A Guide to Stockholm with Brett Moses of Teen Commandments
My first impressions of Stockholm were formed, improbably, at the McDonald’s inside Stockholm Central Station, where a beautiful young Swede took my order for a “McFeast & Co.” in near-perfect English. Another blonde manned the grill. As she flipped my burger, she smiled. And why shouldn’t she be smiling? Even the most unglamorous Swedish jobs promise benefits and a decent wage. Admittedly, my burger lacked a certain je ne sais quoi– some uniquely greasy byproduct of consumer guilt and market-capitalism that makes American fast food so numbingly delicious. But whatever– I was impressed.
Enter Stockholm, an archipelagic city of monochromatic Brooklyn-loving hipsters, humble polyglots, and tall people. Visit in late Spring or Summer, or be sure to pack a Fjallraven parka. Skip McDonalds, and check out my picks for your Scandi-cool getaway:
Louie Louie - Take a much needed break from Stockholm’s too-trendy Sodermalm district, and grab lunch at Louie Louie, a 50’s inspired cafe where DJ’s spin rock’n’roll records culled from an in-house vinyl collection. Rockabilly types, Sodermalm snobs, and musicians mix freely over strong coffee and vegetarian lasagna.
Hermans - Perched precariously upon one of Sodermalm’s highest cliffs, Hermans serves an affordably priced vegetarian buffet and offers one of the best views of the city. Converse with hippies, backpackers and students at communal tables. And don’t forget to save room for the apple pie, a Swedish specialty.
Cafe Saturnus - Cafe Saturnus, a mainstay of Stockholm’s intelligentsia, serves an enchanting breakfast and the best kanelbulle, a hulking perfectly-sweet cinnamon bun, in the whole city. (Fact: The Standard New York imports their cinnamon buns from Saturnus) Located in Ostermalm, Stockholm’s hoity-toity club district, Cafe Saturnus a perfect place to people watch and reach your daily sugar limit.
Cafe Blå Lotus - For something a little more low key, try Cafe Blå Lotus, a cozy lunch spot in the Soder district. As with most Swedish restaurants, you can’t go wrong with “dagens special” – the meal of the day.
DRINK & DANCE:
Häktët - Start and end your Stockholm bar-hop at Häktët, an earthy, wood-clad pub that is nearly always packed with locals. Häktët is a reliable bar with outstanding music, strong drinks and no gimmicks. Unlike many local bars, Häktët is open until a relatively owlish 3AM.
Under Bron - Under Bron is the the destination of choice for Swedish and international house music DJs. Three distinctive indoor dance floors, a terrace bar, and a sprawling outdoor summer club mean Under Bron has something for everyone. Expect long lines, expensive drinks and a fashionable crowd of cool-kids.
Morfar Ginko - A favorite local hangout– Morfar Ginko serves cocktails and bar-food until 1AM. Although I hardly know anyone in Sweden, I always manage to run into someone at Morfar Ginko. A terrific stop on any night out.
SEE & SHOP:
Vasamuseet - In 1628, Henrik Hybertsson, the famed shipwright, finished the Vasa, a massive wooden warship designed to showcase Swedish naval prowess. It sank immediately. Preserved for centuries in Stockholm’s brackish waters, the Vasa is now the centerpiece of the outstanding Vasa Museum.
Bruno - Swedish has a number of kickass fashion brands. At Bruno, you’ll find most of them. Whyred, Hope and Danish brand Samoe Samsoe all have boutiques at Bruno, as does A Place, an outlet of sorts for Swedish hipster fashion.
Brett Moses live in New York City and is the singer in the very fun indie synth pop band Teen Commandments.