Last November, after our epic trip to Iceland, Mike and I took advantage of the budget airlines in Europe and headed on over to Stockholm. In my mind, Stockholm was a city full of gleaming white buildings, new and shiny, kind of like Ikea on steroids. What I found, when we landed, was the complete opposite: Stockholm was a charming European city, much like all the other European cities I’ve been too – full of historic buildings, quaint squares, and friendly locals.
We spent our time in the city doing what we do best: wandering and eating. It was the complete opposite of Iceland (where we spent all of our time in a car) and it was absolutely glorious to be able to stretch our legs. I find that walking is the best way to see a city, especially if you have the time and patience to do so. It does take twice (or more) as long to get to where you’re going, but as they say, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Our wanderings led us to multiple Swedish meatball dinners, Swedish street food, hip and fun grocery stores, and ALL the fun home and decor stores.
The Swedish meatballs in Sweden were an absolute revelation. I know that Swedish cuisine is more than just meatballs, and I never (ok, always) fall for the hype of supposed famous foods, like paella or deep dish pizza (sorry Chicagoans!), so I wasn’t expecting too much. I mean, I hoped that they would be good, but they blew me away. I’m a big Swedish meatball fan, even the ones at Ikea, so having authentic meatballs was definitely a highlight. I love the way they serve them: always with the smoothest mashed potatoes, rich creamy gravy, pickled cucumbers, and tart and fresh lingonberry sauce. After having real lingonberries, I don’t think I could ever go back to lingonberry jam.
The hotdogs were a surprise highlight. We found a famous hotdog stand (there are several around the city) and went all out and got a double dog. It was super exciting because, I mean, look at it: The two dogs are broken in half because they’re so long and stuffed into a baguette. We had the spicy lamb merguez and it was so, so good.
If it looks like all we did was walk around and eat, we basically did – Stockholm will forever be a city filled with delicious meatballs, quirky hipster shops, and hot dogs. I hope to see it again soon!