Home Culture Dining out

0

This is a big year for ice cream. New flavours are popping up like posies, both fantastic and funky. YLC took upon the challenge of trying some of GB Glace’s new assortment, to present you the best of ice cream, 2014!

GB Glace is one of the leading sellers of ice cream in Sweden, not just the kind you eat from the carton but the kind you experience – the individual cones and concoctions you buy on a sunny day to eat outdoors. Every now and then the company creates something new – and 2014 is a big year.

The Magnum series of ice cream is turning 25, and Sweden’s oldest ice cream cone the 88 is turning 50 – due cause for celebration and all sorts of new and exciting flavours!

Not wanting to cut corners, we decided to have two taste-testers, getting guy and girl perspective. This is a task to be taken seriously, after all.

ice1

Puckstång Vanilla Cream Ice Cream

Guy: Well, this is just ordinary vanilla ice cream. No pomp and circumstance here.

Girl: Yes, it tastes like vanilla. But it’s also richer and softer than most vanilla ice cream. You can definitely tell it’s cream-based. It’s good. Simple.

Cornetto Cheesecake Glory

Guy: It’s a traditional cone, and the ice cream appears to be half strawberry and half vanilla, with some sort of nut topping. And we have discovered there is a jelly center farther down! And yet…it tastes like any other ice cream cone you buy at the pool. It has a little touch of cheesecake, but could just as well have been a normal cone. It’s not that innovative.

Girl: Hm. That’s not vanilla. It seems to be some sort of weird cheesecake ice cream flavor.  The center is sour and makes your cheeks pucker. I’m not impressed. I don’t think I’m a fan of cheesecake ice cream. Or maybe I’m just not a fan of jelly in my ice cream. It wasn’t actually bad, but it would never be my first choice.

Cornetto King Cone Chocolate

Guy: It’s chocolate. Quite dark chocolate. Almost like a chocolate mousse. It’s also a lot of ice cream. This is the one for those who want to be sitting eating that ice cream for a long time. But since there’s so much of it I can imagine that it gets a big flat…it’s jut chocolate. The other flavors, like cheesecake, are more complex. But this is just chocolate.

Girl: Mmmm. Chocolate. Dark chocolate mousse with hard chocolate ripples. Oh my goodness! There’s a chocolate core too! It seems to be plain chocolate syrup. Mmm, chocolate!

GB Glace

Ben & Jerry’s Greek Style

Guy: I’m not a fan of bowls, I’d rather have it on a stick. But it’s refreshing. Very fresh and sweet. I don’t like that the honey is concentrated in the middle. They should have spread it out throughout the ice cream. But the ice cream itself is very, very good. Hard to put down.

Girl: It’s very sweet, but not at all heavy like chocolate…it’s very light. It’s much simpler than most Ben & Jerry’s flavors as well. They’re known for throwing all sorts of stuff into their ice cream, but this one is simple, plain, and light.

Magnum Marc de Champagne

Guy: The outer shell is basically chocolate. And then the inside is vanilla ice cream with a champagne swirl. It actually does taste like champagne. It’s good! I like it! And it appears it actually is alcoholic – sort of. It contains 0.8% champagne. At the supermarket there were some questions about whether or not a little girl was allowed to buy it. I really like the silver shell. It makes it feel more exclusive. Elite. And it tastes exclusive too. They tried to make a premium anniversary ice cream, and I think they’ve succeeded. It would be perfect on a warm sunny day.

Girl: The shell is quite hard and instantly falls to pieces when you try to eat it, but I guess that’s not a huge deal. I didn’t taste much champagne at first but I do now. It’s your normal chocolate-encased vanilla ice cream, but with flair – a classy champagne swirl. I do think the fact that they made the outside silver is a bit odd though. Makes you think you’re eating metal, not chocolate.

X-Pop

Guy: Best ice cream ever! (Not really.) The tip is made of bubbly pop rocks. But if you’re after that popping you’ll be disappointed, since it is just the tip. It’s definitely aimed at kids. I mean it’s not like you make a fancy premium champagne ice cream for little kids. But it doesn’t even taste fruity, it tastes artificial. More like chemicals.

