Photo: Fredrik Broman/

At least once in your life, everyone should experience getting up at an unearthly hour to go out into the darkness in Bohuslän – to catch lobster. The water laps against the pier, the air is crystal clear, a cold wind blows, and you can just about make out the red and yellow leaves on the trees. Everything is quiet on the morning when we set off on a lobster safari.

It’s said that the way to the heart is through the stomach. We say the way to the heart is through Western Sweden, a paradise for lovers…especially lovers of good sea-food. The  region’s restaurants are dedicated to preparing the finest cuisine using the freshest ingredients. They’re in stately homes and art nouveau castles, country inns and waterside smokehouses, serving meals from seafood to “slow food” – and providing countless options for romantic dinners à deux.

Photo: Fredrik Broman/

Photo: Henrik Trygg/

The small fishing town of Grebbestad, is a seafood mecca - with 90% of the oysters caught in Sweden landed here! Tourists are able to join fishermen on their boats, who will take them to their favorite oyster fishing spots and fish markets and teach them how to clean and open oysters, before treating them to some of the shellfish with a glass of stout or champagne.

In addition, did you know that almost 50% of all Swedish lobsters comes from Grebebstad?

 You are allowed to start fishing lobster the first Monday after September 20 every year. You are allowed to fish till end of April, but the fishing is best September - December.


Photo: Lobster Safari/ Fredrik Broman/

Nordic cuisine takes over New York City September 13-20  and Los Angeles  October 20-21.

From September 13-20, New York City will be showcasing amazing Nordic chefs, producers, and flavors at the second annual NORTH Food Festival. On the west coast, chefs and cooking classes will be popping up in Los Angeles throughout the year at Austere DTLA - a sleek Nordic lifestyle showroom in Downtown LA. Taste, smell and see what Nordic gastronomy is all about at the largest Nordic Food Festival in the US.

Try Swedish - West Sweden and Gothenburg

Try Swedish is an open invitation from the country of Sweden to taste and explore the world of our food culture. As a country whose southern borders reaches out to touch Europe and whose northern lands expand into the Arctic Circle, the Swedish palate differs vastly from coast to mountain, forest to field. West Sweden, with Gothenburg as its gateway, is a region to explore during the NORTH food festival.

West Sweden and Gothenburg are rapidly gaining a reputation as the ‘foodie’ capital of northern Europe. This is mainly due to the region’s seafood, ranked amongst the best in the world thanks to the cold, mineral-rich waters.

From the fishing villages of Bohuslän, visitors can go on safaris for oysters, mussels, lobster, shrimp and crayfish. The city of Gothenburg is a seafood-lovers’ paradise, complete with a church-like fish market (Feskekörka) and numerous Michelin-starred restaurants where the catch of the day is always on the menu.

Upcoming events at #NORTH14 in New York

Free Pop Up – Coffee the Swedish Way at the Gevalia Kaffe House, September 13

Calling all coffee drinkers! Stop by the NORTH pop up (168 Bowery) to experience Gevalia’s Kaffe House and have a complimentary cup (or two). Enjoy a fika and coffee samplings while you learn how to pour the perfect brew every time.

This will last just as long as samples last, so come join us, drink, and become enlightened!

Cooking Class - A Taste of West Sweden with Chef Frida Ronge, September 13

Learn how to cook like a real Gothenburger, and explore the fresh seafood based cuisine of West Sweden. Get the right techniques, inspiring recipes and a lots of new knowledge in this mouthwatering cooking class at The International Culinary Center.

Chef Frida Ronge of the acclaimed vRÅ restaurant in Gothenburg will be bringing her varied and exciting Swedish cuisine to New York City for the first time ever, and this is a unique opportunity to work with one of the best female chefs in the Nordic region. Chef Ronge was recently named the Rising Star of the Year by the prestigious White Guide – and she effortlessly merges fresh Asian influences with delicious cooking from the Swedish West Coast.

So roll up your sleeves, sharpen your knives and dive into a world of West Swedish cooking and cuisine. Location: NORTH POP UP (168 Bowery)

Indulgent Swedish Coffee and Dessert Tasting, September 13

Partnered with Gevalia, NORTH will be hosting a delightful culinary experience, both sweet and bitter. So skip dessert at dinner, and have dessert for dinner instead at the NORTH pop up on the Bowery.

