Food, Travel
Comments 15

The best meatballs in Stockholm

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.

Swedish meatballs_Bakfickan_3After 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.

Swedish meatballs_Bakfickan_1

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.

Swedish meatballs_Bakfickan_6We 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.

Swedish meatballs_Bakfickan_5Swedish meatballs_Bakfickan_7Swedish meatballs_Bakfickan_4After 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


  1. These look *exactly* like the meatballs I had recently at Swedish restaurant, Lisa’s in Portobello. So nice to see authentic ones as they really do look identical!!

    Rosie xx

  2. I’m not a fan of cranberries. But Köttbullar?! Anytime!! And there is a very big difference if you eat them at IKEA or in Stockholm at a restaurant. That’s for sure!

    • Absolutely! At first I thought: ok, let’s eat meatballs because we are in Sweden and well… that’s what you do. But after the first bite… crazy delicious!

  3. Amazing food and photos – glad you both had such a great time! Meatballs + mash + pickled vegetables sound like the perfect meal.

    • Oh, please go! I’ll come back to Stockholm just for those meatballs! And the atmosphere of the restaurant was so lovely… Oh, what a nice meal we had…

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