City Guide – Stockholm

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With its arresting architecture, winding cobblestone streets and lush greenery, Stockholm is like a scene from a fairytale. The natural beauty of this city is best appreciated in the warm summer months but, even on the dark, wintry days when daylight peeks through the sky for a teasing few hours, Stockholm is a city which excites and entices. Museums and trendy art galleries abound, and you already know about the stylishly attired Swedish men with their skinny jeans and tailored jackets.

But what I love about Stockholm is the food scene. From the comforting classics of cinnamon buns and meatballs with gravy, to more daring dishes such as blood pudding with spiced apples and lingonberry cream, the Swedish dining experience is both familiar and adventurous.

Stockholm is home to my brother-in-law and his little Viking family. Our previous visits were often short and sweet, often confined to a quick family visit with a stolen afternoon here and there to explore the city on our own. But our recent visit took a more leisurely tone; a week-long sojourn where we indulged in exquisite food at nearly every meal, and surprisingly enjoyed in the company of our two tiny tots.

Wherever I travel, I always have a long list of places to visit and things to eat, usually prepared a few months in advance and often always with lunch and dinner reservations already confirmed. Below are my favourite addresses in Stockholm, a mix of places we have frequented over the years, plus a few establishments which we discovered on our recent trip.

For more photos from our visit to Stockholm, please check my Instagram or Facebook accounts.

? Throughout this article, I have tried to include some tips and information for parents travelling with small children. We are lucky to live in a country where most restaurants tend to be family-friendly with baby-changing facilities on-site and sometimes even a play area. However, we are ever mindful that this may not always be the case whenever we travel abroad. When reading restaurant reviews online, it is not always specified whether that location is family-friendly. So I hope the information below will be useful to some. If you have any suggestions for family-friendly places to eat in Stockholm, please leave a comment below!

 

Cafés & Restaurants

Nytorget 6

Nytorget 6

Nytorget 6, 116 40 Stockholm
www.nytorget6.com

Nestled on the corner of a quaint street in a residential area, overlooking a picturesque park, Nytorget 6 (which is both the name and address of the restaurant) is wowing the locals with their modern Swedish and mediterranean menu. Their Potato Cakes with Caviar & Sour Cream were a great starter to share, and their version of the classic meatballs with gravy, mashed potatoes and lingonberries did not disappoint. Perhaps what I enjoyed most was their pilsnerkavring, or beer bread, which was sweet and tender, and incredibly moreish once spread with the housemade whipped butter. The restaurant is often fully booked so it is best to reserve a table in advance, but they also do takeaway, which was a fantastic option for us one evening when our kids were far too moody for any public outing.

? The restaurant is happy to accommodate families with small children. The seating outside can easily accommodate prams and strollers, although the space inside the restaurant is a bit tight. There are no baby changing facilities on-site.

Urban Deli

Urban Deli

Nytorget 4, 116 40 Stockholm
www.urbandeli.org

We frequented this deli most mornings for breakfast and enjoyed their modest buffet offerings. The Swedes love to eat open-faced sandwiches, and on offer are a selection of breads with cured meats, cheese and salad toppings. Their freshly baked pastries are flakey and buttery, and their coffee is served in Marimekko mugs – I can only approve of any business which shares my fondness for this Finnish design brand.

? The place is popular with families with children. There is ample seating outside which can easily accommodate prams and strollers. There are also a few tables inside where you can fit a pram or stroller next to the table. Unfortunately, there are no baby-changing facilities on site and the staff sometimes like to play the music at high volume.

Meatballs for the People

Meatballs for the People

Nytorgsgatan 30, 116 40 Stockholm
www.meatball.se

You can’t visit Stockholm without sampling proper meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. The Ikea version might be a grateful reward after you have spent an entire Saturday navigating their warehouse just to buy a bulk packet of tea lights, but few things are more comforting than a plate of well-made meatballs accompanied by a dark and savoury gravy, with creamy mashed potatoes and fresh lingonberries on the side. At Meatballs for the People, the meatballs are made from ecologically sourced meat, and there is something for everyone; on offer are also salmon meatballs and a vegetarian option. We opted for takeaway one evening to eat in the comfort of our hotel apartment and we were pleasantly relieved to eat such great quality food out of a plastic container. If the food could taste this good once wrapped up, I can only imagine that dining in-house would have been exceptional.

