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A riverwalk with a stone wall leading down to a canal, and old and new buildings mixed in the background
By the canal in Malmö
Henryk Sadura for Getty Images

The 22 Essential Restaurants in Malmö, Sweden

Find trailblazing nose-to-tail cooking and new Nordic excellence in Sweden’s eccentric food town

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By the canal in Malmö
| Henryk Sadura for Getty Images

Taking the 40-minute train ride over an impressive structure immortalized by the BBC show The Bridge and crossing from Denmark to Sweden might seem nonsensical. Why, you may ask, would you do so when Copenhagen — the capital of New Nordic cooking — is right there?

Proximity does not equal similarity. Malmö stands out as funky and far more eccentric than its Danish cousin. The industrial town has long bred young talent eager to work with the pristine produce produced by the mild climate and organic farms of the Skåne region. Nose-to-tail thinking, originating at the trailblazing restaurant Bastard, seemingly flows through its veins. Pairing that with the city’s borderline hippie spirit and a diverse population results in some truly compelling cooking. A self-prescribed lover of natural wine will find the ticket price worth it to tap into Malmö’s long-standing obsession with these offerings alone, which manifests itself in vast selections of natural wines and long-forgotten gems served up in most good restaurants. Malmöites are open-minded and unpretentious, as incarnated in its many hodgepodge places merging remarkable fine dining and genuine hospitality with dirt-cheap pints and darn good music, if that’s what you need. Here are the city’s most essential stops.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 150 Swedish kronor (Less than $15 USD)
$$ = 150 - 800 Swedish kronor ($15 - $82 USD)
$$$ = 800 Swedish kronor and up ($83 USD and up)

Alisa Larsen is a Norwegian writer focusing on art, design, and food culture, working internationally and spending her time between Malmö and Copenhagen.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Saltimporten Canteen

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Grimsbygatan 24
211 20 Malmö, Sweden

When Sebastian Persson and Ola Lundin closed the doors of their acclaimed (and way ahead of its time) restaurant Trio, they ventured to open this lunch-only place on the tip of the industrial harbor of Malmö. The walk from the Central Station can be bleak and cold, but it’s definitely worth it. Saltimporten is frequented by a creative clientele, and the owners exude an unpretentious energy that trickles down to the rest of the restaurant. This might be the most best value in town, with borderline-Michelin-worthy meals for a mere 95 Swedish kronor ($10). There’s just one vegetarian and one meat or fish dish on offer each day, such as braised pork shoulder with lightly pickled tomato, white beans, and almonds or shaved cauliflower with barley and pickled cucumber. Get in line; get your own cutlery, bread, and water; and eat at the counter of this dream canteen. [$]

From above, a stark white plate on a concrete background, with shaved vegetables, clumps of herbs, and small ropes of meat
Tartare with shaved vegetables
Saltimporten [Official Photo]

2. Restaurang Spill

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Gängtappen, Stora Varvsgatan 11
211 74 Malmö, Sweden

A husband-and-wife duo — a former chef and the sommelier of two-Michelin-starred Daniel Berlin, respectively — opened this lunch-only restaurant, where the entire menu is built around discarded food from distributors and producers. In other words, they salvage the ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into dishes that blend Nordic comfort food with the techniques of fine dining. The menu changes daily depending on the produce they receive. [$]

From above, a ceramic bowl on a pastel background, with slices of pork belly, carrots, parsnips, croutons, and parsley in a shallow broth
Pork belly stew with carrots, parsnips, crispy croutons, and parsley
Erik Andersson

3. Pink Head Noodle Bar

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Gibraltargatan
211 18 Malmö, Sweden

The original location of Pink Head Noodle Bar is by far the best stall at the busy Malmö Food Court (Saluhallen) in the newly developed area of Västra Hamnen. The menu is built around three noodle-based dishes that change frequently. The hand-pulled-to-order biang biang noodles are a consistently solid choice, especially when served with the house-made XO sauce, known locally as “Hong Kong Heroin Sauce” — it’s that addictive. [$]

An L-shaped counter around an open kitchen in a large industrial brick space, with two cooks at work beneath an awning bearing the name of the restaurant and illustrations of people cooking and eating noodles
Inside Pink Head Noodle Bar
Andreas Wännerdahl

4. Pink Head HQ

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Norra Vallgatan 78
211 22 Malmö, Sweden

Pink Head HQ is the mothership of the popular Pink Head Noodle Bar. Australian chef-owner Wade Brown interprets various styles of Asian cooking, with a heavy focus on regional Chinese dishes and the nose-to-tail approach you’d expect from a former chef at Bastard. Through his vast network of local farmers, Brown sources rare-in-these-parts ingredients like chrysanthemum leaves and Chinese water spinach. Trying to pin down the geographic origin of the dishes at HQ is difficult — and rather pointless — as Brown and his team intuitively weave together flavors from places from Sri Lanka to Japan, Taiwan to South Korea. [$$]

Dishes clutter a low-lit wooden table, one with cuts of meat beneath a nut and herbal mix and a bowl of noodle soup
Dinner spread at Pink Head
Andreas Wännerdahl

