Sweet on Söder

Boaters on HornsgatanWe’re a little in love with Södermalm, and kept finding our way back there. So after one week with Tim in Vasastan and another with Nick in Valencia, we were pleased to find a cozy spot in Skanstull on Söder’s south end for the last week of our Stockholm residency.

Södermalm—particularly its gentrifying west side, Hornstull—has drawn criticism for its love of all things Brooklyn; and the fashion, food and drink choices do feel familiar after time in New York. (Brooklyn Brewery opened its first European branch here in 2013, and is now in every pub in town). But the north and east waterfronts are unmistakably Stockholm; in our limited experience, it can feel like the best of both worlds.

In contrast to New York, Stockholm held a zero-tolerance graffiti policy until last year; but what little exists is mostly in Södermalm. This summer witnessed the gradual ornamentation of the Kolingsborg port house on the island’s north end, a cautious effort by the city to support controlled street art.

Vita Bergen park, the famous backdrop to Strindberg’s The Red Room, covers four square blocks with greenery on Söder’s east side. We caught a free performance by Swedish funk master Nils Landgren in the park theater, part of the Kulturhuset Stadsteatern summer concert series. Our view was woefully obstructed, but the sound worked its way through just fine; fortunately another crowd member recorded some of the action.

The view was somewhat better at Fåfängan, a hilltop fort-turned-cafe on Södermalm’s northeast end. Our brunch there turned rainy, but the smoked shrimp were a thorough consolation.

But Söder really comes alive at night. Gondolen (at top) and Mosebacketerrassen offered particularly potent views (and beverages); other favorites have been Bistro BonBistroteket, and the Fotografiska Museum.

Thanks to our final host Kris for help enjoying a few more adventures before bidding the city goodbye.

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