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Sweden Food and Drink

  • Köttbullar
  • Crayfish
  • Strawberries
  • Fresh sandwich with gravlax salmon
  • Swedish semla


Traditionally, Swedish cuisine has been simple in nature, but also tasty and healthy. The diet, for the most part, consists of fish, meat and potatoes. Popular fish dishes centre on herring and salmon, while special meat dishes include reindeer and elk.  


Popular dishes include:

Smorgasbord: This dish is one that is most often associated with Sweden. It is made up of various small dishes so that people can take their pick. Traditional choices include meatballs, salmon, pies and salad.

Köttbullar: Another dish often thought of when people hear Sweden is Köttbullar or Swedish meatballs. Some prefer to serve meatballs with thick gravy, while others prefer a thin meat juice. Often recipes call for the meatballs to be served with potato purée or boiled potatoes, and raw lingonberries.

Crayfish: These red, bite-size freshwater or saltwater shellfish are considered an August specialty and there are many festivals in the month celebrating them.

Raggmunk: These are traditional Swedish potato pancakes that are fried in butter and served with pork and lingonberries.

Jansson’s Temptation: This is a rich casserole made from creamy potatoes and anchovies.  

Prinsesstårta: This is a favourite Swedish dessert that is known as princess cake. It has layers of yellow sponge cake filled with jam and vanilla custard. Whipped cream tops it before a thin layer of green marzipan covers the entire cake.



Kaffe, or coffee, is a very popular drink in Sweden, as is tea. Brännvin is traditional Swedish vodka while traditional Swedish beers include pilsner (lagers) and lättol (a light beer).  


Things to know:

Tipping is not usually included in the cost of bills and so a tip of around 10% is standard.


Drinking age:

20 to buy alcohol in shops, 18 to buy in bars.



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