The Best Nordic Restaurants in New York City

Aska | © Charlie Bennet
Rachel Gould

Art & Design Editor

Over the past few years, Nordic cuisine has made an impressive infiltration into the New York City culinary scene, thanks to heavyweight Scandinavian restaurateurs and chefs bringing their fermenting, pickling and foraging talents to the concrete jungle. From food halls to fine dining restaurants, these are the best Nordic restaurants in New York City.

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The illustrious Aquavit has been serving the finest in Nordic cuisine since its Midtown doors opened in 1987. With two Michelin stars and over 30 years of critically acclaimed culinary success, this Manhattan institution is founded on the gastronomic treasures of Sweden such as fish, game, and root vegetables. Here, you can dine in three ways: through a chef’s tasting menu, a seasonal tasting menu, or a prix-fixe menu. The rustic decor complements chef Emma Bengtsson’s refined menu of dishes including sweetbreads flanked by chanterelles and black garlic, as well as king crab served with plum. As the name suggests, the restaurant also specializes in aquavit (alternatively spelled akvavit), a spirit infused with herbs and spices.

Fika uses locally sourced products to create fresh flavors

FIKA, which translates from Swedish as a coffee break accompanied by conversation and a sweet or savory snack, has seven locations strewn across Manhattan. In line with typical Scandinavian tradition, FIKA aims to uphold high-quality standards without environmental or economic compromise. Therefore, everything from the milk used to their products’ packaging is locally sourced to balance fresh flavors with the fullest integrity. The menu features Swedish favorites like cured salmon, Swedish meatballs and an assortment of house-baked pastries and hand-rolled truffles from FIKA’s very own Tribeca-based chocolatier. Even the coffee beans used for their lattes and macchiatos are roasted locally using a Swedish technique.


It’s all about the perfect brew, quality food and conversation at Konditori, a Nordic-style café. In Swedish, konditori means a traditional Swedish café for hot beverages and sweets, so it makes sense that here you’ll settle into a bright space where you can sample Scandinavian treats such as kanelbulle (cinnamon rolls) and cardamon bread, as well as an assortment of muffins, biscotti and croissants. Pair something sweet with a mug of coffee, made from a blend of beans from three Central American countries.


At Aska, modern Scandinavian food is on full display. Chef-owner Fredrik Berselius fuses local ingredients with an air of the exotic and esoteric: pig’s-blood pancakes are crowned with amaranth leaves, and birchwood ice cream is flecked with mushrooms. The only way to dine in the tiny, dark space is through one of two tasting menus (for $265 you’ll journey through 16-18 courses, and $185 will get you ten), both of which will often last several hours.


Beer lovers, rejoice: Perched just north of McCarren Park in Greenpoint, Tørst has served the neighborhood as a bona fide Danish beer bar, replete with 21 rotating beers on tap – from pilsners to barleywines and stouts – poured out into glasses bubbling over with frothy clouds. There’s also over 200 beer bottles to choose from, curated from around the world. Snag a couple of small plates, like curried lamb stew and a crispy fried chicken sandwich swiped with celery root remoulade, to snack on while you sample a slew of beers.

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