Thanks to prominent pioneers such as René Redzepi and Claus Meyer, the term ‘New Nordic’ is a style of cuisine most commonly associated with Copenhagen. But Malmö, Sweden, is a sprawling, multicultural city, which offers a surprising number of food cultures for its size. Here we’re guiding our readers through the hotspots of culinary Malmö, Sweden.
There is even a Matkaravan (translated as ‘Food Caravan’) in Malmö, which was the original foodie Malmö Food Walk, going strong over 13 years.
Culinary Malmö, Sweden
Across the Strait of Öresund, between Copenhagen and the Swedish south coast, the country’s culinary artisans are preparing a panoply of flavors and styles which makes the Swedish city an obvious Scandinavia’s next great culinary capital.
Understanding Malmö as a culinary destination requires both dinner at raw, innovative Michelin-starred restaurant Bastard run by tattooed chef Andreas Dahlberg and a visit to Saluhallen (opened in 2016), where you can sample herring, elk, local cheese and more. After perusing the stalls, head to the rear left corner of the market to Hedvigsdal pizza outlet. The small group of friends behind Hedvigsdal don’t take themselves too seriously, but their innovative pizzas are a different matter.
Malmö’s proximity to Copenhagen means that both chefs and diners cross the Öresund, resulting in influential travelling in both directions. Malmö’s inhabitants come from 171 nations, which is obvious when you look at the vast array of food stores and restaurants in town. Add to that the fact that one third of Malmö’s population has a foreign background.
However, Sture Restaurant is a traditional Swedish restaurant serving Skåne steaks on wooden platters and the wooden table at the back of the premises is known as the ‘slaughterhouse’. If you’re looking for fish ‘n’ chips, Restaurant Rebell is the right choice. There you’ll have it in their own style.
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Pubs and cafés
The best beer garden in Malmö is Far I Hatten in the middle of Folkets Park. Its quirky interiors and a slice of local life is a must-see. The Krav-labeled and White Guide nominated restaurant serves medium-sized dishes that follow the season and where the ingredients come from local and devoted producers.
Local residents enjoy a bowl of soup under a garden umbrella during summer months at the charming Slottsträdgården café in Slottsparken. If you want a cheap, simple breakfast among locals and would rather skip the more expensive places on the edges of Lilla Torg, head straight to Noir at Engelbrektsgatan 6. Try a sauna-smoked sourdough baguette, open rye bread sandwiches topped with wild mushrooms, local cabbage and Västerbotten cheese (from north Sweden).
The oldest café in Malmö is still the most popular for a reason. Here you can enjoy the best cinnamon buns in Malmö. Owner Filip Åkerblom set up Sweden’s first micro-roastery back in 2016, and Lilla Kafferosteriet is where the latest roasts are showcased. He has recently also established a web-shop.
The cafes around St Knuts Torg are brimming with skilled baristas. Here you’ll find one of the best cafes in Malmö, Uggla, which brews the best ‘snutkaffe’ in town (old-fashioned filter coffee).
Möllevångstorget in Malmö is overflowing with pubs and on the other side of Bergsgatan is the so-called restaurant triangle. At restaurant Möllan you’ll be among journalists in corduroy jackets drinking Czech lager.
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Fine dining and casual eating
Ebbe and Matz Vollmers is the duo behind the Vollmer Brothers Restaurant, offering diners a modern inn specializing in raw ingredients from Skåne, Scandinavia and Europe.
The city’s perhaps most traditional Skåne restaurant serving Skåne ‘fine food’ is Mrs Brown.
Thanks to the elegant presentations focusing on the basic flavors of the raw ingredients B.A.R. natural restaurant and wine bar has proved to be one of the most lauded restaurants in Malmö since its opening in 2012.
The cultural elite of Malmö gathers for jazz-themed brunches at Smak, thanks to its location at Malmö Konsthall gallery. Here you can also enjoy veggie-focused dishes.
If you’re looking for a bistro, Lyran is the kind of place you’ve always wanted was your local dine out place. Stylishly light and Nordic but warm and welcoming. The cooks are composing dreamy dishes from ingredients such as birch sap elixir, local goat’s cheese and wild duck.
Sommelier Pontus Elofsson (formerly of Noma), a passionate advocate of natural wines, has opened his Bord 13. His eccentric menu consists of dishes like poached oysters with dill and pickled coriander, lamb with salted marrow, baked blood cream and pumpkin. Here you can probably also enjoy the best natural wines in the city.
Malmö’s inhabitants come from 171 nations
If you want a taste of this vibrant, emerging scene, start your munching in Malmö, where Vietnamese chef Quan Pham recently opened Restaurant Que. Pressed for time and hungry, don’t miss one of the chain Falafel N1 outlets, established by the Iskandarani family. Falafels have become Malmö’s answer to hot dogs.
The oldest Chinese restaurants in the city, and also one of the most ambitious ethnic restaurants, is Kin Long. Our recommendations are Peking duck and their dim sum (Chinese small dishes) menu.
If Lebanese cuisine is on your bucket list, try restaurant OCCO at Drottningtorget. OCCO offers Lebanese fine dining and small dishes with fresh ingredients that will thrill your taste buds!
Last but not least, we must not forget the pioneers Vilhelm and Marie Pieplow who opened their celebrated restaurant Årstiderna (The Seasons) in 2010. Over all those years the restaurant has maintained a constant presence among the top establishments in Sweden thanks to hands-on cooking with a special focus on asparagus and goose.
Culinary Malmö, Sweden, compiled by Tor Kjolberg