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What do Swedes have for breakfast?

When you think of breakfast, the image that may pop in your head could range from pancakes and syrup to a hearty bowl of oatmeal. But, have you ever wondered what people in Sweden have for breakfast? In Sweden, breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day and it is celebrated by indulging in a variety of food items ranging from crispbread to oatmeal porridge. In this article, we will take a peek into the Swedish breakfast culture and explore the different foods that locals love to start their day with.

Traditional Swedish Breakfast Foods

Swedish cuisine is largely influenced by its geography, with seafood being a prominent ingredient in many dishes. But when it comes to breakfast, Swedes often opt for simpler foods, such as bread, porridge, and yogurt. Here are some traditional Swedish breakfast foods:

Knäckebröd (Crisp Bread)

Knäckebröd is a type of crispbread made from rye flour and water. It’s baked until crisp and can be eaten plain or topped with cheese, butter, or jam.

Swedish Crisp Bread

Gröt (Porridge)

Gröt is a type of porridge made from different types of grains, such as oats, barley, or rye. It’s cooked with milk or water and can be served sweetened with sugar or fruit compote.

Swedish Porridge


Yogurt is a popular breakfast food in Sweden, especially among the health-conscious. It’s often topped with fresh berries or granola and is a good source of protein and calcium.

Swedish Yogurt

Kaviar (Fish Roe Spread)

Kaviar is a spread made from cod or other fish roe mixed with oil and spices. It’s commonly eaten on knäckebröd or crackers and is a popular breakfast food in Sweden.

Swedish Kaviar

Räksmörgås (Shrimp Sandwich)

Räksmörgås is a shrimp sandwich consisting of buttered white bread, boiled eggs, lettuce, and shrimp. It’s a popular breakfast food in Sweden and is often served with a side of mayonnaise or aioli.

Swedish Shrimp Sandwich

Lingonberry Jam

Lingonberry jam is a traditional Swedish condiment made from lingonberries and sugar. It’s often served with meatballs or knäckebröd and adds a sweet and tart flavor to breakfast dishes.

Swedish Lingonberry Jam

Kaffe (Coffee)

Coffee is a staple of Swedish breakfasts and is often served black or with a splash of milk. Swedes take their coffee seriously and have a tradition of “fika,” which is a break for coffee and pastries with friends or colleagues.

Swedish Coffee


Muesli is a healthy breakfast option in Sweden and is a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. It’s often served with yogurt or milk and is a filling and nutritious way to start the day.

Swedish Muesli

Pannkakor (Swedish Pancakes)

Swedish pancakes are thin and delicate and often served with lingonberry jam or whipped cream. They’re a popular breakfast or brunch item in Sweden and are a sweet and satisfying way to start the day.

Swedish Pancakes

Filmjölk (Cultured Milk)

Filmjölk is a type of cultured milk that’s similar to yogurt but with a thinner consistency. It’s often served with muesli or granola and is a healthy and refreshing way to start the day.

Swedish Filmjölk

Traditional Swedish Breakfast Foods

Swedish breakfast is known for being hearty and nutritious, with a focus on natural, high-quality ingredients. Here are some traditional Swedish breakfast foods:


Vörtbröd is a dark, sweet bread made with spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. It usually includes a variety of grains and rye flour, giving it a dense, nutty texture. This bread is perfect with a spread of butter or cheese.



Kroppkakor is a popular Swedish dish made of potato dumplings filled with bacon or pork. They’re often served with lingonberry jam and a side of butter. This dish is commonly eaten in the southern and central regions of Sweden.



Slightly similar to American cereals, frukostflingor are a type of Swedish breakfast cereal. They’re often made with whole grains like oats, rye, and barley, and come in a variety of flavors. Swedes often eat this cereal with milk and fresh berries.