Girl: Oh, my…what is that shaped like? Can they do that? Gosh, I don’t even know how to describe this. It’s a fruity popsicle I guess…It’s the cheapest of them all and I’ve seen a lot of kids buy this one. But it’s like the crazy cousin of the family. A weird little fruity popsicle with attitude. But it’s not even good.

ice-solveig

Our team concluded that Magnum Marc de Champagne is the number one new flavor this year, so if you’re just going to try one, that’s the winner. X-Pop took last place…though you might like to try it just for the novelty.

So there you have it – what DON’T we do for our readers, eh?

 

Note: The new flavor Taco was unavailable at time of review. Panda Lakrits flavor was excluded due to an overwhelming aversion to licorice.

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

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

With less than a week left until St Patrick’s Day, we thought it might be a good idea to post up a listing of Irish pubs in Stockholm, so that you can plan your authentic style celebrations. Sláinte!

Don’t forget to check out our list of events going on around the city too!

Gamla Stan

The Liffey

A warm, friendly welcome and first-rate service is the hallmark of The Liffey – the best Irish watering hole in Stockholm. Whether you are alone or with a group of friends, we provide the kind of charm and atmosphere we think will keep you returning again and again.

We pride ourselves on our nightly live music sessions, where the best musicians in the city gather to play a wide range of music: Reggae, Blues, Soul, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and of course great traditional Irish music. Each night there are different artists and seven nights a week it’s always live and always happening at The Liffey.

Address: Stora Nygatan 40, 111 27 Stockholm

Tel No:  08 21 80 25

Gamla Stan

O’Connell’s

“There are no strangers here – only friends who have not yet met!”

O’Connell’s Irish Bar has a great selection of beer and whiskey along with a fantastic menu serving wholesome and delicious meals. Our sport-mad, international staff will do their absolute best to accommodate all sport fans in their quest for live sport, friendly debate or even, God forbid, a good ‘ol argument! All sport is shown on widescreen, be it Football, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Hurling, Gaelic football, Aussie rules, Formula 1, Ice Hockey, Tennis, Golf …

With live music, Irish sessions, 112 sports channels and Dart downstairs, we’re sure that you’ll not only feel welcome and well accommodated at O’Connell’s Irish Pub, but that you’ll have great craic too!

Address: Stora Nygatan 21, 111 27 Stockholm

Tel No:  08 22 30 70

 

Gamla Stan

Wirströms Irish Pub

Originally ‘Wirströms Konditori’’ a café and bakery, our premises have been at the heart of Gamla Stan’s hospitality culture for over 200 years! In 1998, Wirströms changed coffee and cakes for beer, whiskey and hearty pub style meals.

We have live music six nights per week! This starts at 9pm and runs through till midnight. All of our music is free to our patrons. Please check this week’s line-up on the board above the bar or ask the staff for more details. If you are a musician yourself then come along on a Monday for ‘open song night’ or Tuesday for the ‘blues jam’. We show all major sports events on our six different screens, including football, rugby, cricket, GAA, and much more. If you are interested in viewing a particular match please ask the staff and we will do our best to show it. Every second Thursday there is the cult Wirströms quiz, hosted by Scotty & Julian it is Music & Film themed. For whiskey lovers we offer private tastings (to a minimum size of 8 with prior notice)

Address: Stora Nygatan 13, 111 27 Stockholm

Tel No: 08 21 80 25

Hötorget

Dubliner

A genuine Irish pub and restaurant with friendly Irish staff and live music most nights. We also show all major sporting events on large screen TVs. Known throughout the city for its free-flowing spirits, not to mention its free-flowing Irish spirit, The Dubliner offers delicious pub fare, live entertainment and a vast selection of beers, ales and whiskeys.

