Over the last 15 years, SoFo (if we dare call it that) has been the jewel in the crown when it comes to Södermalm, with Hornstull something of an ugly sister by comparison, struggling to compete with the other side’s hip and trendy persona. And yet Hornstull is arguably the real Cinderella story of our city.
For a long time in Stockholm’s history, the area of Hornstull was considered “dodgy” and, due to its run-down and abrasive nature, it went by the moniker of knivsöder (“knife Söder”). It wasn’t exactly the best nickname to attract people to the area so restaurants and shops felt a bit wary about taking a chance on putting themselves up there. Fortunately, the risks were taken andwere eventually rewarded.
The area has been able to revamp its image and turn what was once an area best avoided into a thriving culture haven. Beginning with the very popular Hornstull Market, the area has gone from zero to hero, with the market attracting people from all over the city to the waterside to indulge in the market’s vintage stands, gems, and, recently, food trucks. The successful market has turned into a marketing tool and has helped open up Stockholmers to a whole new side of Hornstull.
Now the term “knife Söder” has been cleverly transformed into Gaffel och knivsöder (“knife-and-for Söder”) – turning the stabbing threat of old into an invitation to eat. The new nickname serves as the main focus of Hornstull’s metaphorical ad campaign, symbolizing the many eateries and food shops that have inhabited the area. It has been a welcomed new upgrade to Stockholmers old and new.
Hornstull at the western tip of Södermalm has been called “Horn” since the 1400’s. The name is thought to stem from the island Åsöns’s pointy shape. It was Stockholm’s brickyard until around the 1600s, which is the reason the brickwork is so noticeable in the area, particularly at the beautiful library.
Industrialization saw many mechanical workshops find their home in this western part, but its capacity to become a cultural and residential area sank. Soon enough though, the workshops were pushed out and instead the streets became a hub for public transportation. Although the area was evolving, it still did not create enough appeal for Stockholmers to move themselves in.
Things started to change in the 2000’s as Hornstull moved away from the focus on transport and allowed cars and pedestrians to make their way in. Like a blank canvas, the area began to open up for colour. In recent years this western part has been able to be molded by the culture of the restaurants, bars, and shops that have made their mark in the territory. The people have now followed and the area is starting to change as it regains its youthful enthusiasm.
Eating & Drinking
Hornhuset, one of the recent additions to Hornstull from the Alhbom family, has been a delightful treat to the area. The glass-lined building, which is originally designed into a jagged architectural piece, holds three different floors with an array of restaurants, bar areas, and terraces. Hornhuset gives Hornstull a welcoming arrival hall with Torget, a classy yet simple restaurant. Then one floor up and as a cherry on top, sits Enzo’s, with its Italian kitchen, great bar and a perfect place to catch up on some football. “Or why not just go all the way to the top and enjoy your drink with Hornstulls best view,” explains Jesper Ahlbom.
The building has become a focal point for Hornstull and has brought the big-city feel to a small, neat area. “The Ahlbom family is a family from Södermalm. Our first restaurants were here and now with the touch-up of Hornstull completed, we really wanted to be a part of what Hornstull is destined to become. The general opinion of Hornstull differs quite a lot from those who live and work here. It is a vibrant and friendly area, with a lot of young and creative people shearing sidewalks and parks with elderly and homeless. Like the cliché, it really is a city within the city, but it’s not trying to be. It’s a lovely little contradiction that fights to keep its soul and originality yet keep up with everything that is happening in Stockholm,” says Jesper.
Judit & Bertil
Judit & Bertil’s restaurant and bar is founded on the love story of one of the present owner’s grandparents and has been a popular hang-out spot for all ages. The story dates back to the 1930’s when Judit, a maid, fell for local glassblower, Bertil. The couple served as an inspiration for the style of the restaurant, with Judit’s great talent for cooking and Bertil’s amazing artistry.
With a menu that gives plenty of international options and cocktails that are carefully crafted it’s no wonder its popularity has grown. With , a soulful cool mood the restaurant fits the Hornstull vibe very well and it seems as if both Judit & Bertil’s match is mimicked by the way this restaurant and bar fits in so snugly with the area surrounding it. One of a kind.
