Tel: 46 8 314 530
A sister property of Fredsgatan 12 and Kungsholmen, Grill is on the city's busiest shopping street, though thankfully away from the most crowded stretch. Self-consciously furnished to evoke several different living rooms, it has drapes, distressed ceilings, and sofas; one has pink brocade and gilt-framed mirrors, another is minimalist and modern in pale blue and cream. It's cuteand attracts a stylish crowd each evening, and an unexpectedly large number of office workers at lunchtime, lured by the 97 kronor (about $14) lunch menu. The food, from meat (veal skewers) to fruit (mango or pineapple) to bread, is, of course, grilled in any of various waysrotisserie, Korean-style, brick oven, smoker. Finish with a Nordic crème brûlée with cloudberry sorbet and yes, it's grilled as well.
Norr Mälarstrand, Kajplats 464
Tel: 46 8 5052 4450
Kungsholmen is a bold, colorful, loud restaurant where waiters flit between a series of food bars (grill, sushi, ice cream, soup, and so forth) to assemble orders. After the summer 2006 opening, trendy guests immediately descended here to nosh on moules marinière, pizza niçoise, sashimi, and banana splits. It has hasn't slowed down yet, so book ahead to be sure of a table. In summer, there's also a wildly popular outdoor bar on a floating jetty that juts out into the harbor (the restaurant is on an island of the same name, just a short walk past City Hall). Kungsholmen's success is no surprise, as this establishment comes from good stockit's a sibling of Grill and Fredsgatan 12, which also skillfully combine high fashion with great food.
Tel: 46 8 619 0190
The 15-minute journey from downtown to residential-and-still-developing Lilla Essingen Island isn't discouraging anyone from coming to this modern Swedish place. The restaurant is housed in a brick turn-of-the-century building that once belonged to the Electrolux factory, the gently colorful interior pared way down so you can concentrate on the creations of co-chefs Henrik Norström and Peter Johansson: truffled chicken soup with frothy cauliflower enriched by poached quail eggs; curried foie gras; tuna and calf's tongue with sweetbreads and wild garlic potato puree. In summer, sit outside and gaze at the Mariebergsfjärden inlet while consuming successive exquisite, petite—and expensive—courses.
Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Karl XII:s torg
Tel: 46 8 676 5800
Here you'll find opera, ballet, concerts and four outstanding places to eat, each with a distinct character. The most luxurious and expensive, Operakällaren, serves classic French cuisine in a paneled room that dates from the early 1900s. Café Opera's baroque room serves dinner in the evening and then gradually transforms into a nightclub that attracts a sceney crowd, everyone from junior royals to footballers. Operabaren is a cozy Art Deco room that's perfect for a meatball-and-beer lunch; ask for a window seat overlooking the bustling park, Kungsträdgården. Bakfickan, with its traditional Swedish food, is the most casual and often the busiest, especially on weekdays, when it's packed with office workers. There's also a gleaming white minimalist cocktail bar, Operakallarens Bar Veranda, that's a good place to start the evening.
Tel: 46 8 663 0571
Husmanskost, traditional Swedish food, is far from hip, but even in style-conscious Stockholm it's extremely popular. On a sunny day, the best place to try köttbullar (meatballs), stuffed cabbage rolls, fried Baltic herring, and other humble classics is under the mature oak trees of this inn. Despite being in the heart of the city, it feels like the Swedish countryside. Built for the 1897 Stockholm Exposition, it has half–Art Nouveau, half-Gustavian interiors. The prices are cheeky, but worth it, given the idyllic setting and friendly service. Follow the meal with a stroll through Djurgården.