Restaurant Review – Tre Kronor wows with Scandinavian specialties in North Park

My family consists of one second-generation Swede, three third-generation Swedes and one Danish in-law, two fourth-generation Swedish/Danish mixes and one Swedish mix. In our family, Swedish cooking, baking and celebrating St. Lucia Day (December 13) are mandatory rites of passage. What’s more, my mother’s late father was a restauranteur. So, our standards are inherently high. 

We’re lucky to live in Chicago, which has been blessed with numerous Swedish restaurants, from the late, great puppet show/smorgasbord Kungsholm to the present-day Ann Sather. 

Into the mix should be Tre Kronor (Three Crowns). Owner/Chefs Patty Rasmussen and Larry Anderson serve hearty Scandinavian meals in a traditional, rustic backdrop with outdoor seating. We discovered it several years ago, celebrating my mother’s birthday. The friendly staff goes above and beyond every time to accommodate special requests, special occasions, and special people. And here, it seems that everyone is special. 

We all fell in love with Tre Kronor ‘s peerless, homemade cinnamon buns. One Foursquare reviewer remarked that “The cinnamon buns here make Ann Sather’s taste like they came out of an EZ-bake oven….” Oof. On our last visit, they ran out of cinnamon rolls before we got there. No matter! That allowed us to try another peerless specialty, Cardamom rolls. This “queen of spices’, paired with a dusting of powdered-sugar, reminded us of the ‘Lucia Cat’ rolls we make on St. Lucia Day, minus the raisin and saffron. 

I had the Stockholm Omelette, filled with Falukorv sausage and havarti cheese in every bite. All egg dishes are accompanied by seasoned potatoes and your choice of limpa (Swedish rye bread), white, or wheat toast. My picky 17-year old had their Muesli mix of nuts, dried fruits and cereal, served with yogurt or fresh fruit. They especially liked that the yogurt wasn’t too sweet. They added a side of pepper sausage, which they also deemed delicious. My brother went with the Norwegian Meatball Sandwich, hot with gravy (or served cold with egg and tomato,) open-faced on limpa toast. Another can’t-miss is the Reubenssen, ade with cornbeef, sauerkraut and Jarlsberg cheese, served on limpa toast. My nephew ordered their Belgian Waffle. While not a Scandinavian specialty, the waffle is top-loaded with bananas, berries and whipped cream, which received a huge thumbs-up and an empty plate. No greater compliment! 

My mother goes there for one reason only—the opportunity to order freshly made Pannekaker-two lid-sized, thin Swedish pancakes filled with lingonberry preserves. 

Other highlights include daily specials, including a not-to-be-missed Quiche of the Day, served with fresh fruit. 

Our family is not the only family that loves Tre Kronor. 

“One of our all time favorite brunch spots and of course they did not disappoint,” said a Google reviewer. “The Stockholm Omelette is great for meat lovers and the Belgian waffle is great for those who prefer sweetness for breakfast. If you live on the North side of Chicago, then you HAVE to visit this place! Such a cute little spot with fabulous outdoor seating in the summer and super friendly staff.”

Tre Kronor is located at 3258 W. Foster Avenue, and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-4pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9am-8pm, and Sundays from 9am-3pm. No reservations; it’s recommended that you call ahead and check to see if they can accommodate your party. For more information, click here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago