If A Little Night Music has you in the mood for a taste of Nordic country cuisine, you can find it along the Front Range from pastries to game meats.
Scandinavian food includes the Nordic countries of Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, and is heavy on what we think of as comfort food: meat, bread, root vegetables, and also seafood. You’re unlikely to find horse or whale meat on menus in Colorado, though it might happen in one of these countries when dining out.
Below are several options for this culinary adventure:
Taste of Denmark, 1901 S. Kipling in Lakewood, is where you will find your Kringles and Strudels of all sizes and flavors in addition to, of course, Danishes. For those special occasions, splurge on the Kransekage, an iced tower of almond rings.
Ana’s Norwegian Bakeri, 6770 S. Yosemite St. in Centennial, or a pop-up location at 918 16th St. in Denver, has hearty savory and sweet pastries that offer a taste of the owner’s home country. Try the cardamom rolls (also called Bolle), Skoleboller (an open roll filled with vanilla custard), Solskinnboller (a cinnamon roll with custard in the center), or Kanel Boller (cinnamon roll).
Beckon, 2843 Larimer St. in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, is a “Scandinavian-influenced” restaurant thanks to Executive Chef Duncan Holmes’ experience in Scandinavia. Although the pre-paid reservation-only dining experience has a menu influenced by the lunar cycles, there are some items that recur such as the savory abelskiver (a bite-size pancake). A sample menu on the website includes sea trout with caviar, squab, and venison.
Grey Duck Eats is a food truck you will find in Boulder, Lyons, or Lafayette (check their Facebook or Instagram for upcoming locations) that serves “Nordic inspired open faced sandwiches” in scenic spots. The Frikadeller sandwich mixes meatballs, sour cream, lingonberries, pickles, and crispy onions. Namnam! (That’s Swedish for “yum yum!”)
The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, in Estes Park, happens annually in June with an array of food, crafts, and entertainment, all put on by the Scandinavian Alliance of Colorado. Some of the “festival favorites” include smoke salmon, Lefse (Norwegian flatbread made from potatoes), sausages and Swedish meatballs.
Kaffe Landskap, 1750 Wewatta St. and 1401 Lawrence St. in Denver, describes itself as having “Scandinavian roots” and features a few Scandinavian items on their menus. Try the Tonfisk (Swedish-style tuna salad sandwich) or the smoked salmon Smörgås.
Head up to the mountains for some shopping at Kneisel & Anderson in Georgetown, which has carried specialty items from Sweden and other Nordic countries since 1883. Here you’ll find candy from Norway and Sweden such as black licorice, lingonberry syrup and jam, and other favorites. The business, which is part museum in a casual way, does not have a website.
If you’re looking for ingredients to make your own Scandinavian meal, the Sons of Norway, 6610 W. 14th Ave. in Lakewood, might have what you crave. Here you will find many Scandinavian packaged foods—cookies, breads, and lingonberry jams and syrups.