten-free options in a new town, new country and in a new language is even tougher. To start we begin this guide with some important words to help you when finding gluten-free food in Sweden:

The lingo

Glutenfritt – gluten-free

Glutenfria – gluten-free

Glutenintolerans – gluten intolerance

Celiaki – Celiac disease

Vete – wheat

Råg – rye

Korn – barley

Dinkel – spelt

Spelt – spelt

Kamut – Khorasan wheat

Rågvete (triticale) – a hybrid of wheat and rye

 

Semla from ‘Friends of Adam’

Gluten-free options in and around Stockholm

 
Friends of Adam - Hornstulls Strand 13

A bakery specialising in gluten-free baked goods. Some highlights include semla, muffins, crisp bread, pizza bases and gluten-free loaves ranging from fruit bread to seeded breads. You can also order cakes from their website. Prices start at around 35 kr for semlor/muffins.

 

Vurma - Bergsunds Strand 31

A very popular café all year round. As well as the usual salad options, they have gluten-free bread available, which means that you can have any of the sandwiches on the menu made gluten-free. They have a small selection of sweet treats available.

 

Pizzeria MosebackeMosebacke Torg 9

Mosebacke offer a great gluten-free pizza base. They add a surcharge, which makes it quite an expensive option but it is the best gluten-free pizza I have had in Stockholm. This would make a large lunch or regular size dinner. You can takeaway or eat in.

 

Crêperie Fyra KnopSvartensgatan 4

They do French galettes – pancakes made with buckwheat flour. There are lots of savoury options from ham to fish, with lots of vegetarian options too. Prices range from 72 to 112 kr.

 

Café MacchiatoHornsgatan 63

Similar to the above, they offer gluten-free galettes – a savoury pancake made with buckwheat flour. I can recommend the parma ham and mozzarella one served with sundried tomato. Delicious as a lunch option. Prices start at 69 kr for a mini galette to 115 kr. They also offer jacket potatoes and salads, you should ask for it without the bread.

 

Urban Deli - Nytorget 4

Urban Deli have a dagens lunch offer every day for 110 kr. You need to ask the wait staff but it is often gluten-free, and if the special is battered fish, they have offered in the past to grill it for you without the batter. You can also request gluten-free bread to go with your meal at no extra cost. They stock Friends of Adam bread. The salad bar and coffee is included in the price (as well as bread and biscuits for those who can eat them). Urban Deli is one of my personal favourites as you get a hot meal with good quality ingredients.

As well as a restaurant, Urban Deli also has a shop on the side selling many gluten-free items including gluten-free bread and cakes.

 

Chutney - Katarina Bangata 19

A vegetarian restaurant serving a range of stews and curries, e.g Indian, Thai, French or Mexican stew served with rice. They are full of flavour and they have at least 2 gluten-free options every day. They allow you to go back for seconds at no extra cost and they have a selection of gluten-free cakes. They also serve dinner in the evenings until 22.00.

 

Under Kastanjen Kindstugatan 1, Gamla Stan

A great café with a nice courtyard area tucked away from the more touristy areas of Gamla Stan. They have a large selection of gluten-free cakes – often at least 6 cake options ranging from gluten-free semla, chocolate truffle cake with a hazelnut base, carrot cake and lemon cake, to name a few. They bake their cakes on the premises and offer gluten-free bread so they can make sandwiches at your request. They are licensed and have gluten-free beer.

 

Vetekatten - Kungsgatan 55

Vete-katten is a well know option for lunch and fika in the city. For lunch they offer ‘matig’ which is like a mini baguette. If they don’t have any on display you can usually request it and choose your filling e.g. you can have brie and salami with sundried tomato for 69 kr. They offer gluten-free semlor for 38 kr, as well as a selection of mousse-based cakes.

 

Food Chains

 
McDonalds

Not a favourite of mine but good to know that is an option. They offer gluten-free burgers and their fries are gluten-free. The website tells you every gluten-free option.
 
Burger King

Again, not a favourite but their gluten-free burger is actually not bad and their fries are also gluten-free.
 
Pizza Hut

All of Pizza Hut’s pizzas are available with a gluten-free base in a single size. I have not tried this personally but have heard that it is good.
 
Wayne’s Coffee

Gluten-free bread rolls available in some branches. They also offer a gluten-free chocolate cheesecake.

