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The flavour of Småland

Everyone in Sweden knows Småland as the nation’s culinary centre. The region’s cuisine goes above and beyond the famous meatballs: a Michelin-star restaurant serves innovative Swedish haute cuisine, coffee is elevated to an art, and you can visit a lovely castle and pretend to be Lord or Lady of the manor. Here are three suggestions for typically Swedish restaurants in the city of Växjö.

Småland has always had a reputation as the gourmet paradise of Sweden. Every year in September the culinary festival MAT attracts tens of thousands of gourmands to southern Sweden. There is also plenty to enjoy throughout the rest of the year. Try the classic dish isterband – grilled sausages served with dill potatoes and beets. For a small provincial capital, Växjö offers a surprisingly large number of restaurants. It doesn’t get much fresher than this, with these organic regional products going directly from the farm to your plate.

For fine dining, a drink or baked goods, head to PM
For fine dining, a drink or baked goods, head to PM

Vaxjo

Innovative dining at PM & Vänner

Michelin star: PM & Vänner

PM & Vänner is a familiar name throughout Sweden, a real culinary empire with 74 hotel rooms, a Michelin-star restaurant, a bistro, a bar and a bakery. Forest, water and meadows are the foundations of the menu. Choose from a 5-course or 9-course meal and sample dishes such as scampi with black salsify, mushrooms with truffle, and elk meat with penny bun (a type of mushroom). The restaurant only serves dinner, but the bistro has earlier opening hours and offers a traditional husmanskost (homemade meal) with a modern twist.

Fika: coffee time Swedish style

There is nothing more Swedish than fika. In Växjö people take their coffee break seriously. Twice a day the workday grinds to a halt when people sit down for coffee, accompanied by sandwiches, cookies, cake and cinnamon buns. Scientists state that it is this communal coffee break that allows Swedes to be more creative and productive, and live a stress-free life. Coffee breaks are usually taken at work, at the kitchen table or in the garden. Visitors can also indulge in this tradition, for example at Sweden’s oldest bakery: Broqvist Konditori.
Broqvist Konditori in 1920
Aristocratic dining at Teleborg Castle

Dine like a Lord or Lady

Despite its medieval appearance, Teleborg Castle wasn’t actually built until 1900, a wedding present from an eccentric count to his bride. The fairy-tale castle, located just outside of the city centre on the shores of Lake Trummen, is now a luxury boutique hotel with 29 rooms. Book a table in the antique furnished dining room and savour classic Swedish dishes, such as a Jerusalem artichoke soup, salmon tartar and meat stew. (Timely reservations are highly recommended.) In summer, you can sit outside in the castle garden at the romantic Café Brygghuset, overlooking the lake.