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Guest post: Cashew Kitchen’s guide to Södermalm, Stockholm


Södermalm, Stockholm

For this guide I’ve gotten the wonderful Agnes from Cashew Kitchen to share her most beloved Places from her area Södermalm in Stockholm. This guide is a deep insider of a vibrant and hip part of Stockholm. 

All photographs in this post is taken by Agnes Gällhagen, Cashew Kitchen.

Hi! Agnes here from Cashew Kitchen, a blog about vibrant food, sensitivity and creative living. I am a food stylist, photographer and solopreneur from Stockholm, and since 3 years back I’ve been blogging about my plant based recipes and day to day creative life at www.cashew-kitchen.com. I’m born and raised in central Stockholm, but when I was around 8 we moved to the suburb. I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could move back to my beloved Södermalm. So when I turned 21, that’s what I did.

For 7 years now I’ve lived in the centre of Stockholm’s hipster mecka – Södermalm (or I guess 15 years if you count those years from 0-8). In my tiny 24 square metre apartment close to Medborgarplatsen I’ve fallen in love, broken up, fallen in love again, hosted inumerous dinner parties, started a blog, created countless of plant based recipes and successfully run a solo business. You can get surprisingly far despite the limitations of compact living!

As a plant based foodie and lover of good coffee, vintage clothing and creative people, Södermalm is a paradise to explore.

In this guide I’ve collected my favorite cafés, bars, plant centric restaurants, shops, parks and hidden spots. Places that has acted as a backdrop for me since my early teens when I used to come here after school. Places that I’ve just discovered and can’t get enough of. Places I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t found the time to visit because this city is growing faster than anyone can keep up with. Places where I’ve fallen in love and places where I’ve had my heart broken. Where I’ve scribbled down notes for new recipes, composed blog posts and met some of my best friends and colleagues.
I’ve limited the guide to a radius of about 2 km from where I live. Otherwise it would be absolutely overwhelming, considering the saturation of cool places this city has to offer. Let’s begin our exploration of my Södermalm!

 

Shopping

When I was like 14-15 years old, my best friend and I spent almost every afternoon after school at Pet Sounds Records. Searching for new indie releases or simply touching the covers, smelling the dust and plastic. Soaking up the vibe and dreaming about being 25 and having our future apartments filled with vinyl records like in High Fidelity. The number of records you owned indicated how cool you were, so I spent all my pocket money on The Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, The Cure and Kate Bush.

Up the street from Pet Sounds you will find the awesome thrift stores Stockholms Stadsmission and Pop Boutique. At Wild & Arrow you can find gorgeous handmade jewelry and at Grandpa you find pricey but very cool scandinavian design clothes. The Nudie store and Dr Martens Store are both closeby. Another favorite jewlry maker in the neighborhood is Caroline Herpje. Here you find mainly minimalistic silver rings. I wear her pyramid shaped ring day and night! At L:A Bruket you can find luxurious and natural soap and lotion, and right nextdoor is the tiny second hand store An Ideal For Living. Perfect if you’re looking for design classics like porcelain from Gustavsberg and Rörstrand, or some obscure record. Don’t forget to have look inside Christoffers Blommor. Cutest flower shop in town!

I have one particular piece of furniture that I’ve used daily since I was 14 years old. It’s an old desk from 1800-something, and it happens to be my most popular instagram photo backdrop . This desk comes from Söders Retro & Design. I convinced my parents to buy it for me at the time. I still can’t believe they agreed on it! This store specializes in retro furniture from around 1950 or older. A bit pricey but the finds are unique and the quality top-notch. Another eye-candy store is Brandstationen. Here you can find old apple boxes, plants and extravagant desing furniture. Very instagram friendly.

A more affordable shopping option is Humana second hand. Here I’ve made some of my best vintage clothing finds! For the perfect Halloween costume or New Years dress, go to Beyond Retro Zinken. This american inspired thrift store carries countless of cowboy boots, flowery knot-tie blouses (I LIVE in these in the summers!), paisley shirts, gala dresses and everything you don’t know where to find elsewhere. If you, like me, is crazy about licorice you HAVE to visit Lakritsroten. A store dedicated solely to licorice of all kinds. And I mean ALL kinds. Teas, drinks, chocolate, candies, gluten-free, vegan, powders, raw roots, you name it, they have it.

Södermalms bokhandel offers a cosy escape if you were to get stuck in a sudden hailstorm without an umbrella (happens too often). I can spend a good hour in bookshops like this one, reading the backside of everything that catches my eye, making notes for future purchases. On the same street you find Weekday, Monki, Aplace and Samsoe o Samsoe. Four clothing stores I visit regularly and that probably represents at least half of my wardrobe.