Featured chefs will create a coffee-infused dessert menu and pairings, recipes inspired by and made with Gevalia. For the coffee and dessert lovers alike, this pop up evening will certainly satisfy that sweet-tooth craving, and keep you awake long enough to enjoy every last bite.

The Nordic Street Food Festival, Brooklyn Brewery, September 14

Hosted at Brooklyn Brewery, the Nordic Street Food Festival will be incredibly fun and delicious. Several different Nordic chefs, including Sami Tallberg and Frida Ronge, will be stationed inside Brooklyn Brewery’s Tasting Room, offering small bites of some of their favorite Scandinavian dishes. Swing by for some refreshing beer and great food at this truly unique food fest – we will be open to the public all day!

Cooking Class - Nordic Pastry Class with Chef Maria Östberg at FIKA, September 14

New York’s favorite coffee and chocolate purveyor, Maria Östberg at FIKA, will be teaching a Swedish pastry class. Cinnamon buns, cakes, and chocolate balls will be taking over the ICC as you become enlightened about how to bake like a true Swede.

Chef Östberg has been educated at revered culinary schools and worked at incomparable restaurants in Sweden. Come hungry, indulge yourself in pastry delights, and connect with real talent. Location: The International Culinary Center

Cooking Class - Swedish Culinary Safari with Chef Ulrika Bengtsson, presented by Try Swedish, September 14

Swedish cuisine is more than just meatballs, and while there are many long-standing culinary traditions in the country, the dishes vary widely based on region. Chef Ulrika Bengtsson is coming to NORTH 2014 to take New York foodies on a culinary safari throughout Sweden. From North to South and East to West, you will familiarize yourself with Swedish dishes both traditional and progressive.

Many New Yorker’s fondly remember Chef Ulrika Bengtsson (and her meatballs) as the owner and Chef of Ulrika’s, which she ran successfully for 7 years, beginning in 1999.

Chef Bengtsson has over 20 years of culinary experience both in New York and Sweden, her home country. After her time at Ulrika’s, she was the head of food and beverage at The Roger Smith Hotel, as well as the Nordic themed restaurant group Smörgås Chef. She has also been featured regularly on TV, both in her native Sweden, and here in her adopted home town of New York City. Location: The International Culinary Center

Nordic Hot Dog Championship at The Nordic Street Food Festival, Brooklyn Brewery, September 15

Award-winning Nordic chefs will go head-to-head in our not-so-traditional hot dog championship. Each chef will create their best interpretation of a Nordic sausage, to be judged by both a panel of esteemed judges as well as all participating guests. Enjoy a sample dog from each booth, as well as an open bar.

If you like interesting hot dogs, mouth-watering beer, and some old-fashioned competition, then join NORTH at the Brooklyn Brewery on Monday night!

Ticket Price: $49 (Includes food, cider, coffee, and an open beer bar)

Kitchen Collaboration – Chefs Emma Bengtsson & Frida Ronge Team Up at Aquavit, September 16

Chef Frida Ronge of vRÅ in Sweden and Emma Bengtsson, Head Chef at Aquavit are collaboration for an impressive and unforgettable dinner collaboration. After a short reception to relax and get in the mood, guests will enjoy a dinner showcasing delicious seafood and Nordic cuisine. The six course menu will include pairings for each course.

Call Aquavit to reserve a table for the delicious collaboration dinner. This menu will be available on September 16 only and will include 6 courses with beverages pairings for $200, inclusive of tax and gratuity. To book a table, email reservations to:

Invite Only – Try Swedish – A Taste of Western Sweden, September 17

Visit Sweden hosts a panel discussion digging into the wonders of the Swedish West Coast and its culinary marvels. The panel includes Rising Star Chef Frida Ronge together with Ami Hovstadius, communications manager for Sweden – the new culinary nation at VisitSweden, Jill Axelsson, Project manager foodtourism at West Sweden Tourist Board, and travel and food writers Debra Agren and Edward Nesta. Kalle Bergman, Editor-in-Chief of Honest Cooking, will be the moderator of the panel.

