We headed to Stockholm for the second leg of our immediate post-nuptial getaway, and arrived at dusk to a lively neighborhood with people chatting in the streets. And an apartment with the most incredible view. We spent our first two days wandering all over the city by foot, but I eventually let Thom talk me into getting a three day tunnelbana pass because Stockholm is a lot bigger than I had originally thought. And although my favorite method of transportation is walking (you see so much!) (and you work up an appetite, so eating five meals a day isn’t totally insane), my legs were begging me to take it easy. So we did. The tunnelbana map is fairly easy to navigate, assuming you’ve got a bit of an inner compass (or share your life with someone who does) (LUCKY ME), but even if you don’t, the people there are so damn kind they’d probably offer to escort you to wherever you’re heading, if you got lost. You can also rent bikes, but the city didn’t feel nearly as bike-friendly as Copenhagen. And since a bike is my main form of transportation in Denver, the last thing I wanted to do was ride a bike.. on vacation.
I have to admit: I had high hopes for Old Town – as old town Prague, Warsaw, Amsterdam, etc. were all some of my favorite parts of those cities. But Stockholm’s Old Town left much to be desired. All the restaurants and shops felt like tourist traps (because they are), and after about 15 minutes of wandering we decided we’d seen enough. So we went to grab beers at an old medieval restaurant followed by dinner at a vegetarian buffet, and then we said farewell to Old Town (but not before admiring its beautiful buildings, one last time).
A couple of places were closed (Swedes take their vacation time seriously) (my kinda people!) while we were visiting, but it’s worth mentioning that nearly a dozen people recommend we grab a bite at Hermans. Not only for the food, but for the spectacular view. Meatballs for the People is another place that came highly recommended, as they serve traditional Swedish food (read: meatballs) (surprise, surprise) with a vegetarian option. And lastly, Love Food Cafe was suggested by more than a few people – which apparently serves a mean BBQ tofu sandwich. And I’m kinda sad I missed it.
If you want a thorough guide from folks who actually live in Stockholm, head over to GKS for their guide to Sweden’s capitol city (which includes a lot more spots than we were able to squeeze into our five day stay).
Greasy Spoon – Surprisingly not greasy, but the brunch was delicious and they have delicious smashed avocado toast (with a seriously generous portion of avocado) and chia pudding. Sadly, the coffee was underwhelming. Maybe their coffee machine was having an off day.
Pom & Flora – The chia pudding to end all chia puddings. Also? The oat milk lattes are A+ and the space is downright beautiful.
FLFL – FALAFEL AND HUMMUS. The starter salad is delicious but beware: the pickled vegetables are hella salty. You may be tempted to go all out and get the falafel sandwich, but I recommend the falafel + hummus plate accompanied by their baked sweet potato. Thom, however, says to get the damn sandwich.
Hermitage – A vegetarian buffet in Old Town. Offers mostly vegan options but a couple of the dishes may contain dairy.
Metapoteket – Great raw salads that can be eaten in the restaurant or taken on the go. I also had a slice of their raw berry tart and although I prefer my version of raw desserts, the tart really hit the spot. Especially after a few weeks of traveling.
Chutney – You can’t go wrong with one of their daily specials. Get there early as the tables fill up at dinner time – which is a good sign you’re in the right place.
Nytorget 6 – A really nice, traditional Swedish restaurant that served up the best meal I had in Stockholm. They don’t have a vegan option but the chef was more than willing to accommodate my vegetable-heavy ways. As for Thom, he went with the meatballs and said they were the best he’s ever had.
Pompodour – This place has the salad bar of my dreams. We didn’t have time to dine in, but I took a big to-go container for the plane and was so happy I did.
Grocery stores + markets
Urban Deli – Part restaurant/deli/grocery store. A bit on the spendy side but their chocolate pellets are worth their weight in gold. Also? They carry vegan coconut ice cream and it is divine.
Östermalms Saluhall – A large indoor market with a number of dining options. Planet Food dishes up healthy veggie bowls and Sandy’s will send you on your way with some delicious chocolates. Take your grub and have a picnic on the church steps, just down the street.
Goodstore – A 100% vegan specialty shop. They stock an assortment of my favorite raw food bars and have a pretty hefty produce section (for such a tiny shop).
Sweets + treats
Fabrique – Thankfully we didn’t discover that this little gem lingered right around the corner from our apartment until a few days into the trip. The bread is scrumptious and Thom says you’ve got to get one of the Swedish sweet buns (pictured above).
Chokladfabriken Soder – Handmade chocolates and more than a few dairy-free options. Go for the fig marzipan.
Drop Coffee – David urged me to try this place. And it was, undeniably, my favorite coffee shop in Stockholm.
Johan & Nyström – Really cool space but the line took 20+ minutes to get through. It was kinda worth it for the cappoatcinno.
Café Pascal – The soy latte was outta-this-world good. And, unlike many cafes we visited, not oversized.
Café String – Dive-y and funky and definitely the place to go when you need a quick, late afternoon pick-me-up.
Omnipollo’s Hatt – A local brewery with some really (REALLY) interesting beers on tap. They also serve up stone-fired pizzas. Gets really crowded after 5PM so try to get there early (unless you don’t mind standing).
Ankkurat – Microbrews and (so much) whiskey.
Sjätte Tunnan – A medevial restaurant but we went for the beer. You should, too, if you find yourself bored in Old Town.
Speceriet – A great place to grab a drink and relax. We took a table outside and ordered some roasted almonds, too.
Erlands – These folks know how to make a mean cocktail. Also? $$$
Rosendals Trädgård – Pack a lunch and picnic under the blooming fruit trees. Along with what may feel like the rest of Stockholm.
Vasamuseet – After 300 years, a Swedish ship was resurrected from the sea floor.. and it’s in one piece.
Moderna Museet – The museum reminded me a lot of a series of modern art museums we visited in Istanbul. Notable works include those from Picasso, Matisse, Warhol, etc. Even if you don’t like museums, this place is worth an afternoon.
Strindbergmuseet – An interesting peek into the life of one of Sweden’s most distinguished authors: August Strindberg. My favorite part was being able to walk through his apartment, which was just as he left it back in the early 1900s.
Fotografiska – Probably one of the most beautiful photography exhibits I’ve ever seen. Spend some time wandering about then go up to the rooftop for a drink and dessert.
What Thom lacked in Copenhagen, he more than made up for in Stockholm because our apartment was in the perfect location and it came with a jaw-dropping view. Although it was a bit on the small side, we didn’t spend much time in it so we didn’t mind that it was basically like an oversized, well-equipped hotel room. Even better? Our host left us wine to celebrate Thom finally making an honest woman out of me. But we saved it for the last night and forgot to drink it, so.. that was kind of a bummer. Lesson learned: never save celebration wine. Ever.
We took a trip to Upsaala to look at the University and get a feel for the small town, as it’s one of the places Thom wants to apply for graduate school. We took a train from Stockholm and had fika at Ofvandahls Hovkonditori, a cafe that’s been in business since the 18th century (and looks like it, too). We wandered around town before filling our bellies with alllll the vegetables at Legume (a delicious vegetarian buffet) (apparently there’s one in Stockholm, too). Then we moseyed over to Upsaala University, where we popped into the library to take a peek at the Silver bible and marvel over notes from Nicholas Copernicus (!) and a book of Ptolemaic atlases (!!!). The exhibit is free to the public and will take no more than 30 minutes of your precious time.