MatadorU faculty, editor, and travel photographer Lola Akinmade takes us through her city’s annual Smaka på Stockholm (Taste of Stockholm) festival.

Stockholm really isn’t considered a culinary capital. After all, it’s been tough shaking off its fish-eating image, but ever since celebrity chef Jamie Oliver called Stockholm his surprisingly”perfect gastro city break” in a piece for the Guardian UK along with a reverent slideshow, new gastronomical attention has been cast on this Scandinavian city.

And there was not better place to sample all Stockholm had to offer in a single go than at its annual Smaka på Stockholm festival which gathers the city’s most popular restaurants into tents at Kungsträdgården to dish out their specialties.


1. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival spans 5 days with 400,000 visitors sampling 200 different dishes, making it Stockholm's largest summer event.


2. Many independent vendors also get in on the action by setting up little stands.


3. Sweet-smelling brandied almonds.


4.Meals usually start at roughly 25 SEK ($3) and climb much higher pretty quickly. It still is Stockholm, after all.


5.Spicy meals served up by Latino & Cajun.


6.Quintessential Stockholm fashionistas in their recognizable attire...overflowing tops, leggings, flat shoes.


7.A sexier version of Sweden's traditional outfit.


8.A patron digging into some juicy grilled Turkish kebab meat.


9.Local acts and cover bands are invited to entertain the crowd.


10.The festival is prime for people-watching as nothing unites Stockholm's liberal residents quicker than food.


11.Pets are also welcome and act as walking garbage disposals.


12. One of several communal condiment tables.


13.Laying out tortilla chips which go well with tasty adult beverages.


14. In true eco-friendly fashion and sticking with its 2010 European Green Capital status, most, if not all, of the restaurants participating serve ecological and organic products.Here, the green sign above the menu states that the beef is organic.


15. Once patrons grab their meals, they gather beneath large tents to eat, drink, chat and rest up before going for the next round of food.