 

Vurma gluten free sandwich

Gluten-free sandwich at Vurma

Safe options when dining out

Certain types of food tend to be gluten-free and can be a safe option if you’re in an area you don’t know. Indian food is an example; Indian restaurants don’t tend to use any gluten in their curries. A personal favourite is Happy IndiaSankt Paulsgatan 35, in Södermalm.

Roast dinners and meat or fish dishes are usually a safe option too as they are usually just roasted or fried and served with vegetables, you just need to check that any sauce it is served with is gluten-free. For lunch, many cafés offer salads, jacket potatoes, soup and quinoa or rice dishes – be careful that they are not served with bread on top or croutons, as these are not always mentioned on the menu. Sushi is mostly gluten-free if you stay away from the soy sauce, but always ask as sometimes the mayonnaise or crab sticks may contain gluten. Lots of larger hotels in Stockholm offer a variety of gluten-free options for breakfast including pastries and bread. You do not usually need to be staying in the hotel to dine there so these are an option as well.

Most restaurants are getting used to requests for ‘gluten-free’ options, but there are still people who don’t know exactly what foods contain gluten. It is worth asking wait staff to check with the chef if they do not sound confident.

 

Gluten-free shopping

For food shopping, Hemköp, ICA and Coop all have separate gluten-free sections offering everything from corn-based pasta to flour and gluten-free biscuits. You will find many other gluten-free options such as quinoa and sausages etc in the regular aisles. It is also worth checking out the freezer sections as many of them have a separate gluten-free section in the freezer aisles as well, this is where they keep gluten-free breads, cakes and pizza bases.

Smaller health food shops also stock a good range of gluten-free foods, although these are usually a higher priced option. There are many health food shops on Södermalm around Slussen, Mariatorget and Medborgarplatsen.

 

If you’re new to Stockholm or a recently diagnosed celiac, this will hopefully give you a starting point. Please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments!


Useful websites:

 Swedish Celiac Society: For 250 SEK a year you can become a member.

Allergimat.com - Swedish website about celiac disease, it contains a number of useful fact-sheets and recipes.

 

Featured Image: Tuukka Ervasti/ imagebank.sweden.se
Text and Photo: Hannah Bradley

Frozen Yogurt? Yes please! Yummy. Just five years ago this delicious goody was hard (or almost impossible) to find in our beloved city, but nowadays these flavour factories are booming and most likely you already have one very close to you.

 
These shops will charge by the weight of the yoghurt and extras you have chosen and they present plenty of options for topping it, both healthy and less healthy. This feels very similar to choosing your lördagsgodis (Saturday sweets/candy) in the supermarket, so no wonder why so many Stockholmers are getting hooked. (But for the most part real froyo enthusiasts appreciate the healthier options; like fresh fruit.)

New in Stockholm or new to froyo? It isn’t always easy to know where to look. Here’s our top 6 of Stockholm’s specialized Frozen Yogurt shops:
 

Honeycomb (6 shops, more on the way)

Where: Various, see website
We Especially Like: They offer a Yogcake, they are very clear on their ingredients and calories
 

Majito & Co

Where: Mäster Samuelsgatan 10
We Especially Like: More exotic flavours, they also serve coffee as well as carry a nice tea selection
 

Froyo

Where: You can get your fix at Arlanda Airport and they will also be opening soon in Fältöversten shopping mall
 
yoghurt2

Chillbox

Where: Täby Centrum, Sollentuna Centrum and Liljeholmstorget
 

Frozen Yogurt Factory 

Where: Enjoy while you shop with locations in: Gallerian, Kista Galleria and Täby Centrum
 

Yoghs 

Where: Grev Turegatan 21
We Especially Like: Lactose free yogurt, they serve coffee, tea, hot chocolate and Belgian waffles with yoghurt topping

 

And if you go and dig deep in the freezers in some select Stockholm supermarkets and manage to rummage through all the different kinds of ice cream, you MAY just find the real star of this tale, a new frozen yogurt brand called Yollibox, with a package so cool that it resembles a box of Chinese takeaway.

Maybe it is time to spoon your way to discovering your own favourite Stockholm Froyo!

 

Alegria Gonzalez

Images: Rebecca Martin

There is no denying that our chosen city is a great place to pursue a freelance career – at least when it comes to finding places to set up your own pop up office (read laptop and phone). No strangers to this kind of work day, we thought we’d share our top tips for café working – Stockholm style!

