Stockholm restaurants are famous for their fantastic food. But it is not all fine dining, with bistros and locals eateries giving the Michelin stars a run for their money.
TAK (roof in Swedish) boasts four different venues under one roof. From the RAW BAR, famous for its sashimis, tartars and oysters, to BAR with its fantastic cocktail creations, to the terrace, situated on top of the building offering incredible views of the Stockholm skyline. Last but not least, there is the restaurant itself, with its contemporary Scandinavian food with a Japanese twist, ensuring that there is something for everyone at TAK.
Since opening in early 2017, this restaurant, rooftop bar, cocktail bar and raw bar, has quickly become one of the most talked-about spots in Stockholm and, as soon as you try its modern fusion food, made from carefully selected local seasonal produce, you will know why. Standout dishes include the arctic char sashimi and daikon, and the tempura-fried salsify with vendace roe.
It is not every day that a chef with multiple Michelin stars and four Swedish Chef of the Year titles opens a restaurant specialising exclusively in lacto-ovo-vegetarian cuisine, but that is exactly with Mathias Dahlgren has done at Rutabaga.
Rutabaga is one of two Dahlgren-run restaurants set inside the magnificent Stockholm Grand Hotel. Named after rutabaga swede, a native-Swedish root vegetable that is like a cross between a cabbage and a turnip, the restaurant is dedicated entirely to building the chef’s vision of future cuisine featuring world-class vegetarian dishes.
Expect a laid-back, vibrant atmosphere and an innovative menu featuring dishes such as wild mushrooms with smoked egg and sour cream and ceviche of avocado and jalapeño.
One-star Michelin restaurant Esperanto has been wowing patrons with its unique-brand of Nordic-Japanese fusion since it opened in Stockholm in 2006. Since then, Chef Sayan Isaksson’s flagship restaurant has gone from strength to strength, earning a Michelin star in 2007 and, more recently, being named the best restaurant in the “Restaurant Culture & Gastronomy” category in the 2017 edition of the White Guide Swedish restaurant directory.
Born in Thailand but raised in Sweden, Isaksson’s distinctive cooking style draws on influences from around the world. The standout dishes on his five- or eight-course tasting menus include the sashimi of char, which consists of slices of fish infused in dill-flavoured crayfish water, and beer-fed wagyu beef, smoked at the table in a moss-filled cherry wood box.
When top Swedish chef Björn Frantzén closed his two-Michelin star Frantzén in Stockholm’s Old Town in 2016, the culinary world waited with bated breath to see what his next move would be. In August 2017, the new Frantzén opened in downtown Stockholm and in February 2018 it gained three Michelin stars! Now it is set on three floors of a 19th century building, with five times more space than its predecessor, but still with a seating capacity for only 23 guests.
Although Frantzén continues to focus on high-end, innovative Swedish tasting menus, the new restaurant offers a different experience, with a kitchen that lends itself to exploring new cooking techniques, such as cooking over an open fire. Top dishes include barbecue Swedish yellow duck with truffled endive and a pressed duck sauce, and Nordic caviar, with fried bread with parmesan cream.
Adam & Albin Matstudio
Two of Sweden’s most talented young chefs, Adam Dahlberg and Albin Wessman, have joined forces to create a super little eatery that offers a relaxed style of fine dining with a distinct neighbourhood feel. The name translates as Adam & Albin Food Studio and, for the most part, offers a combination of delicious noodle lunches, cooking classes and catering services. The real highlight, however, is one weekend a month, when the studio opens for dinner, serving jaw-dropping tasting menus that have got Stockholm’s gourmands buzzing.
This neighbourhood bistro situated in Stockholm’s Vasastan pays homage to Swedish home cooking. The two chef-owners, Daniel Räms and Tom Sjöstedt, have created an appealing menu of hearty, seasonal dishes, at an affordable price point in a buzzy locale with an unpretentious, laid-back vibe. The short menu changes regularly, and depends on the fresh Swedish produce that is in season, but a couple of real highlights include the mouth-watering pork tartare and fallow deer with Jerusalem artichoke. www.lillaego.com (in Swedish)
Top local favourites
Stockholmers are a discerning lot and their favourite local haunts are bound to rank among the city’s best. The Strand Swedish brasserie is located on the waterfront at Nybrokajen, serving up some stunning views, along with an excellent selection of food from breakfast to brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and after-work drinks. Meanwhile, Público is a trendy restaurant and nightclub, in which Latin American tunes and flavours blend into an irresistible mix. The Flying Elk is celebrity chef Björn Frantzén’s homage to Swedish home cooking, delivering pub grub classics like veal schnitzel and short ribs “Stroganoff”. Finally, don’t miss AG, an upscale, New York-style steak restaurant, situated on the second floor of an old silver factory.