While I often write here about hip & trendy restaurants or dining at Michelin star establishments, I do realize that this isn't everyone's cup of tea or in their budget when visiting Stockholm. It is good to give hotel guests recommendations for more local restaurants as well. Last week my colleagues and I visited a neighbourhood restaurant, right around the corner from the Rival Hotel, called Söders Hjärta. The name translates as "heart of the south" and is a reference to its location on the southern island Södermalm. The restaurant has been open for 40+ years but recently changed owners and we were curious to see how it was under new management.
In Swedish we call this type of restaurant "kvarterskrog" which is a casual neighbourhood restaurant much like your local pub in the UK and Ireland. The atmosphere is pub-like as well. In fact there is also a bar ("Hjärtats Bar") with a separate entrance from the street. The menu is made up of hearty, comfort food... mainly traditional Swedish but with some international favorites like schnitzel, cannelloni and moules frites. The portions are large and the prices very reasonable.
We started with löjrom toast (bleak roe with accoutrements) and gubbröra (an oh-so-Swedish creamy salad made with eggs, anchovies, egg yolk and served on rye bread). For our main course we had the ox cheek bourgogne, biff rydberg and the steak tartare. And finally for dessert we took the classic marängsviss (a Swedish version of an ice cream sundae with meringue). All of it was very delicious and, as I mentioned, the portions are large. In fact, the marängsviss was huge!
Ox cheek bourgogne.
Söders Hjärta is quite well known as a classic Stockholm kvarterskrog and is a great restaurant to visit if you want to try Swedish comfort food and check out the locals... especially if you don't want to spend a crazy amount of money on dining in the city. To book a table, click on the British flag and scroll down to the bottom where you will find telephone and e-mail contact details. If you click on the hand with pen icon, you come to an online booking site (in Swedish). Otherwise, if you are staying at the Rival Hotel, contact us directly for help. Click here for more restaurant reviews/recommendations.