Our foodie adventures are best divided into 1) food markets; 2) coffee & pastries; and 3) restaurants - although in 48 hours, only a limited experience of each!
One of my favourite places was the amazing food hall, Ostermalms Saluhall. Gorgeous fresh fish, meats, bread - all sorts of beautiful produce. We had lunch here on the Saturday. It looked simple enough; prawns & smoked salmon on rye bread - it was delicious.My smoked salmon accompanied perfectly by a mayonnaise with a hint of horseradish. A great place, even just for a look.
Both @RenSip and Meg are Aussies, so I knew I could trust them when they guaranteed me a great coffee in Stockholm. One stop was at Riddargatan no. 15, Riddarbageriet (above), renowned for both its lattes & bakery. Not normally latte drinkers (because in the UK you usually get a huge cup of milk infused with a measly shot of coffee), we ordered lattes and a semla bun. The lattes were perfect (although oddly, they "couldn't find" the sugar, so we made do with the sachets of artificial sweetener on offer). Y was not so keen on the semla bun, which is a ginger and cardamon bread filled with an almondy marzipan cream, but I thought the combo of the bread with the almond worked well. They are a traditional pastry in Nordic countries and we saw them everywhere.
@RenSip suggested Cafe Milano and Wienerkonditoriet. We only made it to the latter, where we again devoured pastries and lattes. The pastry cabinet is below. What I found was that many of the pastries, like semla, are not sickly sweet - which obviously means you can eat twice as many.
We had been provided with copious dinner suggestions and trying to work out where to go was rather stressful! There are many gorgeous places, but we wanted to try and go for traditional fare. We finally settled on Bakfickan which is one of several eating/drinking places associated with the Opera House. I've just discovered that Bakfickan means "back pocket" which rather enamours it to me even more!
The restaurant holds 28 diners, sitting around the bar (see my very bad, covert photo below). Bakfickan doesn't take bookings, so after a long day of shopping and site seeing, we decided to turn up for an early dinner. Incredibly, at 4.30pm, the "4pm rush" had just happened and we couldn't get in. We went to watch people ice skating in a nearby park for half an hour (having been ice skating in London I can vouch for the standard being far higher in Stockholm) and then returned. This time we were lucky enough to arrive as two seats were being vacated.
Sitting at the bar was great for people watching, and the atmosphere was that befitting the cosy, intimate space. The service was swift and efficient, obviously because they have a high turn over of people and sitting at a bar to eat isn't really conducive to a long lounging type dinner.
We declined the offer of bread and eagerly awaited our mains. Y had Swedish meat balls in a cream sauce, mash, and sides of lingonberries and pickled gherkin (above) - they were delicious, especially with the addition of the sides (although admittedly Y's only point of reference was the meat balls you get at Ikea for £2). I had Biff Rydberg (named after Hotel Rydberg in Stockholm) which was diced tenderloin of beef, diced fried onions, diced fried potatoes and an egg yolk. I loved it. The crispy potatoes, rare beef, succulent onions, all with egg yolk running through them - the word "divine" springs to mind. Having been tempted into devouring carbs (usually shunned in our household - well at least we like to think they are) of mashed and crispy potato, we were satiated and waddled home.
I wish we'd had more time to check out all the other foodie recommendations kindly given to us. If you're going to Stockholm here are some of the other suggestions you might like to explore:
Thanks Renette & Meggles for your invaluable contribution to our lovely weekend!