Sweden’s culinary scene is thriving, with increasing focus on sustainability. Discover the country’s rich food culture by visiting one of the food and drink festivals due to take place in 2020.
The Swedish food festival allows you to explore Sweden and its culture via your taste buds. Often held in open-air settings, you’ll get to discover a smorgasbord of food and drink, from traditional Swedish recipes and freshly harvested local produce to craft beer and fine dining options prepared by top chefs from Sweden and further afield.
Here are some of the categories of food and drinks festivals you’ll come across in Sweden in 2020, ranging from classic and traditional Swedish food to hand-crafted brews and festivals focused on sustainability and innovation.
Festivals focusing on Swedish food classics and local produce
Sweden’s food culture is diverse, with many regional specialties to discover – from the fermented herring (surströmming) of the High Coast to the delicious and sought-after lobster found in the waters of the Swedish west coast.
Freshly harvested produce from Sweden’s fertile soil comes to the fore in late summer and early autumn, when farmer’s markets and festivals are held to celebrate small-scale food production and local delicacies. Bondens Egen Marknad, for instance, has become a Swedish farmer’s market brand in its own right, cropping up in various towns across the country – from Malmö in the south, Stockholm on the central east coast to Umeå and Luleå in the north.
The island of Gotland, located off the east coast of southern Sweden, has a proud culinary heritage and a food festival to match. Gotland Gastronomy is an island-wide event of the “farm to table” variety in which farmers, restaurants and food and drink producers across Gotland participate. You’ll be able to try a variety of traditional dishes, drinks and produce including smoked fish, locally brewed beer and an island specialty, ‘saffranspannkaka’ (saffron pancake).
If you’re a truffle enthusiast – don’t miss the Gotland Truffle Festival in mid-November. The Gotland truffle is known as the “black gold” of the island and you’ll be able to enjoy it through tastings and dining experiences.
Check out these food festivals celebrating local products and culinary traditions:
- Gotland Gastronomy – 2020 October, dates to be confirmed
Location: Island-wide at various participating restaurants and food and drink producers.
- Farmer’s market (Bondens Egen Marknad) – takes place in late summer and early autumn in various cities.
Please visit bondensegen.com for details and dates.
- Kivik Apple Market Festival – 26-27 September
Location: Kivik is 100 km east of Malmö on Route 9. Once entering the town, signs will point you to the festival.
- Gotland Truffle Festival – 13-15 November
Location: Various locations throughout Visby.
A snapshot of the drink festivals of Sweden
Sweden produces some of the world’s leading beers, whiskies and gin. Most of Sweden’s food festivals cover an array of drinks as well, but if you’re particularly passionate about a certain type of drink – be it craft beer or whisky – head to one of the major events. The Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival and Gothenburg’s GBG Beer Week offer up locally brewed and distilled drinks as well as international variants. At these typically interactive events, you’ll be able to take part in tasting sessions and even beer brewing workshops – all put in place to give you an immersive drink festival experience.
Check out these Swedish drink festivals:
- GBG Beer Week – 27 March-4 April
Location: At various participating breweries and restaurants in and around Gothenburg.
- Stockholm Beer & Whisky festival – 24-26 September, 1-3 October 2020.
Location: Nacka Strands Mässan.
- Örebrew Fest – 2020, dates to be confirmed
Location: Järnvägsgatan 8, Örebro (a 2-hour train ride west of Stockholm).
Food festivals guided by sustainability and innovation
If you’re keen to explore Swedish food and the culinary traditions of the Nordic region with focus on sustainability and innovation, opt for one of the more forward-thinking festivals becoming more and more prevalent across the country. The zero waste movement is a theme that features increasingly in the food festival scene, not least in the case of the major fair ‘Smaka på Stockholm’ (A Taste of Stockholm).
In 2019, chefs got access to plenty of “saved” ingredients, sourced from local shops and restaurants, and the interactive experience – Foodtech Village Live – took visitors on an inspiring food-tech journey. Themes were Zero waste, Next gen food, Personalized food and Future food city.
The artisan food festival Foodstock in Stockholm, founded by world-renowned chef Niklas Ekstedt sets out to teach visitors about the history and development of food its wild origins and the connection to Sweden’s sustainable food culture. A range of seminars and workshops will take place during the upcoming two-day event (due to be held late August 2020), giving you a hands-on, tasty learning experience based around Nordic culinary craft.
Check out these sustainability and innovation-focused food festivals:
- A Taste of Stockholm (Smaka på Stockholm) – 4-7 June
Location: Kungsträdgården in Stockholm (nearest underground station T-Centralen or Östermalms Torg).
- Foodstock – late August 2020, dates to be confirmed
Location: Fjäderholmarna in Stockholm archipelago.
- Nordic Organic Food Fair – 11-12 November
Location: Malmö Mässan.