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I don't spend a lot of time in Stockholm, but it pretty much is the place we have to go for anything not stocked in our home town, and very little is stocked here at all.

So here's... I don't know what, really. Kind of a guide for if you ever happen to find yourself lost in stockholm and need a cup of tea, mostly a look at my mental map of the city.


Tea

Sibyllans, Sibyllegatan 35. Nearest metro: Östermalmstorg.

Sibyllans is a tea & coffee shop - definitely stockholm's best one. They're way too old-fashioned for a a website, having only discovered how to take card payments late last year, but as I understand it they're open from 10 am on weekdays and saturdays. I understand they're great for coffee too, but I don't actually drink enough coffee to justify any special sort, so I've only tried their teas. We go there every month or so and buy tea by the kilo, loose-leaf. Yes, we have a problem.

My favourite blends are sir william, which is a blend of ALL the kinds of tea and tastes mildly smokey but not overwhelmingly so; royal earl grey; and their green & white tea blend, from which basically all of the best aspects of both green and white tea come through. I have a packet of really delicious genmai cha from them that I'm rationing out, too, and when autumn rolls around I'll be grabbing a big pack of their autumn blend (they do seasonal tea blends! this is both great and kind of frustrating; last year I got a tiny packet of the autumn tea to try, feeling rather sceptical, because it has fruit in it and I'm not much of a fruit tea person unless it's citrus. But it was great, and by the time I got back to Stockholm they'd already rolled over to winter teas).

here is someone else's picture of their shop.


Cafés

Vete-katten, Kungsgatan 55. Nearest metro: Hötorget or T-centralen.

Vete-katten is a famous stockholm café, deeply eccentric, and also excellent for people with allergies (like me!). They have a slightly incomprehensible system for fetching orders, involving placing your order at one counter and receiving parts of it immediately and then being sent around to various other hatches where twelve year old boys in impeccable uniforms will provide you with the rest. I don't know either. BUT what I do know is that they had delicious food and proper tea, and that you can hide yourself away in all sorts of little corners there.

I had the best gluten-free sandwich I've ever eaten there, and they had a really wide range of cakes and pastries available for me to pick from. The list got a bit overwhelming, since I'm pretty used to being offered one or two things that're suitable for me in any given place.

You can also buy things from their shop next door to take with you.


Eat out

Lao Wai, Luntmakargatan 74. Nearest metro: Rådmansgatan

Lao Wai serves vegan chinese food, and a lot of their menu is also gluten-free. Authenticity I cannot speak for, but delicious it certainly is. Also known as the restaurant that made me like tofu. It's one of the few places where Val & I can comfortably find a whole list of dishes we can both eat. Tiny and kind of chaotic, but in a good way.

Teas also highly recommended.

If you want to just grab a really quick lunch, you can go there and take whatever the day's lunch dish is with a drink for 80kr, which is a good price for any lunch in Stockholm. I've eaten disgusting lunches that cost more, and I don't think I've eaten any that cost less!


Etnografiska museet, Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 34. You'll be needing a bus timetable for this one.

OK, so it's actually a museum, and the restaurant does tend to be full of noise and chaos and people fighting for seats. But they also offer delicious food from around the world, often vegetarian or vegan, often gluten free (in fact, on the day we went there, the only non gluten-free dish on offer was the spaghetti, aka concession to children's unwillingness to eat things they don't know about).

Actually, as a general record, I have yet to have a bad experience with stockholm museum restaurants. And allergy help in Sweden? Seriously, they will help you.

I suspect some places struggle more with the concept of vegetarianism than with the concept of allergies.

(The museum itself is one of the less fail-ful ethnographic museums I've been to generally, by the way.)


Get reading material

Serieteket, Kulturhuset. Nearest metro: T-centralen.

Stockholm's comics library! For all your comic and manga needs! I don't think I need to say much more, but how cool is it that this exists? Books in English & Swedish.


SF-bokhandeln, Västerlånggatan 48. Nearest metro: Gamla Stan.

The science fiction bookshop. Loads of manga! Loads! And loads of books! There's tons in English here, so this place was extra amazing for me when I first moved to Sweden and couldn't speak the language, but it's basically one of those nerd heaven places. Also hosts cosplay events and so on from time to time.


Hallongrottan, Bergsundsgatan 25. Nearest metro: Hornstull.

Feminist bookshop with a lot of awesome aspects, from the amount of focus on queerness to the fact that there is a specific rather modest bookshelf for "straight white feminists" to the many really cool discussion evenings, talks and events they host on all imaginable topics. If I lived in Stockholm I'd be there all the time. Lovely and works hard on being inclusive. Also sell some clothes, random accessories, binders, second hand lesbian pulp fiction...


Museums

Vasa museum, Galärvarvsvägen 14. Tram or bus from T-centralen.

This is basically Stockholm's best museum, or at least the most unique; other people have wrecked boats, but few are as big, as well-preserved, or sunk in such an idiotic way as the Vasa. Pride, as we say, of the Swedish navy. Terror of the Baltic. Extremely poorly designed.

There's some really good information about the ship and its building as well as the preservation work being done on it, but above all, it is a really big ship. One walks in there and goes, wow, that is a really big ship. And for that alone it's kind of worth it.

No, really.

It's just that big.



Assorted shopping

DesignTorget, various locations.

The joy & danger of this shop is that you're never sure what kind of stuff you're going to find. They get a lot of new things in all the time and a lot of it is mad or useless but sometimes it just has the perfect thing. Or something that's mad in the right way.


Shock, Drottninggatan 81A. Nearest metro: Rådmansgatan.

Fairly generic goth/metal/alternative shop, but my main source of shocking hair colours!


Hötorgshallen, Hötorget. Nearest metro: Hötorget or T-centralen.

Mostly because they have this one stall there that sells every kind of dried fruit that you could possibly imagine, including ones without extra sugar added, and they all taste like fruit. The dried melon is particularly fascinating, for some reason...


♣ (Seasonally) Hötorget, as above.

The actual square outside the covered market has stalls selling fruit and veg all year around, but the highlight of these places is basically the mountains of mushrooms you can buy there in the autumn. So many chanterells in one place! Nom.


Oh, and if you want booze, you're going to have to go to Systembolaget, the national booze company. While there is one here in town which can order in things from bigger shops, there are some really big ones in Stockholm, like the one behind NK. For when you need that special kind of gin today, not next week.

I'm not going to judge you. I would never.
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