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Ethical Eating: The 10 Best Sustainable Restaurants in Stockholm

Stortorget Square in Gamla Stan, Stockholm
Stortorget Square in Gamla Stan, Stockholm | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Sorcha McCrory
3 March 2020
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Often referred to as the ‘world’s biggest small town’, Stockholm is densely populated by people and Michelin stars alike. You’re never short of a good meal, but a few restaurateurs are taking things one step further – by making meals that are good for the planet, too. We’ve rounded up the best sustainable restaurants in Stockholm.

Fotografiska

Art Gallery, Museum
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56-3978810-fotografiska
Courtesy of Fotografiska
Based in Stockholm’s internationally renowned photo gallery, Fotografiska is so much more than a restaurant. The waterfront museum holds four major exhibitions per year, with previous shows including works by Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle. However, the restaurant, under the guidance of head chef Paul Svensson, has come to exist in its own right. The organic and plant-based kitchen has won multiple awards for its conscious cooking that sees sustainability considered in every aspect of the restaurant – whether it’s reducing food waste or recycling napkins as menus. Choose from a five- or three-course vegetarian menu and add meat or fish as you see fit. Note that all dinner bookings come with a reduced entrance fee to the gallery.

Oaxen Krog

Bistro, Restaurant, Contemporary, Swedish, Northern European, $$$
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There are a few Oaxen locations dotted around Stockholm – including Slip, a relaxed bistro that offers a taste of its Michelin-starred counterpart at an affordable price point – but Oaxen Krog offers a high-end fine-dining menu. Originating from Oaxen, an island in the Stockholm archipelago, the restaurant came from Swedish chef Magnus Ek’s fascination with the wild herbs growing in abundance along its shores and woodlands. Now based in Djurgården, the ethos remains the same, as the chefs follow the seasons and forage for wild ingredients.

Gastrologik

Market, Restaurant, Swedish, European, $$$
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Two-Michelin-starred Gastrologik, founded by chefs Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr, uses exclusively Swedish produce and is heavily dictated by the seasons. According to its website: “There is no menu at Gastrologik. We simply allow the producers to decide which ingredients we use. The seasons control the changing produce, and so we adapt and adjust the menu on a daily basis.” No two days are the same at Gastrologik. Located in Östermalm, the elegantly decorated restaurant is close to many of the city’s best bars – making it the perfect spot for a late-night aperitif.

Volt Sweden

Restaurant, European
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Restaurant Volt’s philosophy is simple: they aim to be “as closely connected to nature and far from industrially produced food as one can get”. This results in a perfectly composed menu that “focuses on ingredients and products from the forests, fields and seas that surround us”. This extends to their suppliers, as they refuse to work with any not closely following and respecting the changing seasons. This simple but effective mission statement has won them multiple awards and legions of fans from the industry and the public. Seven courses cost around 950SEK (£78.50), making it a cost-effective introduction to contemporary fine dining.

Urban Deli

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
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Urban Deli, described as a “restaurant, a grocery store [and] a mall”, has multiple locations around the city. Urban Deli’s vision is “to make food easier, tastier and happier”. Put simply, “food should be good for diners’ taste buds and have been prepared in a way that is good for people, animals, the environment and climate”. Proving that sustainability can exist outside of fine dining, Urban Deli is popular with office workers on lunch breaks and commuters looking for a healthy takeaway – as well as evening dinner guests. The organic emporium also offers events, educational courses and yoga classes.

Agrikultur Sweden

Restaurant, European, $$$
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Agrikultur is a cosy restaurant that celebrates “seasonal harvests and daily markets”. Based in Stockholm’s Siberia neighbourhood, the restaurant is the polar opposite of its area’s namesake. Instead, warm and friendly service welcomes guests, and the open kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs at work. Agrikultur is “inspired by the very definition of agriculture: where the cultivation of plants, animals, seeds and grains sustain as well as enhance life in a delicious way”. Simple produce from “selected local farms, ranches and dairies” that operate sustainably is transformed into a delicious 1,245SEK (£103) tasting menu.

Ekstedt

Diner, Restaurant, Swedish, $$$
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Responsibly sourced produce is one thing, but how sustainable is it after it’s been cooked using nonrenewable energy? This is the question that underpins Ekstedt, where “only natural heat, soot, ash, smoke and fire” is used. The six-course seasonal menu, for 1,260SEK (£104), revolves around the different woods and techniques used in the restaurant, which head chef Niklas Ekstedt learned from an 18th-century Swedish cookbook. Dishes like birch-fired celeriac, ember-baked scallop and juniper-smoked cod offer insight to the variety available with open-fire cooking.

Hermans

Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
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Hermans offers a plant-based, or ‘planet-friendly’, all-you-can-eat buffet with harbour views that’s great for small budgets and large appetites. Lunch, dinner and weekend menus are available with reduced prices for children, and everything is prepared using raw and organic ingredients. The restaurant was opened in 1992 by vegetarian pioneer Herman Ottosson, and new owners Leo and Omer have carried on the restaurateur’s vision. The owners explain: “We choose to serve plant-based food because it has the least harmful environmental impact, and we use organic raw materials whenever possible. All waste is recycled; work clothes are made with organic cotton and bamboo. The restaurant is eco-labeled and the company car rolls on biofuel.”

Stadshuskällaren

Food Court, Swedish
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Stadshuskällaren is located in the cellars of Stockholm City Hall – where the Nobel Prize banquet is held each year. This grandiose setting could serve as inspiration for head chef Maria Stridh, but she instead looks to the natural beauty of the country to inform the typically Swedish à la carte menu. Traditional dishes like bleak roe and saddle of red deer are on the menu, all served in Stadshuskällaren’s original 1920s interiors. Stadshuskällaren has an environmental certificate called a Swedish Swan, meaning it “takes a holistic approach to environmental work, thereby reducing its impact in terms of energy, water, food raw materials, cleaning chemicals and waste”.

Mahalo

Cafe, Vegan, $$$
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Mahalo is a vegan café and restaurant that creates fresh and healthy meals, plus serves juices, smoothies and turmeric shots, perfect for a nutritious lunch or early dinner. The female-owned company launched in 2015 under the name Hälsocafet, and has been preparing raw and organic food from local suppliers with “a lot of love for the environment, the animals and for our lovely guests” ever since. There are two locations in the city, one in Södermalm and another in Vasastan. Note that both kitchens close at 7pm.

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