Krusmyntagården, Sweden

Krusmyntagården, Sweden
Katharina SveglerFive insider tips for traditional Swedish cuisine and the very best dining spots in the country.

Hidden culinary secrets of Sweden

Five insider tips for traditional Swedish cuisine and the very best dining spots in the country.

Due to a certain global furniture brand, foods like Köttbullar and Kanelbullar became known worldwide. However, to discover the vast culinary range of this picturesque Nordic country, one needs to get up close and personal.

Swedish cuisine is a delicious mix of traditional husmanskost (home-style cooking) with a modern twist – high quality, sustainable, regional ingredients and contemporary interpretations distinguish the cooking scene.

Traditional Swedish food: local ingredients and innovative interpretations

Fresh fish and seafood (especially hake, crayfish and many varieties of salmon) are characteristic of the Swedish cuisine. Salmon is available in countless varieties: fried, pickled, smoked, to name a few, and don't miss out on the fishballs (fiskbullar)!

Meats vary, based on the region, and whereas lamb is a specialty on the island of Gotland, reindeer, moose meats and sausages are typical of the far north of the country – dishes that originated in the Sami culture, the indigenous inhabitants of Sweden, Norway and Finland.

The south of Sweden tends look more to pork and a greater variety of vegetables: Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam (similar to cranberry sauce) can usually be found on menus. Swedish culinary culture includes an amazing variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes: cabbage, root vegetables, apples and berries in uncountable arrangements.

And of course, there is no genuine Swedish meal without the desserts: Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) or Saffranspannkakor med Salmbärssylt (saffron pancakes with blackcurrant jam) are a true revelation for the senses. They are usually served for fika, the coffee break, and well… the Swedes love coffee, being one of the heaviest coffee-drinking countries in the world, enjoying approximately 9.4kg per capita of the hot beverage per year.

Typical (alcoholic) drinks and beverages

In summer, fresh juices from local berries and fruits are the preferred non-alcoholic refreshments. Water is usually available free of charge.

Alcohol is generally very expensive compared to the rest of Europe, and is subject to strict government controls. Wine, sprits and strong beer (with more than 3.5 per cent vol.) are only available at special stores called Systembolaget – they actually feel more like a fashion boutique than a liquor store.

Beer is a popular beverage for dinner, lunch or swift breaks during the day. A recommendation for connoisseurs is Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri, a micro-brewery with a fantastic selection of pale ales and lagers, offering brewery and tasting tours as well. Wine lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the world's northernmost established vineyard and winery, STF Hablingbo Gute Vineyard, on Gotland.

Top 5 tips for gourmets in Sweden

Planning a trip to Sweden soon? Here are our recommendations.

Sweden is one of the most interesting and dynamic culinary destinations in the world. Thus, it is well deserved that the city of Stockholm is the European Capital of Gastronomy 2023. Two locations in Stockholm have made it into our top five. Our absolute highlight, however, is located quite hidden and very serene on the breathtaking Swedish Island of Gotland:

1. Krusmyntagården, Gotland

The stunning location of Krusmyntagården is much more than just a dining spot – it is a café and restaurant with its very own beautiful herb garden, selling natural spice blends, sweets, marmalades, and other regional products in an adjacent boutique. But foremost, it is the perfect seaside destination with a breathtaking view of the Baltic Sea, about 10km north of Visby.

Krusmyntagården was built in 1969 by Ingeborg Lingegård, and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. During summer, a stroll through the fragrant herb garden, along the most beautiful flower arrangements down to the stunning beach of Brissund feels just like heaven.

The experience is completed, by the culinary varieties offered to visitors. Chef de cuisine, Oskar Hellberg, and his young team compose superb dishes, beautifully arranged with a modern touch and classic flavours: “Our philosophy is to get as much flavour as possible out of every single produce that we use. Inspiration comes from everywhere in life,” said Hellberg. “Sometimes a farmer shows us something they are proud of, and that is impossible to not feel inspired about.”

As for herbs and spices, it cannot get more local or sustainable than being grown ten steps away from the kitchen. Meat, fish and vegetables are also sourced from Gotland with the menu changing regularly during the season, always including a vegan option. And Hellberg’s favourite? “So far it's a tie between the haddock and the potato pancake. The hake dish we are working on is probably going to steal the first place though.”