5. Bagaren och Bonden

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Hermansgatan 3
212 11 Malmö, Sweden

On Saturday mornings at Bagaren och Bonden, you’ll likely run into every chef, sommelier, and food lover in town getting their daily bread or nursing a hangover. The bakery is known for its focus on using local heritage grains to produce some damn tasty bread. It is not always the most beautiful stuff, but it surpasses most of its competition in flavor. The traditional cardamom bun has a steady following. [$]

A bakery display with full loaves of bread stuck with small hand written labels
Hearty loaves
Bagaren och Bonden [Official Photo]

6. Pivo

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Västergatan 6c
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

The team who brought us Far i Hatten is also behind Pivo, which plays into their obsession with Czech beer. The menu is full of traditional of Czech dishes: Think pickled sausage, goulash, and whipped pork’s fat on rye, all served in a strangely Soviet-era wood-paneled room. Choose from a minimalist selection of one beer on tap alongside one white, red, and sparkling wine from the Czech Republic. [$]

From above, two slices of toast topped with ground pork spread and garnishes, next to a full glass of beer and a coaster bearing the name Pivo
Ground pork with mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, and cucumber
Pivo / Facebook

7. Västergatan

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Västergatan 16
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

Right around the corner from other members of this list, like Bastard, MJS, and Julie, the understated Västergatan puts out subtle, seasonal dishes that are consistently ranked among some of the best in the city. Head chef Olle Ahnberg masterly dispenses a mix of technical knowledge and casual familiarity, with an affinity for seafood and a black belt in sauces. A piece of local cod will be cooked to perfection, served alongside yellowfoot mushrooms and tangy silver onion, and topped with a featherlight butter sauce. The chill dining room is a place to share food with loved ones and revel in the well-curated wine list, which sits neatly between natural and low-intervention, most being from France and Italy. The keen eye will discover many treasures here, as they keep back-vintages of bottles that they season the list with as they go. A bottle of Yann Durieux’s stunning chardonnay-based Love and Pif ‘13 cuvée? A bargain at $50. [$$$]

A bright white dining room interior lit by sun streaming in a single large window straight ahead, blank white and gray walls, a swiveling pendant light on one wall, and empty rustic tables of various sizes.
The dining room at Västergatan
André Phil

8. Bastard

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Mäster Johansgatan 11
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

The most rebellious days of Andreas Dahlberg’s now-iconic nose-to-tail restaurant, when its tables were a gathering place for the city’s creative misfits, are likely behind it. In 2010 it was the first in town to properly embody the contemporary bistro-wine bar hybrid that has become quintessential in the Copenhagen-Malmö region. But today it has matured into a continental dining room revolving around a U-shaped bar and the open kitchen. Here, Bastard serves up hearty and sophisticated food crossing British and Mediterranean cooking with the area’s most pristine produce. The place is known for its early and unwavering focus on low-intervention wines, converting guests from skeptics to fanatics. [$$]

From above, a white plate on a wooden table with slices of melon, peas, herbs, and edible flowers
Salad at Bastard
Bastard [Official Photo]

9. MJ'S

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Isak Slaktaregatan 5
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

The crowd? A slightly awkward mix of millenials and tourists. Look past the party vibe in the lobby (unless it’s your thing) to discover something quite enchanting. While a hotel restaurant is generally a hard sell in these parts, MJ’S head chef, Frida Nilsson, consistently cooks up wildly original dishes, relentlessly mixing world cuisines and disparate references, and earning herself a reputation as one of Sweden’s leading young chefs in the process. The cauliflower with pickled green tomatoes, cilantro seeds, and lobster foam is as good as the beautiful fried pumpkin with habanero, pomegranate, and local Alp cheese. The wine list is astonishingly deep and mostly natural. Even better, it will not break the bank. Look out for the guest chef series on Sundays, when Nilsson invites some of the country’s best cooks behind the stove. [$$]

The view down a dark, softly lit hallway with one wall taken up by wine fridges, the other occupied by a prep station, with a bright, gilded bar straight ahead with shelves of illuminated bottles and a few seats visible to one side
Inside MJ’S
MJ’S [Official Photo]

10. Vollmers

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Tegelgårdsgatan 5
211 33 Malmö, Sweden

At Vollmers, nostalgia meets innovation, and the local obsession with produce grown holistically and close-to-home culminates. This two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the middle of the old town transforms basic ingredients into something refined while honoring the flavors and heritage of the Skåne region. Summer and fall are standout seasons to visit, as the produce is at its very best. Dishes such as sweet corn with chanterelles and Havgus cheese or traditional den hvide dame cake served alongside lilacs and lemon verbena reflect Vollmers’ flair for blending classic flavor combinations with the unexpected. The dishes are not necessarily the most groundbreaking, but the kitchen’s confidence shines through in the soulful yet technique-driven cooking. Expect extreme seasonality as well as fine dining takes on Swedish classics. [$$$]

From above, a white plate on a white background, with a dish and its sauce artfully split into two overlapping semicircles
Artful plating at Vollmers
Jonas Nyhav

11. Julie

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Tegelgårdsgatan 9
211 33 Malmö, Sweden