While you’re in this neighborhood, stop by Kristallrummet for all kinds of crystals and crystal jewelry. This store has a special place in my me & boyfriend’s story. The first time we met we both carried a rosequarts in our pockets, for good luck in <3 so to speak. We had charged the stones separately during the previous full moon. During that first date, the stones were there in the background, but we didn’t think much about them. A couple of days later he messages me and asked if I could find his rosequarts in my apartment somewhere? He couldn’t find it anywhere, and we joked about that perhaps it had exploded… Some weeks went without the appearance of his rosequarts. Then, the next time he visited Stockholm and we were about to meet for the second time, I went to Kristallrummet to get him a new stone. I asked the lady there how it works when choosing your crystals. How do I know which ones I need? She said to let the crystals ”speak to me”. She told me that what we need in the moment has a way of presenting itself to us. And then, when we don’t need the crystals anymore, they disappear. ”What do you mean, disappear?” I asked. ”Well, you loose them or they break or something. That means that you are done with them”. I didn’t end up buying a second rosequarts for him that time. Apparently it had already served its purpose <3

Coffee & cafés

On the same street at Christoffers Blommor, Grandpa and L:A Bruket you find Il caffe. I worked here for 3 years when I was 18-21 and the place was called Svart Kaffe. For those 3 years my weekends were signified by grilled sandwiches, soy lattes and MGMT’s ”Kids” on full blast. *Everyone* went here, and on Saturdays the queue went all around the block. Today the owners are new but people still gather in hoards to drink their french press coffee and eat cardamom buns. Major hipster warning though, if this is something that triggers you 😉 A more laid back café option is Twang. Both café, bar and guitar store. A favorite place of mine that I’ve been coming to since I was 15 is Louie Louie. Once upon a time a record store that sometimes served coffee (and sold Lucky Strikes from a vending machine). Now it’s a café that occasionally sell records. Still run by the same, passionate guy! And named after that old Kingsmen song.

Blå Lotus is yet another place that’s been around since my early teens. Every time I walk past and catch that characteristic whiff of warm spices, sprouts and chai tea I’m instantly thrown back in time to endless afternoons spent smoking (lucky strikes) in the inner, red room, gossiping about cute boys in bands or writing in my emo diary. This is btw a good place for a first date! Pom & Flora has got the best and most instagram friendly breakfast. Chia pudding, smoothies, avo toasts and poached eggs. Good place for meetings and friend hangs. Not so good for working as you will likely be (kindly) thrown out the very second you finish your coffee. Best coffee in town you will find at Johan & Nyström, close to Mariatorget. This is an excellent place for meetings or quick catch-ups with friends. Also check out Drop Coffee around the corner!

Restaurants & grocery stores

My go-to restaurant in SoFo whenever I have a friend from out of town visiting is Gossip. Tiny hole-in-the-wall serving Bengalese street food. Think typical Indian dishes, but sightly spiced up and more interesting. The service here is beneath contempt but the food is so excellent I keep coming back again and again. My favorite dish here is their Palak Paneer. I always order that one. Koh Phangan is also an old favorite place. Serving awesome thai food, complete with eclectic rain forest decorations and the occasional monsoon rain. Try their tzay satay! For the best pizza in town, go to Primo Ciao Ciao. An Italian delicatesse store that bake their pizza in a stone oven. Major Italian vibes!

At Greasy Spoon one eats a luxurious brunch with an American/English vibe. Pancakes with unlikely toppings like whipped mascarpone and blueberry cream and savory plates like Halloumi with chimichurri or eggs benedict. Take a walk up towards Götgatsbacken and you’ll find Omnipollos hatt. Their vegan pizza is known all over, but perhaps more popular is their wide selection of locally brewn beer. If we walk towards Skanstull we will find Reggev Hummus, a tiny lunch place where hummus is not a side dish but the main course. Topped with things like roasted aubergine and served with pita bread. Next door is Falloumi, a falafel place whose halloumi falafel roll is to die for. Down by the water and under the bridge you’ll find the vegan fine-dining restaurant Växthuset. Here one goes to eat a set menu of plant based art. Despite the very luxurious food the prices are actually quite affordable. Still more than avergae though, so this is a good place for birthdays and celebrations. During winter-time they sometimes have everything on half price on weekdays. Check out their Facebook-page to see when! Over at Mariatorget there are heaps of great places for food. Kalf & Hansen serves seasonal nordic street food. At Hälsocaféet you eat huge buddha bowls or veggie burgers with sweet potato fries. They also serve delicious smoothies and turmeric milk. Falafelbaren is Falloumi’s big brother. Packed during lunch hour but great for take away.

Magnolia is a very cosy and affordable restaurant that serves customized bowls of asian cross-over food. You pick your base, protein and sauce and they build a bowl of that. Great place for dates! Right next door is A bowl poké poké where you can eat (you guessed it) poké bowls, and Mama wolf serves delicious asian cabbage pancakes with yummy sides and toppings. Try their silk tofu with spicy chili sauce and some kind of crispy miso topping. To die for <3 What about groceries then? Aside from ICA Folkungagtan which is my go-to grocery store, I shop at Goodstore for all things vegan and cruelty-free.