Exclusive Dinner - Try Swedish with Chef Frida Ronge, Wednesday, September 17

Presented by VisitSweden, the NORTH pop up will host an exclusive seafood dinner prepared by Head Chef of vRÅ, Frida Ronge. Chef Ronge was recently named the Rising Star of the Year by the prestigious White Guide - and she effortlessly merges fresh Asian influences with delicious cooking from the Swedish West Coast. The result is inspiring, exciting and absolutely mouthwatering.

Join us at the pop up space (168 Bowery) to experience a little bit of Sweden here in New York City. Tickets include multi course menu, including wine and coffee.

Free Pop Up – Swedish Craft Beer Tasting, presented by Brooklyn Brewery, September 18

Earlier this year Brooklyn Brewery opened a sister brewery, Nya Carnegiebryggeriet, in Stockholm, Sweden. This joint venture represents the landmark endeavor of being the first American-operated craft brewery in Europe.

The Nya Carnegiebryggeriet line of beers are a true collaboration marked by Swedish tradition and sensibility and American technique and innovation. Join us for an afternoon happy hour at the NORTH pop up, featuring the new Nya Carnegiebryggeriet beers, and experience a project that is truly groundbreaking.

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Photo: Henrik Trygg/

This September, Honest Cooking, an award-winning international digital culinary magazine, will for the second time be teaming up with some of the world’s most influential restaurants for NORTH - the largest ever Nordic Food Festival in the US. New York City will be showcasing amazing Nordic chefs, producers, and flavors and we invite you to come taste, smell and see what Nordic gastronomy is all about:

West Sweden and Gothenburg are virtual gateways to an archipelago of a sustainable culinary experience that seeks to delight travelers and educate them, but oh, so gently. This idyllic and poetic region is even more appealing this summer as celebrity chefs add new dining spots, countryside guest houses develop new packages and seafood safaris take guests to forage for their own dinners.

New mussel bar in Ljungskile opens July 16

The folks who run the charming clock tower by the sea of Ljungskile have built a glass hothouse where they will serve their own mussels. The freshly harvested mussels are being  cultivated just a few feet away. Guests prop themselves on long benches inside the belltower’s cozy boathouse to watch over the sea or simply stand by as the mussels are cooked on an outdoor pot.

 Tracing a Delectable Food Chain: from Sea to Canal

Two lodging pearls of the Göta Canal experience — the 13-room countryside Styrsö Skäret Guest House and the Norrqvarn Hotel and Conference Center that dates back to the early 1900s when it was a mill – have created a two-night culinary adventure that brings guests face to face with producers and farm shops from the coastline to the channel along the chain of locally-grown foods that appear on their fine menus.

Both properties boast restaurants that have been certified by A Taste of WestSweden and are listed in the White Guide, Sweden’s leading restaurant guide that presents the trendiest, the coolest, most culturally exotic places to dine.

Guests stay one night at the beguiling Styrsö Skäret for the first night, which is a 15-minute ferry ride from the metropolis of Gothenburg to the car-free island of Styrsö. Guests are free to stroll, fish, paddle or hike enjoying the beautiful  archipelago.

On the second day guests head for the Göta Canal, Sweden’s third most visited attraction,to the Norrqvarn. Guests are equipped with maps in hand illustrating the shops and farms of local producers that both Styrsö and Norrqvarn patronize to produce their menus.

Guests will visit the farm shops and the local producers on the way from Styrsö island to Göta Canal.

Besides its traditional rooms, the Norrqvarn Hotel & Conference Center has Troll Stumps that are actually comfortable rooms inside giant manmade tree stumps that can accommodate up to four people and are extremely popular with families.

 Seafood Safaris and Spa Trekking on Smögen

The only thing you have to bring are your wellies to join Smögens Hafvsbad’s new crayfish adventure. You’ll go on a seafood safari with local fishermen, pull up the creels and boil the fresh crayfish in the boathouse or you might get a close-up look at the fish auction on Smögen jetty. It’s not all work, the package includes an overnight stay at this legendary turn-of-the-century hotel whose latest extension faces the sea and blends into the landscape, a dinner of the freshest catches and an old-fashioned spa treatment. Smögen is among one of West Sweden’s oldest and most authentic archipelago communities.Its polished rock face forms a dramatic backdrop for the colorful boat houses that border the seafront.