Julie is a jack-of-all-trades that found its rightful place in Malmö’s historic Gamla Väster area. Part natural wine bar, part cheese shop, gourmet store, and lunch spot, Julie hits every note. The gleaming rotisserie that catches your eye upon entering is the heart of the place. Stay for a glass of wine or a bottle chosen from the well-stocked cellar focusing on European wine regions. Julie stocks primarily French cheeses: Marcel Petite Comtés, AOP Camemberts, classic Morbiers, and Mont d’Or (when the season comes), to name a few. All of the vegetables, proteins, and charcuterie come from some of Skåne’s finest purveyors. Make a meal of a rotisserie chicken or whole-roasted vegetables accompanied by a seasonal salad and a bottle of Gamay from Beaujolais legend Jean Dutraive. [$$]

An unseen diner cuts into a one of a number of dishes on a small, sun-dappled table, with salads and two glasses of red wine nearby.
Afternoon dining at Julie
Julie [Official Photo]

12. Plant Magic's Kitchen

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Storgatan 41
211 42 Malmö, Sweden

If there’s one thing that differentiates Malmöites from other Scandinavians, it’s that they go out for lunch. While most others make do with a cheese sandwich, residents of Malmö enjoy the many high-end, lunch-only places in town that somehow cost close to nothing. Plant Magic’s Kitchen is one of them. Brit Andrew Eves and partner Johanna Haak run this restaurant, which specializes in punchy, comforting vegetarian and vegan plates. Eves has a particular flair for combining vegetables and fruit in a compelling way, as with a savory dish of tender beets with punchy blackberries, fresh cheese, and wild forest mushrooms. [$]

From above, arugula covers a salad of pears, beets and peppers, on a white plate sitting on a concrete background
Beet salad with green pepper, pears, and arugula
Plant Magic’s Kitchen [Official Photo]

13. Riket

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Erik Dahlbergsgatan 5
211 42 Malmö, Sweden

In so many ways, Riket is the embodiment of Malmö’s eccentric and down-to-earth food scene. It is equal parts natural wine bar, where you can happily drink a cheap-ass Tuborg, and convivial restaurant where one shares lip-smacking, mostly veggie-based dishes. Here, fresh produce is cooked with heart and hearth, all with a punk-rock spirit. The flavors at Riket are deeper and more umami-driven than one usually encounters in Malmö, balanced out by layers of texture and tone — poached, picked, sizzled, and deep-fried often collide in one dish. The tartare, which you will always find some variation of on the menu, is a safe bet. Any given night here can turn into a party, with a booming playlist and a twirling trio of disco lights. [$$]

From afar, two cooks lean over a prep station arranging dishes in front of a colorful tiled kitchen wall.
Prepping li-smacking, umami-driven dishes
Nina Persson

14. Bouchon

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Andréelundsvägen 5
211 52 Malmö, Sweden

Bouchon is one of those places that feels like coming home, every time. Its refined yet true-to-the-classics bistro food celebrates traditional French cooking executed with the finest local vegetables, meat, and fish, without ever really bordering on new Nordic fussiness. Some dishes never go off the menu, and its hanger steak and steak tartare avec frites are as good as anything you’ll find in Paris. Quite a feat for a small bistro in a nondescript part of Malmö. And although the safe stuff might lure with its familiar comfort, the rest of the menu is worth exploring, like the grilled octopus, twice-baked cheese souffle, and cauliflower gratin with chanterelles and truffles. The wine list echoes this masterfully: It’s compact and primarily focused on traditional French wine regions. All are served up with a spirit of old-school hospitality that’s rare in this town. [$$]

Whole roasted quail sits on a white plate with a pool of aioli and a small bunch of greens to one side
Whole quail
John V

15. Mineral

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Sankt Knuts väg 13
211 57 Malmö, Sweden

Situated in the charming neighborhood of St. Knut, Mineral is probably best known for its compelling and extensive natural wine selection poured by an all-female team of sommeliers, headed by the infatuating Lua Morena. In the kitchen you will find David Kjellstenius cooking up some truly clever vegetarian and vegan dishes in a manner that reminds one of his former home at Au Passage, a legendary neo-bistro in Paris. Expect to find dishes such as local pak choi with potato dumplings, smoked oil, and garlic flowers. Mineral is all finesse with one of the most beautiful dining rooms in town, often to the backdrop of live jazz. [$$]

From behind a large indoor plant, the view of the dining room, with long rustic farm tables, and iron-legged chairs, white sun-lit walls, and minimal furniture in the corners
The dining room at Mineral
Mineral [Official Photo]

16. Bageri Leve

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Östra Rönneholmsvägen 6
211 47 Malmö, Sweden

Bageri Leve is a tiny bakery producing some of the city’s finest sourdough bread in the style of San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery, but its forte is its pastries and doughnuts, which feature imaginative and rich flavors without the use of dairy or eggs. The vegan caramel tart is becoming a Malmö classic. [$]

A bakery counter, dim and lit by white pendant lights, with pastry cases along the counter and two servers working behind it in front of a menu board and shelves of ingredients and flowers
The bakery counter at Leve
Bageri Leve [Official Photo]

