Published on May 25, 2016

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Photography by style files

It’s no secret that we have a thing for Scandinavian style. So, it should come as no surprise that the sentiment extends to other areas of Scandinavian life. Case in point: breakfast. For a meal that is so often overlooked, stateside, it encompasses a more traditional role in the Nordic nations. While each of the three northern European nations – Norway, Sweden, and Denmark – have their respective hallmarks of breakfast, there is an all encompassing element that unites them all together. Here, we dive a little deeper into the basics of a classic Scandinavian breakfast. Take a look!

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Photography by honestly YUM


This classic Scandinavian concept is essentially a buffet comprised of a mix of hot and cold dishes. Consider it the Swedish version of a brunch. The smaller, and more feasible take, features a board with an assortment of sweet and savory ingredients.

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Photography by Leela Cyd, via Food with Friends

Butter and bread are the essentials, the foundation, if you will. Berry jams and preserves, a variety of cheeses, fresh fruits, and eggs are not uncommon groupings on a typical breakfast board. Pickled vegetables, caviar, and herrings with crispy bread slices are more or less a staple.

Get the details on this delectable bunch on A Cup of Jo.

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Photography by hummingbirdhigh

diy: the personalized board

There is nothing novel about this combo. Eggs and bacon make for a classic pairing, while the crumbled feta and chopped scallions contribute a Scandi influence. A freshly-baked scone with a side of blackberry jam completes the meal.

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Photography by Donal Skehan

gravad lax

Bagels, cream cheese, and lox is a combo we’re no stranger to. So we are all for incorporating the Nordic take on it, into our weekend brunch rotation. 

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Gravad lax is a Scandinavian dish featuring salmon cured with salt, sugar, and dill. Served with a side of pickled cucumbers and a honey mustard sauce on rye bread, it’s a staple of Nordic cuisine. And a delicious one at that!

Get the scoop on this make-ahead dish on Donal Skehan!

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Photography by the modern proper

sweet and savory know no bounds

Porridge is a big staple of Nordic cuisine. Risgrøt, or rice porridge, is typically made with an indulgent blend of sugar, milk, and butter. Spices, such as cinnamon and cardamom, contribute a warming effect to the dish, while a handful of berries (fresh or dried) lend a more refreshing note. In true Nordic fashion, a modest slice of butter garnishes the bowl.

Get the recipe for this Norwegian Risgrøt Rice Porridge recipe on The Modern Proper.

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Photography by mmforsberg

norwegian rømme grøt

A dish traditionally served on Christmas, rømme grøt is a porridge comprised of sour cream, milk, wheat flour, and butter. Seasoned with salt, cinnamon, and sugar, this hearty dish is both filling and delicious.

Get the recipe here!  

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Photography by green kitchen stories


Avocado toast may have had its moment, but if you ask the Scandinavians, open-faced sandwiches are here to stay. Known as smørrebrød, they typically come on rye bread and feature a wide slew of toppings, garnishes, and spreads. These breakfast basics are packed with nutrients, bold flavors, and plenty of color!

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Photography by green kitchen stories

From the most indulgent of flavor combination – Nutella and strawberries to avocado and za’atar – to the more acquired in taste – pickled onions with potatoes – there are no shortage of unique blends to try, especially when it comes to breakfast.

Get the recipes for this vibrant bunch on Green Kitchen Stories.

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Photography by modernwifestyle

buckwheat waffles

Grains, seeds, dried fruit, and nuts are a big staple of Nordic cuisine and buckwheat is no exception. Served with a garnish of sunflower oil butter and a red current preserve.

Get the recipe for these buckwheat pancakes on Modern Wife Style.

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Photography by Lantliv Mat & Vin


Swedish tartines feature cream cheese with any number of delectable toppings. Smoked salmon, boiled eggs, radishes, and blueberries are a must-try!

Get the scoop on Have a Yummy Day.

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Fried sausage and watercress on a crisp flatbread served with a side of muesli (a mix of rolled oats and grains) in a sour milk porridge, is not an unfamiliar sight for the typical Scandinavian breakfast.

Get the scoop on this sweet and savory bunch here.

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Photography by cookyourdream

good bread

If there is one thing the Scandinavians know how to do well, bread making is it. A staple of breakfast – and every other meal, for that matter – it is one thing they take very seriously. From rye to sourdough, you’ll never come across a Nordic meal without it.

Get the recipe for this sourdough bread on Cook Your Dream.  

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Photography by girlversusdough


A spice commonly used in Swedish cuisine, you can find hints of cardamom in both sweet and savory dishes. Though we are more partial to it in the form of a deliciously baked roll.

Get the recipe for these Swedish cardamom buns on Girl Versus Dough.

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Photography by Bloglovin


The Swedes are pretty serious about their coffee, and no Swedish breakfast would be complete without it. Their coffee culture is pretty serious, and most of the Scandinavian populations are dubbed as the heaviest coffee consumers in the world! Psst! They take it black and it almost always comes served with a side of something sweet.