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Despite the fact that Chicago has a low-key huge Swedish population, Scandinavian businesses have been a dwindling breed in the Second City. One such stalwart that stands resolute, though, is Svea. In operation since 1972, this pint-sized Swedish diner has been a comfort food cornerstone in Andersonville, the north side neighborhood most known for its Scandinavian culture (see also glögg-chugging Simon’s Tavern down the block). Despite the closure of institutions around it, like nearby Swedish Bakery after 88 years, this frills-free, cash-only charmer is still going strong with its meatballs, pickled herring, limpa, salt pork, and lingonberry rice pudding, served with a smile in a cute space with enough bright blues and yellows to do the Swedish flag proud.
How to book: Walk-ins are welcome.

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