Tre Kronor (“Three Crowns” in Swedish), a local Scandinavian bistro, has been on our to-do list for quite a while, but it was just far away enough to keep eluding us. We finally found the perfect time to go, when we were looking for a place to catch up with a friend for brunch. Now we are usually pretty skeptical of brunch, but Tre Kronor seemed laid back enough to give a try. Tre Kronor (3258 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625) is located in the quiet North Park neighborhood, and is adjacent to one of the cutest stores around – the Sweden Shop (3304 W Foster Ave) which sells all manner of Scandinavian design items, cards and food. We could spend hours just browsing around – you won’t be disappointed.
The first thing you will notice when you walk in to Tre Kronor is the cheerful gnome mural, and the strings of flags displayed on the walls, giving it a very homey atmosphere. Though they do breakfast, lunch and dinner, they seemed to be pretty popular for brunch, and we just barely squeezed in (no reservations accepted, so prepare for a wait). The menu at Tre Kronor is pretty varied, but there is a marked Scandinavian flavor throughout, and especially on the dinner portion which includes seafood staples like Gravlax and pickled herring. However, for brunch, we knew we absolutely had to order the Swedish pancakes – pannekaker – with lingonberry jam. Other options included omelettes with Scandinavian cheeses, pickled herring, and the more Americanized brunch items: French Toast and waffles. M, of course, went with his brunch staple, the French Toast. If you are feeling more like lunch, you can also pick among a variety of Swedish-tinged sandwiches and can even get a burger.
We heard they were known for their known for their coffee and their cinnamon rolls as well, so I ordered a cappuccino, which was delicious, with an impressive amount of foam (see below). The food came out promptly, and everything was delicious. The Swedish pancakes were light and fluffy, and the french toast was crisp and golden brown. Also of note, Tre Kronor has an assortment of esoteric sausages, rotating on a daily basis. The day we were there, there was a potato sausage, which was delightful and mild, and a bacon sausage, which M thought was a revelation. What guy wouldn’t want a sausage made out of bacon? Our young server was very nice and helpful, and we appreciated his enthusiasm (as well as his Swedish idiom T-shirt). We thoroughly enjoyed brunch at Tre Kronor: the food was tasty, and the atmosphere was comfortable and relaxed. We are not big on brunch, but Tre Kronor may have just charmed us into changing our ways.