The laidback gastropub The Flying Elk is the work of charming, telegenic chef Björn Frantzén. In a dining room suffused with natural light, game, pork and potatoes take on creative permutations, and the roasted ox heart is eminently moreish. Next door is Frantzén’s wine bar, Gaston – a tiny affair with a couple of tall communal tables, a backlit bar with some three dozen vintages sourced worldwide, and small plates sent over from The Flying Elk. Mälatorget 15 (+468-208 583; theflyingelk.se).
The two-Michelin-starred meal A cult hit while set on a tiny island in the Stockholm Archipelago, Oaxen has become an international destination since moving in 2013 to Djurgården, where it is a two-restaurants-in-one phenomenon. Don’t be fooled by the industrial-chic look of Oaxen Krog – chef Magnus Ek is all about very fine dining, his menu a six- or 10-course tour de force of seasonal seafood (cockles, oysters, scallops and langoustine all feature in summer). At Oaxen Slip, things are more relaxed, with its triple-height ceilings from which old wooden fishing boats are suspended, elevated “Nordic-bistro” fare (herring three ways, smoked perch, oxen sausage) and an appealing air of smiling alacrity among the staff. Beckholmsvägen 26 (+468-5515 3105; oaxen.com).
The Sunday brunch South across the strait from Oaxen is the pier-based Restaurant J, where visitors and locals pitch up in RIBs or sailboats to join the happy, rammed Sunday brunch scene, sitting in simple canvas directors’ chairs, under a conservatory. Ellensviks-vägen 1, Nacka Strand (+468-601 3025; hotelj.com).
The designer dining room In the grand old Grand Hôtel, the Ilse Crawford-designed Matbaren (dining bar) serves delectable à la carte dishes at an open-kitchen counter. Warm bread arrives in small paper parcels, the cooks laugh and natter, and all is cheery and amenable (except, perhaps, the bill: two starters, a glass of white Burgundy and bottled water set me back about £75 – but then, such sticker shock is par for the course in this ridiculously expensive city). Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8 (+468-679 3500; grandhotel.se).
Lunch with a view Floating bar-café Mälarpaviljongen, right in the centre of town, is ideal on a warm afternoon for easy contemplation of the absurdly pretty cityscape over a bottle of wine and some fruits de mer. (NB: unless you’re on the dating market, best vacate before evening, when the clientele reportedly begins to skew decidedly single). Norr Mälarstrand 64 (+468-650 8701; malarpaviljongen.se).
For our guide to Stockholm’s shops, sites and hotels, click here.