Here you’ll find a list of some of my favourite places in and around Stockholm, complete with links, tips and information that may be of use to visitors, to those with children and/or specific dietary requirements. In Sweden, the term smultronställe (literally “wild strawberry patch”), refers to a favourite location/hidden gem. On this page you’ll find a few of mine… I’ll add more as time goes by.
* Update! Food Village is closed until further notice
Not just for eating but for food shopping too, the foodie in you will love Food Village. Similar in some ways to Wholefoods, but not part of a large chain, Food Village is all about excellent quality, produced/sold with passion and the promotion of local, seasonal produce. The seasonal veggie brunch at Food Village is my new Stockholm brunch favourite. It’s great value and the selection of dishes is very different to many of the other well-known brunch places that either do a very meat-centric typical Swedish offering or borrow heavily from the American style brunch menu. I recommend the raw treats and smoothies for fika.
Tip: Here you’ll find possibly the best sourdough I have tasted in Stockholm. Not cheap, but worth it. If you drink alcohol (I don’t), they host casual afterwork events, so if you feel like stepping out but don’t want to make a big night of it, it might be the perfect option.
Special diets: There are always inventive vegetarian meals of a high standard on the menu and there’s a selection of vegan raw treats (including Paleo bliss balls), smoothies as well as a selection of house-baked pastries, sandwiches, etc., that will suit an ovo-lacto veggie diet. They sell a large range of vegan ice-cream products in take-home tubs.
Nestled in the midst of the gardens of Rosendal, the charming organically certified greenhouse café serves lunches, sandwiches, drinks and sweet treats. Whenever possible they use their own biodynamically grown vegetables, and all the bakery goods are made in the artisanal bakery, including breads made in the wood fired stone oven.
Tip: Reservations cannot be made and the café can get extremely busy, so my tip is to arrive around the time the café opens for an early lunch or mid-morning fika.
Special diets: There are always vegetarian meals on the menu (at least one hot lunch and one soup of the day) as well as a selection of pastries, sandwiches, etc., that suit an ovo-lacto veggie diet. They have recently started serving some vegan-friendly raw treats and stock Lily & Hanna’s raw ice-cream.
Traveling with kids? Make a day of it and spend time exploring the gardens after lunch.
One of our absolute favourite places to visit at anytime of year is Bergianska trädgården, a privately owned and run botanical garden with fabulous greenhouses and gorgeous grounds. Arrive at the restaurant/café Gamla Orangeriet (“the old orangery”) before 11:30am and secure a table in your favourite spot (there are lots of lovely ones to choose from both in and outdoors). The food is delicious and organic. The locale itself is gorgeous.
Traveling with kids? Make a day of it and spend time exploring the gardens and greenhouses; the Edvard Anderson Conservatory (which is divided into areas of the world and warm all year round) and Victoriahuset. My own children love the conservatory and it is one of their most requested outing destinations. Entrance to the larger greenhouse costs 80 SEK for adults. Children 0-15 years are free if accompanied by an adult.
Special diets: There is always a vegetarian main meal option on the menu as well as a selection of pastries, sandwiches, etc., that suit an ovo-lacto veggie diet. Every time we return it seems they have added more special dietary options to the menu, from lactose-free brownies to gluten-free pies and vegan ice-creams & raw balls. They will customise dishes if it’s possible and there’s a good range of drinks too (including fruit smoothies) if you are just stopping by for fika before a walk in the garden.
Photo: Marta Vargas
For years I have complained about the disconcerting lack of decent “un-Swedified” Chinese food in Stockholm. Issue resolved. There is China!. And for those of you who, like me, appreciate that Chinese food doesn’t have to exist within the realms of ‘battered, deep-fried, drowning in syrupy sauce and kept warm in a bain-marie’, you will dig it here. A Tripadvisor favourite and a repeat feature in the White Guide, China! is worth a visit. Our waiter was new (and thus unfamiliar with a few things), but having waited tables myself, I have total empathy. And friendliness and enthusiasm (which he had in abundance) count for so much more with me than mere robotic efficiency.
