Travel Destinations

Monday, August 3, 2015

Finding the Best Restaurants in Stockholm with the White Guide

Pubologi Baked Skrei Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Sometimes it can feel like a game of Russian roulette when trying to find good restaurants at which to dine on vacation.  Guidebooks have limited restaurants which sometimes have gone out of business since printing.  Review websites like TripAdvisor, while normally incredibly useful, sometimes fall short when it comes to restaurants, especially when you run a search and find McDonalds listed as the number ten restaurant in the city.  For our trip to Stockholm I found a great resource, the White Guide, for finding the best restaurants in Stockholm. 

The White Guide is an annual guide which rates Swedish restaurants and divides them into five classifications: International Masterclass, Swedish Masterclass, Very High Class, High Class, and A Nice Place.  Not only does the White Guide website list all the White Guide rated restaurants in Sweden, providing ratings and descriptions, you can also find restaurants by location, drilling down on the map to find those closest to your hotel.  Using this method we discovered some great restaurants in Stockholm to fill our time and our stomachs.

Related: 5 Awesome Hotels in Sweden


Pubologi Table Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Pubologi was hands-down Rome’s favorite restaurant in Stockholm, and I loved it a whole lot too.  Pubologi is rated Swedish Master Class by the White Guide.  While the name conjures up the image of burgers and beers, Pubologi’s food is far from pub food.  Pubologi’s mission statement is “Fine Dining to the people!” and describes its food as “a maximum gastronomic blow to the jaw for as little money as possible.”  Pubologi prides itself on providing a more casual fine dining experience, which is great news for travelers who want a fine meal but don’t have room in their suitcase for fancy clothes.

Pubologi serves a set five-course menu with the option of two additional small courses as well as a wine or beer pairing.  The beers are made in collaboration with local Pang Pang Brewery, and one beer, the Big Malta Smoked Porky Port Porter, actually was infused with a very large, very porky smoked pig.

Swedish Squid Pubologi Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Dinner started with a couple amuse bouches before the set menu courses were served.  Our first course was grilled Swedish squid served with crisp baked almond potatoes, Yuzu acidic cucumber, smoky Beurre Blanc, fresh parsley juice, and crunchy reindeer blood.  The squid looked like pasta and was cooked to the perfect texture.

Veal Loin Tartar Pubologi Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Next was a finely cut veal loin tartar served with turnip, pickled onion, Peccorino, an emulsion of roasted chicken skin, crisp cep bread, and endive.  After the tartar we received the lobster supplement, seared lobster served with baked point cabbage, grated spicy lobster butter, algae oil, and lobster broth.

Baked Skrei Pubologi Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

The third course was lightly salted and baked skrei served with a cream of artichoke sauce, baked onion, blackened Brussel sprouts, sweet and sour syrup of smoked prawns, and roasted poppy seeds.  Next came our second add-on, the Wagyu supplement of charcoal grilled Wagyu with salt.

The breast of blood duck was fried on the bone and served with charcoal grilled duck leg, roasted cauliflower, dried and crisp cauliflower, fried oyster mushrooms, grated black winter truffle, and buttered duck jus.

Chocolate Mousse with Mandarin Four Ways Pubologi Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Before our dessert came a pre-dessert of chestnut sorbet with Swedish apple syrup.  Dessert was a molded chocolate mousse served with mandarin four ways, frozen, sweet, sour, and marshmallow, semi-dried rowanberries, roasted pistachio, and crisp buckwheat.  As if we hadn’t had enough sweets, we were then presented with a display box of nostalgic candies from which to choose.

Rolfs Kök

Rolfs Kök Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

We ate dinner at Rolfs Kök on our very first night in Stockholm, tired, jet-lagged, really just wanting to get into bed but determined to get ourselves onto the Sweden time clock.  Our meal at Rolfs Kök ended up being one of my favorites in Stockholm, and it was the perfect choice for our first day of vacation.

Rolfs Kök is rated by the White Guide as Very High Class.  The restaurant is casual and diners sit at tables that are close together and have a view of the open kitchen.  Rolfs Kök’s food philosophy is plainness and quality.  It’s a comfortable restaurant and the food is unassuming, but it’s also very good.

