One of the wonderful things about travel is the unique cultural experiences you get to witness and take part in. Of all the wonderful, weird and unique cultural pastimes I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying, Sweden’s beloved Fika is by far my favourite. In it’s simplest form, Fika is a coffee break. But it really is so much more than that, it’s a chance to slow down, disconnect from everything else and connect with the person in front of you or simply reconnect with yourself. It’s not about quickly slurping down a takeaway cup of coffee and chewing down a pastry while running between meetings, it’s about sitting down to enjoy every drop of your del@icious coffee and savour each bite of your perfect pastry. It’s about community, connection and being present.
Unexpectedly, I began to look forward to Fika each day during our time in Stockholm and the Stockholm Archipelago. Each time we’d see our guide from Visit Stockholm her first question would be, “Have you had a Fika yet?” When we’d go to a new hotel, cafe or attraction, the lovely locals would always ask, “Do you need a Fika?” In those moments, you get the sense your mental health matters and that it’s important to take breaks, rest and enjoy the moment.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Sweden or are in the throws of planning your trip to Stockholm at the moment, be sure to immerse yourself in the world of Fika. It’s hard to avoid, given the endless supply of wonderful cafes serving fantastic cups of coffee and the smell of freshly baked goodies filling the air. Even if you find yourself on board a train or ferry at Fika o’clock, you’ll find all the necessary Fika supplies on board. To help you navigate the wonderful world of Swedish Fika, here’s everything you need to know and where to find the best Fika in Stockholm.
But first, watch this…
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When should I Fika?
Fika tends to happen twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. That said, there are no restrictions when it comes to Fika and you’d be doing the locals proud to take multiple Fika breaks during your time in Sweden. I got so into it I started requesting Fika breaks to our guide from Visit Stockholm and she never once told me to cool it! I think she enjoyed the enthusiasm. In summary, morning and afternoon are great times to enjoy your Fika but feel free to add more Fika stops to your day.
What do I order?
Your Fika should include a coffee or tea and a sweet of some sort. Wonderfully, the Swedes are all about that vegan/vegetarian life so those who don’t drink cow’s milk will be very pleased to find you can get soy, almond or oat milk coffee pretty much anywhere (with the exception of trains, boats etc). I had never really enjoyed oat milk before but the oat milk in Stockholm is amazing and because they take their coffee so seriously, I didn’t have a single bad cup the whole time I was there.
When selecting a sweet to accompany your coffee, there are a few to choose from. The most popular include Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) and Chokladbollar – (chocolate ball) followed by Småkakor (Small Cookies) Smörgås (Open-Faced Sandwich), Mazariner (Almond Tarts), Kladdkaka (Sticky Chocolate Cake), Toscakaka (Almond Cake), Bärtårta (Berry Tart), Kardemummakaka (Cardamom Cake) and Rulltårta (Roll Cake). If you have food allergies or are vegan, you’ll find plenty of stores selling vegan options of Fika favourites.
Where can I find great Fika in Stockholm?
Now you’re all prepped on what Fika is, why it’s so wonderful and what to order so you blend in with the locals. Here are some tips on where to find the very best Fika in Stockholm.
1. Carolas Eko
It takes a little more effort to get to Carolas Eko but it’s well worth it. The cafe is located in the middle of a gorgeous park, so you feel like you’ve escaped into nature, surrounded by lush greenery, open spaces and plenty of cute dogs. Most importantly, the coffee here is the best I had in Sweden and the freshly baked goods are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
2. Green Rabbit
Visit the Green Rabbit and enter the world of celebrated chefs Mathias Dahlgren and Martin Berg. With a focus on organic ingredients and sustainability, each bite of your freshly baked bread or sweet treat not only feels good, it tastes amazing too!
The glass cabinets at Vetekatten house row after row of traditional Fika favourites and offer a unique opportunity to sample more than your tummy can surely handle. Enjoy high-quality Swedish bites that are not only beautiful to look at but delicious as well, all while soaking in the ambience of vetekatten’s old-world glamour.
4. Drop Coffee
Another must-visit for coffee lovers, Drop Coffee is a popular spot for coffee aficionados. The focus here is on quality and craftsmanship, and all coffee served is organic, fair-trade and roasted in Drop’s own award-winning roastery.
5. Robin Delselius Bageri
Robin Delselius is a third generation baker from a family with over 30 years of bakery experience. With his own bakery on Södermalm, he continues the tradition of delicious buns, bread, cookies, and pastries.
6. Snickarkbacken 7
Love to unearth the hidden? Enjoy your Fika while exploring Snickarbacken 7, a cafe, art gallery and concept store in one. They offer tasty bites and great coffee as well as vintage clothes, music, books, magazines and more.
Perfect for true coffee connoisseurs, Kaffeverket serves the highest class of coffee with a great range of varieties on offer too. Having earned a high ranking in the White Guide Cafe listing, it oozes with effortless Swedish charm and serves fantastic Fika bites.
You’ll find Fabrique locations dotted around Stockholm, though being a chain isn’t a bad thing in this instance! Famous for their wood-fired bakeries, each Fabrique store sells incredibly delicious, fresh-baked bites including sourdough, rolls, cakes and their renowned blueberry buns. Each is made by hand using natural ingredients.
9. il Kaffe
Take a well-deserved coffee break in the heart of busy Södermalm at one of the local’s favourite Fika spots. Unpretentious and cosy, Il Caffé offers pastries, simple lunches and fresh bread from their own bakery.
10. Vintervikens Trädgård
Take a break from city life and head to a green oasis. Just a few stops by subway from the city centre you will find Vintervikens Trädgård: an inspiring garden and organic café where you can also enjoy live music or just simply the sound of the breeze in the tree.
Our visit to Stockholm was part of a media trip with Singapore Airlines and Visit Stockholm. Our love and support for Fika is our own and this guide has not been influenced in any way.
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