17. Soi 29

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Bergsgatan 29
211 53 Malmö, Sweden

Husband and wife Alexander Norén and Johanna Jarevik’s love of regional Thai cuisine originates from their years working in the better kitchens and bars of London, in the time of David Thompson and Nahm. Their food is unapologetically spicy, cooked with the freshest produce of both the region and selected vendors from Thompson’s network of farmers in Thailand. Along the lines of London’s groundbreaking Thai restaurants, like Som Saa, Smoking Goat, and KILN, Soi 29 cooks up regional dishes that are balanced and confident, yet far from fussy. Expect to find whole-fried sea bass swimming in dried chiles, a raw ox larb that’s to die for, and a som tam salad so spicy it makes you buzz. You’ll also find a compact yet dynamic selection of natural wines and cocktails, easily making an evening at Soi 29 into an all-nighter. It also happens to be next door to Inkonst, the city’s foremost electronic music venue. [$$]

From above, a bright pink table set with various dishes including roast chicken, noodles, ribs, and rice, with condiments and spoons laid out nearby
A full spread at Soi 29
Johanna Jarevik

18. Far i Hatten

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Folkets Park
214 36 Malmö, Sweden

This is the kind of place you’ll only find in Malmö — an embodiment of the city’s reckless bohemian spirit. Far i Hatten is a natural wine bar, pizza restaurant, stroller-friendly cafe, outdoor concert venue, ping-pong parlor, and — on weekends — a sweaty nightclub. Located in Folkets Park (the People’s Park) in the culturally diverse neighborhood of Möllan, it finds shelter in a cabin-like structure from 1892. A mile-long natural wine list, loaded with treasures old and new, tempts the wine-spoilt Copenhageners across the bridge to tap it. Sure, the pizza is good, but the heart of the kitchen lies in the modest yet ingenious share plates built around house ferments, local vegetables, and its wood-fired oven. [$ - $$]

A restaurant interior resembling a home, with a long bench along two wood-paneled walls lined with a mix of pillows, simple wooden tables set with candles and place settings, and low ornate pendant lights
Inside Far i Hatten
Gianluca La Bruna

19. Opopoppa

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Simrishamnsgatan 3
214 23 Malmö, Sweden

The playful name is a good indicator of what will greet you at this delightfully crowded addition to the city’s relatively large pizza scene. Putting its focus toward substantial slices, Opopoppa combines Italian classics with vegetable-heavy options, all served with a side of craft beer, wines by the glass, and most of all, excellent music. Opopoppa is the place to grab a late bite, second dinner, or something to soak up the night’s damage. Do not sleep on the arancini. [$]

A restaurant interior lit by soft pendants, with checkered floor tiles, low and high tables, exposed cement ceilings, and a single tiled column rising through the center of the room
Opopoppa’s dimly lit dining room
David Calgaro

20. Lyran

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Simrishamnsgatan 36A
214 35 Malmö, Sweden

Strolling down the calmer parts of Möllan by Folkets Park, it’s hard not to slow down for the smells emerging from Lyran’s kitchen. Head chef and owner Jörgen Lloyd strives to work with all local producers, and instead of a written menu, you’ll find a list of the sourced ingredients; the only choice to be made is between a vegetarian, fish, or mixed set menu. Expect comforting, yet playful dishes that reference the Middle Eastern roots of the neighborhood. The wines are as personal and eccentric as the food, boasting both the traditional and the esoteric. There are no better seats than at the bar to take in the whole look and feel of the place. [$$$]

From above, a bowl of cooked leeks in a dark broth
Leeks
Lyran [Official Photo]

21. Two Forks

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Nobelvägen 30
214 33 Malmö, Sweden

When couple Charlotte Nycander and Matan Levy aren’t preparing some of the best hummus on the continent, they spend time at their urban farm on the outskirts of town. Here they develop and practice sustainable farming methods, exploring how to extend their environmentally conscious way of living to their work. What they grow on the farm turns into vibrant toppings, pickles, and condiments for their bowls, scooped up with freshly baked flatbread. Working as a pop-up solely at lunchtime, they currently reside in the kitchen at Soi 29, outside of the restaurant’s regular hours, on Thursdays and Fridays. [$]

A bowl spread with hummus and topped with shaved carrots, spices, herbs, spots of olive oil, and a small dollop of tahini on a table with other blurred items gathered around like pickles and a glass of wine
Hummus with carrots, dukkah, kohlrabi, and tahini
Brian Babarik & Mia Tjarnlund

22. Kv. Åkern

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Nobelvägen 73b
214 33 Malmö, Sweden

Malmö’s disproportionately large vegetarian population coincides with the city’s overarching liberal tendencies, but it might also have something to do with Malmö’s broad access to exceptional local produce. The best vegetables in town are cooked by the stark and eccentric figure that is Ivan Jurman. Like many, he cut his teeth at Bastard back in the day; since then, he has developed his own inventive and vibrant style of cooking, balanced by bountiful knowledge and technique. Far from pretentious, but smart enough to astonish with unconventional meetings of flavor and texture, this is a place where meat-eaters sit happily next to vegans, relishing the same food. [$$]

