How does one truly describe Fika? Fika is essentially a Swedish coffee break. But when I say break, I really mean it. Fika means taking some time out of your day, slowing down, taking a break – typically with a coffee and a pastry. You can fika by yourself or you can fika with others. But it’s really about taking the time and just enjoying the moment.
Even when you’re not in Sweden, I highly recommend taking a fika. But since we were in Sweden, you bet we fika-ed whenever we had the chance!
Our first fika in Stockholm was at Fabrique in Gamla Stan. After a long travel day, we were hungry and in desperate need of a break. Since this was our first fika, we ordered Kanelbullar, or cinnamon buns, a must-have when you’re in Sweden. While it may share the same name as the round gooey buns you’re used to seeing in Cinnabons or Ikea in the US, it is completely different. They are not as rich or sweet – and they don’t have icing. Instead, they’re made with cardamom (Kardemummabullar) or cinnamon, and flecked with pearl sugar or sliced almonds. The result is a light, slightly sticky, and fluffy snail-like bun.
We had quite a few cinnamon buns while we were in Stockholm, but our favorite buns were from Fabrique. They have a bunch of locations all over Stockholm. Their location in Norrmalm near our hotel made it a perfect stop every morning or afternoon.
Our second fika in Stockholm was at Kaffekoppen in Gamla Stan. After a trip to Kungliga Slotett, we were ready for a break! I opted for a slice of Prinsesstårta, or princess cake. The cake features alternating layers of airy sponge cake, jam (typically raspberry jam), pastry cream, and a thick-domed layer of whipped cream. The entire cake is topped by a layer of marzipan, usually in a pastel green or pink.
They also have a delicious Blåbärspaj, or blueberry pie, on their menu. Pies in Sweden are typically served with a thick pool of vanilla sauce. This slice of pie was delightful.
Our last fika in Stockholm was Sturekatten. N says Sturekatten is perhaps the best fika spot in all of Stockholm. Located in the middle of Östermalm, the cafe features two floors of cozy tables. I had their Swedish apple pie, which is served with vanilla sauce. X opted for another Swedish staple, Semla. It’s basically a cream bun, typically filled with an almond cream. The one he ordered was filled with vanilla cream.