Special diets: If you like vegetarian food, you will be pleased with the selection on offer. If you like tofu, you will be even more pleased. The mapo tofu is Hot (with a capital H), but pleasing. And the homemade tofu is comfort food, Chinese-style.
Farm life close to town
Described on its website as being a “rural oasis in the middle of town”, Överjärva Gård is a renovated former dairy farm that now comprises a café, farm shops, a nature school for children and an opportunity to experience a taste of farm life, less than a half hour commute + stroll from Stockholm’s Central Station.
Probably the biggest drawcard of the farm is the animals. Pony rides are available, it is possible on certain days to interact with the sheep, and the annual “Bee Day” is a very popular event. A visit to Överjärva Gård is a perfect way to spend a quiet afternoon. The café boasts an extensive range of “fika” (morning/afternoon tea) options and the farm’s proximity to the city and its modest size make it an easy, time-effective and relaxed outing option for families with little ones.
Price: free entrance
Traveling with kids? This place is designed to be child-friendly!
For a city spa experience with friendly, helpful service, Elements Spa at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm is perfect. An unpretentious but truly lovely locale, featuring fabulous saunas (steam and dry), an ice fountain (for the masochist in you), sun terraces overlooking parklands and an indoor/outdoor heated pool that is actually warm (as an Aussie I find many so-called heated pools in Sweden are barely tolerable!). Elements offers treatments and menu items (including smoothies) that reflect the spa’s Ayurvedic inspiration. Great yoga classes are included in your spa entrance fee, as are stunning views of the south side of Stockholm. Treat yourself!
Traveling with kids? The spa has designated kid-friendly times, and parents with babies can attend drop-in parent+baby yoga sessions. Call for latest times/info.
Photo: Alice Johnson
Just outside of Stockholm city, in the gorgeous surrounds of Hagaparken, you’ll find this unassuming spa nestled within Radisson Blu Royal Park Hotel. Many of the classes here suit the true fitness lover, with running sessions in the park with a personal trainer being just one of many options (it’s a killer, let me tell you!). The Kerstin Florian products (available for usage in the changing rooms) are truly lovely. Combine a spa visit here with a walk/run in the park for a seriously lovely day out!
UNDER THE BRIDGES
The city tour/boat trip that I recommend to all my visiting friends is Under the Bridges. This tour gives a unique overview of Stockholm’s main islands from the water, as the boat travels under fifteen bridges and passes through the lock that connects the Baltic Sea with Lake Mälaren. It’s a leisurely and thoroughly enjoyable way to explore the city.
And here’s an extra bonus treat; you will pass right by my place en route… and may even see me waving from my window! 😀
Price: 250 Swedish kronor per adult
Traveling with kids? Children aged 0-5 are free. Children aged 6-15 are half-price. The boats are not buggy-friendly.
The Viking City of Birka, regarded as Sweden’s first city, is situated on the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren. As one of the most important trading centers for Vikings, the island has an interesting history and visitors can visit the museum, reconstructed Viking village and join a guided tour of the archaeological fields. During 3 weeks in July, Birka is is home to “real” Vikings and special activities take place.
Price: 390 Swedish kronor per adult. The price includes a round trip on the boat, a guide onboard the boat & on the island, and entrance to the museum.
Traveling with kids? Children 6-15 years are half price and children 0-5 years are free.
The walk around the archeological fields is rocky in places and not ideal for buggies, though it can absolutely be managed. The boat trip takes 2 hours, there and back. It’s a long day out for little ones (7.5 hours in total), but the boat trip is relaxing and food can be purchased onboard.
The boats are buggy-friendly but can get crowded.
Tip: If traveling with a baby in a buggy, move right to the back of the boat when you get aboard and bring your buggy with you. There is plenty of space near the large windows, so you will have both room and excellent unobstructed views (and some privacy if you are breastfeeding).
Special diets: In the restaurant on the boat and on the island a vegetarian dish of the day is served. A selection of snacks of a not-particularly-healthy variety are also available. Bring your own picnic (that’s what lots of locals seem to do) if you have specific food requirements or call to enquire about special meals.