Malmö, Sweden foodie guide: where locals eat and drink
New Nordic cuisine, traditional Scandinavian cooking and multicultural influences, the city has it all. If you want to track them down in one fell swoop, read on for the best places to eat and drink in Malmö
Looking for the best places to eat and drink in Malmö, West Sweden? We have found the best restaurants in Malmö along with local coffee shops, hip bars and artisan food shops stocking some of the Skåne region's finest produce. Hop over the bridge from Copenhagen (check out our local food guide while you're in Copenhagen) and visit this foodie town, and then add on a couple of days to explore West Sweden, including a unique restaurant by a secluded lake in the middle of the forest, and the trendy seaside city of Gothenburg (here are the best places to eat and drink in Gothenburg).
Check out our favourite spots in Malmö...
Far I Hatten – best beer garden in Malmö
This unique spot in the middle of Folkets Park is a must-see for its quirky interiors and a slice of local life. The cuckoo-clock style cottage, built in 1892, houses a natural wine bar and restaurant complete with wood-fired oven. Its sourdough pizzas are fab – we tried thin and crisp pizza bianca topped with goat’s cheese, zucchini, pistachios and black pepper.
There’s a vast outdoor area (filled with green, blue and red garden chairs), and a covered space that sits somewhere between indoor and outdoor. Retro touches include vintage brown carpets on wooden floors, frilly curtains at little windows that poke through white-panelled walls, and dusty pink Scandinavian chairs to slouch into.
In the summer months Far I Hatten opens for lunch, but it’s a party spot all year round; Malmö’s trendy locals come to drink bespoke Czech beer and dance to live DJs and bands well into the night.
Noir Kaffekultur – best coffee shop in Malmö
The Swedes are obsessed with coffee, so the standard of coffee shops across the country is extremely high. Noir is one of our favourites due to its parasol-lined terrace, unfussy interiors and fab coffee. Pull up a seat outside and watch Malmö locals and Scandi tourists mooch past, or take shelter in the white-tiled seating area inside, with its marble-topped tables and big cushions lining wide window seats.
Try a sauna-smoked sourdough baguette, open rye bread sandwiches topped with wild mushrooms, local cabbage and Västerbotten cheese (from north Sweden), or homemade cakes (we loved the ricotta cake with lemon and blueberries, and the rich chocolate ganache cake decorated with berries and coconut flakes). Though the Swedes generally prefer filter coffee, Noir has blended its own espresso with Lund’s Love Coffee Roasters for creamy cappuccinos and killer cortados.
Hedvigsdal at Malmö Saluhall – best food hall in Malmö
Malmö’s new indoor market is a short walk from the city’s central station, so it’s a handy spot to head to on arrival, or stock up on fuel for your journey home. Produce includes sausages from Limhamns Kött & Vilt, fresh fish caught during high tide around the tiny island of Ven, and the ultimate cinnamon buns and sourdough bread from St Jakobs Stenugnsbageri.
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. From the organic flour to the unusual toppings, all ingredients are locally foraged and produced, mostly in the owners’ own vegetable garden. White pizzas (the majority don’t include tomato) are topped with the likes of overnight cabbage with butter and pecorino, savoy cabbage with soy sauce and mozzarella, and green beans with Skåne cheese and brown butter.
Ost & Vänner – best cheese shop in Malmö
This little cheese shop – ‘cheese and friends’ – is owned by a saxophone-playing cheesemonger (here's our expert guide to cheese). The tiny café is reminiscent of a French bistro, where punters gather round candlelit tables covered with white linen, a glass of natural wine in hand, to listen to live jazz (every Wednesday night the owner plays alongside guest musicians).
During the day you can select four cheeses from the counter to enjoy with homemade preserves (fig jam with coffee and smoked whisky, yellow tomato with ginger and elderflower, and apple jelly with Madagascan vanilla), comforting grilled cheese mopped up with local bread, or hope that the epic four-cheese mac ‘n’ cheese is on the menu.
Bastard – best restaurant in Malmö
Always lively, Bastard is the place to see and be seen in Malmö. The cooking here is of the nose-to-tail eating school, but if you’re not in the mood for pig’s feet or boudin blanc, go for an expert cocktail and soak up the atmosphere.
Lilla Kafferosteriet – best cinnamon buns in Malmö
The oldest café in Malmö is still the most popular for a reason. Owner Filip Åkerblom set up Sweden’s first micro-roastery back in 2016, and Lilla Kafferosteriet is where the latest roasts are showcased.
Sitting just off Malmö’s main square, Lilla Torg, the 16th century building houses a warren of rooms spanning two floors. The cosy feel of its former life as a family home remains, with mismatched tables and chairs, quiet nooks and low ceilings. There’s an atmospheric cobbled courtyard at the back with an ivy-covered gazebo, little lanterns dotted around, and large blankets on the back of every chair.
Ask the baristas to advise you on your coffee choice, as the menu is extensive – there are the usual espresso drinks such as cortados, flat whites and macchiatos, but also refillable filter coffees, nitro cold brews and guest blends. Turn your coffee into an aperitif with coffee brown ale from a local brewery, Nordic tonic water with coffee, or twisted martini made with cognac, orange and coffee.
For good measure, make sure you throw in a cinnamon or cardamom bun from popular local bakery, St Jakob’s Stenugnsbageri.
Ola & Ko – best deli in Malmö
Duck in to this tiny little terracotta shop and step onto its white-tiled floor to scan wooden shelves heaving with jars and bottles (‘pig tail’ spices for pork, homemade jams, and creamy rhubarb and hibiscus sodas from local business Sodalicious).
Owner Petra (that's her, in the picture below) will greet you with a glowing face that is the perfect advertisement for eating organically. Petra sources her meats and treats from organic farms and producers that don’t use chemicals in their products. The counter is brimming with cuts from the Skåne region – dry-aged meats, smoked hamburgers and smoked, free-range chicken – and Petra enthusiastically divulges information on her trusted suppliers.
More like this
Smak – best brunch in Malmö
Smak is where the cultural elite of Malmo gathers for jazz-themed brunches, thanks to its location at Malmö Konsthall gallery. The owner was one of the early adopters of green cuisine, so you can enjoy sustainable and veggie-focused dishes, including a wine and veggie burger brunch.
All lunch and brunch dishes come complete with access to a free salad bar, a well-stocked bread station and unlimited filter coffee. Enjoy dishes such as pickled pumpkin risotto with leek, celery and almonds while surrounded by the café’s earthy interiors or beneath the trees and chandeliers of its walled outdoor terrace.
Entertainment ranges from live jazz to DJs and poetry readings, so check out the list online before you visit and pair your food with your cultural accompaniment of choice.
Mat & Chokladstudion – best chocolate shop in Malmö
Acclaimed Swedish pastry chef Joel Lindqvist uses this shop and studio as his very own chocolate lab to experiment with new flavours and trends. It’s a minimalist space, with grey walls, a solid oak kitchen island and birch shelves lined with handmade products – Joel’s popular sea buckthorn and salted caramel bite, smooth pralines and packs of chewy dried rhubarb make great gifts.
Joel pays special attention to ice cream, and sources his ingredients with great care, including muscovado sugar from Mauritius and organic eggs from Skåne. Ice cream flavours rotate weekly – blackcurrant and yuzu sorbet topped with crispy chocolate and dill was on the menu when we visited.
If you want to learn how its done, Joel hosts classes in the studio, ranging from the basics of praline to the art of modern desserts.
Madamilen food tour - best food tour in Malmö
If you’re lucky enough to be in Malmö (or any Swedish city, in fact) at the same time as a Madamilen tour, we strongly advise that you hop on it. Charlotta (Lotta) Ranert is a passionate foodie and has been putting together food tours in cities across Sweden for the past couple of years. These self-guided walking tours are a join-the-dots trail of foodie pearls, from restaurants to wine bars, patisseries to cheese shops.