From above, two diners enjoy large share plates of vegetable dishes on a sun-lit wooden table, with many other dishes half eaten with forks and glasses nearby
Dinner at Kv. Åkern
Ivan Jurman

1. Saltimporten Canteen

Grimsbygatan 24, 211 20 Malmö, Sweden
From above, a stark white plate on a concrete background, with shaved vegetables, clumps of herbs, and small ropes of meat
Tartare with shaved vegetables
Saltimporten [Official Photo]

When Sebastian Persson and Ola Lundin closed the doors of their acclaimed (and way ahead of its time) restaurant Trio, they ventured to open this lunch-only place on the tip of the industrial harbor of Malmö. The walk from the Central Station can be bleak and cold, but it’s definitely worth it. Saltimporten is frequented by a creative clientele, and the owners exude an unpretentious energy that trickles down to the rest of the restaurant. This might be the most best value in town, with borderline-Michelin-worthy meals for a mere 95 Swedish kronor ($10). There’s just one vegetarian and one meat or fish dish on offer each day, such as braised pork shoulder with lightly pickled tomato, white beans, and almonds or shaved cauliflower with barley and pickled cucumber. Get in line; get your own cutlery, bread, and water; and eat at the counter of this dream canteen. [$]

Grimsbygatan 24
211 20 Malmö, Sweden

2. Restaurang Spill

Gängtappen, Stora Varvsgatan 11, 211 74 Malmö, Sweden
From above, a ceramic bowl on a pastel background, with slices of pork belly, carrots, parsnips, croutons, and parsley in a shallow broth
Pork belly stew with carrots, parsnips, crispy croutons, and parsley
Erik Andersson

A husband-and-wife duo — a former chef and the sommelier of two-Michelin-starred Daniel Berlin, respectively — opened this lunch-only restaurant, where the entire menu is built around discarded food from distributors and producers. In other words, they salvage the ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and turn it into dishes that blend Nordic comfort food with the techniques of fine dining. The menu changes daily depending on the produce they receive. [$]

Gängtappen, Stora Varvsgatan 11
211 74 Malmö, Sweden

3. Pink Head Noodle Bar

Gibraltargatan, 211 18 Malmö, Sweden
An L-shaped counter around an open kitchen in a large industrial brick space, with two cooks at work beneath an awning bearing the name of the restaurant and illustrations of people cooking and eating noodles
Inside Pink Head Noodle Bar
Andreas Wännerdahl

The original location of Pink Head Noodle Bar is by far the best stall at the busy Malmö Food Court (Saluhallen) in the newly developed area of Västra Hamnen. The menu is built around three noodle-based dishes that change frequently. The hand-pulled-to-order biang biang noodles are a consistently solid choice, especially when served with the house-made XO sauce, known locally as “Hong Kong Heroin Sauce” — it’s that addictive. [$]

Gibraltargatan
211 18 Malmö, Sweden

4. Pink Head HQ

Norra Vallgatan 78, 211 22 Malmö, Sweden
Dishes clutter a low-lit wooden table, one with cuts of meat beneath a nut and herbal mix and a bowl of noodle soup
Dinner spread at Pink Head
Andreas Wännerdahl

Pink Head HQ is the mothership of the popular Pink Head Noodle Bar. Australian chef-owner Wade Brown interprets various styles of Asian cooking, with a heavy focus on regional Chinese dishes and the nose-to-tail approach you’d expect from a former chef at Bastard. Through his vast network of local farmers, Brown sources rare-in-these-parts ingredients like chrysanthemum leaves and Chinese water spinach. Trying to pin down the geographic origin of the dishes at HQ is difficult — and rather pointless — as Brown and his team intuitively weave together flavors from places from Sri Lanka to Japan, Taiwan to South Korea. [$$]

Norra Vallgatan 78
211 22 Malmö, Sweden

5. Bagaren och Bonden

Hermansgatan 3, 212 11 Malmö, Sweden
A bakery display with full loaves of bread stuck with small hand written labels
Hearty loaves
Bagaren och Bonden [Official Photo]

On Saturday mornings at Bagaren och Bonden, you’ll likely run into every chef, sommelier, and food lover in town getting their daily bread or nursing a hangover. The bakery is known for its focus on using local heritage grains to produce some damn tasty bread. It is not always the most beautiful stuff, but it surpasses most of its competition in flavor. The traditional cardamom bun has a steady following. [$]

Hermansgatan 3
212 11 Malmö, Sweden

6. Pivo

Västergatan 6c, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden
From above, two slices of toast topped with ground pork spread and garnishes, next to a full glass of beer and a coaster bearing the name Pivo
Ground pork with mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, and cucumber
Pivo / Facebook

The team who brought us Far i Hatten is also behind Pivo, which plays into their obsession with Czech beer. The menu is full of traditional of Czech dishes: Think pickled sausage, goulash, and whipped pork’s fat on rye, all served in a strangely Soviet-era wood-paneled room. Choose from a minimalist selection of one beer on tap alongside one white, red, and sparkling wine from the Czech Republic. [$]

