Perhaps only outdone on price by its Norwegian neighbour, eating out in Stockholm can be a pricey affair. I was ready to starve myself for a few days, but I soon realised that when you think a little outside the box (and avoid alcohol) it's easy to enjoy some of Stockholm's foodie delights without breaking the bank. Here are my Top 5 places to grab a good bite:
1. BRÖD UND SALT
Highlight: pastries galore
Cinnamon buns are in abundance in Stockholm, but the one I had from Bröd und Salt was particularly soft and, well, just down right more delicious than the others. There are a couple in the city, but the one in Gamala Stan is the perfect pit stop during sightseeing. I grabbed a bun to go (along with a warming chai latte) and wandered along the water for a while before settling down on a bench, biting into my bun and admiring the views. Perfect.
Highlight: a way to outsmart Stockholm's pricey dining
All-you-can-eat vegetarian lunch buffets are the key to eating success in Stockholm – fill up on plenty of healthy fare at midday and all you'll need later is a light snack before bed. Hermitage is undoubtedly one of the best in the city and is conveniently located in Gamla Stan, so you can stop by after a morning's sightseeing in the old town. Don't go expecting an Anglo-style buffet with row upon row of lukewarm food and an equally lukewarm restaurant atmosphere though, cosy Hermitage operates on a 'less is more' level – there are a handful of options but each is as fresh and flavourful as the next. Did I mention there is unlimited tea and fruit infused water, too (yes, this greatly appealed to the Brit in me)? Oh and meat lovers, please give it a try – I promise you that you will be pleasantly surprised (and with lunch costing only 120 SEK, you can't afford to refuse).
3. MATHOLMEN STREETFOOD MARKET
Highlight: pulled pork burgers by the water's edge
If you are lucky enough to visit Stockholm between the end of June and the end of September, then you will be able to partake in the hipster foodie paradise: Matholmen streetfood market. Located on the picturesque isle of Skeppsholmen alongside the water's edge, I stumbled across Matholmen while out on a sunny Sunday stroll. Up to 30 streetfood vendors can be here at any one time, and they come from all over the world (most appeared to be from Sweden when I was there – although this certainly isn't a complaint on my part). I tucked into a delicious pulled pork burger from The Barbecue Truck, and also spent way too much time eying up the Mimosa stand. Tip: if you have a public transport pass, the public ferry stop is located just around the corner and is a cheap way to see the city from the water and avoid the expensive tours.
Highlight: quality backpack picnic items
I know, you didn't come all this way to go into a supermarket, but hear me out. I actually always try to make time to nip into a supermarket wherever I am because it's a lot of a fun discovering weird and wonderful groceries unique to where you are visiting. In Stockholm, it has the added benefit of being a cheap option to get something to eat in the city and furthermore, something which you can pop into your backpack and tuck into later once you find a suitably pretty and/or sunny spot. What's more, the quality of what's on offer is much better in Stockholm's supermarkets then elsewhere – freshly baked pastries, organic produce, healthy snacks and fresh 'make-your-own' salad bars. While perhaps not a winter option, in summer it's a winning way to save some pennies which you can splash out on a restaurant meal instead at another point in the day. Managing Stockholm on budget is all about balance: if you eat in an expensive restaurant at lunch, grab some streetfood for dinner on the way home.
5. NAKED JUICE BAR
Highlight: a healthy 'on-the-go' option
Ok, I admit it, I'm one of those healthy food fanatics that posts pictures of my food with #fitfam on Instagram. With that in mind (as well as the fact that I had been in meat-heavy Belgrade and Budapest beforehand), it won't be surprising to you that I revelled in the fact that Stockholm takes its juicing seriously, with several fresh juice bar options in the city. For a reasonably priced healthy hit on the go, I recommend the Naked Juicebar chain. I grabbed a fruity delight from them while wandering through the upmarket shopping haven Sturegallerian, and then again at the airport before I grabbed my early morning flight. They also have other healthy to-go options, like soups, wraps, and salads, too.