With its smart takes on the latest cocktails and its focus on quality, it should come as no surprise that the Grand Hôtel’s Cadier Bar has become a favourite among the jet set. Named after the hotel’s founder, Régis Cadier, this award-winning hotel bar features rich wood panelling and intricate plasterwork and boasts views over the harbour and Royal Palace. Piano music ripples in the background on most evenings, an additional reason to visit.
Cadier Bar, Grand Hôtel, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, 10327 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 679 3585
Rub shoulders with Stockholm’s glitterati at Café Opera. Set within a heritage building that dates back to the 1800s, this striking brasserie-cum-nightclub has played host to David Bowie, Terence Conran, Miles Davis and Madonna since it opened in 1980. With its Doric columns and violet-lit bar, the frescoed salon is the perfect setting for a private dinner or celebration gala beneath the crystal chandeliers.
Café Opera, Operahuset, Karl XII Södra Torg, 11186 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 676 5807
Established in 1896, Riche’s Lilla Baren is the place for cocktail hour: its wine list is extensive and the DJ sets are legendary. If you are seeking something more substantial than bar food, head to the formal dining room. Riche borrows many of its styling cues from its Parisian namesake, such as starched linens and gold-rimmed mirrors, but its menu is boldly cross-cultural. Alongside traditional Swedish fare, you’ll find eclectic plates, including Korean steak tartare, Provençal snail and Spanish chorizo with roasted pepper aïoli.
Riche, Birger Jarlsgatan 4, 11434 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 5450 3560
For those who prefer to take drinks in minimalist surroundings with excellent service, Pontus! is a well-kept secret. Launched in 2007, this three-floor venue offers a dining room and oyster bar alongside a strikingly contemporary cocktail lounge. The design is modern – note the tomato-red giraffe in the corner – and the cocktails, an intriguing mix of old and new, are served with dim sum, sashimi and sushi.
Pontus!, Brunnsgaten 1, 11138 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 5452 7300
The Nordic Sea Hotel’s Absolut Icebar is the coolest bar in Stockholm in more than one sense: as its name suggests, the bar is hewn from ice collected from the River Torne and drinks are served in hollowed-out ice cubes. In its latest guise as an aquatic-themed hideaway, the bar also boasts light installations, ice sculptures and a periscope with ‘underwater’ views, such as the images of jellyfish projected on the walls.
Absolut Icebar, Nordic Sea Hotel, Vasaplan 4, 11120 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 5056 3520