5236 N Clark St Chicago

HI Chicago
Written By HI Chicago

Back in the 1800s, Andersonville was home to the most Swedes outside of Stockholm. Today, though the neighborhood has become much more culturally diverse, that Swedish heritage remains. And no place is it more apparent than Svea.

Named after the Mother of Sweden, Svea is a cozy diner that simply exudes velkommen. Viking ships and landscapes dot the walls; the chairs and counter stools are painted in the colors of the Swedish flag. And then there's the menu: Swedish pancakes, lingonberry jam, hotdog-like falukorv sausage, Swedish meatballs and, between Thanksgiving and Christmas only, the reviled-yet-loved lutefisk. (Beware, ordering the pungent treat will cause the owner to break into the lutefisk song and blame it squarely on you.)

Previous owner Kurt Mathiasson hailed from Gotberg, Sweden, opened Svea in 1972, and was the founder of the Swedish American Museum across the street, so you know the place is authentic. So head on over to Svea for breakfast (the Viking breakfast of two Swedish pancakes, Svea's lingonberry jam, Swedish sausage, eggs, roasted house potatoes and toast is a favorite) or lunch to enjoy a taste of the old country. Closed for dinner, cash only.

Published by HI Chicago

Cover photo credit: sakhura1 via Instagram.

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