We don’t want to be that kind of people who visit a place for the first time and immediately become experts. Nop. That’s not us. But in our very first visit to Stockholm we ate the best meatballs that the city has to offer. We are not exaggerating, we really found the best meatballs. After researching for a while, reading some guides and browsing Twitter (that’s today’s scientific research) we discovered this small place where we realized that IKEA has been fooling us this whole time. Those things you eat when you spend your Saturday buying unnecessary kitchen accessories and cool napkins are not Swedish meatballs.
After a few hours exploring the old town we headed to the Opera in order to find the small restaurant where they serve the best meatballs in Stockholm. It took us a couple of walks around the building to find the little door of Bakfickan (It’s not that complicated to find but, well, we were tired and hungry). Located next to the Opera bar, this little restaurant, which can host only 28 guests, offers a small but outstanding menu of Swedish classics.
The atmosphere was lively but not at all noisy, relaxed but smart, an example of what Stockholm actually is. Two Japanese girls, a French couple and us were the only international customers. The rest of the guests were locals, so we took our seats knowing we were up for a treat. Locals always know best, no? We sat on the counter, which oddly enough reminded us of some of Madrid’s classic restaurants. Tiles, wood, a blackboard with some specials, friendly staff… for a moment we thought about José Luis, a classic spot in Madrid that has been there almost forever and mixes elegance and the most typical traditional atmosphere perfectly. But let’s focus on the most important feature: the food.
We ordered meatballs, of course. They were served in gravy with mashed potatoes, pickled cucumber and lingonberries. And they were utterly delicious. The first bite was accompanied by that perplexed look between us that always comes before an extended mmmm! The sauce and the mashed potatoes were heavenly creamy. The sweet flavours contrasted beautifully with the sour touches of the pickled cucumbers and the soft spicy meat. We never thought a plate of meatballs could be that refined, to be honest. Of course, the immaculate place seting helped.
After this hearty meal we spent almost an hour chatting over a cup of coffee, enjoying the warm sun that was peeking through the windows. We left happy and ready for an afternoon walk along Strandvägen.
This little restaurant is the place you recommend to your friends not only because of the excellent food, but because it will always remind you of a special moment. We left there a young man and a pretty girl on what obviusly was a first date, a strange married couple sharing a plate of oysters and a group of friends toasting with a botle of bubbly. This is a place for understated celebrations. And since travelling is always a cellebration of life, you should order a fantastic plate of meatballs in Bakfickan if you happen to travel to Stockholm.
Jacobs Torg, Stockholm