Bla Porten

Blå Porten

Djurgårdsvägen 64, 115 21 Stockholm
www.blaporten.com

This is my brother-in-law’s favourite hangout; he will probably tell you that the food is good, the wine is good, and he gets to chill while the kids can run amok in the casual garden setting. But I think he secretly enjoys its location next door to the Abba Museum. We caught the ferry from Slussen to Djurgårdsvägen – a short cruise but long enough to keep the kids excited – but the area is also accessible by foot from downtown. The restaurant has a decent menu with Viking-sized portions, but it was the dessert buffet that caught my eye. Definitely keep this place in mind for Fika, the Swedish afternoon tea.

? If the weather is nice, this is a good restaurant to visit where the kids can roam in the garden without disturbing the other diners too much. There is room for prams and strollers, but there are no baby-changing facilities.

Johan Nystrom

Johan & Nyström

Swedenborgsgatan 7, 11848 Stockholm
www.johanochnystrom.se/en

I have a cousin who runs a coffee shop and roastery in Australia, and I always like to seek his advice on where to find a good cuppa when abroad. High on his list were Johan & Nyström and Drop Coffee (see next entry). This café gets bonus points for serving decaf coffee, as well as a babycino for our trendy toddler. You can also enjoy a nice selection of pastries from Bageri Petrus with your brew.

? There is room for prams and strollers inside and outside the café, but there are no baby-changing facilities.

Drop Coffee 2

Drop Coffee

Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10, 118 50 Stockholm
www.dropcoffee.com

If you see employees from Johan & Nyström taking their break at Drop Coffee, the coffee must be pretty good. The café has a nice and relatively spacious seating area inside, and on offer are also a small selection of freshly baked cakes and sandwiches. Over the years, I have formed the impression that most serious coffee shops do not take decaffeinated coffee seriously. So if you are in the decaf camp (maybe you are a breastfeeding mother), you might have to settle for a cup of tea instead.

? There is room for prams and strollers inside and outside the café, but there are no baby-changing facilities.

Petrus

Bageri Petrus

Swedenborgsgatan 4B, 118 48 Stockholm
www.instagram.com/bageripetrus

If Johan & Nyström happens to be closed, don’t despair. Head down the road to this delightful bakery where you can find their coffee served with the tastiest breads and pastries outside of France. Ok, maybe an overstatement, but being a daily consumer of croissants and brioches at breakfast, I feel I have reasonable authority to declare that this bakery is a mandatory stop if you are a fan of French pâtisserie. I was equally surprised and thrilled to find Kouign Amann on offer; this extremely high butter content pastry originates from Brittany in France, and I delighted in every crispy, caramelised bite.

Sturekatten

Sturekatten

Riddargatan 4, 114 35 Stockholm
www.sturekatten.se

Whilst most cafés and restaurants in Stockholm exude modern Scandinavian design with their minimalist décor and sleek furnishings, Sturekatten will transport you back to grandma’s era with their mismatched vintage crockery and collection of homely upholstery. Set in an antiquated building, the café operates over several floors where you can sit back and enjoy your coffee and cake in cosy little living rooms. On offer are a selection of traditional cakes and pastries, but my favourite is always the Princess Cake. Whenever I am in Stockholm, I order a slice of this cake everywhere I go.

? The café is situated in an old building with access only via narrow, winding stairs. You could carry a pram or stroller up the stairs, but the space in the sitting area can be a bit tight. There are no baby-changing facilities on site, but you can fit a pram or stroller in the bathroom if you are prepared to use that to change a nappy.

