Sweden Bars & Nightlife
Åsögatan 171, Södermalm
Café Nizza (Italian for French Riviera city Nice), serves Mediterranean food cooked with the best of Swedish ingredients. Standout dishes are the seabass with the classic Scandi flavors of cucumber and preserved fruit, or the simply sauteéd cavolo nero. While the food at this neighborhood joint is undeniably good, we love to pop in for a casual drink. The wine list changes almost daily so there's always something new from small producers to try—the best accompaniment to any glass of wine at Café Nizza is a basket of their freshly baked rye sourdough bread, slathered in their salty, homemade, butter.
Götgatan 36, Södermalm
A very casual bar in Stockholm's trendiest district, Södermalm, the outdoor terrace fills up early. The kitchen serves up all manner of Asian food from sushi and Vietnamese noodles to Thai street food, and the cocktails are particularly good. The lunch service can be a little slow—we recommend taking a seat at the outdoor bar for a drink and a few pieces of their excellent sushi, rather than committing to a full sit-down meal.
Katarina Bangata 27, Södermalm
Two Swedes and an American founded Katarina Ölkafe—unsurprisingly, an American-inflected, Swedish deli serving up the best of both worlds. This small, cozy bar makes a mean pastrami sandwich (pickles are mandatory), with beers from Stockholm's best microbreweries on tap.
Lilla Baren and Riche
Birger Jarlsgatan 4, Östermalm
A beautifully ornate space in a city that favors more rustic and minimalist aesthetics, Lilla Baren and Riche is a Parisian-style bar that's a favorite with the post-work professional crowd. The mirrored walls, chandeliers, and white stucco cornicing make for a ridiculously pretty setting that also hosts regular art exhibits and serves up some of Stockholm's best meatballs.
Stortorget 7, Gamla Stan
With an apothecary-meets-opium-den aesthetic, Pharmarium is a seriously atmospheric spot for a cocktail in picturesque Old Town. Inspired by Stockholm's first pharmacy (which opened in the same spot in 1575, no less) the antique-accented space is scented with herbs and spices to further the apothecary feel. This bar specializes in pairing food with drinks (some of the resulting flavor combinations are very interesting, like sweetbreads with chutney paired with a whiskey-based drink), but really it's the infused craft cocktails that are especially unusual, with many of the vegetables and herbs used grown in Pharmarium's own organic garden.
Sturegatan 6, Östermalm
One of a few hybrid bar/restaurant/market spots in Stockholm, Taverna Brillo's menu might be described as Italian with strong Nordic influences. Favorite items include grilled bread topped with crab, mayonnaise, and roasted garlic; pizza with vendace roe, crème fraîche, Swedish cheese, and lemon; and a yellow beet dish that comes with spinach, ricotta, roasted almonds, pickled beets, and deep-fried black cabbage. There's a really good wine list, too, so this is a great spot for casual drinks and snacks after work or a long day of sightseeing.
Lilla Nygatan 5, Galma Stan
Stockholm loves a themed bar and Tweed is the perfect example. The space is intended to be a sort of anglophile gastropub with old British gentleman's club touches, like leather armchairs, tartan-papered walls, and a full cigar menu. In short, it's an incredibly cozy but classic spot in Stockholm's Old City to hunker down in for an intimate drink with a friend/lover.
Skånegatan 79, Södermalm
Hyper-seasonal, organic Swedish small plates and custom-created gin make Bar Agrikultur—located in hip Södermalm—a destination worth pushing past the tourists for. The food is inventive but still authentically Swedish and includes tapas-style dishes like wild boar salami and beets, watercress, and fried potatoes. Every aspect of this little bar has been carefully considered with sustainability in mind: The gin is a custom blend from local distiller Stockholm Bränneri and even the house champagne is bio-dynamic.Images courtesy of Niklas Nyman.
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