Eating Reindeer in Stockholm: Is Worth It?

Interested in enjoying some Rudolph on a trip to Stockholm? You’re in luck because many Stockholm restaurants offer the experience of eating reindeer, so you don’t have to venture to Santa’s house to find it. If you are game, expect to shell out a small fortune as restaurants charge a hefty price for reindeer steak. I seriously contemplated this expenditure, but given my love of eating as many different animals as possible, I had to give it a try.

Be Wary of Tourist Traps in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan

We decided to give an establishment named Restaurang C C, in the Gamla Stan (old quarter) a try since they boast that their specialty is wild game. In fact, there are only about 7 main dishes on the menu, including boar steak, regular ole’ deer and wild salmon for fish eaters. Vegans need not apply.

Unfortunately, this place was a mistake. Given that the restaurant’s street sign has a reindeer pictured, should have been a dead giveaway to steer clear. Another giveaway that something will be probably be terrible is when they proclaim something like “best sandwich in town!” When a business declares they have the best something in the city, it is usually a crappy tourist ripoff.

Like most restaurants in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (old quarter), Restaurang C C features charming decor and is quaint inside. But given that the weather was shockingly lovely, we chose to dine al fresco on their outdoor terrace. The experience was terrible from the get go. The service was snail paced and we were given no bread. Usually a few pieces of fresh bread are pretty stock standard in an upscale restaurant.

Stockholm Dining Tips

Dinner menus in Stockholm are generally expensive. Restaurant staff are paid livable wages, which drives up labor costs for proprietors. So especially for Americans, set aside expectations to tip 20% in Swedish restaurants as that is not necessary.

Tipping in Sweden is welcome, but not expected. If the service is good, consider leaving a small tip as thanks. Perhaps around 5% of the bill. If the service is not good, do not feel obliged to tip. I know many Americans (myself included) still leave 15% for mediocre service because wait staff rely on that as part of their wage.

For the best value, plan to enjoy nice meals at lunch during a visit to Stockholm. Lunch menus are generally much less expensive in Sweden compared to dinner menus. It is a great way to ensure restaurants are busy throughout the day. People make more money and there is less food waste. The tighter lunchtime profit margins are a win win for both restaurants and customers.

Save money where you can, as Stockholm is generally a pricy destination to visit. One major perk of visiting is being able to sleep on a boat in Stockholm, in the heart of the city. One boat hostel even offers a view of the Royal Palace from the ship!

Reindeer Steak

The reindeer steak was served in two small mignons, accompanied by boiled potatoes, which are the most common side dish in Sweden. I felt the dish lacked imagination for the price point, but it is customary for reindeer in Sweden to be served with boiled potatoes.

Normally I eat steak medium rare, but I asked that they serve the reindeer the way it normally comes, which they said was medium well. If you prefer your steak medium rare, I suggest you ask for your reindeer to be cooked that way, rather than trust the chef like I naively did. But obviously they do not fully trust their reindeer meat anyway, yet another bad sign.

Recommendations for where to Eat Reindeer in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan

The food was decent, but for the money it should have been great. Reindeer meat is gamey and the portion is not very large. If you want to try reindeer in Stockholm, I would suggest giving Slingerbulten or Movitz a try. Both restaurants are centrally located in the Gamla Stan. They both serve reindeer steak and we had fantastic experiences at these two restaurants.

Recap on Eating Reindeer in Stockholm

Reindeer meat is not the best thing to eat in Stockholm. We enjoyed less expensive traditional dishes like Swedish meatballs at Slingerbulten and Movitz. Ultimately, Restaurang C C is a gimmick that needs to try a little harder, as they weren’t exactly hopping with business.

If you just are just looking for a snack or light bite, pop into a 7-Eleven in Sweden. They sell a variety of fruit, hot dogs, sandwiches, fresh candy and other Swedish goodies. Generally the food there is fresher and healthier compared to convenience stores in the United States!

Author

  • Alex Kallimanis

    Alex Kallimanis is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner who has visited 67+ different countries, including all 27 European Union countries across all continents except Antarctica. He has resided around the world, living in countries like Australia, the Netherlands and Ireland for over 7 years combined. Currently residing in the Tampa, Florida, area with his wife Bell, he still spends much of his time in Europe as a dual Greek citizen. Alex is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor of arts degree in history, and was the president of Phi Alpha Theta (Honors History Society) during his senior year there. Alex is an avid enthusiast of sports, spas, delicious food, the outdoors, craft beverages, history and culture.

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