Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in Södermalm, Stockholm
A formerly working-class neighborhood, Södermalm is now gentrified but still replete with old-school cafés and shawarma stands, and a great place to check out modern life in the Swedish capital. Even if you’re staying in the more classic tourist areas, such as Östermalm, it’s worth it to plan a day on this island just to the south, which is home to some of the most interesting shops, cultural sites and eateries in the city—like the six places listed here.
On Södermalm’s prettiest square, this all-day restaurant and market is the favored hangout of the area’s chic bohemians. We love the pea- soup- and-pancake special, as well as the seafood platter, with smoked shrimp, cooked crab, oysters, lobster, and Kalix bleak roe.
This museum dedicated to photography has hosted a succession of great exhibitions since it opened in 2010. More recently, it has also become known for its excellent restaurant. You can take advantage of both by booking a dinner reservation that includes entry to the gallery.
This old-fashioned confectionery feels like you’re stepping into the 1930s or 40s, complete with assistants dressed in period clothing. It’s famous for its caramels, which are made on-site and packed into beautiful boxes.
This Södermalm bar and restaurant is named after an infamous voodoo practitioner from New Orleans, an apt choice for a place that excels at conjuring up delicious cocktails made from American spirits.
If you eat out only once on Södermalm, make sure it's at the Gondolen, a restaurant in one of the mountainside cable cars that once whisked workers to and from the island. Head for the bar, shaped like a long, skinny gondola, with sweeping views on either side, and order creamy shrimp on toast.
And if you want to stay the night…
Södermalm is widely considered the hippest part of Stockholm, and the Rival is its most colorful place to lodge. What else do you expect from a hotel that’s owned by ABBA's Benny Andersson? Located on a pretty square, Mariatorget, the hotel has its own theater, which is often used for live music, and a popular bistro that does an excellent weekend brunch. All the bedrooms are decorated with images of Swedish movies or movie stars (Greta Garbo, of course, makes an appearance, as does ABBA: The Movie).