When in Uppsala, visit the Cathedral, relax by the river and eat Swedish food. The city overflows with lovely bistros, appealing to different budgets, where you can discover the true gastronomic wonders of the north. Here to help you is the best guide to marvelous Swedish mouthfeels in Uppsala!
A very brief history of Swedish food
On the whole, Swedish cuisine is just like any other: a result of both national tradition and local raw materials. But it has a quite characteristic personality. For example, the concept of traditional Swedish cuisine settled quite late. It wasn’t until the 17th century that cookbooks started being published in Sweden, and by that time, most of them were already influenced by other countries’ cooking styles. This late cookbook blooming, and great enthusiasm for foreign cuisines, has led to a selective memory of Swedish food and a “nationalization” of delicacies that used to be merely local specialities. Take falukorv, the originally Dalecarlian sausage, that is being cooked and consumed about once a week in your average Swedish flexitarian family.
But, even though the country seems to be suffering from a slight inferiority complex in the culinary area, the general Swedish citizen is proud of what his or her country literally can bring to the table. And if you’re visiting Uppsala, you shouldn’t miss it for the world. So quit settling for your nearest IKEA meatballs and discover the deliciousness of traditional Swedish food in Uppsala!
Borgen, Orphei Drängars Plats
If you are a fan of classical choral singing, this place will be worthwhile only thanks to it’s address. Orphei Drängars Plats is the tiny yet beautiful river bank square which is home to Alfvénsalen, the glorious hall where top standard male choir Orphei Drängar practices every week.
Borgen, however, is more of a food aficionado. If you need a reliable meal to carry you through the day, pass by for a steady lunch by enjoying their Wallenbergare – the classic Swedish bestseller consisting of ground veal, egg yolks and cream, usually served with mashed potatoes and sweet green peas.
Borgen also organizes parties, so be sure to reserve one of their event halls in advance if you’re looking for a place to celebrate your doctor’s dissertation in a traditional Uppsala manner. There, you can be served toast Skagen, every swede’s forever favourite first course: a slightly toasted slice of bread topped with a hopefully generous amount of a mix of shrimps, dill and mayonnaise.
Just by the foot of Uppsala’s Cathedral lies Domtrappkällaren, a restaurant one can rightfully call historic, since parts of the facility most likely date back to the 16th century.
60 kvadrat, Bredgränd 4
In this picturesque alley of the city, sixty square metre of cosiness and quality tempts every bypasser to grab a bite. 60 kvadrat is your neighbourhood hole in the wall with a cuisine known for offering fresh local products in the shape of classical Scandinavian dishes, cooked from scratch. Swedes rightly love their root vegetables, so when there, try the beets with pickled green tomatoes and mashed Jerusalem artichoke. Not in the mood for vegetarian? Give the back of cod a go. According to many locals, this fish is the best of the best, here served alongside a cream of cauliflower and hazelnuts.
Domtrappkällaren, S:t Eriks Gränd 15
After a visit to the Nordic countries’ biggest church, one can sure feel the stomach starting to ask for a snack – which opens up the perfect opportunity for indulging in great Swedish food. Just by the foot of Uppsala’s Cathedral lies Domtrappkällaren, a restaurant one can rightfully call historic, since parts of the facility most likely date back to the 16th century. Here, you can enjoy a lovely lunch or à la carte dinner in a private chambre séparée, savoring Swedish cuisine at its finest while also feeling the pulse of past times.
Try their raggmunk, a sort of potato pancake, flawlessly fried and served with the Swedish idea of the perfect salt and sweet-combination: bacon and lingonberry jam. Or why not visit the north of Sweden in spirit, by taking a bite of their reindeer filet, accompanied by Savoy cabbage and black berries. Feeling indecisive? Go for the köttbullar! Swedish meatballs with a puré of potatoes, pickled cucumber and a dreamy creamy brown sauce never fails at a top restaurant like Domtrappkällaren.
Villa Anna, Odinslund 3
Are you in Uppsala during wintertime? Then you have the perfect excuse to revel in one of the swedes’ guilty pleasure: julbord. This traditional Christmas buffé is common to yield to already in November and December with friends, family and colleagues. And if having it at Villa Anna, you will be sure to taste a julbord for gourmands.
The restaurant of this boutique hotel and Cathedral neighbour has been delivering traditional yet innovative Nordic cuisine since its’ opening. Feast on rainbow trout, locally produced cheese and even Swedish wagyu meat – always with a creative twist.
Hambergs Fisk, Fyristorg 8
In need of some vitamin sea? Drop by the family business Hambergs Fisk. Here, they triple play as both catering firm, fish shop and restaurant since the late 90’s, and can fairly call themselves experts in traditional Swedish dishes with char, Kalix löjrom and plentiful shellfish platters. If you’re visiting Uppsala during August or September – try crayfish! This time of the year is when the traditional party kräftskiva, whose main activity is eating locally snared European crayfish, is celebrated.
Except for fish and shellfish, Hambergs is proud to offer a great supply of both cheese and wine, for which they were awarded, among other prizes, with the prestigious award “Årets Vinkrog” (Wine Bar of the Year) in 2018. And don’t worry – even though located next to the Fyris river, all of Hambergs’ fish is freshly caught from healthier oceans and lakes.
Hava Skafferi & Salonger, Svartbäcksgatan 19
Last but not least on our Swedish comestibles’ recommendations list is Hava Skafferi & Salonger. Located in one of Uppsala’s most intoxicatingly charming streets, this bistro opens up for both lunch, fika, after work-snacking and supper. With a kitchen based on local and seasonal primary products treated with “Swedish culture and an international culinary preparation”, you are sure never to leave Hava disappointed. Stop by in the afternoon for a classic west coast shrimp sandwich, or book a table in one of the lounges for a three course supper with oysters, halibut and almond cake.
Will you be in Uppsala during summer? Perfect! Starting in June, Hava opens up its’ inner courtyard for live open air concerts, which can be accompanied by something to nibble on or an entire meal. Either way, you will be able to enjoy professional musicians in their prime during the most agreeable season in Sweden – which surely sets the conditions to a great dinner.
Are you looking for good restaurants in general, and not necessarily those serving Swedish food? Try one of the best restaurants in Uppsala – read about them in our White Guide article!