Västergatan 6c
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

7. Västergatan

Västergatan 16, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden
A bright white dining room interior lit by sun streaming in a single large window straight ahead, blank white and gray walls, a swiveling pendant light on one wall, and empty rustic tables of various sizes.
The dining room at Västergatan
André Phil

Right around the corner from other members of this list, like Bastard, MJS, and Julie, the understated Västergatan puts out subtle, seasonal dishes that are consistently ranked among some of the best in the city. Head chef Olle Ahnberg masterly dispenses a mix of technical knowledge and casual familiarity, with an affinity for seafood and a black belt in sauces. A piece of local cod will be cooked to perfection, served alongside yellowfoot mushrooms and tangy silver onion, and topped with a featherlight butter sauce. The chill dining room is a place to share food with loved ones and revel in the well-curated wine list, which sits neatly between natural and low-intervention, most being from France and Italy. The keen eye will discover many treasures here, as they keep back-vintages of bottles that they season the list with as they go. A bottle of Yann Durieux’s stunning chardonnay-based Love and Pif ‘13 cuvée? A bargain at $50. [$$$]

Västergatan 16
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

8. Bastard

Mäster Johansgatan 11, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden
From above, a white plate on a wooden table with slices of melon, peas, herbs, and edible flowers
Salad at Bastard
Bastard [Official Photo]

The most rebellious days of Andreas Dahlberg’s now-iconic nose-to-tail restaurant, when its tables were a gathering place for the city’s creative misfits, are likely behind it. In 2010 it was the first in town to properly embody the contemporary bistro-wine bar hybrid that has become quintessential in the Copenhagen-Malmö region. But today it has matured into a continental dining room revolving around a U-shaped bar and the open kitchen. Here, Bastard serves up hearty and sophisticated food crossing British and Mediterranean cooking with the area’s most pristine produce. The place is known for its early and unwavering focus on low-intervention wines, converting guests from skeptics to fanatics. [$$]

Mäster Johansgatan 11
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

9. MJ'S

Isak Slaktaregatan 5, 211 21 Malmö, Sweden
The view down a dark, softly lit hallway with one wall taken up by wine fridges, the other occupied by a prep station, with a bright, gilded bar straight ahead with shelves of illuminated bottles and a few seats visible to one side
Inside MJ’S
MJ’S [Official Photo]

The crowd? A slightly awkward mix of millenials and tourists. Look past the party vibe in the lobby (unless it’s your thing) to discover something quite enchanting. While a hotel restaurant is generally a hard sell in these parts, MJ’S head chef, Frida Nilsson, consistently cooks up wildly original dishes, relentlessly mixing world cuisines and disparate references, and earning herself a reputation as one of Sweden’s leading young chefs in the process. The cauliflower with pickled green tomatoes, cilantro seeds, and lobster foam is as good as the beautiful fried pumpkin with habanero, pomegranate, and local Alp cheese. The wine list is astonishingly deep and mostly natural. Even better, it will not break the bank. Look out for the guest chef series on Sundays, when Nilsson invites some of the country’s best cooks behind the stove. [$$]

Isak Slaktaregatan 5
211 21 Malmö, Sweden

10. Vollmers

Tegelgårdsgatan 5, 211 33 Malmö, Sweden
From above, a white plate on a white background, with a dish and its sauce artfully split into two overlapping semicircles
Artful plating at Vollmers
Jonas Nyhav

At Vollmers, nostalgia meets innovation, and the local obsession with produce grown holistically and close-to-home culminates. This two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the middle of the old town transforms basic ingredients into something refined while honoring the flavors and heritage of the Skåne region. Summer and fall are standout seasons to visit, as the produce is at its very best. Dishes such as sweet corn with chanterelles and Havgus cheese or traditional den hvide dame cake served alongside lilacs and lemon verbena reflect Vollmers’ flair for blending classic flavor combinations with the unexpected. The dishes are not necessarily the most groundbreaking, but the kitchen’s confidence shines through in the soulful yet technique-driven cooking. Expect extreme seasonality as well as fine dining takes on Swedish classics. [$$$]

Tegelgårdsgatan 5
211 33 Malmö, Sweden

11. Julie

Tegelgårdsgatan 9, 211 33 Malmö, Sweden
An unseen diner cuts into a one of a number of dishes on a small, sun-dappled table, with salads and two glasses of red wine nearby.
Afternoon dining at Julie
Julie [Official Photo]

Julie is a jack-of-all-trades that found its rightful place in Malmö’s historic Gamla Väster area. Part natural wine bar, part cheese shop, gourmet store, and lunch spot, Julie hits every note. The gleaming rotisserie that catches your eye upon entering is the heart of the place. Stay for a glass of wine or a bottle chosen from the well-stocked cellar focusing on European wine regions. Julie stocks primarily French cheeses: Marcel Petite Comtés, AOP Camemberts, classic Morbiers, and Mont d’Or (when the season comes), to name a few. All of the vegetables, proteins, and charcuterie come from some of Skåne’s finest purveyors. Make a meal of a rotisserie chicken or whole-roasted vegetables accompanied by a seasonal salad and a bottle of Gamay from Beaujolais legend Jean Dutraive. [$$]