 Celebrity Chef Closes One Door to Open Another

While many were disappointed to learn that last year’s Restaurateur of the Year, Stefan Karlsson, closed his Michelin-starred restaurant known as Fond, he inaugurated another. The SK Mat & Människor that will re-open on September 3, will feature seasonal local produce on its menu. Housed in a former glazier, the venue has been carefully renovated and decorated with custom-built furniture with an open kitchen. Guests who would rather act than watch, can book a cooking course.

 Food Truck Brigade Hits Gothenburg

At one time the only game in town was the Strömmingsluckan, which served quotidian Swedish favorites such as fried herring with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, but it now has a lot more company. This year 10 food trucks out of 35 applicants have
met the criteria to receive licenses to tool around Gothenburg serving everything from Mexican burritos, to Swedish classics, locally produced vegetarian meals to Ethiopian cuisine and Swedish Sunday roasts made by veteran restaurateurs to young entrepreneurs.  But customers have to be on their toes because food trucks can pop up just about anywhere in town. Chances are, some bright person will figure out an app to track them down.

 Atelier - new restaurant at Boutique hotel

Set in the heart of Gothenburg, the Hotel Pigalle wants to impress its guests. Specifically, its = mission is to knock you off your feet. This includes doing away with natty details like being one of the first no-cash hotels anywhere. Steeped in decadent 19th century décor of sinful Paris, there is nothing decadent about how it serves up incredible dishes, some that might appear on the menu just once. The Atelier menu is internationally-inspired while relying solely on local produce, the chefs’ moods and the seasons. To stress the farm-to-table link, suppliers and the location of their farms is noted on the menu. Atelier has a popular rooftop.

 Meet 2014’s World Champion Bartender at Clarion Hotel Posts

When folks at the Norda Bar and Grill at the Clarion Hotel Posts in Gothenburg claim they have Sweden’s best bartender, they’re not just bragging. Dosa Ivanov won the the coveted title of World Champion Bartender in London’s Leicester Square earlier this year. Donning a straw hat, a Chinese robe, he carried a wok filled with a mysterious cocktail that managed to dribble into the tower of glasses he stacked.

Ivanov doesn’t part with his recipes except to say he strives for ​​cocktails made with love and harmony between sweet and sour. The Champion Bartender will represent Sweden in the World Cup in Cape Town.


Photo: Henrik Trygg/

West Sweden is a wonderful setting for outdoor activities, with its rocky coastline of 8,000 islands, as well as lakes and forests providing the perfect landscape for adventurers. Visitors can partake in all types of activity, including sea kayaking, canoeing, hiking, horse riding, cycling and mountain biking with a GPS.

Paddling / kayaking

Paddling is one of the best ways to explore Sweden’s captivating coastline.There are no strong currents or tidal waters and the water is warm during the summer and early fall. Paddling for all levels of experience is available – calm, sheltered waters for people who have never tried kayaking before, and exposed deep-sea stretches for the more experienced adventurist.

Choose from self-guided or expert-led guided kayak trips, each featuring top quality accommodations, delicious cuisine and soothing spa visits. Or, why not get even closer to nature by wild camping along the way instead? Many of the islands have BBQ stations, allowing kayakers to cook-up a hearty meal. And with no shortage of islands to choose from, paddlers very often get to camp on their own private island. This is because visitors have unlimited access to nature in Sweden thanks to its freedom to roam law, making it legal to trespass, camp, fish and pick berries on private and public land.

Popular kayaking locations include the idyllic Koster Islands – set in Kosterhavet Marine National Park as well as the Fjällbacka archipelago, one of the region’s most sheltered settings. Other highlights include The Weather Islands, where kayakers will often spot seal colonies, as well as the pretty islands of Orust and Tjörn.

