In a new series by The Local, we're asking our readers and various expat groups to help us find the best places that represent different cultures. With help from our American readers, the Facebook groups Americans in Sweden (Uncensored), Americans in Stockholm and Living in Sweden, we have compiled a list of the best places to experience American culture in Sweden.
While many American grocery stores and gift shops were mentioned by our readers, one Stockholm favourite topped the list. The American Food and Gift Shop According to Charles has the largest selection of American food and memorabilia in the capital, ranging from Game of Thrones-inspired Oreos to every Pop Tart you could imagine. During the holidays, the store brings out different themed items for events like Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, and 4th of July.
The main location is on Sveavägen 106, Stockholm, but the shop also has two additional locations in Täby Centrum, Täby, and Stora Gatan 46, Sigtuna.
Pop tarts for days! Photo: Charles Fletcher/The American Food and Gift Store according to Charles
America is a melting pot of different cultures, and to be honest none of our food is strictly ours. However, we do have various ways of cooking it that make it specific to our country.
San Francisco style, for example, favours traditional Mexican ingredients but with a modern twist, and Stockholm restaurant The Good Gringo specializes in this type of food and was a favourite amongst our readers. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 7:30 pm and is located on Scheelegatan 28, Stockholm.
San Franciscan – style burrito Photo: Kenneth Jones/Good Gringo
Moving from California-styled Mexican to the coveted Tex Mex, we have Bad Wolf BBQ on the island of Gotland. The restaurant aims to bring the best from the American-Mexican border and they accomplish this with their homemade barbecue sauce, as well as their juicy burritos.
The interior of Bad Wolf BBQ stays true to an authentic Texan atmosphere, and the cuisine is as real as one can get this far away from the border. Bad Wolf BBQ is located on Adelsgatan 1B, Visby.
Serving up some authentic Tex-Mex. Photo: Bad Wolf BBQ
Austin Food Works' three Stockholm locations aim to help their customers experience 'American Everyday Home Cooking' or in other words, greasy comfort food. With everything from spicy chilli to barbecue burgers. Each Austin Food Works has different opening hours and their three locations are in Norrtull, Kungsholmen and Söderman, Stockholm.
Low and Slow was another Southern comfort restaurant regularly recommended by Stockholm's American community. Specializing in pulled pork sandwiches as well as barbecue ribs, Low and Slow is open from 11am to 10pm and is located on Luntmakargatan 98, Stockholm.
Photo: Low and Slow
Barrels Burgers and Beer is one of the best places to get an American style burger in Stockholm, from sausage burgers to fried chicken burgers to the traditional meat patty. Make sure to get their early, however, because on weekends the restaurant often has a queue. And be prepared to share a table with complete strangers, due to the small space and communal atmosphere. Barrels Burgers and Beer is located on Stora Nygatan 20, Stockholm.
Älskade Traditioner is an American-themed diner with a 1950s twist. Covered with retro-inspired decorations, the cafe specializes in traditional diner foods, with milkshakes and sweet and savoury waffles alongside Swedish fika favourites, making it a good combination for those who appreciate both cultures. Älskade Traditioner can be found on Södermannagatan 42, Stockholm.
Games and pub food
John Scott's is an American-themed pub with highly praised burgers and traditional American starters like potatoes skins and nachos. The pub has live music on weekends as well as kid-friendly activities such as bowling, and they also have shuffleboard games and billiard tables for anyone to play. John Scott's tends to remind us Americans of the popular Dave and Buster's chain, and the combination of the games and the food will make anybody from the States feel comfortable and like they're at home. John Scotts has multiple locations across the country.
New York street food
Unlike any of the others on this list, Katarina Ölkafé is a New York City inspired, Jewish nano-restaurant, focusing on the New York-style street food that I miss oh so much. At Katarina Ölkafé you will find perfectly sliced Pastrami sandwiches and typical Jewish Matzo Ball soup, with sides of creamy or spicy macaroni and cheese. Open from 5 pm to 12 am, Katarina Ölkafé is located on Katarina Bangata 27, Stockholm.
A great American pastime for motor lovers alike is to go to car shows around the United States, which focus on old-time cars with beautiful exteriors and big personalities. Sometimes people buy these cars or trade them, sometimes they partake in street racing but most of the time it's just a bunch of people gathered together to appreciate cars from all over.
It might come as a surprise that very similar car shows are popular all across Sweden, for example the ten-week Trosa Veteranbilsträffar on Thursdays during summer in Trosa, and other gatherings include those in Uppsala, Norrtälje, Västerås, and perhaps the most famous, the Power Big Meet, in Lidköping. These are known as bilträffar (literally 'car meetups') in Sweden, and there's very likely to be one near you: find an extensive list in Swedish here.
Vintage Llyod Arabella Photo: AP/Efrem Lukatsky/TT
Additionally, if you want to meet other Americans around Sweden to share in your homesickness or to help you navigate just a little bit better, there are plenty of expat groups on Facebook including three which helped us compile this guide: Living in Sweden, Americans in Sweden (Uncensored) and Americans in Stockholm.
Contribute to future articles in this series! Have you discovered a restaurant, shop, event or group that reminds you of home? Get in touch and tell us where people in Sweden can find the best of your home culture.