Photo credit: Carousel
If you are one of those often in the mood for a spur of the moment celebration, doing it in a Michelin Starred restaurant is definitely not on the cards, since it can only guarantee you a table with weeks of advance booking.
Yet if this special occasion still calls for an indulgent wining and dining, celebrating it in a Stockholm establishment given a Michelin Plate this 2017 is your best bet of an evening that lives up to your congratulatory expectation.
Especially created by Michelin this year, its Plate symbolizes “restaurants where [its] guide inspectors have discovered quality food” with the potential of receiving its highly coveted Stars in the future, but with their current meals pricing beyond 40 Euros disqualifying them for its Bib Gourmand.
As the Michelin Plate is only to be rolled out in all Michelin Guides across the globe from 2018, Stockholm is among the few locations, including Singapore, especially selected for its inauguration.
With 36 food and drink establishments in Sweden’s capital awarded the Michelin Plate, you are spoilt for choice by the diverse cuisines and settings the Michelin Guide inspectors have found absolutely appealing.
If you fancy the more casual addendum to the one Michelin Star Gastrologik, Speceriet’s (ARTILLERIGATAN 14) communal tables will get you in the mood for sharing classic Nordic dishes, with three mains as choices at lunch and a wider selection of mix and match dishes at dinner.
Photo credit: Carousel
For those who love classic Swedish fare, Carousel (GUSTAV ADOLFS TORG 20) twins its seasonal menu with the option of either al fresco dining or supping indoors round an authentic carousel; while Ulriksdals Wärdshus (ULRIKSDALS SLOTTSPARK) supplements them with a smörgåsbord at lunch, after starting with drinks – drawn from the lovely wine cellar in this charming 19th century wooden inn – on its terrace overlooking the lake in a park with a traditionally styled winter garden.
The third option is a locals’ favourite close to Djurgårdsbron Bridge: Eriks Bakficka’s (FREDRIKSHOVSGATAN 4) simple unpretentious Swedish classics and a ‘dish of the day’ are served in a bistro setting interiorly styled with wood paneling and marble-topped tables.
Those looking for Swedish cooking with rotisserie specials, look no further than Luzette (CENTRALSTATIONEN, CENTRALPLAN 25), a modern brasserie inspired by the grand restaurants of old; with its name inspired by the 1920s luminaire designed by Peter Behrens.
If you are partial to a wide-ranging Swedish menu, especially for a weekend brunch, Bockholmen (BOCKHOLMSVÄGEN), with its charming terraces leading down to the water and a bar outside its 19th century summer house on its tiny island, is the perfect place to relax; particularly on a sunny summer’s day.
Photo credit: Restaurant J
If you cannot wait for summer to enjoy a day by the waters dining on Swedish dishes mixed with global fare, the long narrow Restaurant J (ELLENSVIKSVÄGEN 1), with its huge windows and lovely terrace on the marina front a short stroll from Hotel J, is worth getting there 20 minutes by boat from the city.
A decided preference for combining water views with a seafood experience narrows your choices to the large fishmonger-owned Wedholms Fisk (NYBROKAJEN 17) – an impressive former auction house set beside the financial institutions on Stockholm’s ‘Little Wall Street’, overlooking the harbor – with turbot as its winter specialty; and to the idyllic Fjäderholmarnas Krog (STORA FJÄDERHOLMEN) with commanding views of ships gliding through the archipelago from its terrace on a sunny day or from its cozy boathouse-like interiors during the chillier months, when its classic seafood menu is replaced by a buffet at Christmas.
If you are definitely partial to a classic menu that focuses on seafood even during wintry yuletide festivities, the bustling Sturehof (STUREPLAN 2) has been winsomely offering a wonderful mix of the traditional with the modern for over a century on its buzzing terrace as well as in its marble-topped bars and superb food court.
This relaxed vibe is similarly shared by the temporary marketplace-like Lisa Elmqvist (HUMLESGÅRDSGATAN 1) with top quality catch of the day dished up in unfussy satisfying ingredient pairings, and by the spacious industrial canteen style B.A.R. (BLASIEHOLMSGATAN 4A) with a wide-ranging seasonal menu that also offers interesting side dishes and that welcomes you to select your fish or meat from its ice display.
If you prefer cured, smoked, pickled and in-house dry-aged meat and veg, the modern bistro Svartengrens’ (TULEGATAN 24) emphasis on grilling daily changing only sustainable produce from within the archipelago is right up your alley.
Photo credit: Vassa Eggen
Those who adore the rustic game meat and grills concept will have a hard time deciding between Vassa Eggen (BIRGER JARLSGATAN 29), with its emphasis on hearty age-old Swedish recipes using whole beasts butchered and hung on-site alongside bold artworks adorning the walls of its dimly lit hotel dining room, and Djuret (LILLA NYGATAN 5) where you get served a different beast every two weeks – be it wild boar or reindeer – and always accompanied by an excellent selection of wines; in either its ‘Meat’ or ‘Trophy’ rooms.