Kaviar och ägg

Kaviar och ägg is a favorite Swedish breakfast combination. The dish includes hard-boiled eggs and red caviar spread, served on open-faced sandwiches. It’s a classic Swedish breakfast that’s often enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee.

kaviar och ägg

Ost och knäckebröd

Ost och knäckebröd is a simple but satisfying Swedish breakfast. It consists of crispbread and sliced cheese, served alongside fresh vegetables like cucumber and tomato. This breakfast is high in fiber and protein, making it a popular choice among health-conscious Swedes.

ost och knäckebröd

Yoghurt med müsli

Another common breakfast in Sweden is yoghurt med müsli, which is essentially yogurt with granola. Swedes tend to prefer plain yogurt and then add their own toppings. Müsli usually includes a mix of oats, nuts, and dried fruits, providing a tasty and filling breakfast.

yoghurt med müsli


Smörgås is a catch-all term for open-faced sandwiches in Sweden. These sandwiches can be topped with anything from ham and cheese to smoked salmon and cream cheese. Wholesome, filling, and easy to prepare, smörgås is a popular choice for busy mornings.



Swedish filmjölk is a type of cultured milk that’s similar to yogurt. It’s usually served with fresh berries or granola, making it a healthy and delicious breakfast. Filmjölk is rich in probiotics, which can help improve digestion and boost immunity.



Räksmörgås is a classic Swedish shrimp sandwich that’s often enjoyed for breakfast. It includes shrimp, boiled eggs, lettuce, and mayonnaise, all served on a slice of buttered bread. This dish is traditionally enjoyed during the summer months, especially when dining al fresco.



Last but not least, no discussion of Swedish breakfast would be complete without mentioning kanelbulle. This spiced cinnamon bun is a national favorite and can be found in almost every café and bakery in Sweden. It’s often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea, making it the perfect indulgent breakfast treat.


Traditional Swedish Breakfast Foods

Swedish breakfast cuisine is unique and delicious. Some traditional foods are a must-have in a Swedish breakfast spread, such as:


Kaviar is a caviar paste that is widely known as Swedish caviar. The paste is spread over an open-faced sandwich called “smörgås,” which is a popular item on the Swedish breakfast menu. Kaviar is a savory breakfast spread made from fish roe, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil. It adds a burst of flavor to the sandwich and is enjoyed by many Swedes. Some even enjoy it straight from the tube on toast or crispbread.

Swedish Kaviar


Gravlax is a traditional Swedish dish served during breakfast, which consists of raw salmon that has been cured using salt, sugar, and dill. The dish is usually accompanied with a mustard-dill sauce and is served with bread or “knäckebröd,” a type of crispbread. The dish is a staple in many Swedish households and is considered a luxurious breakfast item.

Swedish Gravlax


Muesli is considered a healthier option for a Swedish breakfast. It’s a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits, and seeds. The dish is soaked overnight in milk or yogurt, and in the morning, it’s topped with fresh berries or fruit. Many Swedes enjoy muesli with yogurt, and some even add honey or maple syrup to make it sweeter.

Swedish Muesli


Another traditional Swedish breakfast item is “filmjölk,” which is a type of yogurt that has a creamy texture and a slightly sour taste. It’s usually served with muesli and fresh berries or fruit. Many Swedes enjoy filmjölk as a drink by adding a little bit of sugar, while others add it to their breakfast cereal.

Swedish Filmjölk


Kanelbullar is a Swedish cinnamon bun that is enjoyed by many for breakfast. It’s a classic pastry that is made from a dough that is sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. The dough is then rolled up, sliced, and baked until it’s golden brown. The cinnamon buns are usually served with coffee or tea and are a perfect morning treat.

Swedish Kanelbullar

Swedish Breakfast Foods Description
Kaviar Savory breakfast spread made from fish roe, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil.
Gravlax Cured salmon served with mustard-dill sauce and bread/crispbread.
Muesli Mixture of rolled oats, nuts, dried fruits, and seeds soaked in milk/yogurt.
Filmjölk Creamy yogurt with a slightly sour taste served with muesli and fresh berries/fruits.
Kanelbullar Classic cinnamon bun pastry made with a dough, cinnamon, and sugar mixture.

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Thanks for Reading!

So there you have it, a glimpse into what Swedes have for breakfast. Whether you prefer a hearty meal or a simple slice of bread with toppings, there’s no denying that breakfast is an important meal to start your day right. If you’re ever in Sweden, don’t forget to try out some typical breakfast dishes to fully immerse yourself in the local culture! Thanks for reading and be sure to come back for more interesting articles on different food cultures around the world.

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