Uppsala is a charming place with an excitingly varied dining scene and plenty of stylish – or local – restaurants to choose from. We explore some of the top options:
Villa Anna, Uppsala | Image Courtesy of Peppar Peppar
Part of a classy hotel with the same name, award-winning restaurant Villa Anna is open to both the hotel’s customers and occasional visitors. The kitchen is run by chefs Rafael Lofstedt and Markus Eriksson: while Rafael is in charge of creating the exquisite dishes that the restaurant offers by expertly combining just the right flavors, Markus is preoccupied with presenting them in an eye-pleasing way. The chefs’ teamwork and painstaking care that each one takes in their respective specialties produces an excellent menu of typically Swedish delicacies, prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced from local producers whenever possible.
Peppar Peppar, Uppsala | Image Courtesy of Peppar Peppar
Conveniently located in the city center and within walking distance from the main railway station, Peppar Peppar is a lovely restaurant with a refined ambience, and is one of the few places in town to have been included in the White Guide, Sweden’s most prominent guide to the country’s best restaurants. The kitchen produces delicacies such as the butter-fried catfish served with celeriac purée and artichoke sauce, or the slow-cooked pork belly with Vasterbotten purée and caramelized apple. But Peppar Peppar’s signature dish is the pepparfilè: a tournedo (a round piece of filet mignon) accompanied by potato and gruyere terrine, baked tomato and the house’s special pepper sauce.
Unsurprisingly, Sweden is a great place to enjoy fish dishes, and Uppsala’s Hambergs Fisk is no exception. In fact, this fish restaurant is considered one of the best in the entire country. Because Hambergs Fisk’s fame is grand but its capacity rather small, it’s best to make reservations; other than that, eating here is by all means an enjoyable experience. The atmosphere is cozy, and the varied, meat-free menu is a joy for fish lovers. Satisfaction reaches its peak as customers savor the ridiculously fresh fish and seafood courses they are presented with. The wine list holds up to the restaurant’s good name just as much as the food.
Restaurant Biztron impresses with the elegance that distinguishes its dining room, which features three large windows that fill the venue with light during the day, beautiful stone walls and luscious dark parquet on the wall. Despite the rustic elements, however, Biztron pulls off a remarkably sophisticated feel, which makes dining in this restaurant a pleasant experience that is about more than just food. The menu lists a range of typically local dishes, simple but delicious and well-prepared. Biztron is also a bar with a long list of beers, wines, champagnes, whiskeys and all other kinds of drinks, perfect to accompany the food or to have on their own.
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For the best Chinese restaurant in Uppsala, make no mistake: head to Golden China. This Asian joint, nestled away towards the terminal end of one of the city’s main streets, brings to the table the authentic recipes of Chinese cooking, and Sichuan specialties in particular. Among the restaurant’s highlights is the huo guo, translated as hot pot and also known as Chinese fondue. This is a large, simmering pot placed at the center of the table and filled with broth, served with thin slices of meats, vegetables, mushrooms and other ingredients which the customers cook themselves by immersing them in the broth. Despite an unimpressive setting, Golden China’s excellent kitchen is absolutely worth trying. Lunch is especially good value for money.
Pastries and pretzels for breakfast? Why not? | Courtesy of Guntherska
Located right across from the Fyris, the river that runs through the city of Uppsala, Güntherska Hovkonditori is a popular choice among the locals for a pleasant, lingering break during the day. A family-run cafe and bakery, Güntherska Hovkonditori offers an ideal selection of dishes — salads, paninis and sandwiches — for a quick lunch. It is best known for its cakes, pastries and breads, baked fresh everyday and offered in a great variety of different preparations and flavors. Sit in the cafe’s outside area and gaze at the river quietly flowing by while enjoying a slice of cake or Sweden’s traditional cinnamon rolls. Perhaps do this with a cup of delicious coffee or tea; it will be a moment to remember Uppsala by.
Ahaan Thai sits a little bit off the beaten track from the city center, but travelers with a soft spot for Thai food will find the small extra effort to reach the restaurant to be unquestionably worth it. Serving exotic bites of Asian cuisine to Uppsala since 1999, Ahaan Thai is the place to go in the city for some authentic, scrumptious Thai food. Every dish is finely cooked following Thailand‘s original recipes, from the tom yum (a sour soup of veggies) to the koong pad (sauteed shrimps), from the pad cha (stir-fried squid) to the green curry chicken. The cherry on top of Ahaan Thai’s nicely informal atmosphere is the welcoming waiting staff, who will be happy to illustrate the details of the courses on offer to those unfamiliar with Thai cuisine.
In 2005, construction of a travel center in Uppsala began, which comprised the establishment of a new station building. The old station, a charming, historical building that could easily be confused with a small palace, was shamefully going to be left unused, until restaurateur Svensson Krogar envisioned it as the perfect venue for a new restaurant in Uppsala. Stationen, the name chosen for the restaurant, now ranks among the locals’ favorite spots not simply as a place to dine, but also to meet with friends and while some time away. Featuring an interesting concept and design, Stationen comprises a brasserie inspired by Paris‘s original restaurants of this kind, a bar styled on the example of London‘s classic pubs, and a cafe resembling the Italian cafes of Rome.
The meza is a very peculiar feature of Lebanon‘s culinary customs, which consists of an array of small dishes (salads, dips, yoghurts, oil-preserved vegetables, etc) served as starters before proceeding to the main course. Uppsala’s Meza derives its names from this element of Lebanese gastronomy. Here customers can try the authentic highlights of the Middle Eastern country’s cooking, including a selection of both hot and cold meza dishes and a range of grilled meat and fish, served as filets or on skewers. The oriental influence is clear throughout the venue’s interiors as well – one smaller, separate dining room, in particular, features lush sofas adorned with small, patterned pillows around two rather low tables.
Located in Gamla Torget, Uppsala’s oldest, tranquil square, Villa Romana offers the best of Italian cooking to the city’s foodies. Start with a few bruschetta or some mozzarella alla caprese (slices of mozzarella on top of slices of tomatoes), before proceeding with the restaurant’s flagship pasta — linguine with scallops, prawns and pancetta. Then wrap up the meal with the succulent grilled beef tenderloin medallions rolled into a brandy and pepper sauce. A must for Italian food lovers in Uppsala, Villa Romana also offers simpler bistro dishes, mostly consisting of the many exquisite cold cuts and cheeses that Italy’s gastronomy is rich with. From the outside dining area, a view of the peaks of Uppsala’s cathedral can be enjoyed.