Stockholm is defined by its landscape—14 islands linked by 57 bridges, with verdant forests and sandy beaches—and this terrain also shapes the Swedish capital’s cuisine. The city’s gastronomic offerings highlight seafood from the Baltic (pickled herring) and produce from surrounding rural areas (lingonberries), and with locavore dining trending everywhere and New Nordic restaurants dominating best-in-the-world lists, it’s fitting that Stockholm has been named this year’s European Capital of Gastronomy.
More than just introducing visitors to Stockholm’s culinary talent (such as Björn Frantzén, whose eponymous place ranked 25th on last year’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list) and traditions (the coffee-and-cake custom known as fika), the honor and its corresponding events are celebrating how Sweden fosters a sustainable food culture. This development comes as little surprise; Stockholm, after all, was the first city to be designated a European Green Capital, and a number of its restaurants now hold Michelin Green Stars for environmentally friendly practices.
“Right now, it feels like there is a rebirth of sustainable, innovative dining concepts,” says Charlotta Ranert, project manager for Stockholm European Capital of Gastronomy 2023. “Stockholm is one of the world’s most sustainable cities, and thanks to our food entrepreneurs it has a food scene that benefits locals and visitors alike.”
Several operators are running culinary walking tours, and a national initiative focusing on regional cuisine means that you can try culinary specialties from across the country’s 24 landscapes on special menus at a number of the capital’s restaurants. Below are a few ways to get a taste—just remember to say “Skål!”
5 Ways to Get a Taste of Stockholm
Food Tours Stockholm
Join a guided walking tour of Södermalm, a traditionally working-class, now hip neighborhood that’s home to a multicultural mix of shops and restaurants. Plan on tasting the fare at five to seven places.
Want to create your own self-guided tour? The Swedish company Moveat helps you choose from a wide range of restaurants, delis, and bars to build an itinerary that includes four to six pre-arranged tastings.
Öl & Spritmässan Stockholm
Among 2023’s many culinary events is this new beer and spirits fair, scheduled for October 6–7 and dedicated to connecting visitors with breweries and distilleries from throughout Sweden.
This two-year-old boutique hotel boasts an on-site restaurant, Aloë, helmed by acclaimed Swedish chefs Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson. If that’s not enough to sate your appetite, the famed Östermalms Saluhall food hall is right next door.
The waterfront cultural center Artipelag is a prime attraction in the Stockholm Archipelago, a chain of thousands of islands not far from the city. Enjoy a weekend brunch at the top-floor restaurant, then take in the current exhibition of Nordic art.