Ostermalms Saluhall – Smorgasbord Chic

Ostermalms Saluhall Stockholm has emerged as a culinary hot spot only in the past few years, but its top gourmet market—perhaps Scandinavia’s best indoor food market—has been around since 1888. Behind the fortresslike presence of this neo-Gothic red-brick building, today the Saluhall has an air of epicurean chic that’s well suited to the tony Old Town neighborhood in which it’s located.

Enter through the main tower and you’ll reach the large, light-filled hall, with castiron struts supporting a glass ceiling and stalls handsomely framed with carved wood pillars and fretwork canopies. Originally there were 153 small stalls, but today about 20 upscale merchants set up shop, each spreading out over a number of booths; several also operate as restaurants or cafes.

Vendors earn their places through a competitive process, so the quality is quite high. Fish and game—cornerstones of Swedish cuisine—are prominently displayed; if you’ve ever hankered to try reindeer meat, now’s your chance. Between the piled-high Swedish pastries, braided loaves of bread, hanging joints of meat, silvery mounds of fish, and brilliant baskets of berries, it’s like one still life after another. Among the longest established tenants are Lisa Elmqvist for fish and delicatessen products, Gerdas Fisk & Skaldjursrestaurang a seafood restaurant, J. E. Olsson & Söner for fruits and vegetables, and Betsy Sandberg Choklad for handmade chocolates. Expect stiff prices—this isn’t a spot where you’d do your weekly shopping on a regular basis—but it’s worth the splurge for the luxe experience.

While you’re in the neighborhood, head up Nybrogatan to no. 55, where a stand named Bruno’s serves the city’s best Swedish hot dogs, or korvs—a variety of sausages grilled to tooth-snapping perfection and stuffed in a French bread roll.