Minnesota restaurants cooking flavorful Swedish food are serving more than traditional saucy meatballs and pickled herring
The New Nordic Food Movement that began in 2003 has evolved and, more recently, penetrated borders to include Swedish food. Consequently, this movement has been adopted by chefs across various U.S. communities and is especially true for those with longtime Scandinavian roots. The culinary revolution highlights sustainability, regional and seasonal ingredients and clean simple flavors. Additionally, it has become popular in Minnesota, which is home to diverse, authentic and creative Scandinavian establishments. Try these Minnesota restaurants for traditional-with-a-flair Swedish food and please everyone in your group.
Annie’s Jul-Themed Coffee Parties
Inspired by Gammelgarden’s oldest resident, Annie, this restaurant brings you a Swedish three-course Coffee Party each second Saturday from September through December to celebrate her coffee tradition.
Over some comforting java and Swedish biscuits, learn about immigrants who traveled from Sweden and came to Minnesota and the culture they revived over the years. Afterward, take a guided tour of the five historic buildings at the Gammelgarden Museum. Ideally, if you’re in town in November and December, have a history discussion with the museum director for a more in-depth history lesson.
Hewing Hotel’s Ultra-Stylish Tullibee Restaurant
In Minneapolis’ historic North Loop, a former logging warehouse combines a hip, rustic-chic environment. Moreover, they stick with traditional Scandinavian methods of butchery, foraging and fermentation. Inspired by a wood-fired grill, local dishes like a Hewing Burger for lunch or dry-aged flat-iron steak for dinner complete an authentic farm-to-table Nordic cuisine.
The Finnish Bistro Coffee Shop and Bakery
In the charming St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, an Edison lighted, comfortable, sunny café with a music stage features classic Finnish bites like potato pancakes, savory pies and meatballs. Try customer favorites like kielbasa, spicy reindeer sausage and delicious pulla bread French toast. The bistro also serves authentic salads, sandwiches and all-day breakfast, cakes, and baked sweets to satiate your entire group.
Gustaf’s on Main Eatery
You can’t leave Minnesota without having a celebrated Swedish food dish. On Thursday evenings at Gustaf’s in Lindstrom, ask about the Swedish Meatball dinner. This historic red-brick, Victorian-style restaurant invites locals and visitors for flavorful and affordable food for breakfast, brunch and lunch. They also host Gustaf’s Tea Parties during the Fall, Winter and Spring holiday seasons which includes traditional tea party Swedish foods.
With their mission to restore and preserve the historic landmark, local owners Ed and Deannah Muha purchased the “crown jewel” of Lindström the red brick “Gustaf’s House,” a site on the National Register of Historic Places. With the opening of Gustaf’s eatery a year later, the Muhas revived an old world charm. This organic, farm-to table, locally sourced Minnesota restaurant relates the stories of Swedish immigrants through its food.
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By Nabiha Asim