The best Swedish meatballs and where to get them
No dish is more typically Swedish than meatballs. Learn more about the meatball phenomenon and where to get the best Swedish meatballs in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Meatballs are as quintessentially Swedish as it gets. In their most traditional form Swedish meatballs ('köttbullar') are made of ground pork and beef, cream, egg and onion, and are served with creamy mashed potatoes, a thick, brown gravy, lingonberry jam and pickled cucumber. The latter adds bitter sweetness as a perfect complement to the savoury meatball.
While this style of meatballs may be hearty, filling and delightfully decadent, modern chefs are redefining Swedish comfort food, or 'husmanskost' as it is better known in Sweden, making it lighter and more healthy. Restaurant Tradition in Stockholm’s Old Town, has famously removed the lactose from the recipe. Another chef who is creating more modern, less heavy versions of the Swedish classics is Fredrik Eriksson at Långbro Värdshus outside Stockholm.
If you ask a Swede where to get the best meatballs, the answer will probably be his or her grandmother’s house. If you don’t have a Swedish grandma of your own, you can either follow this meatball recipe or pay a visit to one of the many respectable restaurants around the country. The following are among the best restaurants serving Swedish meatballs in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö:
Meatballs for the People
Meatballs for the People is a restaurant in Stockholm aiming to serve the world's best meatballs.
Photo: Tina Stafrén
Best Swedish meatballs in Stockholm:
Meatballs for the People
For some unique takes on the classic Swedish meatball, check out Meatballs for the People in trendy Södermalm. The city’s first "meatball boutique" serves up 12 different varieties of organic meatballs, ranging from the classics, to chicken, moose, boar, lamb, reindeer, and vegetable. All the meatballs are handmade from organic, locally sourced produce, and are a sustainable treat for the taste buds.
Best Gothenburg restaurant for meatballs:
Smaka in Gothenburg’s Vasastan may not look like much from the outside, but, once inside this cosy eatery, you will soon find yourself tucking into the most famous plate of meatballs in Sweden’s second city. Served with plenty of mashed potato, lingonberry jam and pickled cucumber, they may not be the healthiest option on the menu, but what does it matter when they taste so good?
Best meatball restaurant in Malmö:
Malmö offers a rich diversity of different food cultures, but fear not, you can still find some good, old-fashioned 'husmanskost' if you look hard enough. For the best meatballs in town, head to Bullen. This historic pub and restaurant looks more like an English or Irish pub but is known to serve the city’s tastiest köttbullar with boiled potatoes and gravy.