In a city with countless coffee shops and cafes serving coffee paired with a sweet treat—the Swedish meal known as fika—being recognized as Stockholm’s best is a big deal. Café Pascal
received that honor when it won the coveted Gulddraken award. With its bentwood chairs, exposed bricks walls, and large windows looking out on a quiet street near busy Odenplan, it’s an inviting and cozy place. The excellent coffee and the delicious pastries—croissants, cinnamon rolls, cardamom buns—will convince you to linger. (You’ll also find savory options if you stop in later in the day.)
Next, head to the Östermalms Saluhall
, a busy market housed in a beautiful 1880s building. It’s decidedly serene for an urban market, with shoppers choosing flawless fish filets and perfectly prepared shrimp. In addition to stalls selling ingredients to be prepared later, the market has a number of restaurants where you can sample their specialties. Depending on the timing of your trip, you may be among the first to see the Östermalms Saluhall after its renovation is completed in 2020. Until then, the market is in a temporary location on the adjacent square.
As you anticipate your next meal, a visit to the Nationalmuseum
, which reopened in 2018, provides a chance to explore Swedish art, culture, and design. Exhibitions and the permanent galleries cover a dazzling range of topics—fashion and furniture designers, the history of ceramics, and representations of Norse gods in 19th-century sculptures, to pick a few topics. One of the highlights of the reopened museum is its restaurant
, where every glass, place setting, and piece of furniture has been carefully curated. In all, the work of around 80 designers is represented. The innovative and delicious dishes served by the restaurant are the creations of chef Fredrik Eriksson, famous for his encyclopedic knowledge of Swedish cooking from heritage recipes to the latest in molecular gastronomy.
Your culinary adventures for the day are far from over. Stockholm’s restaurant scene includes no less than 10 Michelin-starred restaurants and nine Bib Gourmand winners. It will be impossible to try them all in the few days you have in the city, but tonight you’ll dine at one of them—Frantzén
—as long as you make reservations far in advance (perhaps even before you purchase your plane tickets).
In 2018, Frantzén became the first restaurant in Sweden to earn three Michelin stars. It’s located in a 19th-century house, though once you enter through the doors, you’ll find a contemporary and dramatic space, entirely fitting with chef Björn Frantzén’s approach to cooking. His dishes embody a mix of Scandinavian and Japanese influences and are known for their elegant presentations. You’ll follow the chef’s lead when you order the set multi-course menu (which is, in fact, the only option).