 

Muggen, Götgatan

An YLC all-time favourite due to good wifi (with password), great cakes, tasty if slightly pricey lunches, and wonderful location on Götgatan. If you drop in on a weekday morning, don’t be surprised if you find us there, busy planning the future of the YLC empire. We’re always early, as it fills up by lunch. Not great for power outlets, mind – so don’t steal our seats near the toilets (where there’s a socket, silly).

work-at-mood
Sit in style in the Mood Galleria

Mood Galleria (Café Egoiste) 

With great wifi (again no fiddling with passwords), power outlets at all the tables near the concierge, and the BIGGEST cinnamon buns in the city (at Café Egoiste), the Mood Galleria is a great place to work. Slight minus that there is quite a trek to get to the restrooms (no chance of leaving your computer for a quick trip) but if you are not weak-bladdered – it is still one of the top places to work in the city.  Top tip – if you stay till 4pm on Thursdays and Fridays you can round off the working week with a glass of Champagne when the Richard Juhlin Champagne Club, with omniscient sommelier  Björnstierne Antonson, takes over Egoiste for a couple of hours. Not the cheapest – but oh, so swanky.

Espresso House (all over town)

The classic choice. With fuss-free wifi (no need to type in passwords etc), a nice but casual environment and multiple location, Espresso house has become the Stockholm freelancer’s go-to place. Coffees and lunches are not too over-priced (for Stockholm) and there is generally plenty of places to sit and a reasonable amount of power outlets. Our fave Espresso House is probably the one on Vasagatan, Skrapan or the one in NK.  (Pro tip – if you choose Stureplan, bring a sweater, it is always cold. ) Wherever you go, you are sure to feel at home in the comfy sofas and chairs. If you are an antler-enthusiast you’ll feel especially at home (you’ll have to go there and find out why)!

Mocco, Östermalm

Wonderful for both quick work meetings and a longer writing sesh, Mocco has lovely food and ample space to spread out. Perfect if one wants to stay on the posher side of town or just have had enough of one’s usual SoFo haunts. Wifi with password. Nice, clean toilets (What?! These things are trés trés important!)

work-at-pub

Pick your fave colour at PUB

PUB, Hötorget

Riding on the wave of unconventional work spaces, Pub has made available spaces in the department store where one can set up one’s pop up office. Not exactly a coffee house, there are plenty of cafés in the store where you can stock up on coffee  and snacks. PUB provides two chairs, a table and a poser socket – basically all you need. Choose your fave colour (mine is purple, so stay off!) and work away. Wifi not the quickest and toilets not too close, but on the other hand, one can pop into Smiley Vintage in breaks – and frankly one doesn’t mind if one does!

Coffice, Tjärhovsgatan

Now if you are serious about office-less freelancing, you can’t continue on unaware of this the coffeehouse-writers’ mecca. One of the few places in town you can go, get exceptional coffee and set up your laptop knowing that this is exactly what they expect you to do. In fact, this café is CREATED for this very purpose! You can also join the Work Club, and get access to printer, book meeting rooms and other office facilities. Check out the site for more info, prices etc.) YLC loves Coffice and is making a mental note to be going there even more often in the future. (We also love taking a peek into the offices of The Local as we make our way down from Mosebacke…)

So there you have it, the YLC top choices for pop-up office working in the city. We hope to see you around!

Pssst! For those that want a more organized working environment, why not check out our guide to top co-working Spaces in Stockholm!

Featured Image: 55Laney69/Flickr (file)

Rye isn’t exactly new. It’s an ancient grain Swedes have used for centuries. But lately it has fallen under the shadow of fluffy wheat breads - something Swedish chefs Mathias Dahlgren and Martin Berg are hoping to change with their brand Green Rabbit and a specific rye bread bakery in the heart of Stockholm.

 
“Bread is close to both mine and Martin’s heart and lately we have seen an increased demand for good quality rye bread,” Dahlgren said about his new venture.

Dahlgren is somewhat of a celebrity chef in Sweden and no stranger to quality ventures in the country’s capital. His self-named restaurant located in the Grand Hotel has been decorated with two Michelin stars, and its little brother restaurant, Matbaren, has its own star. Martin Berg has been Dahlgren’s right-hand man for over a decade and has a bright future himself. Together they are opening Green Rabbit, which will kick off operations this spring.

“Both Mathias and I have longed to make really good food more available, and now it’s time,” Berg stated of the plans.

