Romantic restaurants in Stockholm are not hard to find but some fit the bill better than others. With the long cosy winter nights and equally long sunny summer days it seems like nearly every restaurant can get its romance on if the mood is right. But if you want romance with a capital ‘R’ — the one that will make your beloved swoon — these are the ones for you.
Restaurant, European, Swedish, $$$
Under the direction of Stefano Catenacci, Operakällaren (Cafe Opera) has gained a Michelin star, which complements its longstanding reputation as one of the most glamorous high-end restaurants in the city, just on the edge of Kungsträdgården. The newly renovated interior is all flattering lighting and colours, with tables just far enough apart to give you space for whispering sweet nothings.
Fine Dining, Romantic, Gourmet, Stylish, Traditional
Brasserie, French, European, $$$
What could be more romantic than spending a few hours in a bustling yet intimate French brasserie in the heart of the city? Known for top level yet very friendly service, Zink Grill serves up classic French flair — and the best pomme frites you’ll ever taste. Tables are small, which means there’s plenty of room for getting cosy.
Originally named La Grenouille, Grodan (The Frog) has been a star on the Stockholm restaurant scene since 1985, but the premises have been home to some sort of Östermalm tavern or place to eat since the late 1800s. It’s a favourite with business types and locals alike, and it’s known for its fantastic menu and service that is attentive but never intrusive. This place is perfect for a long dinner spent staring into each other’s eyes that sparkle in the candlelight.
Chilled out. Laid-back. Those are just two of the phrases used over and over again when describing Beruit Café. The décor is eclectic, the Lebanese menu inspiring, and the atmosphere is quirky and cosy. Then there’s the award-winning cookbook, perfect for the couple who likes to cook together. There are also three albums featuring the relaxing music that set the tone for the restaurant — take one home and continue the romance there.
With views to die for, Himlen has been wowing the city since 2007, when the Swedish Tax Authority moved out of this rather brutal functionalist building and some of Stockholm’s most savvy entrepreneurs moved in. The bar and restaurant are located 104 metres above street level, offering 360-degree views of the city. Elegant and luxurious best describe the vibe. Coming here means you’re in the mood to impress.
An unusual restaurant in an unusual location, Restaurang Clou is relatively new to the scene but has quickly made its mark with a wildly adventurous but meticulously executed menu — and a drinks menu to match. Located just steps from Stockholm‘s Central Station and overlooking twisted train tracks through huge windows, this place has an atmosphere that is modern and intimate, yet oddly expansive. While the focus is on food and drink, here you can also enjoy the fantastic modern art and a deadly good soundtrack.
What can be more romantic than a wine cellar, where you nibble cheese, sip recommended wine, and drink with one another in a cosy, intimate environment that practically screams ‘Kiss him!’. It’s not all wine and cheese here, though: there’s also a carefully curated menu that uses only the finest in-season ingredients. The neighbourhood on Kungsholmen isn’t the flashiest part of town, which somehow makes Wijnjas Ost & Vinkällare even more special.
Named after the island where it got its start, Oaxen is now located on Djurgården and is a legend not just in Stockholm but across the global restaurant scene. The emphasis is on Nordic cuisine using locally sourced and seasonal flavours and the wine list is carefully selected from small vineyards around Europe. At its heart, Oaxen isn’t serving a meal, it’s serving an experience, one that engages all the senses and leaves you reeling as you reluctantly head out the door.
Perfect for a date, Le Rouge is located in the heart of Old Town, in a spot where food has been traded, served, and enjoyed since the Middle Ages. Today it’s a tavern with dramatic red walls that play on a Moulin Rouge theme and a menu that keeps the focus on meat and fish. It’s cosy, it’s romantic, and it’s one of Stockholm’s best.
Restaurant with Rooms, Swedish, French, European, $$$
Fem Små Hus (Five Small Houses) serves a mix of Swedish and French cuisine in charming vaulted cellars that run under five houses in Stockholm’s Old Town. This is another spot with a history: the first restaurant in the space was run by a woman named Anna Lindberg in the 1600s. An extensive wine list complements the fantastic food, and the cosiness of the cellars makes snuggling almost obligatory.
Helenes like to call itself a pub but it’s more than that: it’s a restaurant that puts the focus on good quality food and a convivial atmosphere. Locals love this place for its simple food and warm, friendly staff who make everyone feel at home. If you’ve been together a while this might be the perfect place to relax and enjoy your longstanding love.
Chef Erik Lallerstedt is a legend on the Swedish restaurant scene and Gondolen is one of his finest creations. High up above Slussen on Södermalm, Gondolen has views that stretch across the city. The food is modern, slightly experimental, and very Nordic. The drinks and wine menus are among the best in the city. This is where you’re torn between gazing into your lover’s eyes, drinking in the views, or simply raving about the food.