Address: Holländargatan 1, 111 36 Stockholm

Tel No: 08 679 77 07

Hötorget

 

 

Galway’s Irish Pub

An authentic Irish pub with good food, a nightclub and dance till late nights. As our bar staff largely are comprised of genuine Irishmen, you get the feeling of being in Ireland but in the middle of Stockholm City. The bar is also one of Stockholm’s longest Irish bars! We also have a nightclub which is open between 00-03. The age limit is 22 years for both genders. The dance floor is set back from the bar so it’s no problem to stand and hang at the bar and bring a sensible conversation, even if the music pours out over the dance floor.

Address: Kungsgatan 24, 111 35 Stockholm

Tel No: 08 24 75 42

Medborgarplatsen

Shamrock Bar

Enjoy dinner in an Irish environment, with plenty of space in the dining room and at the bar, not forgetting our whiskey room where a group of 10-15 people can hang out after dinner or gather for a whiskey tasting.

Address: Folkungagatan 102, 116 30 Stockholm

Tel No: 08-644 46 45

Rådmansgatan

Limerick

‘The first Irish genuine Irish pub in Stockholm’, established in 1991. The restaurant has a classic interior and a relaxed ambience, where you can sit back and enjoy a beer with friends.

Address: Tegnérgatan 10, 113 58 Stockholm

Tel No: 08 673 43 98

Zinkensdamm

Southside

Welcome to the Southside Irish restaurant and entertainment pub. The Southside Pub opened in 2003 and has firmly established itself as one of the best and most popular Irish pubs in Stockholm.

Young or old, resident or tourist, male or female, single or group, the Southside has that special gift of making everyone feel at home the minute you walk through that door . The vast selection of beers accompany the hearty, delicious pub meals. No evening in the Southside is a dull one whether it be live sports, the city’s most popular quiz night or live music in ’ The Southside Cavern’, where both big names and up and coming bands perform. The locals call it, ”Stockholm’s best and friendliest Irish pub”; we call it ”Southside”.

Address: Hornsgatan 104, 117 26 Stockholm

Tel No: 08 669 50 52

 

Haven’t listed your favourite Irish Pub? Leave a comment below and we can make sure to add it in.

Featured image: Aaron Stidwell/Flickr (file)

A truly romantic dinner can help make Valentine’s Day – or any day, really – extra special.  We’ve scoured our beautiful city and found what we consider to be five of the most romantic for you and your honey.

What gets you in the mood for romance? Fantastic views? Gastronomical adventures? A wine list to die for?  The Stockholm food scene has exploded in recent years and while we were spoiled for choice we think we’ve managed to narrow down the five most romantic restaurants in town. Smaklig måltid!

 

Divino

Widely considered Stockholm’s finest and most exclusive Italian eatery, Divino has been named Best Restaurant of the Year by any number of publications. The food is from Tuscany  and it doesn’t get more romantic or tasty than this. From bean risotto to shrimp and tuna declinaison – the menu is fabulous and it changes with the seasons.  Divino also boasts Northern Europe’s best-stocked Italian wine cellar, as well as an extensive selection of top class champagnes. Reservations highly recommended.

Where: Karlavägen 28, Stockholm

Hours: Mon – Sat 18 – 23.00. Closed Sundays

Contact: 08 611 0269

Damage: Mains start at 305:- SEK

 

riche-interior

Riche

Riche has been a thriving part of the Stockholm restaurant scene since 1893 and there are plenty of reasons why it’s lasted so long: great food, top notch service and location, location, location. Offering both traditional Swedish fare alongside it’s well-known Continental plates the food is a wonderful compliment to the interior, which features a multitude of dining rooms brimming with warmth and personality. Reservations highly recommended and tables can be booked online.

Where: Birger Jarlsgatan 4, Stockholm

Hours: 07.30 – 02.00 (Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner & Drinks)

Contact: 08-679-68-40

Damage: Mains start at around 200:- SEK

 

Esperanto

Described as ”romantic, surrealist, with touches of natural elements” Esperanto has made it to the top of many a Best Restaurant list.  This is a restaurant for the serious foodie – it’s a gastronomic adventure that will take your palate all over the world. One reviewer called it ”Spectacular entertainment with dashes of humor and decadence”.  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?  This is another one with tasting menus – either 10 or 6 courses – and it changes the menu with the seasons.  At the moment they’re hooked on Japanese cuisine so expect your sun to rise on one fabulous meal. Reservations highly recommended and online booking is available for parties of six or more.

