May 28th – June 8th, 2017
Stockholm, Sweden & Oslo, Norway
And we’re back! It was a whirlwind trip through Sweden and Norway, and (unsurprisingly) we managed to eat a bit of pizza. Some of it was very good, some of it was very bad. Can’t say that it was as good as the klippfisk, but it was much better than we had expected.
First stop: Stockholm. I happened to be wandering around the city one day during my conference lunch break, and came across the Artisan. It looked like the perfect place to stop in and grab a quick slice so that I could continue my tourist-ing. It was on a cute street overlooking the park in Vasastan, and so I grabbed a seat looking out of the front window.
The slices here have a Roman-style dough, almost as thick as a Sicilian, but more airy. They had a wide selection of square slices with different toppings. I went with a margherita slice and one with cauliflower. The ingredients are apparently imported from Italy. Overall, they were decent slices, but Eric would have needed about five of them to feel full. And they were a bit on the pricey side.
When Eric joined me in Stockholm a few days later, we decided to grab lunch at a pizzeria listed in our Where to Eat Pizza book, Giro. We chose this pizzeria mainly for its location, which is close to the center of town and not too far from where we were staying.
We went with a margherita here and a white pizza with broccoli rabe and salsiccia. We were really surprised with how good these pizzas were. The crust was true Neapolitan, and the pies had just the right amount of cheese and toppings. When we finished, Eric tried to impress the waiter with his Swedish by saying it was “delicious”, but Google Translate unfortunately had the wrong word for “delicious” listed and the waiter did not know what he was saying. Good try, though, Eric!
Also, Stockholm is beautiful, and the ice cream was even better than the pizza.
And so were the cardamom buns (or kardamummabullar if you wanted the Swedish name!)
After a couple of days in Stockholm, we took the train out to Oslo. On our last night in the city, we decided to try another pizza place. We found a good looking restaurant close to where we were staying, Lofthus Samvirkelag. They have a few locations around the city. The original location is about 20 minutes outside of center city, so we ended up going to one of the more local ones because we were a bit tired of walking.
This restaurant also started as a bakery, which at night would morph into a pizzeria from Wednesday to Sunday. We were originally going to try the reindeer carpaccio pizza because Lofthus Samvirkelag is known for its Norwegian spin on traditional pizza, but some of the more traditional options sounded too good to pass up. We had their version of a margherita, with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil, and the five cheese, which had a white sauce and local cheeses. The crust on these pies was a little thinner than the Neapolitan crusts in Stockholm and was also a bit crispier. The toppings were so fresh!
We knew that the quality of pizza wasn’t going to be so good after we left Oslo and started driving around the small towns in the fjords. Luckily, we had no shortage of other amazing Norwegian food to sample along our drives and we ate plenty of meatballs, fresh fish, and burgers from locally-raised beef. We LOVED that everything in Norway is locally-sourced and you can actually see where all of your food is coming from. (Need proof? Here is some salted fish just laying out to dry on the rocks below that we ended up eating for dinner one evening).
After a few days of driving, hiking this mountain and then this mountain, and eating mostly jelly sandwiches and granola bars, we started to get some serious pizza cravings. Unfortunately, food options along the windy mountain roads of the fjords are slim. We ended up stopping in a small town along the road, Stryn, because we saw they had pizza that surprisingly had received decent Yelp reviews (Napoli Pizza).
After sitting down to our food, we realized why we had been sticking to locally-raised burgers and freshly caught fish. We both commented that we felt bad for the people who live in this small town and probably think that this is what pizza tastes like everywhere. Although we shouldn’t be too harsh, because we ate it all and it certainly satisfied our pizza craving. If they had put more sauce on it, it probably would have been a decent pizza. Even so, we decided to make this our last pizza in Norway.
I won’t bore you with all the other details about our trip because we did do other things besides eating, but I will leave you with this picture of the CUTEST Norwegian fishing village, to try to convince you to go there. And if you do, please stick to ordering pizza only in the main cities (and just order the klippfisk everywhere else).
Eric can also teach you the word for “delicious” in both Swedish (Utsökt!) and Norwegian (Nydelig!).