How to eat, drink and tourist in Hipster's heaven - Stockholm


You know when you go somewhere and you're sure you did stuff aside from eat but the only pictures you took were of food? Mm yeah so Stockholm was kinda one of those places. It's mildly frustrating considering that the place was so bloody instagrammable but hey, nothing wrong with a bit of food porn either.

It's no surprise that Scandis generally rule when it comes to design. Stockholm is a haven for all things trendy and even our hotel was painfully cool. We arrived to a dark reception area where a ridiculously tall man greeted us and showed us to our room that had one of the most beautiful sinks that I've ever seen. The rest of the aesthetics were too trendy for me to actually understand - namely the postcard of a dude with a black eye that was alarmingly arranged on our bed (turns out that it was the feedback form for the hotel). Again, soz on the lack of pics but if you fancy checking it out for yourself you can have a squiz at the hotel's website.

Even the foodcourts in Stockholm are trendy AF. We stumbled across this wee gem where you can choose from a wide variety of cuisines to enjoy whilst sitting in bizarre cinema style seating, observing all the beautiful people. This did mean our first meal in Sweden was a banh mi and Vietnamese beer but hey, we felt local.

Luckily there was room for dessert. These things looked too good not to try. Turns out the creamy donutty thing is a bit average but the giant truffle was legit.

Next we endured a particularly painful walking tour of the old town. Our guide didn't have the best grasp of English.... or Stockholm it appeared. Still we stuck with it and were rewarded with a nugget of local advice - where to go for an authentic viking themed beverage, natch.

By all counts Aifur should be awful. It is literally an underground viking themed cave bar. Surely this isn't cool enough to exist in Stockholm? Well it does and not gonna lie, I enjoyed it. We had mead which was nothing like I expected (a sticky sweet dessert wine) and got a kick out of watching the big table of patched up bikers having a gathering in the restaurant below. Every time someone entered the band played a theme song for them and it was amazing to see people's reactions.

So it was getting to dinner time and it turns out that in winter, the old town is quiet as hell. There's no such thing as foot traffic as everyone who has any sense has booked a table at one of the nice restaurants. Us being romantic travellers forever hoping to stumble across a diamond in the rough didn't have as much sense and we ended up wandering the streets for hours until we were struck down with hanger.

Thankfully we had enough strength in us to make our way over the other side of the city to the renowned Meatballs for the people. Ikea doesn't have shit on this place.

Creamy mash, pickled cucumber, lingon berries and meat, glorious meat. A great combo and not one to be messed with - straight up Swedish grub in yet another cool setting. We also loved the panna cotta.

Onto day two in Stockholm and here is a pic that wasn't of food, huzzah! This was taken inside the City Hall which is an absolute must see in the city. The artwork and architecture is incredible plus they have free tours on the hour. It's a no brainer. This was taken inside the Golden Hall which is simply breathtaking.

Back to the food now (sorry not sorry). Pelikan is an authentic beer hall style dining experience which I fully recommend. The decor is rustic yet cosy and the food is rich and exciting. Here are our appetisers - an oversized potato rosti with roe and creme fraiche...

....and your typical pickled herring served with cheese. So damned good.

That is melt in the mouth right there. Next up we were each served a heart attack on a plate. Tom went for the pork knuckle that was the size of a small child.

I had the traditional Pyittpanna which is essentially a Swedish fry up starring egg yolk, potatoes and all sorts of meat. The lady looked at me oddly when I ordered it and was even more baffled when she came to collect my almost clean plate. 'That is a lot of food' she said somewhat impressed (and a little disgusted). Can you blame me though?

Alright so there was a leeedle bit more to Stockholm than the food. We discovered a mini version of Sweden for example....

Skansen is possibly one of the oddest tourist attractions you will find in Europe. It's set up as a 'good ole days' version of Sweden and features a full blown settlement of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. The shop keepers are dressed in costumes and it's all just a bit weird (see disturbingly dire pic above). We met one 'peasant' woman who broke character to enlighten us on the current state of politics in Sweden which was interesting. Other than that though, not great.

Potentially this place is a lot of fun in summer but in winter its just barren and unsettling. I guess it's quite an accurate reflection of Sweden in that there are never any people just wandering around in the cold - everyone hibernates.

Still, we did find one more tourist attraction to fill the time between meals.

The Vasa is actually incredible. Forget the Titanic museum in Belfast, if you want to see a proper shipwreck in the flesh go here. This preserved piece of history from the briny deep is something to behold. Put it on your Stockholm list.

And so we were nearly at the end of our Swedish adventure but we did have a couple of hours to kill so went all Scandi on it and checked out an art gallery. Look at this incredible... ummm....

Yep that's cardboard. In the shape of jewels. I don't get it either.

Continuing with the theme, I'm going to end with food. Our final meal in Stockholm was in a great setting up on the hill overlooking the harbour. Hermans vegetarian restaurant is yet another uber trendy cafe with delicious buffet style eats for cheap. Top points for the bottomless tea and coffee station. Oh yeah, did I mention that I'm that person at a buffet (it's not full unless I can't see plate).

Stockholm was delicious in more ways than one. I'm just sad that I didn't get to experience the city in warmer times when I'm sure there would have been a lot more stylish people out and about to admire. For now though, I'm happy with the sight eating memories. As the uber cool Swedish probably never say - nom nom nom.

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