It came as a surprise in 2021 when Äng in the tiny village of Ästad received the first Michelin star in Halland, a sleepy rural county between Gothenburg and the country’s breadbasket, Skåne. By 2022, when restaurant Knystaforsen nabbed a star, the trend was clear. The area’s vast tracts of fertile farmland, teeming forests, and breathtaking coastline have attracted an ambitious cast of restaurateurs, natural wine fans, adventurous foragers, and entrepreneurs. They’re not only using the raw ingredients of the land and sea around them, but also luring guests into the wilderness, where they can disconnect from daily life and connect to the meals in front of them. As this region gains buzz in between Northern Europe’s gastro-capitals, it’s now clear this is only the beginning for Halland. — Per Styregård
Map: The 16 Essential Halland Restaurants
The idyllic pocket of Sweden that’s glowing up
Fika is a hallowed part of the Swedish day, a critical daily (or hourly) break for coffee and baked goods. Cinnamon and cardamom rolls are standard, but in Halland, bakeries offer an exciting fika of unique local sweets made with regional flours and fruits. Here’s what to order.
At a summer house-turned-bakery, this sweet wheat bun filled with creamy custard utilizes flour from local Berte and Limabacka mills.
Solbulle at Solhaga Stenugnsbageri
Borgmästargården’s pain perdu is made from yesterday’s rolls, served with the bakery’s own jam and whipped cream.
Pain perdu at Borgmästargården Kafé
This Falkenberg cafe, set in a turn-of-the-century villa, serves puff pastry filled with baked apple, butterscotch, and cinnamon, all drenched in vanilla sauce.
Apple bomb at Stålboms Konditori
At Kustbageriet in coastal Varberg, this multilayered sweet Danish pastry comes filled with marzipan and jam.
Spandauer at Kustbageriet
Another name for this sweet is dammsugare, Swedish for “vacuum cleaner,” not only because it looks like an old vacuum but because it’s said to be made with scraps from the bakery floor.
Punsch-roll at Feldts Bröd & Konfekt
Erin DeJesus, Erin Perkins, Stephanie Wu
Austin Bush, Priyadarshini Chatterjee, Justin De La Rosa, Hillary Eaton, Bill Esparza, Yasmine Fofana, James Hansen, Leisha Jones, Bettina Makalintal, Nikki Miller-Ka, Katie Parla, Linh Phan, Toni Potenciano, Gina Smith, Per Styregård, Pierre Gorgui Thiam
Nadia Q. Ahmad, Leilah Bernstein, Rachel P. Kreiter
Kaitlin Bray, Avery Dalal, Frances Dumlao, Kristen Kornbluth, Mira Milla
Special thanks to
Talia Baiocchi, Terri Ciccone, Adam Coghlan, Missy Frederick, Chloe Frechette, Irina Groushevaia, Damla Heard, Amanda Kludt, Ellie Krupnick, Lizzie Munro, Mary Anne Porto, Lesley Suter, and Aroha and Hamuera Tamihana
Photos, in order of appearance
Xuan Huong Ho, Austin Bush, Anan Saigon, Pizza 4P’s, Austin Bush, Austin Bush, Austin Bush, Zack Frank, Jason B James, Whitney Anderson, Erin Perkins, Gianlu Pi, Katie Parla, Steve Estvanik, Katie Parla, Fabiano Goreme Caddeo, Andrew Lever, Tez Mercer, Rory Dunleavy, Ricardo Barata, Yasmine Fofana, Yasmine Fofana, Najma Orango, Najma Orango, Guayo Fuentes, Steven Burton, Aleksandar Todorovic, Richie Chan, Miguel Nacianceno, Jar Concengco, Toni Potenciano, Wonho Frank Lee, Wonho Frank Lee, Claudio Divizia, Kit Leong, Victoria Ditkovsky, Bill Addison, Justin de la Rosa, Brian Scantlebury, Abir Roy Barman, Ajp, Rudra Narayan Mitra, Artesia Wells, Eva H. Tram, Bar Glou Glou, Stedsans, Iuliia Pilipeichenko, Sofia Kvistborn