Sweden, Travelling
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One Night in Stockholm: Dinner at Bakfickan

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

On my recent trip to Lapland, I had a few hours in Stockholm the night before I flew there. I was determined to find somewhere local, interesting and good that might give me an insight to their food culture. Always my three objectives, I am not always successful when I have only one option, this time, however, it was a resounding success.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Bakfickan – translated as the Hip Pocket – and meaning the small place behind the posh place basically, is embedded in the back of the Opera House next to its more formal and higher end sibling, Operabaren. It’s known for serving traditional Swedish food although there is clearly a strong French influence on the food here too. The two restaurants share a kitchen – although not a menu – at significantly different prices. It was definitely the one to try.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

A large counter dominates and staff busy themselves behind, swiftly and efficiently deploying food and drinks to the diners seated around them. It feels very old school with formal service but also very relaxed. Rustic food with attention to detail appears here, lots of flavours and contrasts but with tenderness too.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

I opted for the Uppsala Stew, tasting like a refined Irish stew with lighter glistening stock, gorgeous tender brisket and a sprinkling of fresh horseradish which livened it up. Root vegetables and sweet anka potatoes added sweetness and bulk. It was a delicious and comforting plate of food.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

My dining companions had fried trout with lemon, creamed leeks and potatoes and the haché, I tried them both and they were excellent plates of food. The chips that came with the haché deserve a special mention as they were perfect (a rarity in most restaurants) with crispy outsides and hot fluffy interiors.

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

Sweden is famous for expensive alcohol, and Bakfickan is no exception. I opted for an ordinary enough glass of Cotes du Ventoux which cost about £8/9 per glass, about twice what I would expect to pay in London. But it’s not London, it’s Sweden, so I indulged but just had one. I find it impossible to eat out and not have wine with dinner, what wouldbe the point? 

Trip to Sweden - Stockholm, Day 1 - Dinner at Bakficken

And that was it, a brief but gorgeous sample of what Bakfickan has to offer. I’ll definitely go back, if only to sample the deep-fried sweetbreads with apples and truffle mayonnaise, and also pay a visit to the haughtier sibling next door.

Bakfickan, Operahuset, Karl XII:S torg, Box 1616, SE-111 86 Stockholm




  1. I agree, a good place to get to know a more fine dining take on Swedish cuisine. Generally eat there when I’m in Stockholm.However, I have found it hard to to track down modern traditional Swedish food in Stockholm. Snacking on meatballs and smörgåsbord alongside imports like pizzas , hotdogs and kebabs are on offer.

    I am sure the new Swedish cooking is there, but it is finding it among the restraurant offeering French and Italian cuisine.

    It will be great when you return if you can track one or two down. And are is there any Swedish cooking in London?

  2. Enjoying your Swedish escapades. When are you going to come to Gothenburg – much better modern Swedish food here!

  3. Loved this post. You don’t generally hear much about the food in Sweden but it looks gorgeous. That stew definitely looks perfect for when the colder weather starts too! Thanks for sharing – really enjoyed reading this :)

  4. I had a similar impression of wine while in Russia – bottles of pedestrian Cotes du Rhone for 75 quid, for example. What accounts for the high markups in Sweden?

  5. @ An American in London: Taxes, taxes and more taxes, basically. Alchol prices are kept deliberatly high via taxation to try and curb excess drinking.

    Personally I’m not a fan of such nanny statism, but for the moment there is no change on the horizon.

  6. One of my favourite restaurants in Stockholm! Looks like you had a great meal. Even though I’m born and bred in Sweden the price of wine in restaurants always blows my mind when I visit home – but very, very hard to resist some of the amazing bottles they have at Bakfickan.

  7. Thanks for this post. I found it and went my second night while in Stockholm for business. The service was amazing and it is a wonderful environment. Thanks for this post!

Over to you! Your comments - I would love to hear from you :)