Restaurants in Sweden
If Swedish restaurants are your first introduction to the country's cuisine, you'll find plenty of dishes that make the most of local produce, including berries and mushrooms foraged from the country's forest, but also fish, often served smoked, from the Baltic and North seas while reindeer and other game is more common in the country's north. The country has always been open to foreign influences, and it's not unusual to find French and Italian, and also Cambodian and Ethiopian, dishes at the best restaurants in Sweden.
Stockholm's acclaimed Operkälleran is one of these Sweden restaurants with an international focus to its menu. Housed in the 1895 building behind the Opera House, Operakallaren actually contains four restaurants, a cocktail bar, and event rooms. The main dining room has oak paneling, elaborate chandeliers, paintings by Oscar Bjorck, and large arched windows with views of the Royal Castle. Chef Stefano Catenacci serves Mediterranean cuisine, such as mushroom and black truffle risotto with an olive emulsion, scallops with sorrel sauce, and lamb sweetbreads with greens. The well-respected wine cellar contains 30,000 bottles.
A cross between In-N-Out Burger and McDonald's, Max is a family-run Swedish fast-food chain that dates back to 1968. Now it has brought its brand of trans-fat-free, made-to-order Swedish burgers and crispy fries to the capital's airport (Terminal 4).
Frantzen-Lindeberg is located in a nondescript, chocolate-brown former dairy in Gamla Stan. Named after the chef-owners, who are rising stars in the culinary world, the restaurant seats 16 and is completed with an open kitchen, cream colored walls and lines, and dark wood wainscoting and seats.
The five-table, peanut-size Riddarbageriat Bakery), founded by Sweden's all-star baker Johan Sorberg, is the perfect spot for an afternoon break. Shelves of aromatic pastries hold enticing new twists on the old cinnamon bun, with apple, chocolate, almond, and cardamom flavorings.
Located near the stadium and the Royal Swedish Opera, Proviant is fashioned after a French brasserie, with black and white walls, glossy black seats, and white tablecloths topped with red-checked fabric.
After 11 p.m., the black-and-white–“walled pan-Asian restaurant turns into a nightclub with techno beats, sexy lighting, and a creatively named cocktail menu. Don't leave without trying a Polish Waitress: peach liqueur, Campari, lemon, sugar, and orange juice.
Restaurang GQ (for gastronomic intelligence) is located in Ostermalm. The minimalist decor includes umber walls, brown leather seats and booths, and wood floors, and it's accented with vibrant pieces of modern art.
The Nordic House of Culinary Art is considered a center for Swedish cuisine, and it's the home of the restaurant Kantinen Hyttlblecket (as well as a cooking theater and cookbook museum). This eatery relies on local sources to create authentic regional dishes.
Restaurant Lux is off the beaten track on the island of Lilla Essingen and overlooks Marieberg Bay.
Drink a hot chocolate in this candlelit cellar with tea-stained walls and low vaulted ceilings.
Besides spectacular views of the Royal Palace, this landmark hotel serves up an authentic smorgasbord—a centuries-old Swedish tradition. Chef Andreas Askling (formerly of Aquavit in New York City) carries the torch with a lavish spread worthy of the residents across the harbor.
Red-and-white checked tablecloths are a reminder of the 1929 bistro's former incarnation as a blue-collar tavern, and the vibe remains suitably casual. Order moules marinière, then make your way to the bar downstairs for a beer.