Closed for the season.
That is a sentence that I got very familiar with when visiting Gotland in the autumn. No worries though! There are experiences that are available all year around on the island couple hours ferry ride away from Stockholm – and some that are not even possible to have during those sunny and warm summer months.
1. Enjoy the cafes in Visby
Even though part of the central Visby seemed like a ghost town there were still some nice places open. I have to say I think the food does taste better when you have to make a bit of effort to get it. No matter what season you are visiting the island, check out Vegan Gotland blog! It lists comprehensively cafes and restaurants that are vegan friendly.
Hedberg’s Bok och Musik Kafe
Södra Kyrkogatan 4B
Hedberg’s Kafe’s website
On my first evening in Visby I was walking around the empty streets trying to find a place to have dinner. Then I saw Hedberg’s Bok och Musik Kafe and it was everything I needed. It had a cozy atmosphere and both savory and sweet dishes on the menu, some of them vegan. I had a really nice dish with crispy patties, hummus, beans and apple. It was so good that I returned to have lunch the next day before hopping on my bike.
H10 Bar & Cafe
There isn’t much selection for a vegan customer in this cafe that shares the space with some designer boutiques in the central Visby. But who needs that if the one option is amazingly good! A salad with tofu, cashew nuts, lentils, avocado, beans and mayo. I would travel back to Visby just to eat this dish.
The Slope Slope
Skeppsbron 1 (in the summer, Monroe’s is about 50 meters away)
The Slope Slope’s Facebook page
Gotland may have less than 60 000 inhabitants but it has a fully vegan restaurant! Yep, it was closed. They did serve lunch in another restaurant, Monroe’s. I had some chickpea soup to unfreeze myself and it surely did its job and was tasty and filling. The Slope Slope, we will meet next time too.
By the way, if you still are left hungry on your way back to the mainland, the Destination Gotland ferry’s cafe had a vegan hummus and avocado wrap! It was not too shabby.
2. Bike to prove yourself no wind can take you down
I rented a bike and biked from Visby to Tingstäde, a tiny town. I was the only person staying in the guesthouse in Tingstäde. You guessed it: all the other hostels nearby were closed for the winter.
Biking in the autumn is perfect for introverts like me since I saw maybe one human during my 40 kilometres of biking one way. I felt like a superhero when arriving back to Visby without falling to any ditch on the way. I was a bit windy.
3. Admire the funny gardens
The people in Gotland must use their free time in the winter to decorate their gardens. Awesomely weird! Gnomes seem a bit boring after seeing these, don’t they?
4. Eat a burger (d’oh!)
Swedish burger chain Max serves also a vegan burger and they have a restaurant in Gotland too. It seemed that me and all the teenagers of the island wanted some fast food on Friday evening.
The burger doesn’t have a patty but BBQ Oumph accompanied with mayo, salad and jalopenos. I just love Oumph, a Swedish plant protein that has very meaty texture. All the stuff had fallen in the back of the burger so in the photo it looks quite sad and nothing like in the advertisement but do they ever? It was no gourmet, but I do love it when a regular burger restaurant promotes also vegan options that have actually flavour and texture. Step by step towards mainstream!
There has been a lot of debate in Finland about McVegan burger sold in Tampere and if it is a christmas gift with early arrival or a bread and a patty sent by Satan himself. I understand that not everyone wants to support McDonald’s but it is a step towards normalizing the vegan food and showing people that vegan food doesn’t equal with salad or expensive specialities. Gradual improvement, as the Vegan Strategist blog puts it. I didn’t have a chance to eat that one during the test period, let’s see if I get a bite in the future.
Burger count 8 countries, 16 burgers.