Gryningen is a great health food store with focus on supplements, staples and body care. The staff here has excellent knowledge about the products and especially about supplements. I went here when I had troubles sleeping and was recommended a combination of herbs and supplements that has made a tremendous difference! At Urban Deli one can find cool specialities and overly pricey vegetables. Strangely enough their coffee is super cheap. This is also a bar and resturant! But I mostly go here to buy weird alcohol free sodas, kombucha and licorice. Re:Orient is one of those typical produce stores that hardly exist anymore. This one specializes in middle eastern food, so you can find things like cheap meze lunch, medjool dates, spices and herbs for half the price at the regular supermarket. Close to Mariatorget is Paradiset, a supermarket where most of the goods are organic. Kind of like Whole Foods! There’s also a food court here.
Bars On Skånegatan there are plenty of cute little bars. My favorite one is Snotty, the kind of place where the walls are decorated with idols like Siouxsie Sioux and David Bowie. This is one of the few places where you can still go out for beers and listen to shoegaze instead of some hip electronic music. Last time I was here they played the entire Television album Marquee Moon from start to finish. Not at all pretentious… Though in my opinion much more relaxed than many of the new and anxious hipster places that’s popping up everywhere. I remember feeling very grown up when I went here as a 20 year old, ordering a glass of wine and olives to snack on. Speaking of anxious hipster places, one of these are Katarina Ölcafé. A steamy little bar with thousands of craft beer options. Mostly populated by bearded middle aged men, buuut still kinda cosy. At Nytorget 6 one drinks fancy cocktails, and one place I’ve been meaning to visit for a long time is Vina. Seems like such a cosy place!

When I go out for drinks I mostly hang out around Mariatorget. During summertime I like Morfar Ginko’s outdoor area (and their cosy couch booths during winter). On chilly autumn evenings we hide inside Folkbaren sipping on glasses of cheap cava or Paradiso for cocktails and beers. Paradiso is also supposed to have really good food!

Another dreamy and super cosy bar is Delikatessen, located in an old fire station on the same street that I grew up on. It’s a french bistro with accompaning bar area where one can talk for hours with a friend or date in an Amelie from Montmartre kinda environment. Can be pretty packed and loud on the weekends though! Around Medborgarplatsen you should totally check out Babylon, especially their outdoor area in the summer. Or if you feel like going to a typical dive bar, head to Carmen. This is the place I go to if I’m broke or feel like running into old acquaintances every fifteen minutes. Other places with cosy outdoor areas are Kaferang and every other place on that same street. Located right by Nytorget which is constantly packed with people during summer. Also Mosebacke, with beautiful view of the city. Trädgården is a must during summer, but beware of the brutal queue! Go there at 5pm when they open for an after work in the sun, then you can stay on for late night dancing if you like 🙂

Hidden spots & cafés

On Saturdays in the autumn I always go to the Farmer’s Market, which is called Bondens Marknad here. Here I buy produce for the week, local honey and bee pollen. If it’s a crisp and sunny day I most likely take a walk over Vitabergparken and through Barnängen on the other side. I love this area! If I ever live somewhere else on Södermalm it would be here.
Otherwise my standard walk is along Årstaviken. I cut through the cute little allottments by Skanstull and walk all the way to Hornstull, sometimes even around Reimersholme. In the summer one can buy freshly squeezed juices at Tanto Juice Bar, hang out in the loungers at Reggea café or stop for a beer and boule game at Boulebar Tanto.

A classic place to visit when in Stockholm is Fjällgatan. Especially in the summer. here you have a spectacular view over the city. Ivar Los Park or Bastuparken as it’s also called is another perfect spot for sunset hangs. Also Skinnarviksparken, which happens to be a superb date spot 😉 Here I spent my first evening with my now boyfriend, with take away from Kalf & Hansen and red wine. When it got cold in the evening, he wrapped me in his big scarf, pulled me closer and kissed me. Therefore I will always love this place. In the summer there is a cute little café in a shack here where one can buy ice cream and hang out in the hammock. In the wintertime, Victoriabiografen is a welcomed hideout. Buy some popcorn and watch an indie movie, or go there in the morning for fair-trade coffee at their café called Barista. A good place to get your morning fix and answer emails. Another cosy indie cinema and café is Bio Rio, located in Hornstull. I purposely left this area out of this guide, but I just gotta mention this precious spot!

My go-to yoga studio is called Inbalance. It’s small and feels like home. This studio specializes in ashtanga and vinyasa yoga, but you can also find some yin and restorative classes here. Another yoga studio in the neighborhood that is supposed to be good is Yoga Shakti. Tea center of Stockholm is one of those places I’ve come back to since my early teens. When you open the door to this unique tea shop you are hit by the most complex, fruity smells and the sounds of classical music. The entire place looks like taken from the early 1800s, delivering tea straight from the East Indian Company. But this store is not that old. It’s ”only” been around for about 40 years. The staff is very knowledgeable and you can find all kinds of tea. Very cosy hideout in the autumn <3

That was all from my Södermalm! Hope you found a new favorite spot. If you are curious to see more from me, you can find my recipes, photos and writings over at www.cashew-kitchen.com or @cashewkitchen on instagram.

All photographs in this post is taken by Agnes Gällhagen, Cashew Kitchen.

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