Hornstulls Strand 13
Food and film have come together in Barbro’s combination of restaurant, film, and bar that opened back in 2011. The name is based on its location under a bridge, and it’s the first cinema bar to hit Stockholm. Upstairs you can sample their Western-infused Asian cuisine in their popular bistro. Then enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, drinks and small snacks while you watch your film in a living room setting.
Barbro doesn’t stop at films, either – different DJs also share their beats at the bistro at night so whether you love film or music, there is something for you.
The partnership seems to work well in the hip atmosphere that has now formed around Hornstulls Strand as Ellen Tejle tells us. “Hornstull is our favorite area in Stockholm – next to the water and a big park. It is very dynamic with retro stores, the classic old Cinema Theatre (Bio Rio), genuine old restaurants, but also gaining new and modern venues. It’s becoming a new place for upcoming cafés, bars and culture operators in Stockholm.”
Hornstulls Strand 4
With the sad news that Debaser Slussen will soon be closing, the new Debaser Strand restaurant and bar Calexico’s has been just what we needed to lessen the loss. The great Mexican menu, delicious Sangria, and waterside setting have been the highlight of the summer for many, helping to increase traffic in the area. It seems like Debaser is in on the Cinderella secret that is Hornstull as they moved in to become a part of the magic.
Bobo Brunnberg from Debaser’s production team comments about their move to the western side of the South: “Since we decided to close down our dear old Debaser Slussen we thought it was the perfect opportunity to move into Hornstull. It has been a dormant neighborhood with a good old Söder feel that is just waiting to explode. Mass culture is making its way into the area right now. You can find so many cultural practitioners that we really love.”
Juice bars are a rising phenomenon in recent times and when you have places like Juiceverket, it’s hardly surprising. As you first enter the feel-good vibe is undeniable. Pumping music sets the mood as you walk your way up to the cleverly designed juice counter. The wooden bar table lined with fresh fruits gives off an organic feel and the ingredients permeate the air.
“We launched our concept in 2011 because we felt Stockholm needed a juice bar. Inspired by clubs and bars around the world, we aspired to be an open non-alcoholic cocktail bar,” says one of the owners, Andreas Wilson. This juice bar is just another indication of how Hornstull is perfecting its clean-up image. More and more people who are conscious of healthy choices have inhabited the area and it seems as Juiceverket has been a perfect partner in helping people to achieve that in an edgy way. “From the beginning, we’d had our eyes on Hornstull, an area we felt would suit us perfectly and we’re happy to bring unique service to the area.”
Taylor & Jones with the Twist
For several years, Taylor & Jones have had a busy sausage store and butchery in Stockholm, so when the idea to bring Taylor & Jones with the Twist, a sausage and beer bar, to the area it was bound to be a hit with their loyal customers. When the new face of Hornstull was in the works so too were Taylor & Jones, pairing their great handcrafted sausage sandwiches with handcrafted Oliver Twist beer. Here they are in 2013 with uniquely-designed sandwiches and a bar that includes seven different taps featuring beers from Sweden, the UK, and the U.S.
Tjoget: Linje 10, Roy & Son, Bisou Bisou
The triple threat that is Tjoget has what people love most: options. Part restaurant, part barbershop, part bistro, the three are collectively inspired by French chic and New York’s urban style.
With its southern European menu, the restaurant and bar Linje 10 is named after the tram called Route 10 that traveled from Värtahamnen to Hornstullstrand, bringing a bit of history into the new era at Hornstull.
Barbershop Roy & Son provides shaves and trims and is headed by a barber who has been a master of the trade for 40 years. Bisou Bisou is a small bistro that allows people to indulge in more simple items such as coffee and pastries.
Shops & Services
This new readily-accessible art gallery, housing a metal and 3D printing shop and coffee house, has undergone a major facelift this summer and is hoping to bring more culture to Hornstull by being the first of its kind. Behnard, creator and owner of Parallel hopes to change up the usual style of an art gallery.
“We want to transform the atmosphere of the typical art gallery and make it more accessible to the general public. In order to do this we have complimented the gallery and workshop with a nice café that will serve great-tasting coffee and some simple dishes. This allows a more relaxed street feel. Our goal is not to seem pretentious where only a few can take part. Forget invitations and guest lists – we want everyone to experience our art displays, and everything we have to offer,” explains Behnard.
