For a quick bite on the go, look no further than Stockholmers’ top choice in street food – the range of high quality hot dogs (“haute-dogs”) found around the city! This is YLC’s fave four!
Stockholm’s love affair with hot dogs began in 1897, almost thirty years after the first hot dog stand opened in New York. The sausages were first sold to Stockholmers during an exhibition held on the leafy island of Djurgården by vendors carrying the meaty morsels on a box resting on their stomachs, or in a låda på magen as Swedes would say.
This remained a popular way for Swedish sausage-sellers to peddle their wares until a large-scale scandal occurred in 1972, when these boxes were deemed ”unhygenic” by authorities and then banned. Outrage ensued! Famous Swedish musician and comedian, Owe Thörnqvist, even wrote a song about the ignominy, called Varm Korv Boogie (Hot Dog Boogie).
It would seem then that hot dogs, unlike perhaps politics and religion, are a hotly debated topic here in Sweden. Pun intended, as after setting out on this arduous anthropological task, I was more than mildly surprised to discover that Swedes prefer their dogs with a bite…
1. Günters Korv
Where: Karlbergsvägen 66
What: Günters is a hip and retro stand on the leafy road of Karlbergsvägen. It’s been around for 35 years and is a firm favourite amongst businessmen, latte moms and construction workers alike. Its extensive list of gourmet sausages from around the world as well as the perfectly toasted bread bumps it up to the pride position on our list.
Speciality: Kabanos sausage on crisp, fresh bread with special secret sauce, mustard and sauerkraut. Türkes, the guy manning the stand, clearly takes the art of hot dog making very seriously indeed. He tells me that this is the most popular order and, when I express my trepidation when it comes to spice, he begrudgingly says he’ll make mine “lite stark”. Well it was a tad more “stark” than “lite” for me, but the bread was scrumptious, the meat excellent and the sauce heavenly.
Price: 55 SEK (Well worth the money as portions are generously-sized)
Tbana: St Eriksplan
Where: Hamngatan 18, NK Gatuplan
What: The ever-popular NK Korv och Glass is stationed strategically outside the NK department store and has been curbing the hunger of weary husbands and niggly children since 1991. There is a wide, but not overwhelming selection of hot dogs, buns and fillings to choose from. The ingredients are of excellent quality, the recipes are classic and the prices are low. What’s not to like?
Speciality: Kimmy, the young lad behind the counter suggested I have the lamb sausage, which is, surprise surprise, spicy. I was also tempted by the tunnbrödsrulle (soft flatbread filled with sausage, mash and the classic shrimp-mayo. Honestly, these Swedes…) which everyone around me seemed to have ordered, but in the end I chose my usual boiled sausage on a bun with mustard and ketchup instead. Simple meaty bliss. Though I must add that the regular buns are too small for the sausages, reminding one of a very tasty clown in a teeny tiny car. (However, there are Swedes who would argue that this is the correct, if not the only, bun/sausage ratio.)
Price: 40 SEK for the lamb hot dog, 45 SEK and up for the tunnbrödsrulle and 20 SEK for a regular boiled hot dog on a comically small bun.
Where: Torsgatan 48
What: Torsgatan 48 has been home to Torsgrillen since 1948. It’s a little bit of history in St Eriksplan and it makes a mean hot dog to boot. You can choose three toppings for your hot dog in addition to the usual condiments and the obligatory homemade sauce, the recipe for which is kept a closely guarded secret.
Speciality: Manning the stand is Mazdak, who informs me that their most popular hot dog is a “Merquez” sausage in a baguette with sauerkraut, feta, tomato and his secret sauce. He let me choose between one to five on the hotness scale (for the hot dog, not for himself), saying that three was “lagom”. It was still a bit on the zesty side for me, but it came with two sausages, the baguette was fresh and it was packed with flavour. This place doesn’t skimp on anything, but it’s easy to go nuts with the toppings and end up with more hot mess than hot dog.
Price: 69 SEK (keep in mind it could probably feed a family of four)
Tbana: St Eriksplan
Where: Nybrogatan 57
What: Östermalms Korvspecialist took up residence on Nybrogatan in 1991 and is a firm favourite amongst residents and regulars. It comes highly reccommended by a variety of reputable sources (aside from myself), including the Insiders’ Guide, the certificate of which is proudly displayed on the window of the stand.
Speciality: Inga behind the counter enlightens me on the Korvspecialist’s speciality, which is a hot dog made up of Hungarian Kabanos sausage on toasted French bread, special spicy secret sauce (of course) and the obligatory sauerkraut. For me, the hotness level was just right and the dog wasn’t crammed with an excessive amount of ingredients, but overall it didn’t make my knees (or belt) buckle.
Price: 55 SEK
Whatever you choose – you can’t go far wrong but click here for a map of our favourite four!
Kirsten blindly followed her husband from South Africa to the land of snow and snus in 2011 and proceeded to procreate. When she isn’t discovering the 101st use of the humble wet wipe, she can be found writing adjective-laden articles for YLC.