Over the years, Nordic cuisine, has become increasingly integrated into New York City’s
culinary culture. Highlighting concepts of sustainability, Nordic restaurants serve the freshest local organic ingredients and showcase innovative variations in a welcoming Nordic atmosphere. From clean and contemporary to rustic and relaxed, we explore ten of the best Nordic restaurants in New York City.
Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, American, French, Italian, European, $$$
Located in the trendy NoHo neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, Acme specializes in New American cuisine with a Scandinavian flare. It offers inventive dishes that feature thoughtful flavor pairings and the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. The dinner menu is separated into vegetable and protein selections as well as small bites, ‘soil’ meals predominantly of root vegetables and large entrees. With exposed brick walls, warm candle lighting and a bold, retro tiled ceiling, Acme stands at the fashionable intersection of innovation and sophistication with a chic, urban twist.
Acme, 9 Great Jones Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 203 2121
The illustrious Aquavit has been serving the finest in Nordic cuisine since its Midtown doors opened in 1987. With two Michelin stars and over twenty years of critically acclaimed culinary success, this Manhattan institution is founded on the gastronomic treasures of Sweden: seafood, game and root vegetables, to name a few. Diners enjoy the best of Scandinavia in a sleek yet rustic setting accompanied by wood panelling with pristine white accents and typically modern Arne Jacobsen chairs. The decor perfectly complements Chef Emma Bengtsson’s refined menu of earthy dishes such as hay-smoked gravlax and venison tartar with huckleberries, smoked vanilla and juniper crisp. As the name suggests, the restaurant also specializes in aquavit (alternatively spelled akvavit), a spirit infused with herbs and spices. Aquavit is a discerning choice for those seeking a truly exceptional dining experience.
Aquavit, 65 East 55th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 307 7311
Crêpes du Nord
Crêpes du Nord on Wall Street infuses the French crêpe with Nordic influences and a conscience. Supporting the customer’s right to eat well in every sense of the word, the crêperie promotes delicious food, local business and environmental sustainability by growing their own produce, obtaining their own eggs and sourcing all crêpe ingredients from local, organic farms. Alongside a selection of salads, juices, teas and wine, Crêpes du Nord features an extensive range of sweet and savory crêpes, from their signature Crêpe Du Nord, cured salmon and scrambled eggs with dill crème; to the Midnight Sun, white chocolate and fresh strawberries with whipped cream. Crêpes du Nord is the perfect spot for a relaxed yet elegant European-style meal.
Crêpes du Nord, 17 South William Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 422 9500
Cafe, American, $$$
FIKA, which in Swedish means ‘a coffee break to indulge in the ritual of conversation, often accompanied by something sweet or savory’, expertly fuses delicious food with a rich cultural atmosphere and welcoming decor. In the Scandinavian tradition, FIKA aims to uphold high quality standards without environmental or economic compromise. Therefore, everything from the milk they serve to their products’ packaging is locally and honestly sourced to balance fresh, delicious flavors with the fullest integrity. The menu features Swedish favorites like cured salmon, artisanal meatballs, an assortment of house baked pastries and hand rolled truffles from their very own Tribeca-based chocolatier; even the coffee beans are roasted locally using a Swedish technique to achieve the perfect cup. In promoting the Swedish ‘coffee-centric lifestyle’ amongst coffee-fueled New Yorkers, FIKA has created something of a match made in heaven.
FIKA, 41 West 58th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 832 0022
Cafe, American, $$$
It’s all about the perfect brew, quality food and engaging conversation at Konditori, a Nordic-style café named after the Swedish term for a ‘gathering place to enjoy friends over great coffee, fine baked goods and confections’. Konditori fosters an air of rustic comfort with vintage accents, the perfect environment in which to relax whilst enjoying Scandinavian treats such as Kanelbulle (cinnamon rolls) and cardamom bread (coffee bread with almond filling). Essential to the concept of Konditori is a strong, aromatic cup of coffee, and the café is partnered with a local Brooklyn roaster to create a unique Konditori blend that customers can appreciate via French press or filter brew. Bringing both the taste and feel of Sweden to several locations around New York City, Konditori infuses the comforts of a Swedish atmosphere with a lively sense of New York City trendiness.
