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As a pioneer in the sustainable food revolution, Stockholm is a must visit any discerning foodie.
By Elite Traveler | May 12 2021
Stockholm offers the culinary connoisseur a surprising variety of traditional and modern cuisine, with its best restaurants championing local, seasonal ingredients Fresh ingredients have always been native to Swedish cuisine and seafood is a special delicacy in Stockholm, where it’s impossible to ignore the fruits of the Baltic Sea.
Discover Stockholm’s best restaurants below – from plant-based pioneers and zero-waste champions, to classic French style spots and fine-dining institutions, this ultra-cool city really has it all.
With no traditional ovens or gas cookers in sight, Ekstedt is one of Stockholm’s most exciting restaurants and was arguably the restaurant responsible for the open-fire cooking trend that has swept Europe over the last few years. Focusing on blending well-known Swedish flavors and ingredients with traditional and modern European cooking techniques, Niklas Ekstedt’s team works tirelessly to offer one of the capital’s most innovative menus.
When you walk into the restaurant the first thing you will notice is the sheer heat of the place, with the restaurant’s back wall housing the kitchen and the various open fires all the food is cooked over. The interior is traditionally Scandinavian with exposed metal grids covering the ceiling, finished off with wood paneling and furniture throughout.
While you would expect a lot of heavy red meat dishes from a place known for its ‘outdoors’ style of cooking, the food on offer at Ekstedt is well balanced and varied enough to keep even the pickiest of eaters pleased, with the menu weaving its way through a series of delicious flavors, pairing ingredients in the most unusual of ways.
As with any restaurant of this caliber, the wine list is both extensive and varied, with the in-house sommeliers offering guests plenty of suggestions to pair with their meal. Alternatively, you can opt for a wine flight to match your meal. All in all, if you’re looking for something a bit unusual, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything better in Stockholm than Ekstedt.
Wedholms Fisk, founded by legendary restaurateur Bengt Wedholm, is one of the few restaurants in Stockholm entirely devoted to seafood. The dishes — a combination of Swedish culinary traditions with new influences and techniques — include such delicacies as local oysters, butter-fried scallops, whole poached sole with trout roe and lobster soup.
Guests have the choice between a multitude of menus, including the ever-changing weekly lunch menu, à la carte and Wedholm’s Tasting Menu. There’s also plenty of options as to where to enjoy the food, with multiple private dining rooms available in addition to the main dining space. Choose between The Gallery which, as the name suggests, has a rotation of artworks on display; Karl Nordström’s Dining Room, where a private entrance can be arranged for ultimate discretion; and the Bærtling Salon, featuring artwork by the famous Swedish artist of the same name.
Be it a business lunch, family event or just a catch up with friends, Welholms Fisk is the perfect restaurant to enjoy some of the finest seafood that Sweden has to offer, while also absorbing the endless activity of Sweden’s nearby Nybroviken harbor.
Hidden behind a somewhat unassuming facade, Frantzén is one of the best restaurants in Stockholm and one of the most innovative kitchens in all of Scandinavia. A meal at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant is more than just dinner: this is a completely immersive experience, with some 10 courses served to a highly limited amount of guests on each serving. Guided by a philosophy of ‘casual elegance’, Frantzén’s food is an artful blend between Nordic and Japanese cuisines, with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. Highlights including langoustine with crispy rice and ginger, and strawberries and cream with salt and pepper meringue.
Chef-come-owner Bjorn Frantzén moved the entire restaurant to new premises in early 2017, taking it from the city’s old town to a more central location in Stockholm’s downtown. While restaurant moves can be risky, Frantzén’s decision was clearly the right one as the restaurant was awarded its third Michelin star just a year later. Found inside a Stockholm townhouse, the new venue is five times the size of the old restaurant, spanning three floors which guests are guided through during the course of their meal.
The decor is dark, atmospheric and decidedly stylish, with low-level lighting on the wooden countertops acting as spotlights for each dish – and rightly so, as each dish that leaves the Frantzén kitchen is a work of art.
Dating back to 1787 and found within the historic Opera House, Operakällaren is something of an institution. With its gilded oak paneling, sparkling chandeliers and impressive geometrical wood-paneled ceiling, the main dining room is a classic destination for fine cuisine and impeccable service. Serving international haute cuisine by Stefano Catenacci, it has been awarded a Michelin star and is a member of the prestigious Les Grandes Tables du Monde/Traditions & Qualité association.
On the menu is a carefully curated selection of traditional French dishes with a contemporary twist, available either à la carte or as part of a tasting menu. The wine is an event in itself, with Operakällaren’s wine cellar, which holds some 2,100 variations, being among the largest in Sweden.
Operakällaren’s private dining room, a completely modern affair in white and electric blue, is also worth a visit, if only for its stark contrast with the traditional main dining room. Rent it out for a trendy dinner party with views over the water; with a minimum seating of two and space for 50, the occasion can be as intimate as you please.
Three things characterize the food at Le Rouge: personality, tradition and warmth. The comforting flavors of French cuisine, as well as Italian simplicity, feature prominently on the menu, with dishes including garlic baked snails, white asparagus with trout roe and hollandaise and fried sweetbread with comté cheese all available.
The food is served in a dinner club-esque setting, making a visit to Le Rouge feel like a visit a dinner party at your most stylish friend’s house. The experience extends further than just food however, with the restaurant regularly hosting DJs and top-class entertainment to add another level of excitement.
