The Cuisine of North Dakota differs from average Midwestern cuisine in a number of ways.[how?] Though much of the Midwest has strong German influences, North Dakota also has strong influence from Norway as well as the many ethnic Germans from Russia[1] who settled there. There is also a strong Native American influence on the cuisine of North Dakota.[2][3] Plants used as food by Native Americans are described in the North Dakota Ethnobotany database.[4]

As in the Midwest as a whole, meals are typically served in a smorgasbord format rather than as courses.[5]

Churches throughout the state commonly host annual fellowship dinners open to the community. Perhaps one of the largest authentic Norwegian dinners is the annual Lutefisk Dinner hosted by the First Lutheran Church, Williston, North Dakota, every February.

The largest Scandinavian Festival in North America is the annual Norsk Høstfest held every October, in Minot, North Dakota. This five-day cultural event features Scandinavian dishes (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland), but does accommodate those who are not fond of lutefisk by providing hundreds of choices of ethnic foods.[6]

Notable dishes

German influenced:

German-Russian influenced:

Norwegian influenced:

Not influenced food:


  1. ^ Kloberdanz, Timothy J. "The German-Russians in North Dakota a Brief History". Germans From Russia Heritage Collection. North Dakota State University Libraries. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  2. ^ McMerty, Sandy. "Foods of North Dakota". Thoughts From a North Dakota Ambassador. Blog at Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  3. ^ North Dakota Guide. "Prairie Plates". North Dakota Food. Interactive Internet Websites, Inc. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  4. ^ "North Dakota Ethnobotany Database". Archived from the original on 2019-09-16. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  5. ^ Culinary Encyclopedia. "North Dakota Food". Culinary Encyclopedia by Future Today Inc. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  6. ^ Helseth, Candi. "Three decades of Hostfest!". North Dakota Horizons Fall 2006. Clearwater Communications. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2013.