With two successful restaurants in Stockholm’s Östermalm district, Nybroe Smørrebrød has treated hungry visitors to traditional Danish smørrebrød and pilsner for two decades. A pared-back offering with great service, delicious food and every detail considered, Nybroe Smørrebrød is proof that simplicity really does go a long way.

When Jarmo Tammisto started Nybroe Smørrebrød all those years ago, serving Danish smørrebrød in a classic, Swedish setting was something unique. However, the concept itself was familiar as open sandwiches in various forms are undoubtedly a Nordic staple. That’s why, perhaps unsurprisingly, the first restaurant which opened in Stockholm’s historical market hall Östermalmshallen quickly gained traction to become a hotspot for regulars and international visitors alike. A reputation that remains to this day.

Nybroe Smørrebrød: 20 years of Danish delights

“It has been quite the journey over the past two decades,” tells current owner Vincent Vintilescu who joined Nybroe Smørrebrød as a 19-year-old intern. He took over the reins from Tammisto in 2020 and has since successfully grown the business, which Tammisto is still a big part of. “We’ve moved in and out of the market hall multiple times, successfully kept trading throughout the difficult COVID times, and have opened a second restaurant in Hötorsghallen, a stone’s throw from our original venue.”

Nybroe Smørrebrød: 20 years of Danish delights

When asked what lies behind the restaurants’ success, Vintilescu explains that his team has always remained focused on their path and maintaining a high level. And aside from great-tasting food, there’s an emotional side to the service that continues to draw people in. “We’re a tight-knit team and together we have built an atmosphere that people want to be part of. We’re open, we make time to chat with every guest, and we’re anything but pretentious. The biggest reward for us, and proof that we’re doing something right, is that our guests want to come back for more.“

Nybroe Smørrebrød: 20 years of Danish delights

Vincent and Jarmo, the duo behind Nybroe Smørrebrød.

So, what is smørrebrød, really?

Smørrebrød is a type of sandwich with a rye bread base, topped with a combination of Scandinavian staples such as prawns or cod with different additions. Whatever the topping, the perfect smørrebrød should feature salty, sweet, umami, fresh and tangy elements, and it’s all about equal measures of consistency and quality. “To us, smørrebrød is a handicraft which is crystalised by a dedication to making everything ourselves, on site. We even have a full-time employee whose sole role is to source and provide the best possible prawns every day,” explains Vintilescu.

What’s more, smørrebrød is versatile. Indeed, it can be enjoyed for breakfast and lunch as well as for a sit-down dinner. It’s also the ideal choice in summertime. There’s nothing like a bite of smørrebrød and a beer on a hot summer’s day. And the restaurant in Östermalmshallen has a welcoming patio where guests can enjoy their food while watching the world go by. “Another thing about smørrebrød is that it transcends generations as it’s something everyone has a connection to. I love seeing a family or group of younger and older members enjoy a meal at our restaurants together,” says Vintilescu.

Nybroe Smørrebrød: 20 years of Danish delights

A delicious dose of culture

Food and drinks aside, both restaurants showcase local art for guests to feast their eyes on. “We rotate our art every six months and it’s all free. On one hand, we want to support the art community and help it thrive, and on the other hand, we want to provide an active and always-interesting environment for our customers. It’s a win, win!” tells Vintilescu. Somewhat more unexpectedly, there’s also a DJ who plays at the restaurant in Östermalmshallen once a week. And not just any DJ, but former Swedish ice hockey star Mats Ulander.

Speaking of music, another element of Nybroe Smørrebrød is singing. “It’s typically Swedish behaviour to only sing during big holidays like Christmas and Midsummer, but I think there’s always room for it,” says Vintilescu. “So, here at our restaurants, singing is always encouraged. In fact, I don’t mind singing a little song myself.”

A proud part of Stockholm’s incredible food offering, Nybroe Smørrebrød is now set to open a third restaurant within the next year. An expansion led by Vintilescu, who has explored food scenes all over the world. The actual concept of this new venture is still undecided, however. Will it be more smørrebrød or something entirely different, like Japanese food? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain, no matter the culinary direction, the new restaurant will join the others in offering fantastic service, delicious food and an unbeatable atmosphere.

Nybroe Smørrebrød: 20 years of Danish delights

Web: www.nybroe.se
Facebook: Nybroe Smörrebröd
Instagram: @nybroesmorrebrod

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