It’s gaining an international culinary reputation as the foodie capital of Scandinavia because of its passionate local producers, imaginative chefs and bounty of organic, natural produce.
The west coast’s shellfish, in particular its lobster and oysters, are among the best in the world. Visitors can partake in hands-on trips to learn about the West Coast’s seafood, joining local fishermen for unforgettable catch-and-cook experiences.
Further inland, the forests also provide a variety of game. Other districts are known for producing fine cheeses. Meanwhile, the fertile agricultural land is ideal for growing fresh produce and raising animals in the best organic tradition.
Obviously, a vast collection of culinary delights are outputted in West Sweden’s vibrant capital, Gothenburg – a wonderful foodie city-break destination. Incredibly, the city boasts seven Michelin-starred restaurants, offering dining experiences to rival other world cities – set in a buzzy, lively urban landscape
If your mouth is watering for a visit, here’s the lowdown…
The trendy four-star Clarion Hotel Post is located right next to the Gothenburg Central Station. The hotel boasts two fantastic restaurants, vRÅ (West Swedish and Japanese fusion – go figure!) and Norda Bar & Grill. It also has Post Bar, with Dosa Ivanov as head barman – voted the World’s Best Barman in 2015 and Sweden’s Best Barman in 2014 and 2015.
Head out on an oyster and mussel tour with Lars and Adrian, which departs from Norra Hamnen (the North Harbour) in Lysekil. You’ll travel on Signe, a wooden boat built locally in 1952, to mussel farms. Ever wondered how mussels are grown and harvested? The farm owners will show you. You’ll also collect some mussels to cook and eat later in the day. Next, Käringeholmen island, where you’ll finally cook the mussels, open the oysters, and enjoy by the shore with Swedish beer.
Gothenburg’s Market Hall is the perfect place for an overview of the West Swedish food offering, but we recommend a light breakfast here and a short browse. A stroll along Södra Larmgatan, through Victoriapassagen and along Vallgatan will take you to Magasinsgatan, where you will find several quirky food trucks (set among some gorgeous clothing and design shops). Here you’ll try local fried herring, mashed potato and lingonberry jam, vegan buns from Taiwan to gourmet sausage and mash. Behind the truck cabs you’ll find ambitious chefs and serious food enthusiasts who aim to provide easy access to the art of fine food.
A great lunch spot is the Market Hall; the part that sells the fish is known as ‘Fish Church.’ Try a restaurant called Gabriel – nothing to do with the angel!
A great daily Swedish tradition is entitled Fika. This is where Swedes would stop everything they’re doing for coffee and cake – and if you want to get really local, the Kanelbullar – or cinnamon bun. Café Husaren in the city has Sweden’s biggest.
Every Saturday, there’s a guided foodie walk from 1pm until 4pm – if you’re into group gastro fun
There are a record seven Michelin-starred restaurants, to suit all tastes and wallet sizes. You can’t go to Gothenburg without trying at least one.
Stop overnight at the Naturum Vänerskärgården – Victoriahuset. The hotel was a symbolic gift to Princess Victoria on her 30-year birthday, opened by the royal couple in 2013. What’s more, the rooms have beautiful views of the forest, castle and islands in the lake.
The rest of West Sweden is easily accessible by public transport, but real foodies will waste no time and get a rental car, you can pick one up from Hertz near Gothenburg’s Central Station and drive to Alingsås, known as the capital of fika because of the town’s flourishing café culture, boasting a unique and authentic history of long established cafés and bakeries. There are currently around 30 cafés in the town alone.
Enjoy a delicious dinner at Hvita hjorten (The White Hart restaurant), which has stunning views of Läckö Castle and Lake Vänern. The kitchen sources its raw ingredients from the surrounding area. It uses only produce from the castle garden, Lake Vänern fishermen, local farmers and vegetable growers. Furthermore, it has won an award for sustainable gastronomy in Sweden’s prestigious White Guide. (Ranked in the Masterclass category.)
For more inspiration on Gothenburg and West Sweden, visit gothenburg.com and westsweden.com. For more ideas, check out the #SwedenYoureWelcome blog or check out the LGBTI Sweden pages on Facebook and Twitter.