An Introduction to Stockholm Fine-Dining
Nū is a fine-diner that should be the talk of the town. Chef Sayan Isaksson – who is the former-chef at Esperanto which has permanently closed – cooks up a tasting menu with Nordic ingredients, Japanese techniques and a punchy flavour profile. Adam/Albin re-opened last Autumn [post-Covid] with a refurbished dining room and doing only one service for 31 guests. It’s all ambiance there. It has super somms and a tasting menu that’s more veggie and less caviar, and is both beautiful and tasty. It really should have been awarded a star years ago. For fire-cooking on a Nordic, fine-dining level with lots of fermented elements, try to secure a tasting menu at one-Michelin-starred Ekstedt. Head chef Florencia Abella is kick-ass and is super talented! There is an excellent natural wine pairing on offer. A major celebratory event calls for three-Michelin-starred Frantzén, which is the best we’ve got in the country. Chef Daniel Berlin is opening his new restaurant in southern Sweden soon and I’m really looking forward to it.
Petri is a fairly new fine diner by chef Petter Nilsson, who was formerly at Spritmuseum and is associated with the bistronomie movement in Paris. At Petri, he mixes Nordic and French techniques with the best produce to make something that’s very unique in style. Through his artistic ways with food, he is pushing the ambitions of small scale fine-dining forward. Chef Björn Frantzén opened Brasserie Astoria last year, a 300-seater that will certainly be a game-changer for mid-segment restaurants. Lucy’s Flower Shop is a sustainable cocktail bar that uses zero citrus. It replaces it with the waste of cider producer Fruktstereo to make cocktails with very precise flavour profiles.
Stockholm’s Best Lunch Spot
The city’s best lunch at the moment is at Coco & Carmen. It runs from Wednesday to Thursday and is a steal at 295 kr for five courses plus snacks. The Punk Royale group are behind it, which now includes an ex-Noma family member: the smiley Kat Bont who you might bump into there. Don’t miss out on the schlurp of vodka and caviar off your hand!
Best Chinese in the Nordic Countries
Surfers is a Sichuan restaurant that’s especially close to my heart. I was involved in running it back when it first opened on Gotland, an island in the middle of the Baltic Sea. It was and still is owned by my best friend Mymlan Isenborg. She works with Ludvig Sääf, a designated Baiju (Chinese distilled liquor) waiter who owns the floor, singing and serving. All in all, this restaurant is one of the best interpretations of a Chinese kitchen in the Nordic countries. And, yes, I’m biassed.
Under the Radar
The city’s best Mexican food, by far, is from a basement underneath restaurant Symbios. Tacy has no sign: it’s a place for those who know, where tortilla bread is made by hand à la minute. You can combine that Swedish taco with exquisite China porcelain shopping and a visit to the Artipelag art museum. It’s a 24-minute bus ride from Slussen to Gustavsberg. You can also visit Kersh Kaffe: excellent coffee micro-roasters that make super good pizza and have a bar that serves wine and coffee cocktails.
Stockholm’s Disappearing Bakeries
With two of the city’s top bakeries closed (Petrus and Sebastien pa Soder), we are desperate for Richard Hart to expand from Copenhagen and open a Hart bakery here! In the meantime, we’re lucky to have Café Pascal baking good bread in two establishments, one on Norrtullsgatan 4 and another one on Skånegatan 76.
An All-Time Favourite
Café Nizza is a cosy bistro I love going to. It has the most consistent menu in the city and all dishes are cooked to perfection. The kitchen is mainly focused on the cuisines of southern France and northern Italy, with an excellent selection of wine from small scale producers. Dishes from Nice were prominent at first, seeing as the food originates from the borders between the two countries, where they argue about the origins of every dish (including whether it’s pesto or pistou) like it was a matter of life and death. Now, everyone comes for the Cacio e Pepe Fermentata. This dish knocks me out of my seat every time. You’ll always find me at the round corner table to the right, just by the sofa when you walk in.
When I want a high-standard, typical Swedish fare, I go to Sillkafé, a restaurant in Old Town devoted to herring. It’s the real deal: snaps to drink included. I try to save some space for the meatballs at Den Gyldene Freden, which is a minute’s walk away and is said to be one of the oldest restaurants in the Nordic countries (opened in 1722).
“A Schnitzel That I’m Currently Raving About”
Restaurang Liebling has a schnitzel that I’m currently raving about. Don’t miss out on adding cumin butter to it! Just to be clear here: this is not your typical German bierstube. It’s a hip place where you’ll find the service staff cracking a bottle open when off-duty. The restaurateurs from Tjoget – a 50 Best-listed bar with excellent cocktails – are behind it. There’s a great selection of natural wine at Liebling, with many fine labels from Austria and Germany of course, and they’re very reasonably priced.
Boutique Hotel With a Hidden Gem Inside
Ett Hem is a privately owned luxury hotel in Stockholm that’s been an industry secret for years, known for it’s very good food and homely vibes. It’s a gem so hidden that you have to ring a door bell to get in. Before, the restaurant at Ett Hem – which means “a home” in Swedish – would only accept external guests if there were were spots left, but as of this Autumn the hotel has expanded to 22 rooms and an extra restaurant that’s open for everyone. Sit at the counter by the open kitchen and enjoy a daily five-course menu made with the best seasonal produce which they display in front of you and cook in a rustic yet elegant manner. There’s often a steak tartar, a vegetarian dish (like deep fried artichokes), a handmade pasta, a main of fish or meat and a dessert. The extensive wine list can make any wine-lover shed a tear.
Wine, Wine, Wine
Babette is a must stop at some point on a night out. The service is laid back, but still super professional, so many regulars frequent it. Casual-style food by chef Olle T Cellton is served and includes the city’s best thin-crust pizza: crispy and offered in a daily selection of four (the tomato-based Stracciatella is amazingly tasty!) The wine list is a never-ending story. It’s full of carefully-selected handcrafted wines, from natural and remote newbies to more classical styles and regions. You’ll never get stressed choosing a glass, because somm-owner Fredrik Lundberg (aka @thewineburglar) will match you up with your perfect glass in a second. It’s convenient to combine a visit to Babette with a hop to Savant Bar, which carries the best natural wine selection in the city including its own imports. Cave Nizza is a local wine bar that’s kind of new and feels like a piece of Paris in Stockholm. It’s perfect for an aperitivo and is where I go for wines by the glass and tasty snacks. I’m also very fond of Bar Agrikultur. It has gorgeous little dishes that are made to share. I go there for a glass of wine and a snack, and I’ll sometimes stay for a full dinner.
Döner That’s Close to the Real Deal
When I return from a trip abroad, I always want kebab. I am lucky to have had Çok döner recently open next to where I live in Nytorget. It’s the closest thing to an Istanbul-style doner. It’s all about the bread and the quality of meat. The ingredients are topnotch all around and are handpicked by owner Mahmut Suvakci, who also happens to be an actor! He co-owns Çok with his friend chef Adnan Aykal and Joel Kinnaman (as in the Hollywood actor, yes!).
An Island Trip Combined with a Stellar Dinner and Breakfast
I love taking the retro archipelago boat out to Svartsö, an island that’s a little far out. Restaurant Svartsö Krog is there and it serves elegant, rustic food from local producers, which in itself is admirable in the archipelago. It spills good natural wine, so book way in advance and stay over in a glamping tent, which is placed next to the waters of the Baltic Sea. It’s got proper beds, carpets and a fireplace, and the most amazing breakfast is freshly served in a wooden basket outside the tent in the morning.
Our guides are fact-checked and updated regularly. Read more here.