24 Vegan Hours in Gothenburg
There are worse places to be vegan than Gothenburg. While the city’s not as teeming with vegan and vegetarian restaurants as, say, Berlin, your requests for a vegan option won’t be met with quizzical glances or derision. (No one has yet tried to persuade me that cheese is vegan-friendly, which is exactly what happened when I attempted to request a vegan option at a pub in a tiny English village last year.)
So you’ve got a day in the city and no idea where to go. Here’s a guide to getting three square meals in Gothenburg, vegan style.
Gothenburg is surprisingly low on solid vegan breakfast / brunch options. However, any visit to the city would be incomplete without stopping by da Matteo, Gothenburg’s very own fancy (I’m resisting the ‘h’ word) coffee chain. There are four outlets in the city but your best option is at Magasinsgatan, where you can sit in the courtyard (weather permitting) and witness the bakery and roaster in action. They make an excellent vegan sandwich with roasted celery, or if you’re craving something sweet, a divine vegan brownie. If you can hang on a little longer, Crippas Café opens at 11am and offers a variety of solid vegan brunch options, served with good coffee or beer.
The Swedes love a lunch buffet and the best one for vegans is found at Café Hängmattan (weekdays only – it’s a regular lunch menu on weekends, which is also delicious). You’ll find salads, a variety of hot dishes, plus delicious homemade falafel and humous. It’s well-loved, and deservedly so. If you find yourself elsewhere in the city and need to grab a quick bite, Condeco is a safe option. A café chain serving soups, sandwiches, cakes and pizza, with plenty of vegan options, it’s to Gothenburg what Pret is to London – ubiquitous, slightly soulless, but reliable.
My favourite vegan food in the city, hands down, is found at Yamato – a reasonably-priced sushi restaurant with excellent vegan options (i.e., not just avocado and cucumber) and the friendliest staff. For burgers, head to Blackbird, a 100% vegan restaurant that also offers a wide beer selection. Or try burgersson, which caters to carnivores and vegans alike. If you’re in the mood for pizza, Brewers has three vegan options on the menu, along with a wealth of great beers. Wherever you are in the city, you won’t be far from an Ölstugan Tullen outpost, which has a couple of vegan items on the menu and, again, plenty of beer.
If you can’t quite decide which country’s cuisine you’d like to sample, Usagi has dishes from Asia and beyond, most of which are vegan-friendly. For Indian food, try Thali, which caters exclusively for vegans and vegetarians. Hagabion is a fantastic independent cinema in the heart of Linné, with a restaurant that serves reasonably-priced vegetarian and vegan dishes. At the fancier end of the vegetarian dining spectrum is Folk!, which serves tapas-esque dishes that are certainly tasty, but also pretty pricey and a little on the light side. But if you’re still hungry afterwards, there’s always Andrum – an all-day vegetarian and vegan buffet in the heart of the city, with bargain prices.
Once your time in Gothenburg comes to and end and you find yourself back at Landvetter Airport, make sure you stop off at Max – Sweden’s much-loved answer to McDonald’s. Although it’s definitely on the greasy side, it’s billed as “healthier fast food” and they recently started serving a vegan ‘pulled pork’ burger. It’ll definitely keep your tummy from rumbling on the flight home.
All internal images provided by the author. Cover image designed by Selva Beat and illustrated by Elizabeth Stilwell.