Tegelgårdsgatan 9
211 33 Malmö, Sweden

12. Plant Magic's Kitchen

Storgatan 41, 211 42 Malmö, Sweden
From above, arugula covers a salad of pears, beets and peppers, on a white plate sitting on a concrete background
Beet salad with green pepper, pears, and arugula
Plant Magic’s Kitchen [Official Photo]

If there’s one thing that differentiates Malmöites from other Scandinavians, it’s that they go out for lunch. While most others make do with a cheese sandwich, residents of Malmö enjoy the many high-end, lunch-only places in town that somehow cost close to nothing. Plant Magic’s Kitchen is one of them. Brit Andrew Eves and partner Johanna Haak run this restaurant, which specializes in punchy, comforting vegetarian and vegan plates. Eves has a particular flair for combining vegetables and fruit in a compelling way, as with a savory dish of tender beets with punchy blackberries, fresh cheese, and wild forest mushrooms. [$]

Storgatan 41
211 42 Malmö, Sweden

13. Riket

Erik Dahlbergsgatan 5, 211 42 Malmö, Sweden
From afar, two cooks lean over a prep station arranging dishes in front of a colorful tiled kitchen wall.
Prepping li-smacking, umami-driven dishes
Nina Persson

In so many ways, Riket is the embodiment of Malmö’s eccentric and down-to-earth food scene. It is equal parts natural wine bar, where you can happily drink a cheap-ass Tuborg, and convivial restaurant where one shares lip-smacking, mostly veggie-based dishes. Here, fresh produce is cooked with heart and hearth, all with a punk-rock spirit. The flavors at Riket are deeper and more umami-driven than one usually encounters in Malmö, balanced out by layers of texture and tone — poached, picked, sizzled, and deep-fried often collide in one dish. The tartare, which you will always find some variation of on the menu, is a safe bet. Any given night here can turn into a party, with a booming playlist and a twirling trio of disco lights. [$$]

Erik Dahlbergsgatan 5
211 42 Malmö, Sweden

14. Bouchon

Andréelundsvägen 5, 211 52 Malmö, Sweden
Whole roasted quail sits on a white plate with a pool of aioli and a small bunch of greens to one side
Whole quail
John V

Bouchon is one of those places that feels like coming home, every time. Its refined yet true-to-the-classics bistro food celebrates traditional French cooking executed with the finest local vegetables, meat, and fish, without ever really bordering on new Nordic fussiness. Some dishes never go off the menu, and its hanger steak and steak tartare avec frites are as good as anything you’ll find in Paris. Quite a feat for a small bistro in a nondescript part of Malmö. And although the safe stuff might lure with its familiar comfort, the rest of the menu is worth exploring, like the grilled octopus, twice-baked cheese souffle, and cauliflower gratin with chanterelles and truffles. The wine list echoes this masterfully: It’s compact and primarily focused on traditional French wine regions. All are served up with a spirit of old-school hospitality that’s rare in this town. [$$]

Andréelundsvägen 5
211 52 Malmö, Sweden

15. Mineral

Sankt Knuts väg 13, 211 57 Malmö, Sweden
From behind a large indoor plant, the view of the dining room, with long rustic farm tables, and iron-legged chairs, white sun-lit walls, and minimal furniture in the corners
The dining room at Mineral
Mineral [Official Photo]

Situated in the charming neighborhood of St. Knut, Mineral is probably best known for its compelling and extensive natural wine selection poured by an all-female team of sommeliers, headed by the infatuating Lua Morena. In the kitchen you will find David Kjellstenius cooking up some truly clever vegetarian and vegan dishes in a manner that reminds one of his former home at Au Passage, a legendary neo-bistro in Paris. Expect to find dishes such as local pak choi with potato dumplings, smoked oil, and garlic flowers. Mineral is all finesse with one of the most beautiful dining rooms in town, often to the backdrop of live jazz. [$$]

Sankt Knuts väg 13
211 57 Malmö, Sweden

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16. Bageri Leve

Östra Rönneholmsvägen 6, 211 47 Malmö, Sweden
A bakery counter, dim and lit by white pendant lights, with pastry cases along the counter and two servers working behind it in front of a menu board and shelves of ingredients and flowers
The bakery counter at Leve
Bageri Leve [Official Photo]

Bageri Leve is a tiny bakery producing some of the city’s finest sourdough bread in the style of San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery, but its forte is its pastries and doughnuts, which feature imaginative and rich flavors without the use of dairy or eggs. The vegan caramel tart is becoming a Malmö classic. [$]

Östra Rönneholmsvägen 6
211 47 Malmö, Sweden

17. Soi 29

Bergsgatan 29, 211 53 Malmö, Sweden
From above, a bright pink table set with various dishes including roast chicken, noodles, ribs, and rice, with condiments and spoons laid out nearby
A full spread at Soi 29
Johanna Jarevik