“With the rye bread bakery we can meet a new audience while also offering a new product that preserves the Swedish bread culture.”

 

Green Rabbit

Green Rabbit will be both a bakery and a brand, filling the air on Tegnérgatan and Döbelnsgatan with the scent of fresh-baked grainy goodness. The location, the old Smörkringlans Bakery, has produced bread for some 80 years – but not like this.

The bakery’s focus will be on precisely those high-quality rye breads, but other sorts of bread and Swedish grain products will also be available. Customers will be able to sit down for a simple bite or choose to take away their purchases to enjoy at home.

The exact opening date has yet to be announced – but we’ll let you know as soon as the rabbit’s out of the bag!

Featured Image: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se. Green Rabbit Images: Mathias Dahlgren. Collage by Your Living City

Fettisdagen, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras; whatever you call it, the Tuesday before the start of Lent is traditionally the time for penance and confession. It’s also the time to stuff your face before fasting commences.

Tomorrow Swedish believers and non-believers alike partake in the ritual munching on semlor, buns filled with cream, cardamom and mandelmassa (almond paste). I decided to join them and help the Your Living City readers narrow down where best to invest their calories. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.*

 

1. Dessert och Choklad

DPP_1Address: Patentgatan 7, 11267 Stockholm (on Lilla Essingen, bus 49 to stop Luxparken)

Dessert och Choklad is an experience, serving everything sweet from cakes to pralines. Since they have windows looking on to the kitchen, you can actually watch your semla being freshly prepared… and when it’s handed to you it’s still warm. The only downside of the bakery is that there’s nowhere to sit. I had to enjoy my semla on the bus stop in the snow.

Bun: Just the right amount of cardamom and surprisingly moist.

Cream: Heavenly. Rich, thick and fresh fresh fresh. I reckon they store a cow in their kitchen.

Almond paste: An unsparing amount of chunky yumminess.

Overall: The balance is perfect between bun, cream and mandelmassa. None of the components overpower one another. These semlor are obviously homemade with care and top-quality ingredients. This is what earns them my first place prize.

 

2. Vetekatten

DPP_2Address: Kungsgatan 55,  111 22 Stockholm (nearest T-bana: Hötorget)

Vetekatten is a firm favourite amongst Swedes and foreigners alike. Its eclectic décor and old-world charm only add to the decadence of its freshly baked treats. Vetekatten is always a pretty safe bet if you’re in the mood for cake and its semlor have won numerous foodie’s hearts (and stomachs).

Bun: Moist, fresh and sweet. This is, in my opinion, the best part of the semlor from Vetekatten.

Cream: The bun isn’t drowning in cream, which seems to be the point de friction of many bakeries. It’s also nice and dense, adding richness and texture.

Almond paste: Finely ground and pretty damn perfect.

Overall: Vetekatten gets the balance just right and I can see why their semlor are so popular. My one complaint is that they do, however, seem a tad mass-produced…

 

3. Tössebageriet

DPP_3Address: Karlavägen 77, 114 49 Stockholm (Nearest T-bana: Karlaplan)

Tössebageriet is another popular choice for semlor in Stockholm. It is unpretentious and the quality is tops; in fact they recently won ‘Best konditor’ for 2012 . It also has the charming nummerlapp system just in case you forgot you were in Sweden.

Bun: Slightly bland as not much cardamom is used, but still nice and not too dry.

Cream: Light and fluffy. The amount of it is proportional to the size and amount of the bun and the paste.

Almond paste: Tössebageriet did something sneaky and added cardamom to their filling, which along with the finely ground almonds, makes this paste the one to rule them all.

Overall: The lack of cardamom in the bun is made up for in the paste, so the overall ratio is maintained.

 

4. Gunnarssons

DPP_4Address: Götgatan 92, 118 62 Stockholm (Nearest T-bana: Skanstull)

There are several different semlor at Gunnarssons, ranging in size from “large” to “satisfies a family of ravenous gorillas”. I wimped out and went for the “classic”.

Bun: Not too bland and not too much cardamom. Also surprisingly moist. Overall the bun balance is just right.

Cream: Too much of it. I could have painted my entire (40 square meter) apartment with it and still had some left over.

Almond paste: A generous amount of almondy goodness. Sweet, but not too sweet with sizeable chunks of almonds.

Overall: The bun/cream/filling ratio was a bit out of whack. I think the excess cream detracted from the other two components and made them seem blander than they actually were.

