Excited to be continuing my “Vegan on Tour” series!
I’ve decided to break my Scandinavia trip into three parts so as not to overwhelm you all with pictures! I’m going to be posting about each of the cities we visited (Gothenburg, Oslo and Stockholm) once a week for the next three weeks rather than all at once, seeing as I’ve got recipes I want to share as well. First up is Vegan on Tour: Gothenburg!
It was just me and my friend, H, traveling together. I flew out to Gothenburg to meet her as she’d been in Copenhagen and Malmo already. I would love to see those cities some day too, but seeing as I’ve got a dissertation to be writing I could only really justify 2 weeks away.
Gothenburg was a lovely start to the holiday. It’s the second largest city in Sweden but was still pretty walk-able. 3 full days there was the perfect amount of time to see all that we wanted and get a good feel for the place.
One day we jumped on a tram to the harbour just outside the city and caught a ferry to the island of Branno (pictures above). There’s a collection of little islands and the boats go regularly between them. Branno is a pretty tiny island with just a few permanent residents but with lots of charm. We walked to the far side of the island to an adjoining, completely deserted island, Galtero. It was eerily beautiful and inhabited only by a family of sheep. I could have stayed there all day staring out at the sea and soaking up the silence.
This is a food blog after all so of course I’m going to talk about what we ate on the trip! My friend, H, is also vegan which made things easier and also meant that we could try more food as we often got 2 dishes to split! [ N.B. I don’t really like whipping out my big camera at restaurants so most of these pictures are taken with my iPhone]
Our favourite dinner place was Hagabions Café. Part of a quirky cinema, it has a huge terrace which is packed with locals eating and drinking in the evenings. It’s all vegetarian and there were always a couple of vegan options on the menu.
Our first evening, we had pumpkin soup to start which had these amazing chewy mushrooms in it and warm bread on the side. We split the Chickpea Coconut Curry with fruit salsa. Good but nothing to write home about. And then we shared the raw strawberry cheesecake which I’m sorry to say I forgot to take a picture of! If you’re at Hagabions and it’s on the menu, definitely get it!
Another time we weren’t too hungry and had vegan ice cream back at our hostel to eat for dessert…so we just got gazpacho with ciabatta and grilled vegetables.
We had actually planned to go back to Hagabions a third time but when we got there they told us that they had run out of food! Luckily Gothenburg isn’t a very big city so we only had to stroll on a few streets to find a tasty Korean dinner at Yammy Kitchen. They serve meat but also have a separate vegan menu with lots of choices. We had miso soup, kimchi, pickled cucumbers, vegan bibimbap and a silken tofu dish which had edamame, shitake mushrooms and leeks.
It was my first time trying bibimbap and I loved it. If anyone knows any restaurants in London that do a good vegan bibimbap, send your recommendations my way please! No pictures again, sorry!
The morning before our island trip we went for brunch at Raw Food Baren, an all-raw restaurant not far from where we were staying. Another must-visit if you’re in Gothenburg. We had tasty juices to start and then shared a couple of different things:
Raw courgette noodles with a creamy dill sauce and mushrooms which we both especially loved; a raw pizza with pesto, cashew cheese, veggies and olives; and a raw brownie for dessert. It’s a shame the restaurant doesn’t open on Sundays or Mondays as I would definitely have gone back.
We kept stumbling across juice bars in the city and one we tried was Juice Källan where I had the Kanelbulle (Cinnamon Roll) Smoothie- banana, mango, apple, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom & homemade almond milk (They swapped the vanilla dairy yogurt out for me).
It happened to be right next to a gorgeous bakery and café, Da Matteo, which we ended up going to for breakfast for 2 of the 3 mornings we were in Gothenburg.
They had gorgeous sourdough and rye bread. I’m one of those people who carries an avocado around in her bag…and I guess a jar of peanut butter by the looks of things! PB, jam & avocado on that delicious bread was a perfect breakfast. I’m not a coffee drinker but my friend, H, reports that it was excellent. I can’t remember what that pictured juice was except for it having mint and spirulina in, but it was good too.
I found the nicest part of the city itself to be Haga. Formerly the workers’ district, the charming wooden houses have been turned into pretty boutiques and cafés. It’s all cobbled streets and is a fun place for a wander.
We walked up the hill to Masthuggskyrkan where you get the best view of the harbour, sea and city and also up to a castle (whose name I’ve forgotten) which seemed to be a popular picnic spot.
The Botanical Garden (Botaniska Tradgarden) is Sweden’s largest and really special. It’s also attached to a nature reserve of forest and lakes where we had a great afternoon hike.
We really liked the vegetarian café Two Little Birds and went twice for lunch. They serve good meal-size salads, sandwiches, soups and a selection of vegan sweets.
First time around I got the Grilled Tempeh & Aubergine Salad, which came on a tasty base of salad greens, shredded raw vegetables and fruit, with orange-miso dressing and warm Ciabatta bread with olive oil. Yum.
On my second visit, I had the Red Tofu Salad with sunflower seed & sun dried tomato pesto, pickled vegetables and other goodies. I also got a slice of the lemon cake to take away for later but again forgot to snap a picture of it!
Their dishes were also really reasonably priced, especially compared to most eateries in Scandinavia. Though I did find that Gothenburg was a little cheaper than Oslo or Stockholm.
Other places you might want to check out are:
En Deli Haga - a little deli with all your classic Middle-Eastern/Greek food, a lot of which is vegan by default
Halsobaren Sushi (Melangatan) – Better than your average sushi place for vegan options- avocado and tofu maki, inari pockets, etc.
Condeco - Chain of restaurants across the city. They have a salad buffet and several vegan options including sandwiches, muffins and smoothies. All vegetarian on Mondays.
That’s it for Gothenburg! Stay tuned for part 2 of my Scandi trip recap- we’ll be in Oslo, Norway!