 

Where: Kungstensgatan 2, Stockholm

Hours: 18.30 – 24.00

Contact: 08-696 23 23

Email: esperanto@sollevi.se

Damage: 10 courses 1 600:- SEK; 6 courses 1 250:- SEK

 

Oaxen-interior

Oaxen Krog & Slip

After 17 years the internationally acclaimed gourmet restaurant relocated from Stockholm’s archipelago to the ‘animal garden’ of Djurgården. The food, if anything, is better than ever, featuring only locally sourced ingredients from within Scandinavia’s borders.  When we say they like it local we mean it:  vegetables and herbs are grown next door and all cutlery, porcelain and even the tables are made by craftsman at the local shipyards. Oaxen was recently named the top luxury restaurant in Stockholm at the Swedish restaurant awards DN Gulddrakken and is 3rd in the White Guide. The setting is gorgeous, the food sublime and the service will leave you feeling like an A-lister, if only for the night.

Where: Beckholmsvägen 26,Stockholm

Hours: Opens 18.00. Last seating at 20.00

Contact: 08-551 531 05

Email: info@oaxen.com

Damage: 10 course tasting menu 1 950:- SEK; 6 course tasting menu: 1 650: -

 

Erik’s Gondolen

With fabulous views from high up on Södermalm Godolen is a legend in the city, as is its proprietor Erik Lallerstedt. Fish and meat are the name of the game here and everything is prepared with a wonderful fastidiousness that makes your visit incredibly satisfying. Chef Lallerstedt is known for delving deep into his Swedish roots – but not being afraid to experiment with influences outside the Swedish borders. So if you’re in the mood for top quality food, an incredible view, one of the best wine lists in Stockholm and a cosy and romantic setting Gondolen is the one for you.  Reservations recommended. Online bookings available.

Where: Stadsgården 6, Box 151 55, Stockholm

Hours:  Mon – Fri 17.00 – 23.00; Sat 16.00 – 23.00; Closed Sundays

Contact: 08-641 70 90

Email: info@eriks.se

Damage: Menus start at around 500:- SEK

 

What’s your favourite restaurant in Stockholm, particularly for romance? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Judi Lembke

Judi Lembke is an editor and writer who, when 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.

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!

World renowned TV-chef Jamie Oliver announced on Wednesday that he’ll be opening a restaurant in a central Stockholm hotel this autumn.

Oliver

Jamie Oliver testing food at Scandic

“I have been working with Scandic for almost five years now and I am really pleased to be able to launch Jamie’s Italian in Scandinavia together with them,” the TV-chef said in a statement on Wednesday.

Oliver opened his first “Jamie’s Italian” eatery in the UK in 2008 and the chain of restaurants have since become hugely popular in Australia, Singapore, Russia and Turkey.

The Stockholm restaurant, boasting enough space for 200 diners, will be located in the lobby of the Scandic Anglais Hotel in the city’s posh Östermalm district. Oliver has been working together with the Scandic Hotels since 2009, giving visitors to the hotels a chance to sample dishes especially composed by the ‘Naked Chef’ together with the Scandic Food and Beverage team.

oliver2

Cooking at Scandic

The concept is simple – to offer good and uncomplicated Italian food with a focus on local, fresh and organic produce. The plan is to expand all over Scandinavia, but at the moment the team is focusing on the Stockholm restaurant. Oliver said on Wednesday that he was proud to be able to launch the first Jamie’s Italian in Stockholm together with such a “creative, innovative and professional” group of people.

“It’s going to be epic – watch this space.”

 

Your Living City Stockholm

For more info on what is going on in Stockholm – follow YourLivingCity on Twitter!

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.

Follow Solveig and YourLivingCity on Twitter!

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.

For more info about what’s on in Stockholm, follow Your Living City on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter here!