Fotografiska may be one of the hippest art galleries in town, but after every well-spent hour analysing photography your empty stomach simply cannot be ignored. So what is the Fotografiska Bistro like? YLC finds out.
Even before I arrived I knew that Fotografiska Bistro had two very important factors in its favour: location and location. The restaurant is primely placed on the top floor of the building right along the coast of Södermalm, offering stunning panoramas of Stockholm from its giant windows. It’s also – obviously – part of the Fotografiska museum, which means incredible art is right on hand. With a combo like that, how can you not be impressed?
Unlike the crowded cafes of Gamla Stan or the Sofo district, it’s spacious enough that you don’t need to worry about bumping elbows.
I arrived at the bistro about 7 p.m. on Friday, just in time for a simple dinner before enjoying the exhibits. The restaurant was fairly busy, but by no means brimming. We stood in line for a good five minutes before ordering, but since you can’t hurry through a photography museum anyway, I didn’t mind. The waitress convinced me to try a grilled chevre and red beet sandwich, each 85 SEK. And since it was after all Friday, I opted for a decadent dessert of chocolate terrine cake with whipped cream and raspberries (about 40 SEK).
The waitress informed me that my grilled sandwich would be made fresh, and they would bring it out to me shortly. I chose a table in the corner and waited. And waited.
A barefoot singer arrived and sang a few numbers on the little bistro stage, which was a nice surprise. But still I waited.
I watched the whipped cream on my cake melting slowly and taking over the dessert plate, before I at last succumbed and decided simply to eat dessert first. The chocolate terrine was rich and luxurious, not too sweet and just dark enough. The raspberries, obviously frozen and now a runny red pile of goop, were as bitter as one would expect of frozen raspberies, but still a decent compliment to the chocolate.
Finishing my dessert and finding myself still sandwichless 25 minutes after ordering, I walked up to the bar and reminded the staff. Another waitress said she would check in the kitchen. Two minutes later she came out and informed me that they had missplaced my order, but she would come out with my sandwich in ”a matter of seconds”. She apologetically added that I could take coffee, for which we had not paid, from the table in the middle of the room.
Eight minutes and two cups of average coffee later, I got my sandwich.
The basic white bread subtly enhanced the unique combination of chevre, beets and balsalmic vinegar. Accompanied by a decent-sized bed of salad and sunflower seeds, the presentation of the meal was tidy but unremarkable.
I found nothing to complain about with my sandwich, and it was a curious culinary choice I would have made again, or perhaps even tried at home. But as we left the cafe I found the half-hour delay and a puddle of frozen raspberries frozen in my mind. The prices at Fotografiska Bistro are average, the food is tasty if not extraordinory, and the personnel are friendly – if forgetful. Not an awful experience, but neither was it grand.
But then I turned and glanced out the window, saw Stockholm below, continued into the exhibit one floor down…and I must confess I know I’ll be back.
Location may be an unfair advantage, but it’s one thing Fotografiska’s got spot on, taking the average to excellent.
Prices: Sandwiches from 55 to 125 SEK, desserts 30-80 SEK, coffee drinks 25-45 SEK, other items vary by season/day
Contact: 08-50 900 500
Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, chai and cheer.