Husband and wife Alexander Norén and Johanna Jarevik’s love of regional Thai cuisine originates from their years working in the better kitchens and bars of London, in the time of David Thompson and Nahm. Their food is unapologetically spicy, cooked with the freshest produce of both the region and selected vendors from Thompson’s network of farmers in Thailand. Along the lines of London’s groundbreaking Thai restaurants, like Som Saa, Smoking Goat, and KILN, Soi 29 cooks up regional dishes that are balanced and confident, yet far from fussy. Expect to find whole-fried sea bass swimming in dried chiles, a raw ox larb that’s to die for, and a som tam salad so spicy it makes you buzz. You’ll also find a compact yet dynamic selection of natural wines and cocktails, easily making an evening at Soi 29 into an all-nighter. It also happens to be next door to Inkonst, the city’s foremost electronic music venue. [$$]

Bergsgatan 29
211 53 Malmö, Sweden

18. Far i Hatten

Folkets Park, 214 36 Malmö, Sweden
A restaurant interior resembling a home, with a long bench along two wood-paneled walls lined with a mix of pillows, simple wooden tables set with candles and place settings, and low ornate pendant lights
Inside Far i Hatten
Gianluca La Bruna

This is the kind of place you’ll only find in Malmö — an embodiment of the city’s reckless bohemian spirit. Far i Hatten is a natural wine bar, pizza restaurant, stroller-friendly cafe, outdoor concert venue, ping-pong parlor, and — on weekends — a sweaty nightclub. Located in Folkets Park (the People’s Park) in the culturally diverse neighborhood of Möllan, it finds shelter in a cabin-like structure from 1892. A mile-long natural wine list, loaded with treasures old and new, tempts the wine-spoilt Copenhageners across the bridge to tap it. Sure, the pizza is good, but the heart of the kitchen lies in the modest yet ingenious share plates built around house ferments, local vegetables, and its wood-fired oven. [$ - $$]

Folkets Park
214 36 Malmö, Sweden

19. Opopoppa

Simrishamnsgatan 3, 214 23 Malmö, Sweden
A restaurant interior lit by soft pendants, with checkered floor tiles, low and high tables, exposed cement ceilings, and a single tiled column rising through the center of the room
Opopoppa’s dimly lit dining room
David Calgaro

The playful name is a good indicator of what will greet you at this delightfully crowded addition to the city’s relatively large pizza scene. Putting its focus toward substantial slices, Opopoppa combines Italian classics with vegetable-heavy options, all served with a side of craft beer, wines by the glass, and most of all, excellent music. Opopoppa is the place to grab a late bite, second dinner, or something to soak up the night’s damage. Do not sleep on the arancini. [$]

Simrishamnsgatan 3
214 23 Malmö, Sweden

20. Lyran

Simrishamnsgatan 36A, 214 35 Malmö, Sweden
From above, a bowl of cooked leeks in a dark broth
Leeks
Lyran [Official Photo]

Strolling down the calmer parts of Möllan by Folkets Park, it’s hard not to slow down for the smells emerging from Lyran’s kitchen. Head chef and owner Jörgen Lloyd strives to work with all local producers, and instead of a written menu, you’ll find a list of the sourced ingredients; the only choice to be made is between a vegetarian, fish, or mixed set menu. Expect comforting, yet playful dishes that reference the Middle Eastern roots of the neighborhood. The wines are as personal and eccentric as the food, boasting both the traditional and the esoteric. There are no better seats than at the bar to take in the whole look and feel of the place. [$$$]

Simrishamnsgatan 36A
214 35 Malmö, Sweden

21. Two Forks

Nobelvägen 30, 214 33 Malmö, Sweden
A bowl spread with hummus and topped with shaved carrots, spices, herbs, spots of olive oil, and a small dollop of tahini on a table with other blurred items gathered around like pickles and a glass of wine
Hummus with carrots, dukkah, kohlrabi, and tahini
Brian Babarik & Mia Tjarnlund

When couple Charlotte Nycander and Matan Levy aren’t preparing some of the best hummus on the continent, they spend time at their urban farm on the outskirts of town. Here they develop and practice sustainable farming methods, exploring how to extend their environmentally conscious way of living to their work. What they grow on the farm turns into vibrant toppings, pickles, and condiments for their bowls, scooped up with freshly baked flatbread. Working as a pop-up solely at lunchtime, they currently reside in the kitchen at Soi 29, outside of the restaurant’s regular hours, on Thursdays and Fridays. [$]

Nobelvägen 30
214 33 Malmö, Sweden

22. Kv. Åkern

Nobelvägen 73b, 214 33 Malmö, Sweden
From above, two diners enjoy large share plates of vegetable dishes on a sun-lit wooden table, with many other dishes half eaten with forks and glasses nearby
Dinner at Kv. Åkern
Ivan Jurman

Malmö’s disproportionately large vegetarian population coincides with the city’s overarching liberal tendencies, but it might also have something to do with Malmö’s broad access to exceptional local produce. The best vegetables in town are cooked by the stark and eccentric figure that is Ivan Jurman. Like many, he cut his teeth at Bastard back in the day; since then, he has developed his own inventive and vibrant style of cooking, balanced by bountiful knowledge and technique. Far from pretentious, but smart enough to astonish with unconventional meetings of flavor and texture, this is a place where meat-eaters sit happily next to vegans, relishing the same food. [$$]

Nobelvägen 73b
214 33 Malmö, Sweden

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