Gothenburg – a culinary experience

Posted on: 18 January 2010 by Mark O'haire

The finest ingredients, good working relationships and inventive, open-minded chefs with a good handle on current Swedish tastes. These are some of the reasons why Gothenburg is one of Europe’s top culinary destinations.

Gothenburg’s coastal location means easy access to fish and shellfish of the best quality and flavour. The colder waters of the North Sea lead to slower growth and a fuller flavour. The local region also provides game, berries, mushrooms and high-quality dairy products. Chefs seek out produce of the highest quality that is locally produced and grown organically wherever possible, to provide a total culinary experience. Their modern approach to cuisine is based on Swedish traditions combined with new tastes and ideas from all over the world. Gourmet restaurants also invest in quality wines in combinations that are carefully selected to complement their menus.

Gothenburg currently has five restaurants that each have a Michelin star: 28+, Basement, Fond, Kock & Vin and Sjömagasinet. These are just a few of the many gourmet restaurants in the city, however, and fish and shellfish often feature on the menu. One of several prestigious gastronomic awards given to chefs in Göteborg is the Swedish Chef of the Year. Recipients include Stefan Karlsson from Fond, and Magnus Lindström from Swedish Taste. Leif Mannerström from Sjömagasinet has been chosen several times as national Chefs’ Chef.

A selection of restaurants

28+ *, Götabergsgatan 28. Swedish/French. In a class of its own. Culinary art at the highest level in premises at the lowest level (basement). Average cost of main course: SEK 360.

Basement *, Götabergsgatan 28. International. Basement restaurant of exceptional quality. Highly imaginative cuisine that maintains high class all the way. Menu prices: four courses SEK 660. Wine selection SEK 475.

Fiskekrogen, Lilla Torget. Fish and shellfish. Dishes designed to please the most discerning palate, served in a charming setting. Average cost of main course: SEK 308.

Fond *, Götaplatsen. Swedish. Quality from start to finish. Imagination, ambition and accomplished excellence in the kitchen. Average cost of main course: SEK 304.

Hos Pelle, Djupedalsgatan 2. Swedish. Traditional approach. Familiar, classical, well-prepared – and the best value in town? Menu prices: three courses SEK 350. Wine selection SEK 250.

Kock & Vin *, Viktoriagatan 12. International/Swedish. A comfortable first-class combination of cuisine and wine. Top quality at reasonable prices. Average cost of main course: SEK 255.

Sjömagasinet *, Klippan. Fish and shellfish. A well-rounded experience, with exquisite food and perfect service in a relaxing setting: Average cost of main course: SEK 395.

Swedish Taste, S:t Eriksgatan 6. International. This newcomer among the city’s top gourmet restaurants is convincing with its playful silky skills. Average cost of main course: SEK 260.

Thörnströms Kök, Teknloggatan 3. International. Explores culinary heights without plumbing the depths of your wallet. Perfect service. Average cost of main course: SEK 205.

Wasa Allé, Vasagatan 24. Swedish organic gourmet. An innovative organic commitment to gourmet food in the Swedish tradition. Average cost of main course: SEK 285. 

(Source: Göteborgs-Posten)

Restaurant Districts

The quality of the food on offer in Gothenburg is consistently high, even at simpler establishments. Good restaurant districts include the main boulevard Avenyn (Kungsportsavenyn) with its intensive nightlife, Linnégatan with its mix of bars, smart pubs and local restaurants, and Långgatorna, with cuisine from all corners of the world.

Cafés and Coffee Tradition

The tradition of `fika´, i.e. having a coffee and a bun, is old, but more popular than ever among the people of Gothenburg. You can tell this from the number of cafés in the city centre featuring everything from small, cosy bakeries and cafés to trendy coffee shops. The classic bun is the cinnamon bun “kanelbulle”.

Every district makes its mark on the cafés. Vasastan is the students’ quarter, and this can be seen from the number of cafés along Vasagatan. They don’t just serve coffee and tea but also salads and soups. The Haga cafés are more jovial than trendy – often furnished with unusual, second hand furniture. The Linné area also offers coffee lovers a wide range. Infrared heating and rugs extend the season in the often fully occupied outdoor cafés along Linnégatan. Within the old moat Vallgraven there are many cafés of all styles, ranging from cut-glass chandeliers to modern and stripped, or simply a “hole in the wall”.

Culinary Sights

The main culinary sights of Gothenburg are Feskekörkan fish market hall, Saluhallen market hall and Fiskeauktionen fish auction. Designer boutiques and the Röhss Museum also offer their interpretation of Sweden’s gastronomic culture. In addition there are many exciting food-related activities on offer in the surrounding area, such as lobster safaris, oyster picking and fishing in Bohuslän.

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