 

5. Sockerbagaren

DPP_5Address: Hantverkargatan 28, 11221 Stockholm (Nearest T-bana: Rådhuset)

Sockerbagaren feels very personal and intimate, which is great when you are frequenting it alone, with a friend or a significant other. Not so great when you have a great big stroller and the tiny bakery is filled to capacity with a three o’clock fika crowd demanding their semlor.

Bun: A bit too much like burger bun, so there is an excess of breadiness. It also doesn’t contain enough cardamum, so it tastes a bit bland.

Cream: Sockarbagaren makes the fatal flaw of over-doing it on the cream, which ultimately upsets the precious ecosystem of the bun:cream:filling ratio.

Almond paste: Lovely and bitty, but too little of it. This only further contributes to the upset of the oh-so-precious and volatile ratio.

Overall: I thought this place would surprise me. I wanted it to be the runty underdog who triumphed over the alpha Katten. But I was wrong and it didn’t.

 

So there you have it. Go forth and indulge while indulgence is (quite literally) the order of the day. Although try not to be like King Adolf Fredrik of Sweden. He died, after a feast including 14 helpings of semlor in hot milk; we can’t prove it was the semlor, but it’s a tale of caution.

 

Happy fettisdag!

 

*Disclaimer: I am not and do not pretend to be a semla expert. I’ll leave that up to the extremely dedicated Semmelmannen

 

Kirsten Smart

Featured Image: Camilla Degerman/imagebank.sweden.se. Individual images: Kirsten Smart

Decadent, delicious, and all-around delightful…YLC discovered the best place for a high-class but relaxing brunch, tucked away at Melt, in central Stockholm.

MeltNew York Style Brunch – Anti-Prohibition style at Melt.

There aren’t a lot of themed restaurants in Stockholm. Nor are there too many places you can go for Saturday brunch and not have to shout over your fellow diners.

That’s where Melt comes in. If you haven’t been there, chances are you’ve walked by it. Nestled into a side street right by Slussen, at first Melt is remarkably unremarkable. But YLC decided to take a peek and found out it’s anything but.

We popped in for the “New York Brunch” on Saturday about noon. The restaurant is remarkably small, no more than two full-strides front to back and about five side to side. But it packs a punch.

The walls and furniture are all black, and the decor is sumptuous, elegant, and yet effortless. Melt is built on the resurrection of love for the 1920s, and it shows. Anti-prohibition posters and newspaper clippings adorn the walls. Sofia, hostess, waitress, co-founder and owner all in one, wanders between bar and tables in a black flapper dress, complete with faux bob, headband, and heels. Frank Sinatra hums in the background, and although the place is full, it’s still rather calm.

The foggy windows and heavy drapes shut out the cold streets of modern Stockholm and transport us…where else? 1920s New York.

Of course, this is the 20s, so it’s about excess. Classy excess. If you’re going to have brunch, you’re going to do it right. For 220 SEK guests can choose American pancakes, crispy waffles, a bacon omelett, or poached egg salad – but it doesn’t stop there. Each of the options comes with a veritable buffet: a couple of biscuits with sliced cheese and sweet fig jelly, ecological yogurt with homemade granola, freshly-pressed orange juice, a berry smoothie, and a chocolate truffle. Yes, everything in the picture. And tea or coffee, naturally.

Already in an Empire State of Mind, we take the most American route and order pancakes with maple syrup. But there’s a lot to do before we make it to the main dish. The crunchy, grainy dark biscuit is surprisingly flavourful, especially with a dollop of fig jam spread thinly on top. Two tiny baguette slices are topped in melted cheese, honey, and dried cranberries, and while they’re already a bit chewy, the flavours are intact – and awe-inspiring.

The tea arrives in mismatching porcelain teacups still bearing pricetags from the second-hand shop down the street. Accident or not, it’s a charming carefree touch. Daisy Buchanan would be pleased as punch.

The pancakes are indeed American – thick, fluffy and small, tasting mildly of buttermilk, nothing like their thin, spongy Swedish cousins. And in true decadent style the pancakes come with an abundance of butter and maple syrup…more than even an American could use up. Between swigs of tea and fresh orange juice we sip on smoothies…and then turn our eyes to the yogurt parfait.

