Postcard from Stockholm: A local’s favorite spots in town

Verona Farrell is a street-style photographer who lives in Stockholm. Here, she recommends her favorite places to eat and drink in the Swedish capital – and what you shouldn’t miss.

Map of Sweden with Stockholm highlighted

Where’s the best spot for breakfast or a lazy lunch? Where will you find the city’s best Swedish meatballs? And what are Stockholm’s most stylish people wearing in winter? Read on to find out what a local recommends.

Vegan croissantsStart the day with vegan croissants at à la Lo

I usually start my day in Stockholm with…

A trip to à la Lo before work. It’s a well-established rule that no one can be annoyed if I’m late when they see I’ve brought a few of this cafe’s famous vegan croissants. 

Considering this is the best croissant I’ve ever tried, it’s hard to believe there’s no butter involved. Last time I popped in for a pre-work treat, I asked for a coffee with regular milk – and the kind waitress reminded me I was in a vegan cafe. Always a good sign.

Get local insight on destinations all over the world with our weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox. A dinner scene in a dimly-lit and elegant restaurant in Stockholm Dinner in Pelikan

In Stockholm, you must try…

Swedish meatballs. What makes this famous dish so special? The sides: creamy mashed potatoes, pressed cucumber and a serving of lingonberries. While the concept may not be so foreign to those of us who have crossed Ikea’s threshold, Stockholm is where you’ll find the real deal. 

I like to go to Pelikan for a classic köttbullar experience. In business since 1733, this atmospheric restaurant is a cozy spot for lunch or dinner. The big windows are the perfect backdrop during a snowy day while you indulge in your new-found Swedishness.

The author eating a hotdog in StockholmThe author Verona Farrell finds the ‘morning after’ cure in Brunos Korvbar

The top spot for a lazy lunch in Stockholm is…

Brunos Korvbar, where you’ll find the ultimate in elevated hot dogs. My go-to order is the Stockholmer dog. When I’m feeling fancy, I get the Double Kabanoss plus a Puko (chocolate milk so sugary it can be unrefrigerated for about a year – a little concerning but oh-so delicious). 

Here’s my perfect Sunday: a trip to Brunos with the girls, with extra sauce and a portion of gossip from the night before.

Stylish couple walk arm in arm down a street in StockholmStylish Södermalm street scene

My favorite neighborhood in Stockholm is…

Södermalm, especially for the style. Being a street-style photographer, I know that I can always find interesting locals around the cool cafes and vintage stores by the neighborhood’s quaint square, Nytorget. 

Recently, I found out that the quintessentially “Söder” couple in this photo turned out to be the very chic owner of à la Lo café and her equally chic boyfriend. 

A rail of colorful bags in a Stockholm shopA Hedabag is a locally-made sustainable tote bag 

The one item you should bring back from Stockholm is…

A Hedabag. When I moved to the city, I saw lots of people carrying these enormous cross-body tote bags around town, and it took me a couple of months of hunting to pin them down. 

These made-to-order dream bags are the work of a small, local and sustainable brand and can double up as extra luggage if you manage to get in some shopping during your trip. Mary Poppins–style, these miracle bags can fit as much as a carry-on suitcase – a great hack if you’re flying home on a low-cost airline.

The author wearing a coat and clutching her laptop while standing on a street in Stockhom in winterThe author Verona Farrell wrapped up in her Stand Studio duvet coat

The one item I recommend bringing to Stockholm is…

A down coat. This is, of course, advice for winter, where it can be -8°C (18°F) out yet feel like -15°C (5°F). I picked up this duvet coat from the Swedish brand Stand Studio – and know that whatever the weather, I won’t be complaining. 

One extra piece of advice…

Bring tampons with applicators. If these are your menstruation product of choice, pack them with you. For some reason, they’re super-difficult to find in Sweden – rather daunting for us that grew up not knowing anything else.


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