Rockeriet

Rökeriet

Rökeriet Fjäderholmarna, 100 05 Stockholm
www.rokeriet-fjaderholmarna.se/en

If you are short on time but still want to do a short ferry excursion, the picturesque island of Fjäderholmarna is about 30 minutes from Stockholm city and worth a visit to explore the national parks and to also sample the local fare. There are several restaurants to choose from on the island and we were particularly happy to find ourselves a table at Rökeriet. Seafood features heavily on the menu, and we particularly enjoyed our pan-fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. In summer, it’s hard to go pass a bowl of smoked prawns with aoili to share.

? There is ample space for prams and strollers, and high chairs are available for your little ones. There are no baby changing facilities on-site, but the bathrooms are quite spacious if you don’t mind changing your child in the pram or stroller.

Espressino

Espressino

Götgatan 11, 116 46 Stockholm
www.facebook.com/pages/Espressino

Prior to boarding our ferry at Slussen to Fjäderholmarna, we stopped at this little coffee bar and I was instantly delighted to see flat whites on the menu. This is often a welcome sight to any travelling Australian or New Zealander, but we were merely grateful that there was a coffee shop open early on a Sunday morning (the area was otherwise a ghost town). The coffee was pretty good too.

 

Shopping & Activities

Stig Lindberg

Gustavsberg Porcelain Factory

Chamottevägen 2, 134 40 Gustavsberg
www.gustavsbergsporslinsfabrik.se

I have a terrible habit of buying fragile porcelain whenever I travel and lugging them back home in my carry-on luggage, and travelling with two tiny tots has not reversed this impulsion of mine. As a fan of mid-century design, as well as Nordic design, it was hard for me to resist purchasing a few items from Gustavsberg Porcelain and designed by Stig Lindberg. The outlet at the Gustavsberg Porcelain Factory is worth visiting if you happen to be a local and want to kit out your kitchen with quality crockery at discount prices. A large part of the stock are factory seconds, meaning that they have flaws which render them unable to be sold at full price. You can also buy discounted pieces from the Stig Lindberg collection, but I found most items to be scratched to the extent that you are better off spending your money on the undamaged stock at full-price (which can be found at large department stores like NK – see below).

Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum

Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum

Odelbergs väg 5, 134 40 Gustavsberg

If you happen to be in the area visiting the Gustavsberg Porcelain Factory, then, chances are, you are probably interested in porcelain and ceramics. In which case, a short visit to the Gustavsbery Porcelain Museum is an interesting way to see the social history of Sweden through its tableware (as well as its toilets!). It’s a rare occasion that I find myself in a museum (I prefer to get my cultural fix by visiting the local supermarket), but this particular museum was like going through a grandmother’s collection of fine dinnerware and tea sets – I loved it.

Marimekko

Illums Bolighus

Hamngatan 27, 111 47 Stockholm
www.illumsbolighus.com

Fans of Danish design need to look no further than this one-stop shop for popular brands such as Hay, Ferm Living and Muuto. Items from other cool designers, such as Marimekko and Vitra are also on display. Whether you are looking for something for the kitchen, living room or nursery, this store has will have you covered. The only problem is how you will lug everything back home …

NK

Nordiska Kompaniets

Hamngatan 18-20, 111 47 Stockholm
www.nk.se/stockholm

I often shy away from large department stores, but if there is a comprehensive kitchenware department with a posh food hall, I might just be able to brave the crowds. Like most foodies, I love to buy odd pieces of kitchenware whenever I travel, and my favourite pieces have always come from NK. On this visit, I picked up a few cute wooden cheese boards, as well as some teacups from the Stig Lindberg collection. Upstairs, shoppers can find most of the big designer clothing labels, but I love to wander around the homewares and furniture department and daydream about what I would buy if I could furnish our apartment again from scratch.

Tambur

Tambur

Folkungagatan 85, 116 22 Stockholm
www.tambursthlm.se

This shop is tiny, yet it sells many beautiful items of Scandinavian design. From kitchenware to lighting, as well as trendy prints and homeware accessories, you will find it hard to leave this store empty-handed.

