Review: Lilla Ego The Place on Every Foodie's Lips in Stockholm

The neighborhood restaurant Lilla Ego is on every foodie’s lips in Stockholm it seems. I’ve been recommended this place by virtually everyone I’ve asked about restaurant tips in the Swedish capital. As far as I understand Lilla Ego is usually fully booked several months ahead – at least the weekend spots. The queue for the drop-in seats starts early on outside the restaurant most evenings. You might have guessed this is one of the most hyped places in town. We finally managed to get a table on our recent Stockholm tour.

"Rårakor & löjrom" - Shredded hash browns with a tube of vendace roe on the side
“Rårakor & löjrom” – Shredded hash browns with a tube of vendace roe on the side

The menus at Lilla Ego are written by hand, with marker pens on big flipboard sheets taped to the wall. You’ll never be in doubt that you’re in a casual joint when you visit Daniel Räms and Tom Sjöstedt’s neighborhood restaurant in Vasastan. “Do you want a better glass of skumpa (slang for Champagne) or a decent glass of fulbubbel (slang for anything but Champagne)?” is the first question you are met with. The pickles shots were for later we were reassured. My foodie friend André Blomberg-Nygård would probably point out that the misspelled word on the menu is not a coincidence, but a clear sign of tattooed hipster chefs in the kitchen.

The menu taped to the wall at Lilla Ego
The menu taped to the wall at Lilla Ego
"Brottarkorv" sausage
“Brottarkorv” sausage

Lilla Ego has been described as the Stockholm equivalent to Pjoltergeist in Oslo, but I don’t agree much on this point. Sure, both places got popular bar seats, waiters with a personality and apparently a strained relationship to traditional menus. However, where Pjoltergeist feels like a dungeon you crawl into through a hole in the wall, Lilla Ego is more open-spaced with huge windows that let daylight in. The biggest difference, however, is the food. Lilla Ego appeared to me as doing a modern twist on traditional Swedish ingredients. We got rårakalöjrom, and brottarkorv this particular evening. Quite far from the Icelandic Asian fusion at Pjoltergeist.

"Brottarkorv" sausage with baked carrots
“Brottarkorv” sausage with baked carrots
Rosemary lamb with ramson emulsion, zucchini and morels
Rosemary lamb with ramson emulsion, zucchini and morels

After all, the salty, fatty, and umami-rich dishes were consumed the pickles shots arrived. A perfect acidic cleanse and surprisingly tasty in my opinion. Simply pickle water and a cheap McAfee’s Benchmark old no. 8 bourbon. Drink one and quickly and follow with the other. Well, I’ll be damned, this did remind me of the classic kimchi juice and Maker’s Mark combo at Pjoltergeist… Similarities and differences aside, in either case, I can understand why the citizens of Stockholm love this joint. It’s so liberating with the relaxed atmosphere and down-to-earth approach to serving food. Did it live up to the hype? It never stood a chance, but I would probably return as often as I could if I lived here.

Pickles shot! Pickles water and Benchmark bourbon
Pickles shot! Pickles water and Benchmark bourbon
Lilla Ego's dream dessert for two people with ingredients south of Västmannagatan
Lilla Ego’s dream dessert for two people with ingredients south of Västmannagatan

What’s your favorite neighborhood restaurant? Please share it in a comment below.

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Anders Husa

Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr are food & travel bloggers and creative content creators. From their base in Copenhagen, they operate the largest and most influential restaurant-focused travel blog in Scandinavia.

2 comments

  • Hei,lurer på hvordan kan man få jobb som en matkritiker?elsker mat lidenskapelig og spiser alt mellom himmel og jord,elsker å prøve nye ting,og ser alltid etter en ny høyderekord for å si det sånn,hilsen en matelsker.

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