Alfresco dining and drinking in the Gothenburg sunshine

Alfresco dining and drinking in the Gothenburg sunshine
Summertime in Gothenburg is, for the non-Swedish observer, an interesting experience.

Anyone visiting the city during a magical week when the sun’s rays finally burst forth can witness the remarkable sight of The First Day Of Sunshine, when everybody stops what they’re doing, undoes another button on their shirt, and basks.

This is usually also marked by local bar owners and restaurateurs racing to put out their uteservering – the outdoor serving areas beloved by the city’s social animals.

While there are plenty from which to choose, here are a few of The Local’s top picks:

For a typical uteservering experience, try the terrace at Bitter (Linnegatan 59). This large bar and restaurant, with an emphasis on drinks and cocktails rather than the ubiquitous stor stark, as Swedes commonly refer to a pint, has long been one of the city’s trendier hangouts, located as it is on a terminally hip street. Sundays in Bitter are especially worth checking out, as visitors are treated to a brunch buffet for 128 kronor ($21). The selection varies, but the standards are always high. On Fridays, you can also take advantage of a great after-work buffet.

If you’re in the city centre, look for the large flock of drinkers and diners at Grill Del Mundo, next to Storan (the large concert hall at Kungsparken 1). In previous years, this outdoor bar has been popular with the trendy Avenyn crowd; it offers lovely place to take a seat, chill out, and watch the world go by. Grill Del Mundo offers a range of salads and meze dishes alongside main courses, and the uteservering seats upwards of 300 people.

Jacob’s (Haga Nygatan 10), a popular café in one of the city’s cutest locales, is another very popular choice for thirsty sun-worshippers. Situated in Haga, a quaint grid of small paved streets featuring boutiques, cafes and restaurants, the young, hip crowd gathering outside Jacob’s during lunchtime (and through the afternoon) spills right over the pavement. The specials are well-priced and tasty, and it’s a perfect place to start your evening with a bite to eat and a soda.

Moving away from the city centre, Johannebar (Eklandagatan 65) caters to the many students who reside in the Johanneberg neighbourhood, offering an after-work buffet on Fridays and a wide selection of food and drink on other nights. The bar was renovated a couple of years ago, and the outdoor terrace is generally lively and relaxing, a fresh open-air alternative to the retro booths inside. Prices are low, and the staff laid-back; enjoy a couple of beers and some good, simple diner-style food.

Heading back to the Linne district, La Sombrita (Linnegatan 23) is one of the city’s most popular summer evening venues. And rightly so – this tapas joint has a spacious and well-covered front terrace where you can either sit at a table and enjoy your snacks and cerveza, or show off your summer hairstyle and people-watch while perched on one of the street-facing stools. It’s a very popular destination on weekend evenings, so make sure that you get there early to secure a spot.

Magnus & Magnus (Magasinsgatan 8) has one of the most famous outside serving areas in the city – this lively bar, with a spacious “backyard”, plays music and has a dance floor in the uteservering. Here, it’s possible to cap off a full day of outdoor fun with an alfresco boogie. The offerings at Magnus & Magnus don’t come cheap, but the price is worth it—particularly for the food, which is some of the nicest that you’ll find in this popular part of town.

Beneath the massive Älvborgsbron, you can find the cultural centre Röda Sten (Röda Sten 1), an ex-industrial building which now hosts exhibitions and activity groups and is home to a lively bar/club, café and restaurant. A full programme of events every month is enough to bring the hipsters from nearby the Majorna district and beyond to this excellent venue with its large uteservering. The views are spectacular—don’t pass up the chance to see the sun set over the water as you sip your drink.

Finally, Villa Belparc (Slottskogen) is popular restaurant located in the city’s main park which is rentable for large private parties and also serves as a conference center. A spacious, jetty-style platform jutts out over a pond in the middle of the park, where it’s possible to enjoy a couple of drinks while listening to the waterfowl splashing and quacking beneath you. A classy café/bistro provides good food to park visitors.