Destination Inspiration: Scandinavian Specialties

Scandinavian Specialties

When it comes to writing about various cultures, sometimes it’s helpful to dive in and surround oneself with the trappings of that heritage, be it the food, people, decor, or art. Today’s Destination Inspiration post takes us to a Seattle store and cafe focused on Scandinavian products and food, showing us how you don’t have to travel far from home to get a little bit of a taste that will give your writing a boost.

Food and Beverages

Walking into Scandinavian Specialties, you’re instantly surrounded by Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish memorablia, decorations, and food. The young staff members are warm and friendly, and if you’re hungry, you’re drawn in by the pastries and sandwiches on display by the checkstand.

Go ahead and peruse the Norwegian sweaters, various Scandinavian baking equipment, candies, and delicacies, and the jewelry to your left, and the crystal and servingware on your right. And don’t miss the little book room in the back of the store (Daytona loves checking out the cookbooks back there to see if there are any new ones to add to her collection). But before you leave be sure to order an open sandwich–called smørrebrød–topped with smoked salmon, shrimp, or roast beef, and one of the Scandinavian pastries. Sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy the casual hospitality that Scandinavians are so good at.

Scandinavian Specialties Smorrebrod

Location and Atmosphere

Located on 15th Avenue Northwest–a main street in Ballard–you can’t miss the brightly colored building with Scandinavian-inspired murals. Inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a mix of authentic and kitchy Scandianvainn items, which please everyone from the immigrants who shop there for a taste of the home they left behind or the people who are looking for a souvenir-style gift for a friend. Even on the greyest Seattle day, you can’t help but be cheered up and warmed up by coming here and staying for a while.

Writeability and Purchased Presence

The tables here are placed alongside the mercheandise, making it less of a restaurant and more like a cafe, but it’s a great place for people watching, and you’ll be sure to be tempted to buy a colorful bowl or cakestand.

Price: $$

With pastries starting at less than $2 and sandwiches running just a few dollars more, you can have a satisfying and delicious lunch that’s fairly inexpensive.


With a small parking lot on site, you can usually find a spot pretty easily.

Writer’s Tip

Immerse yourself in the cultural atmosphere of this cafe. Take in the buttery scent of the pastries, the chatter of the patrons and the colors of the merchandise and artwork. Take a moment to write a quick scene that includes all these elements and see where that snippet of writing takes you.

Find it:

Scandinavian Specialties
6719 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117

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One Response to Destination Inspiration: Scandinavian Specialties

  1. Ali August 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    As a regular here, I strongly recommend the ‘verdens beste kake’ (world’s best cake) – they aren’t lying. It’s absolutely amazing.

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