I travel to eat just as much as I travel to see new sights. Can you really get a feel for a place if you don’t enjoy the food? I think not. And good food doesn’t have to be fancy. I managed to hit a handful of enjoyable places to eat in Malmo, Sweden.

a table full of pizzas and pasta

Ostergarten 25 Pizzeria

This is clearly a locals spot. I arrived right as they opened, plating up a selection of pizza and pasta from the buffet. The pizza and pasta buffet is a single price, and it includes everything that is offered (although alcohol may not be included, that I didn’t ask). For those who aren’t crazy about carb-heavy staples, Ostergarten 25 also  offers several different salads.

No sooner had I sat down than the place filled up. Completely. I felt uncomfortable lingering, which is the American in me showing. It is definitely not the typical expectation at a European restaurant. But I wanted them to be able to turn the table. The place was hopping so much that I had to be careful not to lose my table when I simply got up to refill my plate.

And about refilling the plate. This is the method. I was chided for using more than one plate, per standard American buffet policy.

The food was great. The meatball pizza and the lasagna stood out the most. If you’re at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Gamla Staden, the Ostergarten 25 Pizzeria is close. I wasn’t staying there, but I’m glad I ventured over to find one of the better places to eat in Malmo.

a display case with cakes and desserts

Hollandia

If you’re craving dessert and a coffee, Hollandia can hook you up. Located just across the canal on the south side of Gamla Staden, this bakery and cafe offers coffee and light snacks in a refined setting. It’s been in business as a bakery for over a century and appears popular among both locals and tourists.

It’s a bit expensive compared to other options, but the artistry of the goods is baked into the price. I had a moment where I wanted to try one of everything, even though I’d had lunch 90 minutes prior. I settled for a delicious berry tart accompanied by a coffee. Give it a try if you visit Malmo.

a plate of food on a table

Saltimporten Canteen

If you don’t mind going out of your way for lunch, the Saltimporten Canteen is an excellent choice. Rather than a typical restaurant menu, they simply have a daily menu.The concept is simple. You order lunch, they plate it up, and you sit down and enjoy. The cost is 125 SEK (~$12 USD).

The menu changes daily, and it is clearly posted. I can’t read Swedish and simply took a gamble that it’d be as good as I’d read. The day I visited, the plate was stewed pork with lima beans and onions, garnished with spring greens and seeds. Thank you Google for allowing me to translate everything later. Saltimporten’s explanantion was even simpler, stating “pork”. Never mind how it is prepared (but this was delicious).

There are two downsides to Saltimporten Canteen. First, it is strictly a lunch joint, open three hours daily, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The primary clientele are those working at the businesses at the dock. But the restaurant is open to anyone, and the setting is remarkably nice considering where it is located.

Where is is located is the other downside. Saltimporten Canteen is far from everything. The Story Hotel Studio Hotel Malmo where I stayed is actually among the closer places to the restaurant. But it is still about 15 minutes by foot, and you have to walk through the industrial dock area to get there.

Final Thoughts on Places to Eat in Malmo

I’ll admit that pizza isn’t normally a first choice of mine, at least when I’m not traveling with my kids. But it happened to be an excellent choice while in Malmo. Saltimporten canteen is decidedly more Nordic. There are plenty of other restaurants in Gamla Staden. I tried a few others during my two days in town, but these were the places to eat in Malmo that stood out.