Camera 360

 

How is it possible for anyone to eat so much? But Sinatra continues to serenade, the fog spreads across the windows, and all stress has disappeared from the world for one slow Saturday morning. So picking up a spoon, we lazily delve into fresh berries, crunchy granola, and cool yogurt, presented in a crystal goblet on the table.

You could say Melt was built on an American dream. It’s modeled on an American idea, but it does it much better than an American could. It’s casual luxury at its best.

Melt is not a place to go in a hurry. Melt is a place to lounge away a Saturday morning, whiling away two hours over chitchat, the Ratpack, and dainty, delicious bites. So grab your cloche, your brogues, your long white gloves or bowtie or nearest buddy – and enjoy New York, Stockholm Style.

 

Solveig Rundquist

Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, chai and cheer.

Follow Solveig and YourLivingCity on Twitter!

During our Christmas giveaways we asked our readers to give us their recommendations on their most favourite fika - here are a few of our favourites. Enjoy!

Fika

If you’ve recovered from all that Christmas baking and feel ready to get back into the kitchen we’ve included links to all the fika recipes, so why not take a chance and see if you can compare with the treats from your local konditori.  Click on the links for the recipes!

1. Kanelbullar

Perhaps the classic Swedish fika choice, sticky and full of delicious cinnamon, usually topped with sprinkles of pearl sugar.  Great from the shops but even better if you make your own – the house will be filled with delightful scents!

2. Semlor

This concoction of pastry and cream is usually associated with Lent, Shrove Tuesday in particular. It’s a cardamom-spiced bun that is split and then filled with a milk-and-almond paste, then gobs of whipped cream.

3. Kokostoppar

A blend of butter, eggs, sugar and shredded coconut these little bite-sized treats are sometimes topped with melted chocolate – which I highly recommend.  They’re very sweet so lashings of tea go well with this one.

4. Dajmkladdkaka 

Not for the faint of heart, this is the sort of cake where you don’t ask questions.  Sugar, chocolate, butter, more chocolate, cream … it’s decadent and delicious. And the ‘daim’ is exactly what you think it is: bits of that crunchy toffee sweet lifting this cake a bit above the rest.

5. Sarah Bernhardts

These are my personal favourites and the first fika biscuit I ever tasted upon arriving in Sweden. These were also my second, third, fourth,fifth … well, you get the picture. The slightly chewy base topped with creamy filling all covered with a hard chocolate shell – what’s not to love?  Eat them at your peril, though, as they’re highly addictive.

 

Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an experienced  journalist who, when she’s not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV.  Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.

Fotografiska may be one of the hippest art galleries in town, but after every well-spent hour analysing photography your empty stomach simply cannot be ignored. So what is the Fotografiska Bistro like? YLC finds out.

realbistropic-main

Even before I arrived I knew that Fotografiska Bistro had two very important factors in its favour: location and location. The restaurant is primely placed on the top floor of the building right along the coast of Södermalm, offering stunning panoramas of Stockholm from its giant windows. It’s also – obviously – part of the Fotografiska museum, which means incredible art is right on hand. With a combo like that, how can you not be impressed?

Unlike the crowded cafes of Gamla Stan or the Sofo district, it’s spacious enough that you don’t need to worry about bumping elbows.

I arrived at the bistro about 7 p.m. on Friday, just in time for a simple dinner before enjoying the exhibits. The restaurant was fairly busy, but by no means brimming. We stood in line for a good five minutes before ordering, but since you can’t hurry through a photography museum anyway, I didn’t mind. The waitress convinced me to try a grilled chevre and red beet sandwich, each 85 SEK. And since it was after all Friday, I opted for a decadent dessert of chocolate terrine cake with whipped cream and raspberries (about 40 SEK).

The waitress informed me that my grilled sandwich would be made fresh, and they would bring it out to me shortly. I chose a table in the corner and waited. And waited.

A barefoot singer arrived and sang a few numbers on the little bistro stage, which was a nice surprise. But still I waited.

I watched the whipped cream on my cake melting slowly and taking over the dessert plate, before I at last succumbed and decided simply to eat dessert first. The chocolate terrine was rich and luxurious, not too sweet and just dark enough. The raspberries, obviously frozen and now a runny red pile of goop, were as bitter as one would expect of frozen raspberies, but still a decent compliment to the chocolate.

Chocolate terrine at Fotografiska Bistro

Finishing my dessert and finding myself still sandwichless 25 minutes after ordering, I walked up to the bar and reminded the staff. Another waitress said she would check in the kitchen. Two minutes later she came out and informed me that they had missplaced my order, but she would come out with my sandwich in ”a matter of seconds”. She apologetically added that I could take coffee, for which we had not paid, from the table in the middle of the room.