Krusmyntagården, Gotland
Katharina Svegler
Krusmyntagården, Gotland

  • Krusmyntagården
  • Krusmyntavägen 4, 622 76 Visby
  • +46 498 296 900
  • Opening hours: April-October (usually 11am-4pm). Open late in summer, incl. barbecues and dinner in the evenings. Current times and specials: here

2. Frantzén, Stockholm

Any fine dining lover visiting can’t get past the renowned three-star restaurant Frantzén, which surely lives up to the title of Sweden’s best restaurant. Star chef, Björn Frantzén, presents remarkable creations, a unique hybrid of Nordic cuisine marrying classic and modern techniques with Asian notes.

The charming service team guide guests through different stations, making sure a night at Frantzén is a spectacular experience on the highest level. Menu prices per guest are accordingly high: expect 4800 SEK per person (€425) excluding beverages or wine accompaniment.

Frantzén, Stockholm
photo provided
Frantzén, Stockholm

  • Frantzén
  • Klara Norra Kyrkogata 26, 111 22 Stockholm
  • +46 8 20 85 80
  • Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday: 12pm-11.30pm.

3. Sjömagasinet, Gothenburg

For fresh fish and seafood delicacies, Sjömagasinet is the place to go in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden. Located right by the harbour, the charming restaurant is set in an East India Company warehouse, built in 1775. The menu focuses on west coast seafood and local traditions, a perfect mix of classic and modern dishes to be enjoyed in a historic ambience. The wine selection is superb as well.

Head Chef Marcus Jonsson and restaurateurs Mats Sjölander and Jennie Selin take pride in purchasing only the very best from the local fish market and make simple, honest presentations with a spectacular twist. The most popular dishes are the west coast salad of local seafood and spring vegetables, the traditional gravadlax and white asparagus with spring herbs, smoked charr, ramson & sauce hollandaise – absolute delights. Other recommended dishes include lobster soup with cognac, Oscietra caviar, and sautéed filet of turbot.

Sjömagasinet: Oscietre caviar with beurre noisette, chives & puré of amandine potatoes.
Katharina Svegler
Sjömagasinet: Oscietre caviar with beurre noisette, chives & puré of amandine potatoes.

  • Sjömagasinet
  • Klippans Kulturreservat, Adolf Edelsvärds gata 5, SE-414 51 Göteborg
  • (+46) 31-775 59 20
  • Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11.30am-11pm; Saturday & Sunday 1pm-11pm

4. Ulla Winbladh, Stockholm

For authentic Swedish home-style cooking in a historical setting, Ulla Winbladh is the place to go in Stockholm. Originally, the house was a bakery, built for the 1897 Stockholm World Fair and is surrounded by a charming park. Here, traditional Swedish dishes are served such as herring, cod, or fish roe, as well as one of the best versions of Köttbullar in Sweden. Visitors get to enjoy traditional Swedish cuisine of the highest quality and a great location.
  • Wärdshuset Ulla Winbladh
  • Rosendalsvägen 8, 115 21 Stockholm
  • +46 8 534 897 01
  • Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11.30am-11pm; Saturday and Sunday 12.30pm-11pm.

5. Mygel, Malmö

A secret tip for visitors to Malmö is Mygel, a trendy, rustic brunch spot, located a bit off the beaten track in the middle of a warehouse district.

The young and incredibly friendly team serve fantastic hearty vegetarian and vegan dishes made from fresh ingredients, mostly sourced from local farms or even their very own greenhouse. Consequently, the Nordic-inspired menu is limited by the seasons, but always freshly prepared and delicious, with daily specials. Don’t miss the brunch at weekends – a splendid experience, and dogs are welcome.

  • Mygel
  • Lodgatan 3b, Malmö
  • +46 70 989 09 86
  • Opening hours: Wednesday-Friday, 11.30am-1.30pm; Saturday & Sunday, 10.30am-1.30 pm; last Friday every month: open for dinner.


Katharina Svegler
Katharina Svegler
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