Last month, an unexpected phone call from old friends led to a spontaneous trip to Stockholm. Our friends were on a design tour of the Nordics and asked what it would take for us to join them for the weekend. We said it would cost them a lot! Not only we were trying out intermittent fasting, we were also doing Dry January. “Cheap dates” they said, “we booked Ekstedt”... Stockholm, sustainability capital of Europe, is not short of vegan food options. With only 36 hours, meaning only 2 dinners and 2 brunches, we were spoilt for choice. Here’s how you could navigate the Swedish capital’s buzzing restaurant scene when dining on plants.
No prior research was done when we booked a last minute table at Allegrine for a Friday night. Straight from the airport, we head to this relatively new modern French brasserie. Yes, we were slightly scared of being let down by lack of vegetarian options resulting in a hungry and miserable Friday night, but the appeal of experiencing what hip Stockholmers do on a Friday won us over. For full disclosure, this is not a vegetarian-friendly restaurant and it did require some negotiation with the kitchen to see what could be offered. The result of our negotiations, a deliciously modern mushroom based starter and an evocative socca topped with aubergine. Not sure which made us feel less like we were dining in Southern France; the wine list (go easy, it's pricey) or the freezing -10C cold. It definitely was the wine...
We are going to make a very bold statement and we will stand behind it. Herman’s is the best ‘all you can eat’ vegan buffet in this part of the world. Having visited this slightly hippiesh cafe a few times over the past decade, we never felt disappointed. Price wise it is considered budget in Stockholm standards, which if you’ve been to Stockholm, you’ll know is a plus. It’s wonderful views over the harbour and close proximity to Fotografiska Gallery and the laid-back Sodermalm district adds to its charm. This place gets packed especially on the weekends so we recommend booking in advance. We promise, it’s a great way to start your Saturday.
Visiting Stockholm during winter does require you to spend more time indoors rather than enjoying the archipelago, but luckily there is plenty to do. Fotografiska, housed in a gorgeous Art Nouveau building is known worldwide as the center for contemporary photography also has a stylish dining room and a cafe. We haven’t tried the food here but the cafe looked good stop for fika.
Tasting menu is cooked entirely on charcoal and smoke. No electric griddle, no gas stove. Wine is as natural as the food, but it is pricey and comes with a Michelin star. We have all had the experience that a star doesn’t necessarily warrant imaginative plant based food. However, this place has built its entire mantra on sustainability. From juniper smoked white cabbage to charcoal grilled kohlrabi, Ekstedt offers a dining experience that all green living enthusiast would enjoy.
We wished we had more time to spend here. Not sure how to describe the odd combination of a cafe, restaurant, a happening bar and a barber shop situated at an up and coming part of Stockholm. Tjoget is a fun place to hangout, either on a Friday night or Sunday brunch. The food is contemporary with decent vegetarian options of average quality.