When choosing an Andersonville breakfast spot, don't overlook Svea for its neighbor Ann Sather: It tastes as good, if not better. With just a little more seating capacity, Svea could vie for best breakfast spot in all of Chicago. As it is, this small Swedish diner/cafe enjoys the adoration and near-fanatical attention of many Northsiders and boasts excellent food at reasonable prices. Owner Glenn Olsen named the restaurant for his wife, Svea Erikson.
The decor consists of folkloric artwork, an antique cash register, blue and yellow accents and exposed beam ceilings. Dining is cash only, and seating includes two- and four-person tables, as well as several bar stools along the '50s-style counter. You won't have to wait long to be seated and the service is fast and efficient.
Menu options include both breakfast and lunch, with Swedish favorites like Falukorv sausage, Swedish fruit soup and panbiff med lok. If you're particularly hungry, try the Viking Breakfast: two eggs and three pancakes with lingonberry compote, potatoes, toast and bacon or sausage. For a special winter treat, order the lutfisk (a traditional Swedish Christmas dish of boiled salted fish served with a simple cream sauce) to get serenaded by Glenn himself, as well as earning a complimentary Glogg.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Genevra Gallo