Here comes a couple of great tips for visitors who want to maximize their dining experience in Stockholm! In my job, as Concierge at the Rival Hotel, I book hundreds of tables at different restaurants in Stockholm throughout the year... everything from neighbourhood eateries to Michelin star gourmet restaurants. Some guests contact me a few weeks in advance for restaurant recommendations and help in securing reservations. Others come to me last minute, which can be problematic... especially on a Friday or Saturday evening! If you aren't picky about cuisine, price or location of the restaurant then it shouldn't be a problem. It is, however, depressing (and slightly perplexing) when guests come to me at 6pm on a Friday evening and ask for a table at Stockholm's "trendiest restaurant" or "best seafood restaurant" later on the same evening. This borders on the impossible, especially if they wish for a table during peak dining hours (between 7 and 9pm). My top tip if you are coming on a weekend and want a specific restaurant (or type of restaurant) is to book your table in advance! If you are going to stay at the Rival Hotel then I will be more than happy to help you with this. Otherwise you can contact your hotel for help or... book yourself! Almost all restaurants have an online booking system which you will find on their websites. Click here for some personal restaurant recommendations.
A few extra special tips: Swedes get paid on the 25th of every month. The first weekend after payday is called lönehelg ("pay weekend") and it is very traditional for Swedes, flush with money, to go out to eat & drink on this weekend. In other words it is very important to book a table in advance when visiting Stockholm on just this specific weekend! If you are interested in more high-end gourmet restaurants, like Stockholm's Michelin star restaurants, then there are specific pre-booking requirements. Most of them open up their online booking at midnight (Swedish time) either a month or two weeks in advance depending on the restaurant in question. Tables often go quickly! While I can help Rival guests with these reservations, these restaurants generally want to have personal contact with the guests whether it is to check for allergies or to have a credit card number as a guarantee for the reservation. In other words, I can make a preliminary booking for you after which the restaurant would contact you to guarantee the reservation.