… said the lady in a North American accent as she walked across the street with a group of friends, they perhaps visiting the city for the first time. She is certainly not the only Stockholmer to profess a passion for SoFo, many do.
SoFo is the centrepiece of the Sodermalm island, popularly considered the hipster island of Stockholm. It’s name is an abbreviation of South of Folkungagatan, hence SoFo and was inspired by SoHo in Manhattan and London. The owners of the store had intended to rebrand the district as the home of indie creatives in Stockholm. A number of previous posts on this blog have skirted around the district, including restaurants (Meatballs for the People, Fang Yuan Shi Wu, Gojo Ethiopian, Restaurant Pelikan, ), indie stores (The English Bookshop, Stockholms Stadsmission) and pubs (Brothers Olsson Garlic & Shots).
By and large, the plan succeeded, SoFo is the name used by the tourism board to market the district, countless articles cover the various hipster spots at this place. It even was the topic of a short-lived TV serial called Söder om Folkungagatan, a Swedish comedy series about hipster culture and the people who make the area. From the looks of it… it looks, well…. you decide.
Many people who visit Stockholm will make a stop by this district to experience Stockholm’s hipster style, those who visit it though are usually indie tourist or those with the friends in the area, preserving SoFo therefore from becoming a tourist trap. So what makes SoFo special?
In a word, the vibe.
Putting aside the trove of indie fashion that can be found all over SoFo, SoFo is a great place for a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning, where you side by the road side and take a coffee from one of the many cafes in the area.
The district moves with an ease that is even more relaxing than that in the Stockholm main city. A trip here almost takes you out of the humdrum of daily life and into a more dream version of Stockholm. And it is since the Sodermalm district was where Stieg Larsson placed much of his Millennium trilogy of books. The books were turned into movies, a Swedish one (in 2009) and an American remake (2011).
SoFo also also occasionally plays host to farmers markets with fresh produce picked, grown and harvested from around the country.
Taking it all in, it’s not hard to see why for many this place represents a wonderful reprieve from daily life and is also one of the coolest spots in town.
ON THE MAP