Oysters à la Rolfs Kök Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

We sat at a tiny table in the window that we reached by stepping up on a footstool.  As the tables are small, rolls come delivered on a spike so as to not take up much room.  Our waitress also brought a sideboard that was set on the railing so we had some additional space for our drinks.  Rolfs Kök was my first introduction to the wonders of Sweden’s dairy products.  I have never tasted butter as flavorful as what they make in Sweden.  I consumed a lot of rolls that night just so I could eat some more butter.

We started with Oysters à la Rolfs Kök, and if you dine here, be sure to order them.  Oysters are a popular ingredient in Sweden and these were topped with a chopped tomato salsa, chives, a small dollop of mayonnaise, and translucent slices of Iberico ham before being charbroiled and served with an unlabeled bottle of house infused Tabasco-like sauce.  We shared a whole Dover sole served with hollandaise sauce, perfectly seasoned ramson, and fried potatoes.


Sturehof Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Sturehof is a classic brasserie in Stockholm’s entertainment district and is rated by the White Guide as Very High Class.  Sturehof has been around for over a century.  It first started out as Malta in 1897.  The name was changed to Sturehof in 1905.  It became Stockholm’s first seafood restaurant in the early 1900s.

Swedish Meatballs Sturehof Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

For our meal at Sturehof we decided to go with some classic Swedish fare.  I had the quintessential Swedish meatballs with a cream sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, and tart lingonberries on the side.  Rome had sausage with artichoke and onions after a starter of herring and salmon.

Spritmuseum Restaurant

Spritmuseum Restaurant Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

It may sound surprising, but a museum restaurant makes the White Guide list.  Stockholm has a few museum restaurants with excellent reputations in the cuisine department and the Spritmuseum Restaurant is one of them.  It is rated by the White Guide as Very High Class.

Puffed Barley and Fish Spritmuseum Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

We ate a light lunch at the restaurant before touring the museum, but the restaurant is open both for lunch and dinner.  It has patio seating during the warmer months, but even when it’s cold the dining room’s large windows provide a nice view of the water.  Of course, since it is a spirit museum, meals can be accompanied by a wide assortment of local beers or spirits, cocktails, and wine.


Fried Broccoli Spcriet Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

On our final night in Stockholm we ate at Speceriet, a casual dining restaurant rated by the White Guide as Very High Class.  Speceriet doesn’t take reservations and is a tiny restaurant with communal dining at long bar-height tables.  The menu comes out on a clipboard and is also written on a chalkboard on the wall.

Spcriet Best Restaurants in Stockholm Sweden

Speceriet’s menu is created around seasonal ingredients and simple preparations.  We started with crispy fried broccoli, something so simple yet so delicious.  We also shared a flatbread and a meat dish.  While you can have your own meal, Speceriet is the perfect place to eat family style so you can taste everything.  They also serve a fantastic aged Swedish cheese.

Next door to Speceriet is its much fancier sister restaurant Gastologik, which is White Guide rated International Master Class.  Both restaurants use the same quality ingredients and have a shared goal of providing exciting flavors.

While we were dining at our last White Guide rated restaurant, Speceriet, we met a Stockholm local who lived just a couple blocks away and said it was her favorite neighborhood restaurant.  She asked how we had learned of it and was surprised to hear we had found it using the White Guide.  In fact, she was so impressed by the list of restaurants we had chosen with its help, she bought a White Guide on the spot from Speceriet.  She had never heard of the White Guide before, which confirmed our Pubologi waiter’s statements that the White Guide is not so much used by the locals, but rather being White Guide rated provides bragging rights and is more important within the restaurant industry.  However, for a traveler who doesn’t have the benefit of local knowledge and word-of-mouth recommendations, the White Guide is an incredibly useful tool for finding restaurants that will provide delicious and memorable evenings in Stockholm and the rest of Sweden.

Travel the World: Five of the best restaurants in Stockholm.

Katherine Belarmino and Romeo Belarmino are the authors of Travel the World, a travel blog for the everyday working stiff. They work full-time in non-travel related jobs, but take every opportunity they can to travel the world during their limited vacation time.