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Stockholm and Swedish Meatballs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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11 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Wow. I had no idea I needed to go there until I read this. And I now I know I need to go there haha. Awesome post!

  2. Kennert Killing says:

    Swedish lingonberry tip: you want “rårörda” lingon’s, thats raw lingon and sugar, simply stired together. I keep frozen ones, they are perfect because the freezing break down the lingons just enough so the become moist when thawed and mixes well with the sugar. Don’t know if you find them readily available in the US bit pergaps IKEA has them.

    You should have tried another classic as well: “Stekt strömming” aka pan fried herring. Herring fillets, breaded, some times made as “Strömmingsflundror” (two full fiilets assembled with Dill in the middle then breaded and pan fried). It’s the meat ball sea food ewuivalent, they are served with mash and lingon. Make sure to fry them in butter.

  3. Ohhhh I am dying to go to Stockholm this summer, this post just made me even more excited! I LOVE Swedish meatballs, yes also those from IKEA, but cannot wait to try the real deal one deal. Love this post!!

  4. this post is so lovely! wandering and eating is my favorite way to explore a city, too. now I definitely need to go to Sweden!

  5. Karin says:

    Wow! I love the fact ghat you found BOTH my “in Sweden we call it a fika”-tray AND my posters with the bearded animals! Lovely blog post. //karin

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      ohmygosh, how awesome! i LOVE your stuff! do you ever do coloring sheets/books?

  6. Kokodynia says:

    I live in Warsaw so Stockholm is not very far from me… This is an adorable city, I adore swedish style with their respect for ecology… I recommend our polish town Gdańsk, also at Baltic Sea.
    Although i am not a huge fan of swedish food this hotdog looks interesting :-))

  7. Alexandra says:

    OMG, how many hot dogs fit into that piece of bread?! That stuff looks incredible.
    Stockholm is officially on my to-visit list :)

  8. Melinda says:

    My grandma was from Sweden & LOVED herring. Her favorite. Your comment made me miss her.

  9. Shelbi says:

    What is the name of the restaurant where you had those meatballs? I would love to go to that one!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      it’s called Bakfickan!