The Ultimate Hipster Guide to Stockholm
We all know Swedes are cool. They’ve got the music (Lykke Li, The Knife, Icona Pop), the fashion (ACNE, Cheap Monday), the cheap and expensive design (IKEA, Orrefors) and the groundbreaking politics (sexism-rated movies).
So, if you’re planning on moving to Stockholm and want to keep your cool factor you’ve so carefully accumulated in your home country then this guide is for you. We’ll tell you what to wear, where to shop and what to eat and drink so that you don’t have to feel… you know… mainstream.
If you’re simply looking for some cool places to check out in Stockholm, we’ve got that covered too.
ACNE-inspired, black, oversized, minimalist and androgynous head to toe will always work in Sweden. A big (as in HUGE) scarf effortlessly tied around your neck gets you extra points. Whilst the Cuban heel ankle boot used to be the ORTTW (Only Right Thing To Wear) the sport trend has hit hard in Sweden and a pair of Nike Free Run trainers would now be the most appropriate choice of footwear. Oh, and be sure to take out your hair bun (so several months ago!).
Fitted clothes are an absolute no-go. Channel the comfy-cash and enjoy that your annoying body-con party dress is about to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A blue and white stripy long-sleeved tee and dark blue straight leg jeans with a turn up is your safest choice, assuming you’ve got an anchor tattoo somewhere. If you’re really keen to impress go for a 1940’s washed out granddad shirt, high rise jeans or straight leg tweed trousers, braces, a cable knit jumper that you knitted yourself and a vintage work wear jacket – oil stains included. Think lumberjack with immaculate attention to detail. This look will not work without facial hair. The bigger the better. Go on, get your grow on.
The most hipster thing to do in relation to food is to throw your own dinner party, but to impress your fellow hipsters you need to put a lot of effort in to this. Make your own sausages. Seriously. Spice them with some really exotic (and organic) spice no one has ever heard of. If filling skin with mince isn’t your cup of tea than at least be sure that the vegetables you serve come from your very own plantation plot. Wrong season? Tough luck. You might be better off heading to one of these places:
Taylor & Jones Hötorget
Hötorgshallen, 11 57 Stockholm +46 8 411 81 91
Meat is hip. Vegetarian food is blasé. At the hipster hangout Taylor & Jones you can munch on turkey, ham, pork and above all, a lot of sausages. These guys are really passionate about their meat, just check out their website “The Sausage Telegraph”. You got it, it’s an online magazine about meat. If that isn’t hipster, then we don’t know what is.
Hornsbruksgatan 24, 117 34 Stockholm +46 8 669 13 12
“Käk” is Swedish slang for food, and this newly opened street-food place is rather appropriately owned by slang master and Swedish rapper Petter. We’re talking burgers, pulled pork and tacos served with boozy shakes. They get extra hipster points for using locally baked bread. Being Swedish and that, these guys are pretty political and we salute them for voicing this statement on their webpage:
“The development today means that more and more, especially young people, are forced in to short term employment. Freelancing and working on an hourly rate has become more of a rule than an exception. This leads to difficulties with entering the property ladder, which is limiting and creates a large group of young people without basic securities. We think this is bullshit!”
They offer secure employment, btw.
Stortorget 7, 111 29 Stockholm +46 8 20 08 10
Ever fancied having dinner and healing cocktails in an old pharmacy? Of course you have! This bizarre yet tempting concept has been created by the design company Stylt Trampoli, who opened this restaurant in Stockholm’s oldest pharmacy (originally opened in 1575).
The menu is filled with gorgeous little mixology dishes where interesting flavors are mixed to create something very different - such as duck liver with sunflowers. Cocktails with old school healing medicinal herbs are recommended with every dish to make sure those taste buds get an experience that wont easily forget. It’s so weird, yet so genius. And so bloody hipster.
It may be that there only is one shop from where you can get your booze in Sweden and that this shop has very restricted opening hours. Lucky for you, the coolest thing to do in Sweden right now is to brew your own beer. Wave good-bye to long queues and open your very own brewery! Seem like a daunting task? Don’t worry, heading to one of these places is the next best thing (as long as you order IPA):
Debaser Slussen, Karl Johans Torg, 1 111 30 Stockholm
Debaser Medis, Medborgarplatsen, 8 118 26 Stockholm
Debaser Hornstulls Strand, Hornstulls Strand, 4 117 39 Stockholm
Debaser, or “debban”, as the lived in Stockholmer would call it, may be old news. It’s been around since 2002 (we can call it retro) but has managed to remain one of the go-to places for alternative music and up and coming bands. Split between three venues: “slussen”, “medis” and “strand”, there is always something going on. And yes, we reckon they got their name from the Pixies song. They also have an eatery called Bar Brooklyn where they serve traditional American food and beer from alternative American microbreweries.
Hammarby Slussväg 2 , Skanstull +46 8 644 020 23
Whilst “Anda da bridge” in Shoreditch may fallen victim to gentrification and had to close down, the club with same name in Swedish is still very much up and running. In summer the place changes name to “Trädgården” (the garden) and offer a huge outside area where rollies and obscure beer can be enjoyed with a stunning view of the sea. The organizers themselves call the winter club “Under Bron” Trädgården’s mean sibling. Expect local art exhibitions, amazing gig bookings and as the only yelp review reads: “Hipster level: extreme”.
Regeringsgatan 66, Stockholm +46(0)8 - 20 60 10
Not shy to display their own pretentiousness, the first thing you’ll read when entering Kåken’s website is that you might not get in. But we can’t really blame them, with some of Sweden’s best bartenders whipping up high class cocktails, several awards in the baggage and gig bookings out of this world Kåken deserves to be fought over. One simple piece of advice: get there early to avoid disappointment.
Whether you are after Swedish designers, vintage or high street bargains (hipster doesn’t necessarily equal loaded, we are talking starving artists here) Stockholm has plenty to offer in terms of cutting edge fashion. Take your inspiration from the street, these inner city Swedes know how to dress. Seriously. How can a whole nation be born with a sense of fashion? All you can do is watch and learn.
SoFo is the nickname of a certain part of the area Södermalm in Stockholm and stands for South of Folkungagatan. And much like the original SoHo on Manhattan, this is an area with a hip downtown feel. Head here for vintage shops, independent designers, interior design and cute little cafés with trendy menus.
In all honesty, there is nothing hipster about NK. Having said that, it is the one department store where you will find all the hip Swedish designers in one place. Cruise around Fillippa K, Whyred, ACNE, Anna Holtblad, AnnSophie Back and Dagmar to name a few.
& Other Stories/Weekday/COS/Monki
All owned by the high street store H&M, these four chains’ cool factor should not be underestimated. Dotted around the city, these are the go-to shops for the in-crowd when they have spent all their money on cocktails and still need a new outfit for the weekend. Weekday, who also sell Cheap Monday, is quite simply hipster uniform in Sweden, which you will notice as soon as you set your foot in any of the bars we mentioned above. And why complain? We are talking innovative and fashion forward design on budget. Who runs the world? H&M.
TIP: Right now you should be shopping for: boyfriend jeans, bomber jackets, supergirl-sweatshirts, round old man glasses, leather satchels, Sandqvist bags, patterned PJ pants and maxi coats.