Dalsland lake district is an awe-inspiring setting for paddling, too, with its labyrinth of glittering rivers and lakes, surrounded by deep forest. Set off on a canoeing adventure as part of a relaxing holiday in the region, resting in an overnight tipi or cottage right by the lake. Or challenge yourself by taking on the famous annual Dalsland Canoe Marathon (August 9) - Sweden’s biggest canoeing competition, with over 1,000 competitors of all abilities tackling the 55km (34 miles) course. Alternatively, there’s the Dalsland Open Water, which is all about paddling the race in your own time, without participating in the actual race. The only requirement is that participants complete the 55 km (34 miles)  course within three consecutive days!

Hiking / walking

Walking in West Sweden is an absolute treat for lovers of enchanting natural beauty, wildlife and calm, friendly towns. There are many well marked trails and maps available and visitors can combine hiking trips with tours of the scenic towns. Good walking trails can be found throughout numerous nature reserves in Bohuslän, including the car-free Koster islands set in Kosterhavet Marine National Park, and The Weather islands, West Sweden’s most westerly, windy and warmest islands.

Another popular hiking area in Bohuslän is Fjällbacka, the setting of the best-selling author Camilla Läckberg’s crime fiction novels, which have been successful all over Europe. There are numerous trails available where you can visit Lackberg’s murder scenes, including a 3km (1,5 miles) Valo hike, where you can then relax at Valö Pesionat and have a fika (coffe break) or lunch in the garden. Guests can also trek up Vetteberget Mountain, which towers over the village and provides one of the best views of the region.

There are numerous hiking trails in Dalsland too, where you can explore the shimmering lakes and deep forests, as well as Västergötland, which offers a step back in time through a wealth of immaculate manor houses, historical sites and beautiful countryside. Explore the historic Göta Canal or attempt the two-day Kinnekulle hiking trail.

Running in West Sweden is extremely popular, due to the varied inclines, terrain and interesting running trails. Smögen in Bohuslän is particularly ideal for both hiking and running. The Kuststigen and Sotenleden trails in Smögen have the most to offer when it comes to exciting environments. Everything from magical forests, smooth red granite slabs, unique stone quarries and small enchanting fishing villages. The Icebug Xperience (September 3 – 7) is a brand new three-day 80km (34 miles) outdoor activity in Smögen, where you can chose to either walk or run. The challenge is for all abilities and competitors can stop for lunch, and then in the evening, enjoy delicious locally produced food. There’s also the Dalsland X Trail (October 4), a 12km (7,8 miles)  running event through Dalsland’s stunning scenery.


There’s also an array of cycling opportunities available across the region. Feel the sea breeze in your hair and your relaxation levels reach new heights, as you cycle in the Bohuslän coastal region, where many of the islands are car-free and extremely safe. The Koster Islands are an especially scenic setting for cycling and there’s also Skaftölandet island, where you can take a tour from Lysekil and explore quaint fishing villages. There are also a range of cycling trips available in the Göta Canal area, offering visitors the chance to take in this historic, calming setting from the saddle of a bike.

Press contact in USA: Annika Benjes, Director PR VisitSweden

Phone: 212 885 9762 (for media only); 212 885 9700 (for consumers)


Photo: Henrik Trygg/





Take a  cruise through Bohuslän on the Swedish West Coast  with Kulturbåtarna. The vessel M/S Svea will bring you from Göteborg up through the beautiful coastal  landscape towards Fjällbacka.

Whether you choose a day trip or a multi-day cruise, this will be an unforgettable trip.

The tour can also be done reverse, travel by bus to Fjällbacka and cruise south with M/S Svea towards Göteborg


Photo: Henrik Trygg/

The Food Journey coastline to forest - experience the Göta Canal and Gothenburg’s Archipelago. Eat well, live well and on the journey, visit farm shops and meet our producers who lovingly generate their produce. You will stay and eat at the Norrqvarn Hotell & Konferens by the Göta Canal and at the Styrsö Skäret Guest House - Gothenburg in the Archipelago. Two pearls of West Sweden that you now have the opportunity to enjoy in one and the same package.


Photo: Fredrik Broman/ imagebank.sweden.s

The Icebug Xperience is a new outdoor event in the archipelago of Bohuslän. Participants spend three days walking or running through a varied and stunning natural landscape. The region, ranked by CNN as the seventh most beautiful wilderness in the world, offers magical forests, agricultural land and the windswept coast, with its pink granite and smooth rocks.

Photo:  Andreas Nordström/