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:
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
Gluten-free options in and around Stockholm
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.
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 Mosebacke – Mosebacke 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Again, not a favourite but their gluten-free burger is actually not bad and their fries are also gluten-free.
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.
Gluten-free bread rolls available in some branches. They also offer a gluten-free chocolate cheesecake.
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 India – Sankt 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.
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!
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