Travel Spotlight

Neighborhood Spotlight: Stockholm’s SoFo

The childhood stomping ground of Greta Garbo, Stockholm’s SoFo (south of Folkungagatan) neighborhood has undergone a complete transformation since her late 19th-century tenancy, when the silver screen icon described the working-class area as “eternally grey.” Nowadays, a different demographic of Swedes inhabit the gentrified nave. Perhaps inspired by literary heroine Lisbeth Salander, whose fictional flat is just a few blocks north of the area, SoFo locals today are a mix of tattooed hipsters and eccentric creative types, as well as some young families. Many who live in the bohemian enclave base their businesses there, resulting in a number of one-off vintage stores, unique fashion boutiques, convivial restaurants and coffee shops that are used as meeting and working spaces for local entrepreneurs. That strong community atmosphere is enhanced with SoFo nights (held on the last Thursday of the month), when all the stores stay open late, serve cocktails and traditional Swedish bites and offer discounts.

Here, discover Indagare’s can’t-miss boutiques and where to stop for lunch before or after shopping.

Where to Shop

The compact, seven-block area that is SoFo is the most concentrated area for one-of-a-kind shopping in Stockholm. The main streets, Nytorgsgatan, Bondegatan, Skånegatan and Södermannagatan are lined with concept stores and sustainable boutiques, catering to everyone from posh fashionistas to stroller-pushing parents. The first stop on any SoFo visit should be at Pärlans Konfektyr, a vintage-feeling candy shop famous for its caramels (the vanilla salt variety is a favorite) and retro furnishings. After stocking up on sweet treats, pop into the neighboring Mini Rodini for kid-sized versions of the area’s signature hipster fashions. Acne (Nytorgsgatan 36), one of Sweden’s most fashion-forward brands, has an outpost just down the road (although it is smaller than the line’s flagship in Stockholm’s city center), where visitors can pick up minimalist styles for men and women. Jean fanatics will find their fill at Dr. Denim, an industrial-style boutique selling everything from jackets and overalls to a variety different of washes of jeans. Just a few blocks away is Stutterheim, a local brand that is responsible for turning raincoats into a wardrobe staple for Stockholm’s most chic fashionistas. Last but not least is SoFo’s most famous concept store: Grandpa. The adored boutique stocks all ingredients for a hipster-approved lifestyle: Tex-Mex cookbooks, beard trimmers, vintage home furnishings and a curated selection of designs from Scandinavian clothing lines.

Related: Stockholm Shopping Guide

Where to Eat

Scandinavia as a whole has always emphasized local produce and fresh ingredients, but the dining scene in Stockholm, and particularly SoFo, has shifted towards truly health conscious over the past few years. A hotbed for vegetarian and vegan eateries, SoFo is teaming with wholesome dining spots, but there are also some indulgent options for those looking for heartier fare. Opened in 2015, Woodstockholm is one of the most talked-about places in Stockholm. Inspired by the founders’ other venture, a nature-inspired furniture line, the veggie-centric restaurant serves a changing menu that highlights seasonal produce in dishes like radishes served in a tiny ceramic pot filled with kimchi mayo and a dusting of “dirt” made from almonds and toasted rye bread. To stock up for a picnic in the nearby Nytorget Park, visit Urban Deli Nytorget, the second outpost of a popular food hall in downtown Stockholm. The space has a market for to-go goods, a restaurant for sit-down meals and a bar for all-day imbibing. Foodies looking to splurge should opt for lunch at Nytorget 6, a casual neighborhood spot serving rustic bistro fare including mini burgers and baked figs with goat cheese, as well as Swedish specialties like reindeer heart.

Related: Top Tables Stockholm

Published onJuly 13, 2016

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