Stockholm: What’s a typical Swedish breakfast?

Swedish breakfast
Swedish breakfast. Photo by Pieter Baert.

Going out for breakfast in Sweden is an uncommon event (like it is in most European countries), but that does not mean you can’t enjoy a great breakfast in Stockholm! The traditional Swedish breakfast is delicious, easy to make and relatively inexpensive. Read on to learn how breakfast can be a Cheapo-friendly experience even in pricey Sweden.

Standard breakfast fare

The most common Swedish breakfast is made at home and centers around a smörgås (open-faced sandwich) consisting of bread, margarine or butter and a slice of cheese. You can spice up your smörgås with a variety of traditional toppings, including gurka (cucumber), tomat (tomato), and cold cuts such as skinka and nötkött (ham and beef). Contrary to popular belief, Swedish pancakes are not typically served for breakfast. (Sorry folks, IHOP got it wrong!)

Muesli, a common breakfast item in Switzerland, is also very popular amongst the Swedes. The blend of flakes, grains and sometimes dried fruits is usually served with filmjölk, a soured yogurt similar to buttermilk.

Coffee (kaffee) is an absolute must with any Swedish breakfast. The Swedes love their coffee strong; don’t be surprised by the lingering caffeine buzz…

Common for Swedes, daring for foreigners

For a more authentic (and fishy) morning treat, try knäckebröd (crisp bread) with kalles caviar. This delightful combination of fish paste and bread is not for the faint of heart. But, if you want the full Swedish breakfast experience, by all means try it. It tastes great on eggs, too!

You can also opt for an interesting dish consisting of makrill fillet (mackerel fish in tomato sauce) on a piece of soft bread topped with cucumber. This may sound a bit strange, but it’s actually quite tasty.

For a DIY-breakfast , the above items can be purchased from any local COOP or ICA grocery store in Stockholm.  If you’d like to have a nice sit-down meal, however, here are three good options:

Cafe String
Nytorgsgatan 38
Breakfast: Saturday–Sunday 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Web site

Café String is situated in the heart of SOFO, the bohemian district of south of Stockholm’s city center. It has a relaxed, friendly vibe with a good selection of Swedish breakfast foods, including waffles, fresh fruit and a variety of juices. String is very popular with the locals so come early!

Sirap
Surbrunnsgatan 31 A
Breakfast: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Web site

Café Sirap is Stockholm’s best choice for an “American- style” breakfast, and it should be—the owners are American. The contemporary atmosphere is very inviting and the large portions remind you that America is king when it comes to big breakfasts.

Clarion Hotel
Ringvägen 98
Web site
Breakfast: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m

The Clarion offers more than your average hotel breakfast buffet. Expect a wide variety of warm and cold options along with Asia-style breakfast favorites (lactose and gluten-free alternatives are available). Breakfast is included in the room rate, should you stay at the hotel.

About the author

About the author: Erik Funfar is an American business professional, freelance travel photographer and writer living in Stockholm. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe—his latest adventures include Spain, Morocco and Norway. You can follow Erik as "The American Norseman" or visit his photography website at erikfunfar.com.
Posted in: Stockholm
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Cheapo Comments

4 Responses to “Stockholm: What’s a typical Swedish breakfast?”
  • Caviar in the morning does indeed sound daring! I don’t know if I could get used to that. Muesli sounds good though.

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  • Tamekichi Aida says:

    Yum!! I want the breakfast in the picture!!! I can soooo live in Sweden!

  • Dan says:

    Uhm, I am Swedish and have never seen anything like the breakfast on the photo in the article! Salmon for breakfast? With leek!? Must be some rich Swedes healthy breakfast!

    Open sandwiches, müsli with filmjölk / yoghurt or milk, and a cup of coffee and a glass of juice or milk is the most common, also porridges and corn flakes. Kalles kaviar is also popular on hard boiled eggs, which can be cut in slices and used as topping on the knäckebröd, then add the kaviar. I prefer boiled cold sliced potatoes on my knäckebröd :)

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