Swedish Budget Meals

Pea Soup and Pancakes – A Budget Swedish Culinary Delight

Eating at restaurants in Sweden can be expensive.  Very expensive.  Too many times I have looked at the bill only to start converting in my head to find I paid two or three times what I would have in the US.  It’s a horrible habit and one that I have to break.  At the same time, it helps me to find meals that are worth eating without feeling like I’ve thrown away money as I convert from kronors to dollars.

Swedish Budget travel tips - Sweden cheap meals

Swedish pea soup by VirtualEm

That’s what makes dagens lunch (the day’s lunch) so great as a Swedish budget travel tip.  Every day, restaurants throughout Sweden offer a set menu for a very reasonable price.  It’s one of the few opportunities for cheap meals in Sweden.  It usually includes a salad, bread, a drink, the main course, as well as coffee.  But it’s Thursdays that stand out.  Because nearly every Thursday you’ll find pea soup and pancakes on the menu.

It sounds like a horrible combination. And let’s be honest, pea soup is not the most visually appealing thing you can eat.  Despite the initial reaction of many, pea soup and pancakes on Thursdays is amazing.  The split pea soup is filled with ham and most people add a dollop of mustard for a little extra kick.  It is a national staple in Sweden that has been dominating Thursday menus in Sweden for generations.

The pancakes end up being a very filling dessert to follow the already filling pea soup.  Covered in whipped cream, either fresh berries or a berry jelly, and maybe a little sugar if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s a filling, and delicious, lunch.

Swedish Cheap Meals - Swedish budget travel tips - Sweden cheap meals

Swedish pancakes stuffed with blueberries by norwichnuts

It’s not just restaurants that serve pea soup and pancakes on Thursdays.  The Swedish military eats it every Thursday.  Schools serve it.  Even your average Swedish household will make pea soup and pancakes on Thursday.  I, due to my complete inability to make a Swedish pancake that is not too thick or too burned, do not eat pea soup and pancakes at home on Thursdays.

Next time you’re looking for a reasonably priced meal on a Thursday in Sweden (and who amongst us doesn’t do that on a regular basis?) be sure to find the nearest dagens lunch deal and order the pea soup with pancakes.  You won’t be disappointed.  You won’t be hungry for the rest of the day either.

If you haven’t made it to Sweden yet, make your own pea soup and pancakes this Thursday.  Enjoy!

Picture by VirtualErn

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About Marcus Cederstrom

I was born in Sweden and moved to the US just before my 6th birthday. I grew up in the United States eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. After graduation and about 17 years in the US I made the decision to move back to Sweden. I have been living in Stockholm since the summer of 2007. Since graduation I have traveled throughout eastern Australia as well as in Sweden and Europe.