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Empty interior of the Greek restaurant Esperia in Stockholm.

Photo: Esperia

Categories: Restaurants

Five places to eat authentic Greek food in Stockholm

Publish date: 23 November 2021

Having lived outside of Greece for over 10 years, and in eight different cities, I’ve always found it challenging to find truly authentic food from my home country.

In many cities, the owners of "Greek" restaurants are not from Greece at all and their menu caters largely to the local population rather than seeking to promote the culinary richness of the country.

Over the last year and due to the travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19, I had the opportunity to explore the Stockholm food scene to find an authentic taste of home. The following Greek restaurants and cafes are the ones I believe best represent the cuisine of my country here in Stockholm.

Cafe Nostimo

One of the hardest things to find abroad is cold Greek coffee, which is a staple in the Greek lifestyle. I’ve only come across Greek cafes in Astoria, New York City because there’s a very large Greek diaspora living there. Cafe Nostimo has a Greek owner who migrated from Athens several years ago and wanted to recreate the Greek cafe experience in Stockholm.

Their cold Greek coffees, like Freddo Espresso and Freddo Cappuccino, which Greeks tend to drink even during winter with a spinach and cheese pie before heading to work in the morning - along with some good banter from the owner - recreates a very familiar experience of living in Greece! I would strongly recommend that you explore the cafe if you are living or working in central Stockholm.

Esperia

Traditional Greek restaurants, also known as tavernas, tend to be very relaxed and informal as the focus is on the food itself. You generally wouldn’t associate eating traditional Greek food dressed in suit and tie; rather you’d be chilling by the beach or in another relaxing environment. Esperia in Mariatorget has found a good balance -- it’s a nice restaurant but not very formal.

When you dine in a Greek restaurant, the tradition is centered around sharing food with your friends and family. This means ordering a lot of starters, otherwise called "mezedes", which are placed in the center of the table for everyone to share and experience. At Esperia, they have a lot of great traditional Greek mezedes which you can order with your group, like saganaki, fried cheese (usually feta) with batter and honey with lemon, several good salads like "horiatiki" (literally translating to "the village salad") which includes tomatoes, olives, feta cheese and a lot of olive oil! It's extremely refreshing and you will find it at every traditional taverna in Greece.

Autogyro food truck

This food truck is run by a Greek guy and his son and they serve exceptional Greek fast food. They have authentic Greek gyro and souvlaki, basically meat wrapped in pita bread with condiments. They bring all their products from Greece, even the chips! The pita bread is served with fresh tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki, the classic Greek yogurt dip with garlic.

This reminds me of home as it is very common to stop by a small restaurant or truck after a night out (or if you are tired of cooking at home) to order gyro or souvlaki for takeaway.

There’s a good website called Hitta Trucken where you can locate the food trucks in Stockholm if you feel like tracking them down.

Cypern

This is a relatively simple restaurant, quite small with a patio outside, and a nice ambiance. It reminds me of one of the cozy restaurants you would find in Athens.

They have an amalgamation of food and similar starters to Esperia, although when it comes to the mains there is more of a focus on meat. They have a very traditional dish that you often eat at home called bifteki, which is like a grilled beef patty, with fries and fresh vegetables. What I also really like is the small spinach pies which are really tasty, served with some fresh yogurt dip. And tzatziki, of course, which you eat with pita bread.

Dionysos

This is the oldest Greek restaurant in Stockholm, established in 1974. They have a wide variety of Greek food on the menu and you get a real sense of tradition. Inside it looks like an old-fashioned restaurant which I appreciate - they have a lot of nice images on the walls, and it has a good atmosphere. It’s quite fancy - maybe a bit too fancy for my personal taste! - but everything I’ve eaten there has been really good. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket for a special occasion.

About the author

Nick works as a project manager for a rapidly growing EdTech start-up in Stockholm. Having lived and worked in nine different countries for a variety of sectors, such as diplomacy and consulting, Nick developed a strong interest in education, volunteering and innovation, all of which he found in Stockholm. The city offers many opportunities for young professionals to find work opportunities in growing industries dedicated towards social impact and sustainability, as well as volunteering in projects impacting local communities.

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