...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good eats in Gothenburg

Ooh I love Gothenburg! I'm in agreement with others who write about Gothenburg's plus-sides around the net: It's large enough to feel like a "big city" yet small enough to bump into a friend on occasions; it's lovely and walkable; there are things to see and experience for all tastes and ages; people are friendly and engage you in chit-chat, etc. On the list of pluses, I also add the abundance of restaurant choices, many of them with reasonable lunch prices. For dinners, you should be prepared to shell out a bit dinner out is expensive in Sweden anyway but the variety is enormous and the quality of food out is better than anything here in Norrköping we could afford. Like I do, Gothenburgers delight in seafood, so seafood- and sushi restaurants are also in abundance. Food, relatively cheap, mostly seafood... what's not to love?

So, I was thilled that our sociology conference last week was held there. Because my hotel- and trip expenses were covered by a grant, it meant that our own money could be used almost exclusively for food. The task of researching good places to eat fell into the hands of my spousal side-kick, Marcus, who tagged along the conference week. Here are some of the places we ate in, that I think are worth recommending. Note, I got the pictures from the restaurants' websites; it's too much work to bring our camera wherever we eat!

Haiku Sushi Lounge
Drottninggatan 30

Picture from http://www.haikusushi.se/

Haiku sushi lounge boasts of the city's first kaiten (conveyer-belt) sushi. They have regular nigiri, but they also have fusion-type maki rolls (with cornflakes, roasted onions, etc) and things that I rarely see in other sushi places, such as inarizushi, sushi salad bowls, tamago, and something that resembles lobster claw but tastes like scallops and has the consistency of squid.

On weekdays, they have a lunch offer starting at 65 SEK for 6 pieces (3 plates of two), including miso soup and tea. They also have an à la carte menu on evenings and an all-you-can eat buffe on weekends. Note that the per-plate option is more expensive on non-lunch hours (25 SEK per plate), and that you also pay for soup (10 SEK) and drinks (5 SEK) off-lunch. So, for the same 8 pieces with soup and drink, we paid 170 for a weekday lunch and 250 for a weekend lunch for two people. The place is also small, so come early for lunch.

Saluhall Briggen, Nordhemsgatan 28

Just a few streets away from Järntorget is this lesser known saluhall (indoor market) that has lunch offers. It's less congested than it's bigger Saluhall cousin in Kungstorget, and more cozy, with less bright lights on the food, and more spaces to eat. Havet offers lunch (both fish- and meat dishes), including coffee and bread, for 75 SEK. If you live in Gothenburg, they can also arrange caterings or seafood sandwich cakes. We ordered an east-coast specialty of fried Baltic herring with Havet's own mashed potatoes, with a little lingonberry jam on the side.

Bommen Restaurant and Bar
Torggatan 1

We didn't actually sit inside the restaurant — it was hot and everybody ate al fresco — so my memory of Bommen restaurant was outside on the sidewalk table, sitting on a garden chair and happily eating the best shrimp sandwich I've ever had. Shrimp sandwiches are a big deal in Gothenburg; it might as well be the unofficial official food of the city. More or less each restaurant will have its own version of the basic open-faced sandwich heaped with shrimp.

I like shrimp sandwiches a lot, but not all shrimp sandwiches are made equal. The bad extreme can be bought wrapped in plastic film from gas stations and pastry shops. The better sandwiches are made on the spot, in restaurants. Prices also vary a lot from the plastic-film sandwiches, which costs about 50 or so, and "real" ones, which could go up between 150 and 200. But you could be sure that these really do taste like shrimp (in comparison to the cheaper ones), and that even the other ingredients are good. Bommen's deluxe sandwich (there's only one kind) costs 165 SEK. It has hand-peeled shrimp and poached egg resting on fiber bread and topped with slivers of cucumber. The mayo is served on the side, not on the sandwich itself. 165 kronor sounds steep, but it will be 165 well spent. I'm still daydreaming about that sandwich.

The Old Beefeater Inn
Plantagegatan 1

When we wanted a rest from seafood, we went to this place called The Beefeater Inn. They serve simpler dishes like hamburgers, chicken sandwiches or fish and chips, but also beef off the grill served with vegetables, potatoes cooked the way you want, and a sauce of your choice. The grilled sirloin steak was really good (medium rare, what else?), and the stir-fried vegetables that came with it were crispy, just the way I like it. At 179 for the steak, it wasn't so much more expensive than the deluxe shrimp sandwich at Bommen, and this too was worth the price. The interiors are cozy (like all other pubs they have a collection of kitch hanging on the walls, but I found some of the kitch here amusing. The entrance door resembles a telephone booth when you look at it from the inside). The owner was also pretty helpful and service was great.


I won't hide the fact that eating out regularly in Sweden, especially dinners, is expensive (two dinner orders cost about the same as our monthly electricity bill!). But if you're out anyway in Gothenburg, you may want to consider one or some of these places to eat. If you have tastebuds like mine for seafood and steaks, memories of eating these food would make you happy for weeks. I'm still dreaming of sushi conveyor belts and such.

Previous Gothenburg-related posts:
48 hours in Gothenburg
Liseberg theme park


Blogger Leplume said...

Lilly! Your blog always makes me hungry!! :)

7:07 PM


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