Eight minutes and two cups of average coffee later, I got my sandwich.

The basic white bread subtly enhanced the unique combination of chevre, beets and balsalmic vinegar. Accompanied by a decent-sized bed of salad and sunflower seeds, the presentation of the meal was tidy but unremarkable.

Fotografiska bistro

I found nothing to complain about with my sandwich, and it was a curious culinary choice I would have made again, or perhaps even tried at home. But as we left the cafe I found the half-hour delay and a puddle of frozen raspberries frozen in my mind. The prices at Fotografiska Bistro are average, the food is tasty if not extraordinory, and the personnel are friendly – if forgetful. Not an awful experience, but neither was it grand.

But then I turned and glanced out the window, saw Stockholm below, continued into the exhibit one floor down…and I must confess I know I’ll be back.

Location may be an unfair advantage, but it’s one thing Fotografiska’s got spot on, taking the average to excellent.

 

Address: Fotografiska Museet, Stora Tullhuset Stadsgårdshamnen 22

T-bana: Slussen

Prices: Sandwiches from 55 to 125 SEK, desserts 30-80 SEK, coffee drinks 25-45 SEK, other items vary by season/day

Contact: 08-50 900 500

 

Solveig Rundquist

Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, chai and cheer.

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Eating out in Stockholm can be very expensive, even at lunch. But there are bargains to be had and we don’t mean the local burger kiosk or a cafeteria lunch. YLC’s Judi Lembke knows where to go!

lunch-food-woman-wine

If you know where to go in the city –  there is no reason you can’t eat in style and find great lunches hovering around the 100-125 SEK mark.  Some of these eateries are well known, while others are well-kept secrets. These are my top ten:

 

HötorgshallenHötorget

Located just up Drottninggatan from Central Station, this below street food hall offers great food at amazing prices. Take your pick from 40 SEK Turkish veggie burgers to a 69 SEK ‘lunch låda’, where you can choose between around 50 delicacies, including meat, vegetarian, vegan and loads of sides.  A great little secret is Kajsasfisk, where you’ll get the best fish soup in the city.  Seating is somewhat limited in the Hall but if the weather is nice just walk outside and join the rest of Stockholm on the steps of Konserthuset.

 

Kafé Lily Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) 5th floor

Kafé Lily, on the top floor of the NK department store, offers 95 SEK lunches in a lively setting with great food. The obligatory dagens lunch is of course on offer, which will usually be a choice of fish with potatoes and some sort of meat. If you happen to go on a day when they have meatballs on the menu, grab a plate: these are some of the best meatballs in town.  They also have a daily soup and the 95 SEK lunches include a soft drink or juice, a salad bar offering a variety of veg and excellent bread, along with and end of meal coffee. Be aware that the café does a roaring trade and it’s cafeteria style, so get there early and grab a table.

 

Eriks Vinbaren Stadsgården 6

Overall it’s a bit pricey but this little offshoot of the very posh Gondolen does have a few bargains, most particularly the Toastskagen, which is delicious and so perfectly Swedish. A small portion will run you 95 SEK.  The Duck Liver Terrine with Oxtail rillette also comes in at 95 SEK and is delicious. These aren’t the heartiest of meals so if you’re really hungry and feeling a bit flush go to sister Gondolen and have the daily lunch for 125 SEK – well worth the extra cost simply for the view and ambience.

 

Grill Drottninggatan 89

Grill is very popular with the lunch crowd and there’s a good reason why: the food is fantastic and there’s plenty of it.  You walk in, grab a tray and join the queue, inching your way towards the smells wafting from the end of the long bar, where a line of cooks are busily whipping up anything from ribs to chilli broccoli to roast potatoes.  You never really know what they have on offer on any given day but you will rarely be disappointed. The bonus? An excellent salad bar that is loaded with veg, fruit and a variety of great breads, coffee and small biscuit for dessert.  Daily lunch at Grill costs 110 SEK (95 if you’re taking it with you)

 

Kungliga Biblioteket at Humlegården

This is one of my favourite little secret places in Stockholm. It’s in the basement of the big yellow library at Humlegården and serves a great lunch for under 100 SEK –  coffee, salad, and bread included.  While you can get the standard prawn sandwich from the counter they also do hot lunches.  There’s usually an excellent fish dish on offer, as well as something that often involves pork. The salads are also good, including a very tasty Ceasar, which you’ll be lucky to have the chance to try.

sushi-akki

Akki Sushi Folkungagatan 45

Stockholm is littered with sushi joints – some better than others. Akki Sushi, near Medborgarplatsen on Södermalm has some of the best sushi in town and the prices are great, running from 89 to 119 SEK.  It’s not the snazziest place in town but the food is good, the service is fast and if you’re a sushi lover this is the place for you.

