Based in an erstwhile production facility in Stockholm’s former meatpacking district, Solen — which takes its name from the Swedish word for sun — brings celestial ambitions to an industrial setting. Its menu, by Michelin-starred chefs Adam Dahlberg and Albin Wessman, takes inspiration from “sun-drenched food meccas” around the world (think Tel Aviv, Naples and Oaxaca). And its radiant design, by Stockholm studio Specific Generic, is a fun study in orbital geometry.
Graciously lit by a series of skylights and a row of clerestory windows, the soaring dining room is anchored by a large fireplace. This focal point reflects the important role that heat plays in the restaurant’s menu, which emphasizes roasted, grilled and smoked fare.
Radiating out from this central hearth, tables and chairs are arranged into rings, almost like planets and asteroids paused mid-way along their trajectory around the sun. In the outermost loop sits the open kitchen, which diners can observe from a curved wood chef’s table offering convivial group seating. Moving inwards, you’ll find rounded benches backed by tall rounded planters that help to divide the large room into intimate zones while also introducing some desert greenery in the form of sun-hardy plants like cacti and succulents.
Indeed, much of Solen can be understood as an exploration of both the sun’s impact on earth, and its place in the grander cosmos. Constellation-like mobiles and pendant lighting give the space heavenly ambiance, with a row of tiny spotlights twinkling like night stars above the dining tables.
The restaurant’s sleek, futuristic stainless steel bar counter is another feature that adds to the project’s interstellar ambiance. Housed inside of a cozy nook that contrasts Solen’s otherwise lofty ceilings, this area (like much of the project) features seating from Vaarnii. Founded in 2021, the Finnish brand focuses on brutalist design with a twist — everything is produced in Finnish pine.
Apart from softening the hard edges of Solen’s industrial setting, these wood furnishings also make for a natural complement to the firewood stacked throughout the space. A softer hit of texture is found via the restaurant’s collection of sarapes, which are hung on the wall of the lounge like tapestries.
With an undeniable gravitational pull, Solen seems destined to further bolster the profile of its star chefs — and its Slaktshusområdet neighbourhood. As redevelopment of Solen’s Hus 26 building and its neighbours continues, the district’s transformation is only just beginning. (Sure enough, a new metro station is planned to open in the area in 2030.) And at the centre of all of this action will be Solen — a blazing beacon announcing Stockholm’s newest cultural and culinary hub.
Quickly becoming one of the brightest stars in the city’s culinary scene, Solen places tables and chairs into orbit around a central hearth.