Lancaster, PA

Lancaster Central Market is Home to the City's First Scandinavian Food Spot

Sara Melissa Frost
Nord, Lancaster Central MarketPhoto by Sara Melissa Frost

Lancaster City just got its very first Scandinavian food place, and I couldn't be more thrilled about it! As a Scandinavian, I always crave Nordic foods. Nord Scandinavian Food and Hygge, located inside Lancaster Central Market offers the Danish specialty open-faced sandwiches.

Rye and layered toppings

Open-faced sandwiches are beautifully handcrafted pieces of bread. They're a traditional Danish food staple you'll find in most cafes in Scandinavia, and they go by the name Smørrebrød. Open-faced sandwiches often consist of a piece of buttered rye bread, a dense, dark brown bread, topped with homemade cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads, and garnishes. The variety of toppings and the many layers is what makes the sandwich.
Photo by Sara Melissa Frost

Owner Emmy Ullum Hansen, a Danish native residing in Lancaster, PA serves four varieties at her stand. The top one is a deluxe salmon sandwich created with thin slices of smoked salmon on buttered white bread, with a specialty sauce, lemon, and dill.

Her roast beef sandwich is made with premium roast beef piled on traditional buttered rye and covered in rich horseradish sauce with crispy fried onions, shaved horseradish, black olives, red onions, and pickles. There's also a chicken sandwich, made with hand-pulled chicken breast, chopped bacon, fried mushrooms, white asparagus, and chives served on white bread.

The one I decided to go with was a Danish veal and pork meatball sandwich with potato salad and cherry tomatoes, on rye. It tasted exactly like it's supposed to, and for a second I felt like I was back home at some Scandinavian cafe. A Danish staple done right.

Danishes, not the ones you've had

At Nord Scandinavian Food and Hygge, you'll also get real Danishes, not the processed ones you find at grocery stores, but the authentic ones. In Denmark, they're known as Wienerbrød and you don't want to miss out on them.

The history of these sweet but not too sweet pastries, goes way back. In 1850, Danish bakers went on strike, and bakery owners hired foreign workers from Austria to replace the natives. The bakers from Austria brought their own recipes, and they turned out to be a hit. Once the baker strike ended the pastries continued to be made as Vienna bread, to which the Danes decided to name Wienerbrød.

Another menu item currently in the planning phase is artisanal Danish hot dogs. Once they're ready, I'm coming for them.

Ullum Hansen is all about spreading a warm and comforting atmosphere at her stand inside the marketplace and you'll find her at stand 32, right next to Brogue Hydroponics.

Lancaster Central Market is open every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 6 am to 3 pm.

Address: 23 North Market Street, Lancaster, PA 17603

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Journalist and writer. I cover local stories + food, mostly from PA.

Lititz, PA

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