Hygge, pronounced ‘hue-gah,’ isn’t a thing or a place, but a Nordic concept of feeling coziness, warmth, and comfort. Is there anything better than being blissfully comfortable? There’s not. And we’ve compiled a list of 10 businesses who’ve gone above and beyond to create a hygge ambiance to kickstart your quest for cozy contentment. Follow the collection here and read on for comfy vibes.
Svenska Cafe – Birmingham, MI
Svenska Cafe is a sweet little Swedish bistro featuring local coffee roasters from Michigan and pastries baked daily.
Must gets: shrimp sandwich, princess cake, almond croissant
“Come in wintertime and you’ll get the cozy vibe, from the cute couch in the corner, to the tiny authentic fireplace… What a cool atmosphere! The condensation clinging to the large windows makes the place seem like a little cocoon of warmth in winter. ” –Laura E.
Smør – New York, NYSmør was founded by two Danes (both named Sebastian). Nestled in Manhattan’s East Village, Smør is serving Nordic bites with a cozy atmosphere.
Must gets: hangover sandwich, pickled herring sandwich, smoked salmon sandwich
“I was excited to see another Scandinavian establishment open up in NYC… there are huuuuge beautiful windows, and a lot of cozy wall seating that make the space seem much more spacious. Very hygge.” –Rebecca Y.
Café Hagan – Seattle, WACafé Hagen’s owner, Maria Beck, settled in Seattle from Scandinavia and brought her favorite elements of hygge to create an inviting neighborhood café.
Must gets: mokka, matcha, avocado toast
“The Danish-born owner tells us that they cure their own salmon and source coffee from small, female-owned coffee farms in Central America… The facility is also spot on… Go here soon before the local tech community discovers Danish design and Hygge lifestyle.” –Tom M.
The Søvengård – Grand Rapids, MINordic principles meet the Midwest at The Søvengård. Hospitality and sustainability are the hallmarks at this Grand Rapids biergarten.
Must gets: pork shoulder, chicken liver pate, Swedish meatballs
“It’s called hygge, meaning happy, calm contentment. It’s what they do here. What I like most about the Søvengärd is that it doesn’t try to show off, that the staff appear to actually love working here, and that the food is uniformly excellent and well-presented.” –Steve G.
Elske – Chicago, ILInspired by Danish roots, Elske combines minimalist decor with friendly service to create a comfortable and simple environment.
Must gets: try the tasting menu!
“Elske is Danish for love… I really like the entrance to Elske. It’s a little courtyard with tables and chairs with a fireplace. Very cozy (hygge). Inside, the tables are lit up with candles with wooden tables and chairs.” –Betty S.
Mikko – Washington, DCChef Mikko was once a chef to the Finnish Ambassador, but in 2018 Mikko opened its doors to the public specializing in Nordic cuisine spanning from Finnish to Icelandic.
Must gets: chicken schnitzel, smoked salmon and poached egg sandwich, herring sandwich
“Such a small Scandinavian spot could surely pack in a hygge mood… the shrimp skagen was divine. It’s like biting into the shrimpy firm cloud, and it melted in my mouth.” –Benjamin P.
Broder Nord – Portland, ORWith several locations across Portland, Broder Nord is changing the Swedish Brunch game.
Must gets: lost eggs, Swedish meatballs, baked eggs salmon
“Hygge hygge hygge! This Scandinavian restaurant is the cutest and coziest place ever! …We ordered the Swedish hash with trout and the pickled herring smorrebrod (which comes with a side and we picked the potato pancake).” –Sylvia K.
Gravlax – Culver City, CAGravlax in LA’s Culver City neighborhood is combining Scandinavian specialties with Mediterranean mezze.
Must gets: toast skagen, pickled herring, lobster roll
“This place has a really cozy neighborhood vibe and the food is really fresh and clean. Get the gravlax (cured salmon goodness on rye), oysters, and the herring sampler.” –Ashley D.
Vault + Vine – Philadelphia, PAPeicha Chang opened Vault + Vine to share her passion of garden style design with her community. Grab a coffee and enjoy the bright and airy ambiance surrounded by greenery.
Must gets: rose gold latte, gifts, plants + flowers
“I love the greenhouse-like atmosphere in the cafe. There is no music and I LOVE it. Just fresh air, green, healthy plants, and calming people… The environment is very HYGGE.” –Eliza P.
Kantine – San Francisco, CAKantine is modeled after a tradition Scandinavian ‘canteen,’ a gathering space for a hearty meal and good company. Everything at Kantine is housemade, organic, sustainable, and farm-friendly.
Must gets: brunch board, tebirkes, smoked trout salad
“We ordered the herring, the roast beef and the egg salad open faced sandwiches… The place was so light and airy – very Danish in feel – if you’re into Nordic design. It was hygge cozy too with little cushioned benches by the window.” –K O.