Acrylamide is a potential carcinogen, which commonly occurs in some food items. The relation between acrylamide and esophageal cancer deserves attention. In a Swedish nationwide, population-based case-control study, data were collected on diet among other variables in 1995-1997 through personal interviews. Included were 189 cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma (participation rate 88%), 262 cases of gastroesophageal junctional adenocarcinoma (84%), 167 cases of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (73%), and 820 control participants (73%). Dietary intake of acrylamide exposure was assessed from a food-frequency questionnaire and categorized into quartiles based on the consumption among the control participants. Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI), with multivariable adjustment for known risk factors. Among participants in the highest quartile of acrylamide exposure compared to the lowest, the adjusted risk of all esophageal tumors combined was increased (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.02-1.75), particularly among overweight or obese persons (OR 1.88; 95% CI 1.06-3.34). Increased point risk estimates were found for each type of esophageal cancer, but the association with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma seemed stronger and was statistically significant, particularly among non-smokers in the highest quartile of acrylamide exposure (adjusted OR 2.82; 95% CI 1.16-6.87). Regarding squamous cell carcinoma only, a dose-response association was identified (p for trend 0.01). Dietary intake of acrylamide might be a risk exposure for esophageal cancer, a stronger association among overweight or obese persons was indicated.