Stockholm: Dining at Den Gyldene Freden

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Sweden

The last evening of any worldly trip deserves an authentic meal. And in Stockholm, there’s no better place to dine than at Gamla Stan’s Den Gyldene Freden (Österlånggatan 51; gyldenefreden.se), which dates back to 1722 and remains the oldest restaurant in the world to retain its original interior.

I particularly love historical venues that have gained fame from the prestigious writers and artistic types who frequented it during their prime. Den Gyldene Freden was the restaurant that catered to Swedish culture’s most influential, serving the likes of Carl Michael Bellman and Evert Taube. To this day, the Swedish Academy convenes here every Thursday for dinner, perhaps to discuss their nominees for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I paired my glass of white wine with trädgårdssallad med grön sparris och glaskrabba (garden salad with green asparagus and soft shell crab, delicately balanced with pomegranate seeds and breaded flakes). I have to admit that this was, in memory, the best salad I’ve ever tasted.

And, for the main course, a very strong korv på kalv, murklor, tryffel, spetskål och örtlagrad brie (sausage of veal, morels, truffles, cabbage and herb aged brie with mashed potatoes and bits of turnip). I am not a fan of mashed potatoes, but those served here were warm, creamy, and perfectly seasoned.

If you ever find yourself wandering the streets of Gamla Stan with hunger pains and a hankering for the best Swedish cooking Stockholm has to offer, look no further than this. From its jovial staff to the restored wooden furniture and deeply rooted history, this restaurant satisfies in more ways than one. All dishes on the menu hold true to traditional Scandinavian cooking with a slightly modern twist. The experience was worth every krona.

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