Design-wise, Le Rouge is reminiscent of turn-of-the-century bohemian France; the deep color palette, plush textiles and period detail pay tribute to places such as the infamous Moulin Rouge. Private rooms are available, and a great option for a long, celebratory meal in a sumptuous setting.
Boasting two Michelin stars, Gastrologik is known for its innovative take on Scandinavian cuisine. Founders Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr still run the kitchen, and with a wealth of experience from esteemed restaurants around the world, including L’Astrance and Pierre Gagnaire, have set out on their own to establish a new destination for seasonal fare that has been prepared using innovative techniques.
Ingredients are all locally sourced, with the team committed to exclusively working with Swedish producers. Since the restaurant works so closely with local suppliers and only uses seasonal ingredients, there is no set menu. Instead, the chefs challenge themselves to create new menus daily based on what is available to them, making each visit a unique experience.
As is expected of one of the best restaurants in ultra-chic Stockholm, Gastrologik’s interiors are decidedly sleek and minimal, with cool, neutral tones and crisp whites accented by flashes of earthy green. The plating is equally as stylish: big, bold colors take priority on some dishes, while micro plating reigns supreme on others. In short, every minute detail has been considered.
As the name suggests, heavy emphasis is put on the source of ingredients served at Agrikultur, as well as the way in which they have been produced. The restaurant prides itself on supporting its community by working with the finest and most sustainable Swedish farms, ranches and dairies. The food offering is set menu only, with dishes adapting daily to reflect ingredient availability.
In line with its eco-conscious ethos, each menu is vegetable-heavy, with a focus on lesser-known cuts of meat. Agrikultur’s efforts to act as responsibly as possible haven’t gone unnoticed, with the Michelin guide recognizing it as one of the Nordic countries’ most sustainable restaurants in 2020, marking it as one of the pioneers of environmentally friendly fine dining.
Despite being among the best restaurants in Stockholm, Agrikultur strives to offer a welcoming, sociable and warm atmosphere. The restaurant is set up to have an open kitchen in order to give guests an insight into the chef’s processes, with four of the 24 seats situated on a bar-top that looks directly into the kitchen.
Sitting on the top floor of the revered photography museum, the Fotografiska restaurant offers some of the most impressive views of Stockholm – as well as some of the city’s finest food. Sustainability takes center stage here, as is commonplace among the best restaurants in Stockholm, with a zero waste policy in place.
Led by head chef Paul Svensson, Fotografiska offers a primarily plant-based menu, with some dishes occasionally supplemented with the finest Swedish seafood and meat. As you would expect, every menu is based on seasonal availability in order to minimize environmental impact. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability saw it awarded a coveted Green Michelin star in 2020 in recognition of its efforts.
The restaurant will offer multiple set menus at any given time, each of which has been carefully imagined to include a range of complementary dishes, with wine pairings also available. The menus can either be enjoyed in the main dining room in the Chambre Séparée – an exclusive private dining space with views across Stockholm’s inlet.
With a history that dates back over 100 years, Prinsen is an established fine-dining restaurant in Stockholm and has been a firm favorite of the city’s elite since its foundation. Despite its illustrious reputation, Prinsen is unpretentious and instead strives to welcome everyone through its doors to celebrate and enjoy excellent food with loved ones.
With its wood-paneled walls, antique-style floor tiling and brass accents, Prinsen resembles a brasserie in the great French tradition. And in classic European style, when the weather permits, diners spill out onto the streets to enjoy an alfresco meal. For a more exclusive affair, make us of Prinsen’s private dining room, which doubles up as its wine cellar and offers space for up to 16 guests.
The menu is rooted in Swedish culinary tradition but happily takes influence from around the world, as well as drawing on more modern techniques. Highlights include the signature shrimp salad, truffle risotto and white chocolate mousse with hazelnuts and roasted white chocolates – all of which should be accompanied by a paired glass of wine, as recommended by one of Prinsen’s expert sommeliers.
Found in Stockholm’s ultra-luxe Grand Hôtel, Mathias Dahlgren’s Matbaren is a modern bistro restaurant with an open kitchen that offers a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Neighboring Matbaren is another of Dahlgren’s restaurants, Rutabaga, which offers exclusively vegetarian dishes, with a focus on standout ingredient each month,
Dahlgreen’s cuisine focuses on Swedish produce prepared with international influence. The menu changes regularly based on seasonal availability, but will always showcase a curated selection of regional ingredients, such as white asparagus from Hjo or Bohuslän langoustines. A set menu of Matbaren classics is also available, with an accompanying wine menu.
The restaurant is decidedly informal, with both table and countertop seating available. However, for the most exclusive Matbaren experience, book the private dining space which is found in the inner chambers of the Grand Hôtel’s wine cellar. We can’t imagine a more fitting place to enjoy fine cuisine and, of course, excellent European wines.
Oaxen Krog is housed in a refurbished shed at a boatyard in a delightful waterside location where guests experience true Swedish fine dining. Located on the island of Djurgården in central Stockholm, Oaxen Krog emphasizes Nordic cuisine using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
Raw ingredients are prepared in a modern way – with some dishes finished tableside – but the restaurant still holds true to traditional techniques which make up the foundation of its approach. Diners can choose from six or ten courses, with each of the beautifully presented dishes resonating with nature and the seasons while offering a real depth of flavor. The wine offering is equally as conscious, with Oaxen Krog only working with carefully selected small-scale vineyards that share its ethos.
Oaxen Krog’s commitment to measuring its environmental impact and striving to operate as responsibly as possible has earned the restaurant a Green Michelin star on top of its pre-existing two Michelin star status.