Enjoy miniature portions from each place – we were treated to little canapés of cured Norwegian salmon with dill cream and cucumber at Smak, chilli con carne with local meats at Ola & Ko, and beef tartare with caramelised rye bread crumbs and gherkins at Rebell. Pair your courses with local craft beers or try the Skåne region’s refreshing and citrusy pale rosé, made in the coastal suburbs of Malmö at Klagshamns.
Where to stay in Malmö – Story Studio Hotel
Each element of this concept hotel in Malmö is resolutely on-trend – a juice bar, minimalist working spaces, coded keypads to unlock doors. The vast wooden auditorium that serves as a reception area may not immediately shout “warm” but the friendly folk who work there quickly put guests at ease. Pared-back rooms are functional and typically scandi-minimal with lots of little luxuries – glamorous burnt orange chairs, a bag of ‘energy mix’ to keep you going and bespoke STORY toiletries in the slick bathrooms.
Rooms have fab views, but head to the 14th floor to get the full works. Here a huge rooftop terrace boasts panoramic views of the city’s old town in one direction and the port in the other. There are blankets on the stools in case you get chilly, but if you can’t face the cold during the winter months, the floor-to-ceiling windows in the restaurant mean you can still enjoy those views.
Funky furnishings include red curved sofas, black and white chunky lamps and shiny tables. Breakfast is buffet-style, with cold meats and cheeses, fresh bread (complete with DIY toaster), and a coffee and tea bar stocked to satisfy even the most hardened Swedish coffee aficionados. Make sure you pick up a toothpaste-like tube of caviar; it’s very traditional and a must-try.
Check out Tatty Good's top five tips for the best restaurants in Malmö below, along with food shops, coffee shops and bars. Tatty is a British-Swedish food travel writer based in Sweden. She writes for The Guardian and Condé Nast Traveller amongst others.
Vollmers – best Michelin-starred restaurant in Malmö
Of the three restaurants in Malmö to boast a Michelin star, Vollmers stands out for the sheer obsessiveness with which Ebbe and Mats Vollmers source their produce. In spring, white asparagus, wild garlic, forced rhubarb and local fish and shellfish have their chance to shine on its set menus.
Uggla – best café in Malmö
The cafés around St Knuts Torg are brimming with skilled baristas, but if you want a break from creamy lattes, head for newcomer Uggla, which brews the best ‘snutkaffe’ in town. Old-fashioned filter coffee, just like the Nordic noir ‘snutar’ (cops) drink but fresh, hot and really, really good.
Lyran – best bistro in Malmö
Stylishly light and Nordic but warm and welcoming, Lyran is the kind of place you’d happily move house for in order to have it as your local bistro. Get a spot by the tiny open kitchen and watch the laidback cooks composing dreamy dishes from ingredients such as birch sap elixir, local goat’s cheese and wild duck.
Bord 13 – best natural wines in Malmö
At Bord 13 sommelier Pontus Elofsson (formerly of Noma) is a passionate advocate of natural wines. Enjoy a glass alongside the skillfully executed, eccentric menu (poached oysters with dill and pickled coriander, lamb with salted marrow, baked blood cream and pumpkin) or book a tasting session and try five different wines.
Where else to go in West Sweden after Malmö...
If you're keen to get into the Swedish countryside, hire a car from Malmö and drive a couple of hours to the secluded foodie settlement of Stedsans in the Woods, a restaurant in the forest with cabins and a floating sauna on Lake Halla. Read our review here...
More information: visitsweden.com
olive magazine podcast ep74 - coffee and Swedish baking and breakfasts
We embrace hygge for autumn with a chat about Nordic breakfasts, Swedish baking and cooking over fire with chef Niklas Ekstedt.