Chances are better than even that you have some Scandinavian blood or are familiar with the culture if you were born and raised in Seattle.
That's changing now with our massive influx of tech workers the last few decades. But even if you're not Scandinavian at all, that shouldn't stop you from enjoying a beloved Seattle tradition: the Swedish Pancake Breakfast at the Swedish Cultural Center (aka the Swedish Club) on the first Sunday of each month.
For 20 years now, the current version of the pancake breakfast has drawn a diverse crowd from all over the city, and even region. As we bought our tickets at yesterday's breakfast, the volunteer ticket sellers asked us where we came from. My cousin's friends Beth and Mike, up from Eugene, had traveled the farthest so far.
A big part of the charm at this breakfast, besides the very tasty and crepe-like pancakes, is that it's such an unpretentious, truly local cultural event. You'll mingle with elderly Swedes in traditional Scandinavian sweaters and garb, neighborhood families with kids, maybe a few hipsters, and friendly club volunteers.
|Bengt Hag welcomes everyone at the door.|
|Be prepared to spend 10 to 20 minutes in line.|
When you enter the vintage 1960 building, it's reminiscent of an old school building downstairs where the breakfast is served. The food and the setting are not hip or fancy. But the ambiance is friendly, the crowd is happy, the pancakes are excellent (and also available in a gluten-free version), and you'll probably see some traditional Swedish dancing.
|Pancakes, lingonberries, strawberries, ham, OJ, Swedish kaffe (coffee) and oh that whipped cream!|
|Traditional Swedish folk music with a smile!|
We shared a table with a family from the neighborhood and feasted on the kind of breakfast that many used to enjoy at our grandparent's (in my case, my Swedish "Gooma"). The breakfast includes tickets for seconds, but none of us indulged. Heck, I couldn't even finish my firsts.
After breakfast, I went upstairs on my way out to use the less-crowded restroom and see some of the club's holiday decorations.
While I've been meaning to check out this breakfast for over a year now, it was a snarky tweet I read that got me thinking about Seattle traditions new and old:
I'm going to celebrate the Christmas season by tweeting about Seattle traditions. Not like anyone there knows them.
Wrong! So here's to enjoying a classic Seattle tradition.
Tack för att besöka Pacific Northwest Seasons!
When You Go
As noted on the links above, the Swedish Pancake Breakfast takes place the first Sunday of each month. Cost is $9 for adults, $7 for members, $5 for kids 5 to 12, and FREE for kids under 5. Breakfast includes pancakes, berry toppings, maple syrup, butter, Swedish coffee, orange juice, ham, and tea. Plus seconds if you can handle it. The Swedish Club is at 1920 Dexter Avenue on the east side of Queen Anne Hill (click link for map) just below SR 99 and above Westlake/Lake Union, immediately north of downtown Seattle. There is ample parking in the lots below the club or across the street.