With a sizeable Middle Eastern community, Stockholm is unsurprisingly home to a slew of great restaurants serving up authentic Middle Eastern food from across the region – and they’re doing it in every way imaginable, from cosy little takeout joints to the finest and most elegant of dining experiences. What all of these restaurants have in common is quality and taste; you will be blown away at how good Stockholm does Middle Eastern food.
Restaurant, Lebanese, $$$
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Photo courtesy of Beirut Cafe
Bustling and very popular, Beirut Cafe is a mainstay on the Stockholm dining scene, serving up what some consider to be the best Lebanese food in the city. The meze is something of a religion for regulars, and the vegetarian options are quite extensive. Because of its popularity it’s a good idea to book ahead, particularly at the weekends.
It’s all about the meze here at Babel Deli – the casual, tasty, and very fresh and healthy eatery that has fast become one of the city’s go-to lunch spots. Everything is prepared with the finest ingredients and there are plenty of options, even for vegans and vegetarians. The service is fast and the prices are remarkably cheap for Stockholm.
Walid Abou-Reslan opened this classic Lebanese restaurant opened in 2002 with the express purpose of introducing Swedes to authentic and traditional Lebanese food; cooking and serving food as it is done in Lebanon, with warmth, generosity, and great hospitality. The traditional meze stands strong alongside the barbecue menus and true home-style cooking – it’s delicious and deserves every bit of its popularity.
If you’re in a for a quick takeaway that is delightfully tasty look no further than Falafelbaren, where the food is fresh, the portions are massive, and the taste is out of this world. Located on Stockholm’s trendy Södermalm, Falafelbaren is a firm favourite, with locals lining up for their fix. And their statement that they stay open until 7pm on weekdays – or until they run out of falafels – tells you all you need to know about this place’s popularity.
Veggie food in Tangier is a delight to the taste buds | Courtesy of Reggev Hummus
Small, cosy, and a go-to destination for both Stockholm’s vegetarian and vegans and its carnivores. And if you think hummus can’t make a meal think again – Reggev Hummus does some of the best hummus in the city and serves it up in ways you probably never dreamed. That the staff is known for being among the nicest in the city just adds to the allure.
With around 30 dishes to choose from on the menu you might think there would be a few duds in there – but if you’re thinking that think again. Underbar is known for top quality food that is bursting with flavour, as well as top level service and a fantastic atmosphere. There are tasty vegetarian options and since the opening hours are as generous as the portions you have no reason to not go here.
For lovers of Persian food, Shahrzad is the place to be. Beautiful surroundings set the stage for a feast that has to be tried to be believed. From slow-cooked stews to small plates of starters to a house wine that perfectly compliments that amazing menu, one cannot sing the praises of Shahrzad high enough. On Friday and Saturday nights there is the extra bonus of a belly dancing show and if you’re in town during the holidays make sure to try the Christmas buffet (it is other-worldly), and the lunch buffet is perfect for the vegetarians among us.
Restaurang Vanak is a bit out of the way in the suburb of Akalla, but lovers of Persian food say it’s more than worth the trip. The decor is simple but serves as the perfect backdrop, giving room for the amazing food to shine. The lamb in particular (in all its many varieties) is outstanding, and on the weekends there is live music, adding an extra layer of atmosphere and fun. Prices are reasonable but if you’re really on a budget, do lunch – the special lunch price is good until 2pm.
The name is a hint: lots of grilling and that means lots of meat, which is served up in a variety of ways – all of them juicy and delicious. The outdoor seating is perfect during the warmer months and, as part of the burgeoning food scene around Vasastan’s Röstrandsgatan area, this is one of the most popular spots. As a result bookings are highly recommended, particularly at the weekends.
Harran is a proper neighbourhood restaurant, serving up an interesting blend of both Turkish and Mediterranean food. It’s known both for a passion for cooking and reasonable prices – and if you’ve got an appetite you won’t be disappointed because the portions are generous. The atmosphere is great but the focus really is on the food, with a focus on meat. Lamb is a big player on the menu, as expected, and it is perfectly prepared every time, no matter how you order it, while the pasta dishes are unexpectedly great. Even better is the great drinks menu.
This excellent Lebanese restaurant has a quiet and cosy elegance that belies its popularity. It’s the kind of restaurant that wins devotees, with the meze particularly well-regarded. There’s a good mix of vegetarian and meat options, so no worries about meeting the various dietary needs of your friends. It really does get busy, though, so booking ahead is recommended, especially on weekend nights. There are three outlets around the city but the one on Södermalm is considered by some to be the best.
Rotana Cafe is another one that’s a bit out of the way, located in the somewhat tony suburb Bromma, but don’t let the location put you off. This place is casual and excellent, doing away with formality and making up for it with friendliness, tasty fare, incredible drinks, and a great atmosphere. Throw in an absolutely gorgeous outdoor space in the summer (and some pretty incredible ice cream treats) and you may not want to head back into the city once your done. It’s like sitting in someone’s garden and being treated like royalty.