Seattle's Child

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A Parent’s Review: Pancake Breakfast at the Swedish Cultural Center

A word of warning: If you're used to eating Swedish pancakes at IKEA, you may never go back after you've sampled the goods at the Swedish Cultural Center's monthly pancake breakfast.

Held the first Sunday of each month (see exceptions below), the center's breakfast includes delectable crepe-like pancakes with lingonberries or strawberries, whipped cream and ham, plus OJ, tea, coffee and milk. Everyone gets two sets of tickets – one for the first go around at the pancake line, the other for seconds.

We got to the center a little before 9 a.m. and had almost no wait; by the time we left, the line snaked down the hall. Seniors, families and foodies share communal tables in the sprawling dining hall; the ones lining the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake Union are especially nice. (The sign as you enter asks you not to grab a table first, but to wait until you have your food. No one seemed to have trouble finding room with plates in hand.)

If your kid gets the wiggles, it's no problem. There's usually music and folk dancing (an accordion duo on our morning) and a dance floor where couples and families alike worked off their sugar-laced carb load.

I knew our Sunday morning was golden when a friendly man with a name tag proclaiming him "Wild Bill" stopped by our table and asked if we'd like to lick the whipped cream bowl clean before it went for the real cleaning back in the kitchen. My kids looked at me wide-eyed: Licking the bowl at home is one thing, but having the privilege while eating out, well, that was unprecedented. Of course, I nodded my assent.

The cultural center has two parking lots, one off Dexter, the other on Newton, at the center's north corner. Street parking is scarce.




Where: Swedish Cultural Center, 1920 Dexter Ave. N., Seattle.

When: First Sunday of every month, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Exceptions are July, when there is no breakfast, and September, when it is held the second Sunday due to the Labor Day holiday.)

Cost: Adults $9, children (ages 5-12) $5, children under 5 eat for free. Price includes seconds.

Contact: 206-283-1090;

Lynn Schnaiberg is a mom, writer and pancake eater in Seattle. 

About the Author

Lynn Schnaiberg