Those who love the more conventional American meat and grill experience coupled with smooth service will find AG (KRONOBERGSGATAN 37, KUNGSHOLMEN) suiting them to the T. An industrial New York style eatery on the 2nd floor of an old silver factory, Swedish, American and Scottish beef are displayed in huge cabinets and you choose your accompaniments and from a great wine list.
Those who lean towards modern interpretations of cuisine classics are unquestionably spoilt for choice. Bobergs’ (NK DEPARTMENT STORE, HAMNGATAN 18-20) modern menu serves classic dishes mixing French with Swedish influences in an elegant room with a tranquil river view while the former debtors’ prison from 1781 to 1872, Häktet (HORNSGATAN 82), dishes out Swedish classics with a modern edge to diners seated at either its characterful courtyard terrace, three bars or simple bistro out back.
Photo credit: Lux Dag för Dag
And the simple relaxed little eatery, Gro (SANKT ERIKSGATAN 67), in a former butcher’s shop, takes on Swedish classics with both traditional and modern techniques lovingly applied to local ingredients, particularly vegetables; while the bright modern brasserie-styled Lux Dag för Dag (PRIMUSGATAN 116), in an old waterside Electrolux factory dating back to 1916, offers generously proportioned modern-looking dishes with a traditional base and locally sourced ingredients.
But if your mind is set on pub dishes with a twist or a popular tasting menu of refined modern classics instead, The Flying Elk (MÄLARTORGET 15) guarantees a good night out at this lively corner spot modeled on a British pub.
The bright modern Hillenberg’s (HUMLEGÅRDSGATAN 14) marble bar on each of its sides, on the other hand, evidently bears the designer’s eye for detail. And this fresh contemporary colorful and free from unnecessary frills is just as clearly reflected in the modern cuisine on its menu.
If you are fond of simple yet flavor-packed themed modern dishes that change every two months, Woodstockholm (MOSEBACKE TORG 9) offers just that in a neighbourhood setting that overlooks a park.
A preference for a modern neighbourhood bistro brings to mind Babette (ROSLAGSGATAN 6) where its unfussy daily selection of modern small plates and pizzas rustically cooked gives diners great flexibility in mixing and matching foods.
Photo credit: Niklas
When modern cuisine meeting international influences are more your thing, you have the choice between the stylish Adam/Albin by Adam & Albin (RÅDMANSGATAN 16), with its Italian marble walls and a mix of individual and communal tables, and its refined, eye-catching dishes that blend the ethos of a Scandic kitchen with global flavours; and the contemporary industrial bistro Niklas (REGERINGSGATAN 66) with an adjoining nightclub, a large blackboard listing of dishes influenced by its owner’s extensive travels and a punk gastronomy menu.
When it is international cuisine itself you are absolutely fond of, Nosh and Chow (NORRLANDSGATAN 24) is worth a visit. Its innovative transformation of a former bank into a glitzy cocktail bar and brasserie that displays a smart mix of New York and New England styling is beautifully reflected in its filling dishes that blend French, American and Swedish influences with other global flavors.
Alternatively, you may well be tempted to dine at the modern bistro-style Strandvägen 1 (STRANDVÄGEN 1) instead. Sited in a former bank too, its seasonal menus offer generously proportioned, globally inspired dishes with bold flavors; all served on its terrace where you can watch the boats bob up and down the harbor.
Photo credit: Pubologi
If you wish to leap from modern to creative cuisine next, Smak (OXTORGSGATAN 14) serves small plates in an elegant room with brass mirrors and tapestries while the modern wine-orientated bistro with a communal table option, Pubologi (STORA NYGATAN 20), stands by cooking that is fairly elaborate and that makes good use of the chargrill.
If you are in the mood for food from other parts of western Europe, Boqueria (JAKOBSBERGSGATAN 17) does everything Spanish – from tapas and sharing plates to cocktails while the lively late night bistro Zink Grill (BIBLIOTEKSGATAN 5) lives up to its reputation as one of Stockholm’s oldest restaurants that started life in a French zinc bar dating from 1933 and to this day still offers a Gallic and Italian inspired French menu featuring plenty of charcuterie and grills.
On the other hand, the casual bistro Pocket (BRUNNSGATAN 1) invites you to grab a table by the window or to sit at the counter to watch the chefs at work on traditional French bistro classics with some Swedish influences while you munch on a selection of snacks.
Photo credit: Berns Asiatiska
If Asian is your thing, Berns Asiatiska (NÄCKSTRÖMSGATAN 8, BERZELII PARK), with its stunning rococo ballroom with a terrace overlooking Berzelii Park, has an extensive fusion menu – from Chinese to Indian and includes bento boxes, sushi, sharing dishes and weekend brunches.
If traditional Asian is more to your liking, the discreet modern Japanese izakaya-based Shibumi (KUNGSTENSGATAN 2) dishes up original food from the land of the rising sun to a daily changing cocktail list in a basement with an underground buzz till the wee hours of the night.
A second option is Farang (TULEGATAN 7). The sister of Farang in Helsinki, this vast family atmospheric restaurant with a chic bar encourages sharing. And hence, very much in keeping with its focus on Southeast Asia and its hot sweet and sour, aromatic zingy and colourful dishes.
Information credit: The Michelin Guide (Stockholm) 2017.