From breweries to ice cream shops, cheese caves to mussel bars — there’s a world of gastronomy outside Gothenburg. West Sweden is a paradise for food lovers and a road trip around the region can take in so many of these edible delights!

Gula Paviljongen, Ice Cream Cafe in Hjo

Swedish quality meets Italian craftsmanship. Hjo’s own organic ice cream café Gula Paviljongen is set in the heart of the town by the west bank of the lapping waters of Lake Vättern. Savour home-made ice cream, created in the traditional way from locally produced organic cream, milk and eggs. Environmentally-conscious and adhering to sustainability, everything served is either fair trade, organic and/or locally-produced.

The care and attention to detail here is at every turn and as much as possible is created in-house, even the ice-cream cones — organic ingredients, baked and rolled by hand. Take your ‘glass’ to go and stroll around town or bask in the large garden with a cup of coffee surrounded by greenery. If you’re lucky, you might visit on one of the days they have live music!

Qvänum Mat & Malt Brewery, Distillery and Restaurant

Situated in farmland in the tiny, old village of Badene thirty minutes from Lidköping, Qvänum Mat & Malt is a brewery and distillery with food and drink pairings at its heart. An enterprising couple, Claes and Annica Wernerson – both with celebrated credentials in the food industry – almost 15 years ago purchased this farmland, renovated the old barn and created an award-winning distillery, brewery and restaurant. Why the name? Well it’s the marriage of food, malt (brewing) and Qvänum, the traditional, more fancier name for the more modern placename Kvänum.

This micro distillery specialises in traditional methods and focuses on ale-style beers and spirits. Adjoining the brewery and distillery is a restaurant where the drinks can truly be savoured in flavour pairings alongside some of the finest local produce. Events, brewery nights and special tasting sessions are also regularly organised. There’s also a mid-19th century farmhouse which sleeps small groups also on the property available for private bookings.

Köksträdgården (The Vegetable Garden Inn)

The first roadside inn to be certified by A Taste of West Sweden, Köksträdgården is located at Lockryd Centre on road 27, 20km south of Borås and one hour’s drive from Gothenburg. A Taste of West Sweden usually reserve this certification for restaurants, producers and farm shops, each of which offer local, seasonal west Swedish products and demonstrate sustainable practices.

There’s a daily-changing lunch special using what’s freshest and plentiful, whether it’s comforting Bratwurst on a Friday or smoked salmon with dill potato salad on a Tuesday. Stop by for weekend brunch en route to a leisurely drive exploring the beauty of West Sweden. Köksträdgården opens weekdays 10am ’til 5pm, and weekends ’til 4pm.

Falbygdens Osteria Cheese Heaven

Obsessed by ost? In Falköping, you will find Falbygdens Osteria with its 25metre-long cheese counter with lots of local Swedish options as well as a wide selection from around the world. Maturing in an impressively well-stocked cheese cellar, you can take a tour around the cellar to hear about the history of the shop — which dates back to 1878 — and taste some of the most delicious cheeses in stock, learning how they select and age each cheese variety. In the restaurant you can enjoy a buffet including tasty cheeses followed by homemade cakes and coffee.

Musselbaren, The Mussel Bar

Welcomed by the smell of fresh seafood, at the Musselbaren Lyckorna in Ljungskile, a little over 30 minutes from Trollhättan, mussels are given pride of place.

Offering a real Bohuslän experience, the Mussel Bar is located by the historic health spa resort of Lyckorna with a restaurant and bar overlooking the sea and the daily boat trips through the surrounding fjords.

Using mussels from Scanfjord’s farms, the dishes are kept simple here and allow the molluscs to speak for themselves. Each mussel dish is served with classic accompaniments and delicious sauces. Three of the signature dishes are always on the menu: moules frites, moules marinière and moules Roquefort. As far as possible, they keep things local and seasonal as well as hand-made in-house as often as possible — from the daily bread to the aioli freshly whipped each morning.

From here you can even go on a mussel expedition (April — October) and try your hand at harvesting fresh ones whilst The Mussel Bar also sells local produce, fresh mussels and accessories. They close for the chilly winter season and re-open in Spring!

Passion för Mat (Passion for Food) Festival

And Finally, back to Gothenburg for an established annual event in the city: the Passion for Food Festival brings together handpicked producers, exceptional produce, ingredient suppliers and a line-up of chefs and established food industry personalities.

Taking place each Spring, 2018’s Festival will be held in Gothenburg’s Eriksbergshallen between 2nd and 4th March.

Taste some local beers and spirits, as well as the finest hand-picked wines and Champagnes. Take part in tastings and microseminars on food topics and themes, from tasting chocolate to understanding knives and much more.

Cheer on Sweden’s top chefs during a cook-off which will pit four of the country’s most established and decorated chefs against each other, including the legendary Leif Mannerström, former owner of the Michelin starred restaurant Sjömagasinet. Entry costs 180SEK per adult, 100SEK for youths (ages 8–16) and children under 8 are free of charge if accompanied by an adult.