Getting to know a city, for me, is about finally finding your favorite spots for coffee, knowing the best place to hang out with friends when it’s nice outside (and when it’s not!), falling into a family routine, and exploring until you find the things that make you feel at home. I am finally beginning to feel that I have found these things here in Stockholm, and it has completely transformed my view of Sweden compared to when I first arrived. And — you guessed it — a lot of mine include food 🙂
1. Rosendal’s Trägård
blueberry cake in one of the many gardens
On Djurgården, the same island in the Stockholm archipelago that boasts the ABBA museum, Skansen, and Grona Lund, a secret gem called Rosendal’s Trägård exists. This is an outdoor garden/farm/cafe/bakery/farmstand that you can only get to via walking trails, and it is absolutely beautiful. Though I first stumbled upon it by accident, I have been back a few times to enjoy the outdoors and the delicious farm-fresh food and bakeries, which are different every day!
2. Roddinge By Farm
This is a place I immediately fell in love with. I came across the farm on the first full day I was in Sweden — my host sister works there on the weekends giving pony rides, and so my host family and I took a walk around the nearby lake and stopped to see her. As I am a rider on the equestrian team and missing my own horse at home, it is awesome to have so many animals so close by! Last week, Ida (my sister) was even nice enough to let me join her weekly riding lesson. I felt so at home being able to do something so familiar to me and such a huge part of my life, even when I am so far from home.
3. Östermalms Saluhall
If you know me, you know that this market is essentially my mecca. Imagine a giant food hall with different booths and shops for cheese, bread, charcuterie, fish, meat, sweets, coffee, and sit-down restaurants — all under one roof! I could spend hours and hours in there just walking around and looking at all of the amazing and tasty goodies in each vendor’s booth. Pro tip – get fika at Robert’s Coffee booth! They have some of my favorite pastries and coffee that I’ve found so far in the city. Check it out here.
4. Baking kanelbullar with my host mom
As you have probably noticed if you have read the posts of any of my fellow DIS Stockholm bloggers, kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) are a dietary staple for the Swedes. Be it for breakfast, fika, or just because, these are immensely popular among all generations (although I think my host brother, Noah, might take the prize for biggest kanelbullar fan in all of Sweden!). I love baking, and so one Sunday afternoon my host mom showed me how to make the pastries in the traditional Swedish way. Hint: the secret is a ton of butter (isn’t it always!?).
step 1: loads and loads of butter
step 2: ready to bake
step 3: ready to eat!
5. Studying and fika at little cafes
This one is a special shout-out to Caleigh, one of my fellow bloggers and also one of the fellow members of my Swedish class. She found the best little cafe only a couple minutes down the street from the DIS building, and they have the best avocado toast! Now, I know – not very Swedish. In my defense, they also have great Swedish pastries, and very friendly Swedish staff that are quickly getting to know me as a regular. And there is something so, so comforting about finding one of your favorite foods from back home with a Swedish twist halfway around the world. No better place to relax with a cup of coffee and a book!
6. Dinner with Swedish Families
I live in a Homestay, and have been lucky enough to go on many adventures with them. However, it has also been really cool to expand my ~Swedish Network~ so to speak, whether it be my host mom’s awesome friends joining us for dinner, going to my host cousin’s birthday party, or having dinner with some of the other DIS Homestay hosts. I’ve been lucky enough to do this on several occasions now, be it a Sunday night barbecue with a friend’s Homestay hosts, or a Saturday spent preparing food and celebrating an Oktoberfest party with another friend’s Homestay hosts and 15 of their closest friends. Again, in a very Swedish way, I think that a great meal is an amazing way to sit down and get to socialize with new people and understand more about Sweden and its culture. Fun fact that I learned: if you are married, you are not supposed to sit next to each other at a wedding or a dinner party — you are supposed to socialize with other people! Despite this causing some initial confusion trying to figure out who was part of which family at different gatherings, I think it’s actually a great way to get to know other people.
Hej då until next week!
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