Long famed for its meatballs and herring, Swedish cuisine has undergone something of a reinvention of late. While there is still an emphasis on meat and fish, alongside potatoes and other root vegetables, these are being served up in ever-more creative combinations. Blessed with an abundance of natural resources such as crystal-clear waters, woodland and green spaces, Stockholm citizens enjoy fishing and foraging. Chefs too are making the most of what grows on their doorsteps: berries, mushrooms and wild garlic are all popular ingredients.
Urban gardening is also on the rise among younger generations. The city has 10,000 allotment gardens meaning that Stockholmers have access to fresh, home-grown food which is often organic and this approach has filtered through to the capital’s most exciting restaurants. Inventive chefs are blending traditional culinary techniques with a focus on organic and local ingredients in what’s become known as New Nordic Cuisine. There are even Michelin-starred restaurants eschewing the modern hot plate and gas stove and instead they are cooking with just natural heat, smoke and fire.
Owners Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr have years of experience in the restaurant industry and together they bring their knowledge and vision to Gastrologik. With an emphasis on locally sourced produce, the menu reflects the changing seasons and the range of delicious ingredients that can be foraged in the region. In fact, the kitchen is so dependent on its producers that there is no predicting what will be on the table on any given day. Guests simply sign up for a tasting menu and are treated to 18 courses of contemporary Scandinavian cuisine. Afterwards, there is a printed menu for them to take home, to remind them of their unique experience.
Gastrologik, Artillerigatan 14, 114 51 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 662 3060
Simple and straightforward: that is the philosophy at Hillenberg, according to restaurateur and chef Karl Ljung. This can be seen in everything from the streamlined seating to the elegant display of glassware at the cocktail bar. Thanks to the thoughtful work of Gothenburg-based architectural firm Okidoki, the restaurant is as much of a treat for the eyes as the tastebuds. Of course, interior design is all very well but the true test lies in the food. To this end, Ljung has concocted a menu of European classics with a Scandinvian twist. Top tip: the fried sweetbreads with artichoke, onion, tarragon and soya is a must-try dish.
Hillenberg, Humlegårdsgatan 14, 114 46 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 5194 2153
Inside the elegant setting of the Kungliga Operan (Royal Opera House) is one of Stockholm’s most stunning restaurants: Brasseriet. This brasserie strikes an impressive balance between Swedish and global cuisine, with dishes such as bacon-wrapped meatloaf, fish stew, and duck à l’orange. Opened in 2015, this modern restaurant nonetheless retains the original architectural features of the building, such as pillars and distinctive bright blue walls. By allowing such characteristics to shine through, Brasseriet makes a new restaurant feel as though it’s been there for decades. The superb service, refined menu and unique location confirm its status as a culinary landmark.
Brasseriet, Kungliga Operan, Strömgatan 14, 111 52 Stockholm
Opened in 2014, Luzette is a modern brasserie inspired by leading restaurants in central stations such as Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station, New York. Guests can choose from 120 seats divided between the main dining area, bar and outdoor space, and for those in a hurry, there is also a shop for takeaway lunches and dinners, or for pastries to enjoy during a train journey. Luzette is one of only a few establishments in Stockholm with a rotisserie, which chef David Gard uses to great effect. Sample the Secreto Iberico with salt-baked carrot-and-ginger cream, hazelnut, orange vinaigrette and yuzu.
Luzette, Centralplan 25, 111 20 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 519 31600
Awarded its second Michelin star in 2015, Oaxen Krog is the fine dining sister to the adjacent Swedish bistro, Slip. Visitors to Oaxen Krog can choose from either the 10-course or six-course menu for a taste of outstanding Nordic cuisine. The exquisitely constructed dishes are a delicate balance of flavours and textures, and the chefs are careful to source ingredients from suppliers who have respect for animals and the environment. There is also an interesting wine list featuring bottles from small and sustainable European vineyards. Despite Oaxen Krog’s impressive credentials, there is no pretension here and visitors will find a welcoming atmosphere as well as a charming venue.
Oaxen Krog, Beckholmsvägen 26, 115 21 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 5515 3105