Har du lunch låda?
After an incredible wedding and 5-week honeymoon, I was definitely feeling the holiday blues when I got back to work. Don’t get me wrong, in this country where you must speak Swedish to work in most other fields, I am grateful to be employed. I did miss hiking all over Italy though (most notably the Cinque Terre – blog post coming soon).
Is it me or do Swedes take their lunch break super early? Well at my office anyway, most people take their lunch around 11:15. Restaurants around my area are busy from 11-1pm and then it’s pretty dead. During that busy lunch period, restaurants have queues for everything. A queue for paying, a queue for picking up food, a queue for getting coffee etc. So very Swedish!
Usually, I don’t have time to bring a packed lunch (lunch låda) so I go out with coworkers to try the local fare. In Sweden, lunch time on a weekday means “Dagens lunch”! Everyday, restaurants offer a meat, fish or a vegetarian option and sometimes even a lunch buffet. The salad bar is included of course, but people only get salad once (even if it is All-You-Can-Eat). If that salad bar was in North America, I’m sure people who go back as many times as they wanted.
The meal is followed by coffee and a cookie that you can either have at the restaurant or take away. My coworkers like to joke that the restaurants that charge for coffee during lunch or don’t include a cookie are lame and get minus points in their books.
Back to the subject of “Dagens lunch”. After working in the same area for over a year and just coming back from a summer eating delicious Italian cuisine it was hard to bring myself to eat Husmans mat. “Husmans” is another term you will see around on the menus, which I was told means “local” or “traditional” swedish food.
There are a few different restaurants in the area where I work, which we alternate between. Our company also treats us to lunch twice a month (but it’s usually at places we would only go to if it was free haha).
Lunch time remains one of my favorite times of the day aside from Fika (or Swedish coffee break).
Even if it does get boring, Lunch is definitely the cheaper meal when dining out in Sweden. So next time you are in Sweden, be sure to try the Dagens Lunch!
Köttbullar or meatballs is a classic Swedish meal.
Pea soup and Pancakes is commonly served on Thursdays, ‘Peasoup and Pancake day’. I’m not fond of the Pea soup, but the pannkakor are delicious.