Konditori, 186 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 347 384 2028
Bar, Restaurant, Danish, American, $$$
Offering traditional Nordic forager’s fare, Luksus is a small restaurant with definitive Danish tones adjacent to Tørst, a lively Scandinavian-style beer hall. The Danish word for ‘luxury’, Luksus features a scaled-back tasting menu with carefully crafted dishes staring vividly colored, garden fresh ingredients. Each plate is delicate with a subtle sophistication, clearly thought through from concept to garnish. In keeping with such a focused menu, Tørst steals the beverage show with a selection of craft beers to pair with your meal, as there is no option to order wine or cocktails. The décor is minimalist chic and harmonious with the food’s presentation. With OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards for ‘Best Overall’ restaurant, ‘Best Ambiance’ and ‘Best Food’, Luksus possesses the magic combination of comfort and style conducive to a thoroughly enjoyable meal.
Luksus, 615 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 718 389 6034
Food Kiosk, Market, Japanese
Bridging the gap between two seafood-based cuisines to create an unexpected yet compatible menu of ‘Nordic sushi’, Noshi unites Danish smørrebrød, an open sandwich, with the fresh simplicity of Japanese sushi. Noshi’s one-of-a-kind version of smørrebrød prepares Japanese ingredients such as seaweed, ginger and wasabi using the Danish techniques of curing and smoking. Noshi consists of a rye bread sourdough-base topped with variations of cured and smoked salmon, mackerel, herring and cod, as well as colorful garnishes of cucumber, beet and dill. This is an unconventional food joint, operating kiosk-style at Smorgasburg, a food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With long lines of eager patrons and the East River as its backdrop, Noshi’s atmosphere is appropriately relaxed, simple and focused on the food.
Noshi at Smorgasburg, Kent Avenue and North 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY, USA +1 917 545 2648
The SKÁL dining experience is all about the art of pairing. Whether it’s the complementary tones of innovation and comfort or bold flavors with subtle accents, SKÁL, the Icelandic word for ‘drinking toast’, presents a dynamic selection of Scandinavian-inspired fare. Employing Nordic preparation techniques such as hay smoking, pickling and fermenting, the menu is natural, health-conscious and consistently unexpected. Diners are immersed in a corresponding atmosphere of cool, pale blue hues with clean white and rustic wood accouterments, reminiscent of a cozy Icelandic cottage. Pair a brunch of raspberry pancakes with vanilla bean and thyme foam, smoked raspberries and goat butter with a glass of carefully selected wine or beer, or opt for an unusually infused cocktail featuring organic spirits, fresh juices, herbs and spices. At SKÁL, the details form a truly enjoyable meal.
SKÁL, 37 Canal Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 777 7518
Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
The farm fresh ingredients of New Nordic cuisine serve as the foundation of Midtown-based Smörgås Chef, located in the Nordic cultural center, Scandinavia House. Guests enjoy a distinctively Scandinavian atmosphere featuring a central birch tree installation and contemporary Arne Jacobsen seating. The restaurant sources all meat and produce from their very own Blenheim Hill Farm in the Catskills, ensuring that only the finest quality local fixings make their way onto your plate. Smörgås Chef offers deliciously dynamic lunch, brunch, dinner and prix fixe menus; as well as ‘Dinner and a Movie’ options on Wednesday and Friday evenings, complete with a three-course meal and film screening. After sharing a classic smorgasbord platter or partaking in a greenhouse-fresh salad, round out your Nordic experience by exploring Scandinavia House’s gallery, concerts, lectures and cultural events.
Smörgås Chef at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 686 4230
Restaurant, Danish, Contemporary, $$$
Infusing the long withstanding traditions of Danish cuisine with contemporary elements of gastronomic innovation, The Copenhagen is one way to experience the best of Denmark from Tribeca, or even the comfort of your own home, should you opt for a takeaway. The Copenhagen comes to New York City straight from Denmark and specializes in smørrebrød; small, open-faced sandwiches of house-baked rye topped with fresh meats, vegetables and salads. The restaurant’s décor is minimalist, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails. Sample six types of smørrebrød, a large tasting platter or a meal of pickled or curried herring. Every Tuesday The Copenhagen features a ‘Traditional Danish Dinner,’ ranging from pan-cooked chicken with cucumber salad, rhubarb compote and potatoes to meatballs in curry sauce served with apples and celery.
The Copenhagen, 13 Laight Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 925 1313