Parallel will also feature music every month, and plans to offer workshops to those who want to learn more on the art of metalwork and 3D printing. Behnard explained that Hornstull is the best area for what Parallel is about. “Hornstull is up and coming and feels very ‘alive’ and that’s why we fit like a glove on its streets. Parallel thrives in the area’s lively non-commercialized setting.”
It is due to open its doors again the beginning of September.
Kate’s Organic Market
With a world full of chemically-infused food, the ability to buy organic ingredients has become more important than ever. That’s exactly what Kate Marklund and her husband had in mind when they opened up Kate’s Organic Market in the middle of Hornstull. With one of the largest selections of organic produce in the Stockholm area, Kate’s is guaranteed to provide as many healthy options as possible. Other items in the shop include dairy from Väddö Gårdsmejeri, free-range eggs from Haninge, and bread baked with local organic flour.
“When starting the Organic Market I wanted to combine three elements: organic, fair trade and local,” says Kate. She explains that Hornstull was a perfect area to open a shop: “I chose Hornstull because it’s a really cool neighbourhood. The people who live here are generally quite environmentally and socially aware and are conscious of the impact of what they buy on the world around them.” She and her husband assure to continue growing organically, and hope to be able to offer home deliveries in the near future.
Friends of Adam
Hornstulls Strand 13
Friends of Adam seems like just another nice bakery to the clueless tourist passersby on the outside, but there is much more to it than that. There are plenty of delicious bakeries lining the city’s streets but this one is extra special. Friends Of Adam is one the leading gluten-free bakeries in Sweden with a vital goal of allowing easy access. “The main reason for setting up the bakery in Hornstull was because of its accessibility. It is vital that it can be easily reached for both customers and staff. Hornstull is easily reached with the tunnelbana, the bus and by car,” says Karin Moberg, one of the minds behind the magic.
The bakery specializes in recipes that create a substitute for wheat. It is used by local eateries all around the city such as Copacabana, the much-loved café that is just around the corner that uses the bakery’s bread for one of its sandwich specials. “Since Friends of Adam attracts a wide audience from all over Stockholm, as well as tourists, we are happy that our shop helps to bring people to the area and discover what we already know about Hornstull.”
Creative Director & Founder of Brikk Productions & Resident of Hornstull
“I love living and working in the area because it gives you a bit of everything – swimming, nature, city, and culture. I like stepping outside of my door and having all these options without walking more than a couple blocks. We put our business here two years ago and started as a small company. We took a chance on the area because we knew it was something special and now both Brikk and Hornstull have grown into something great together – it’s a bit of our own cheesy metaphor.”
Motion Designer, Director, and Partner at Brikk Productions & Former resident of Hornstull
“It’s one of the most relaxed and friendliest areas of Stockholm. That’s what I love about it. We have people who we’ve never seen before just pop in our office to say hello. After living and now having a business in the area, I feel like we’re a part of a community. There’s a sense of wanting to help each other. It’s full of small businesses and everyone wants to see each other succeed. You don’t get that a lot of places.”
Motion Designer, Director, & Partner at Brikk Productions & Former Resident of Hornstull
“I’m originally from the South – Malmö. To me Hornstull gives off a Southern Sweden vibe, which I appreciate. It’s also a mix of old and new. You have the people that have been here for maybe a decade and you have places like Hornhuset that just opened this year. I’ll have lunch at old Italian café down the street and then go for drinks at Hornhuset. It’s great that we can enjoy both the old and the new.”
Nneka Teresa Odu
Music Programmer & Talent Relations for MTV Denmark, Vh1 Denmark & MTV Finland
Current resident of Hornstull
“I like the area’s diversity. I lived in Copenhagen for several years and found the beauty in the roughness and ‘dodgy’ nature of places. After living in SoFo before this I’m happy for the change in scenery. Stockholm is too proper for me sometimes and Hornstull seems different. It would be a shame if the unique rough image Hornstull has had disappeared entirely.”
Bar Manager at Linje Tio & current resident of Hornstull
“Hornstull’s best features include the green parks and waterside. When I first moved here it was completely off the radar so the locals only knew how great it was. We were all in on this secret but I guess the secret is out!”
Words by Angela Markovic