When the prestigious White Guide, a guide listing the best restaurants in the Nordic countries, set out to review the restaurants of Luleå, it quickly became apparent that this city is something out of the ordinary when it comes to food.
A remarkable 11 restaurants and cafés were considered to be of a standard high enough to receive a recommendation in the White Guide. For those of us who live here, there is nothing surprising about that – more and more high class restaurants have been established in recent years and visitors can enjoy gourmet dining any day of the week.
You can eat food from every corner of the world in Luleå, flavours from Eritrea to South Korea have found a place in our dining rooms. However, this lively culinary culture may well be rooted in the centuries old, strong food traditions preserved by the people of Luleå. Our restaurants serve traditional food from local producers and our customers are fascinated by the cuisine of Swedish Lapland.
Local horse, beef or reindeer blood sausage with roasted winter apples. Elk carpaccio or smoked, rimmed arctic char. Grilled deer sirloin and homemade, lightly smoked deer sausage or a pâté made with self-caught pike. This is just a small selection of the items on the menus of our award winning restaurants. But how did Luleå become such a foodie paradise? The answer is simpler than you might think. The truth is that Luleå hasn’t reinvented the wheel, nor any dishes. Sure, many of the fancy items listed above are modern takes on our cuisine – but they are rooted in a time when it was nearly impossible to grow anything, for large parts of the year. The ice and the snow forced the people of Arctic Europe to be creative – salted and pickled ingredients became common and to this day they remain staples enjoyed by Luleå’s locals and proudly served by the city’s restaurants. The success of Luleå’s restaurant scene lies in the fact that people managed to find their way back to the roots of the city, to unique and locally produced ingredients.