 

Nosh and Chow Norrlandsgatan 24

The daily lunch will set you back 125 SEK, which is a little pricey for Stockholm but considering the great food here it’s worth the little bit extra.  Nosh and Chow pulls inspiration from, as they say, The Four Corners of the World – and this is reflected even on the lunch menu.  Dishes range from lasagne with comfit of corned duck with mushroom crème; sweetbread bullion and herb crudités to beef stew with caramelised onions, pickled beetroot and herb & garlic butter.  Are you taste buds watering as much as mine?  It’s fancy nosh and while it is popular the 150 seats available mean you should be able to get a table.

 

Millesgården - Lidingö

Located on Lidingö the café/restaurant at Millesgården is worth the trek, particularly when the weather is nice. The cost of the daily lunch will be anything from 100 SEK for soup to 120 for meat and 165 for the daily fish dish.  There are also menu staples, such as the excellent Toast Skagen, served on delicious grilled sourdough bread, or the wide variety of salads, which are more a meal for two than one.  There’s a small indoor seating area and an expansive outdoor terrace that overlooks one of the sculpture gardens with views of the water. Coffee, bread and salad are included and a good thing too, as this is the sort of place where you want to linger.

 

NarknoiOdengatan 94

Like sushi, Thai food has exploded onto the Stockholm foodie scene in recent years.  There are a lot of Thai kiosks dotted about, along with some solid restaurants and Narknoi, just across from Vasaparken, is one of my favourites.  The restaurant is small but well designed and the daily lunch, most of which cost under 100 SEK (served with milk or lättöl) offers a choice of everything from egg noodles with chicken and veg to pork curry.  There is a set lunch as well as a small lunch menu with other offerings and the service is great.  After lunch at Narknoi a quick stroll around Vasaparken should set you up for a great afternoon.

 

Lydmar Hotel Södra Blasieholmshamen 2

Ok, I’m not going to lie to you: Lydnar is pricey, even for lunch, with dishes ranging from 125 SEK for pate to nearly 400 for entrecote. BUT the food is excellent, the service outstanding and if you’re lucky enough to get a table on the upstairs terrace you’re in for a real treat. Located just next to the Grand Hotel, Lydmar is a bit of a hidden gem.  The full menu is available at lunch but you can also choose from daily specials, which will feature anything from salads to fish to a delightful soup featuring a medley of ingredients you would never have dreamed up on your own.  Did I mention the service?  Attentive doesn’t begin to describe it: the staff are friendly, on their toes and you will feel well taken care of after a visit to Lydmar.

 

What are your favourite lunch places?  Which ones did we miss or do you disagree with our choices?  Tell us all about it over on the forums. We want to hear from YOU!

 

Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an experienced  journalist who goes through life with a serene if slightly deranged smile on her face. When she’s not shackled to her computer, she enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV.  (But don’t tell anyone. She prefers to be seen as far too highbrow for that sort of thing.)  Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking of one’s clothes.

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These delightful little nibbles are dead easy to make, so perfect for baking with the kids.

Koko

You see how short this recipe is? We weren’t joking: this is just about as easy as it gets when it comes to baking so grab the three ingredients, pop on the oven and off you go!

Preheat oven to 200 C

The Dough

2 large eggs

2 dl sugar

200 g shredded coconut

What you do: 

Mix all the ingredients together, then let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes.  Drop tablespoon-sized scoops of the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies achieve a nice, light golden colour.

And that’s it!  It couldn’t be easier and you can do this one with the kids.  For extra fun, melt some baking chocolate and drizzle over the treats once they’ve cooled a little bit.

 

Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an experienced  journalist who, when she’s not shackled to her computer, enjoys reading, cooking and sometimes watching embarrassingly bad reality TV.  Judi also works with communications and thinks coming up with clever ideas is about as much fun as one can have without taking off one’s clothes.