Krabat

Krabat

Folkungagatan 79, 116 22 Stockholm
www.krabat.se/en

This little shop is a gem for cute, but good quality, toys, books and games. I love buying toys for our kids whenever we travel so that they can also build travel memories for themselves. Of course, what I do buy is often restricted to card games or similarly small items. My son currently loves playing with the box of memory cards with pictures of Swedish cars and trucks.

Le Cordon Bleu Stockholm

Le Cordon Bleu

Götgatan 11, 116 46 Stockholm
www.cordon-bleu.se

Moving to Stockholm has not abated my French brother-in-law’s voracious appetite for cheese, and he can be found slicing Västerbotten cheese at nearly every meal with a nifty cheese slicer. Of course, it’s not a French kitchen implement, but I wanted one as a souvenir one year and managed to drag the entire family downtown to visit the Le Cordon Bleu store under the guise of sightseeing. Well, it’s my kind of sightseeing! The store has a comprehensive selection of Mauviel copper pots and Le Creuset cast-iron cookware, as well an enviable range of bakeware and tableware.

13 Comments

  1. Sweden is high on my list of places to visit, but sadly my boyfriend has been lots (before we were together), so it doesn’t have the same urgency for him.

    A few years ago we visited Copenhagen for New Year. I loved the place! The food, the amazing furniture, shops and contemporary design that you associate with the Scandinavians was everywhere.

    This is such a great review and gives me plenty of places to add to my wishlist. The crockery is to die for!

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. x

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2015

      Thanks, Angela! I’ve always wanted to visit Copenhagen and keep pestering my husband about it 😉 But I don’t complain about our trips to Stockholm – it really is such a beautiful place to visit. Even though we are often in the habit of visiting the same places over and over, there is always something new to discover. You should try to convince your boyfriend of this 😉

      Reply
  2. Paula 3 November 2015

    What a detailed guide!! So much work for you!! And I told you, I want to go to Stockholm, so I have to study this carefully 😛 Thank you for writing posts like this, Thanh!!!

    Those shops… perhaps is better if I don’t look… What a temptation!!!
    I will read this part only to make you a favour, just for that… Just kidding 😛

    Happy week, Thanh! And thanks again, I know this is much work, but it will help us all a lot 😛

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 4 November 2015

      Thanks, Paula! Yes, this post took a lot of time to prepare but it’s nice for me to keep a diary of favourite addresses which I can easily look up 🙂 I highly recommend Stockholm for your next holiday, especially since you and your boyfriend like being outdoors. And the food is pretty good too 🙂

      Reply
  3. Louise | Cygnet Kitchen 17 November 2015

    This is a wonderful resource for anyone visiting Stockholm (or dreaming of visiting, like me!) There are so many hidden treasures that guide books often don’t list, thank you so much for sharing Thanh! Will definitely have to plan a visit now! x

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 November 2015

      Thanks, Louise! I hope you will get to visit someday … it’s not too far from where you are 🙂

      Reply
  4. Anita Menon 19 November 2015

    I have lived in Stockholm for a bit and I love the city, its vibe and people. I found the friendliest people wherever I traveled in Stockholm. The food was fantastic too and I was surprised to find so many vegetarian options.

    Love all the pictures in your post and is such a great resource for a foodie like me to refer to when I visit next.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 November 2015

      How lucky you were to live in Stockholm! The Swedes are definitely a friendly bunch – it’s part of the reason why we always enjoy visiting the city.

      Reply
  5. Natalie 27 December 2016

    Great post, what are those cone shaped desserts from Blå Porten? What are they called? Anybody has the recipe?

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth Newcamp 8 March 2017

    We are headed to Stockholm tomorrow for a mommy getaway (sort of as I’m brining the littlest one with me) I’m so excited to try some of these places.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 March 2017

      How exciting! I hope you will enjoy some of these places. I also went to Stockholm for a “mummy getaway” last year with a good friend – we had so much fun and ate so well 🙂 We also spent most of our time shopping for clothes and toys for our children!

      Reply
  7. […] sister-in-law is Swedish, and everytime we visit her in Stockholm, we are always delighted when she makes us her special meatballs for dinner. Once, whilst I was […]

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