Fika. As with so many of the good things in life, the Swedes have really got this right. Fika is a Swedish tradition which means having a break. You can fika with work mates, friends, a date or family. You can even fika on your own!
Go for a fika! This was one of our recommendations from Visit Stockholm.
What distinguishes this Swedish break from what we often know as a quick coffee break is it this: fika is really about slowing down. It’s about taking the time to appreciate the good things in life. It is a time of the day to look forward to where everything else stops and you slow down.
Going for a fika at a fik is a very Swedish thing. Fika basically means to meet up for a coffee and a piece of cake or pastry, and a fik is slang for a café, bakery or pastry shop. Sweden enjoys a highly developed culture when it comes to baked goods, and everywhere in Stockholm you’ll find cafés and cake shops brimming with atmosphere, character and quality, whether traditional or contemporary-creative.
We loved the idea of fika. Here’s a few spots we stopped to fika while in Stockholm.
Vete- Katten is a Stockholm institution. A warm and inviting place to step in from the cold with its sweet aroma of freshly baked bread and cakes. The delicious scent of cardamom and cinnamon enveloped us as we walked in. Vete-Katten felt like walking into my nan’s lounge room.
When your evening wanderings take you to a cool underground cafe. We just stumbled on this one. Kafé 44 is a café and concert place on Tjarhovsgatan 46 Stockholm, Sweden. The café is operated by three non-profit groups that together run the café: Bokhandeln INFO, Dagfiket and Scen 44. INFO is an anarchist bookstore, Dagfiket is the café open during the days and finally Scen 44 is the part that handles concerts and runs the café during concerts. The place is part of the building Kapsylen, an old bottling plant that is cooperately owned. Kafe 44 is also a popular place for anarchists, socialists and anti- fascists.
We loved the vegan and vegetarian choices and the cool crowd that wandered in and out. A cafe with a conscience.
Fabrique was our favourite spot for kannelbulle, which were our favourite fika treats. These delicious cinnamon rolls hit the spot with a hot coffee when it’s cold outside. Total love for these.
We were cold and hungry after a few hours exploring Skansen, the outdoor museum. We stopped in here for fika of rich hot chocolates, with big dollops of fresh cream and cakes.
The name Gubbhyllan (literally, “Old Men’s Shelf”) alludes to the guests who would sit on the terrace over the veranda, relishing their punch and cigars. The history of the place goes right back to 1810, when what is now the core building of the present establishment was first erected on Djurgården. The building was moved to its present Skansen location in 1964, while also becoming the home of the Tobacco Museum.
Wheely’s Cafe Soder
We stopped here for take away coffees so we may be stretching the fika definition a little here but we loved this coffee and the social enterprise behind it. With perfect blue skies, we couldn’t help but be grateful and happy to be enjoying Stockholm.
As their Instagram page (@wheelyscafesodermalm) says they have “Organic Beans, Hand Crafted Coffee , Carbon Neutral, Healthy Snacks, Fika Bröd & Good Vibes.” Served by a lovely Englishman from his portable stand, it was a great place to stop and get a coffee, warm up and appreciate life.
Vigarda , a cool minimalist cafe specialised in upscale burgers & salads but we stopped in for coffee and sweet potato fries which just hit the spot. The staff were super friendly and we loved the decor.
Stromma Kanalbolaget: Fika on a Cruise
We even found yummy hot chocolates and kannebullen on a cruise to Vaxholm, the capital of the archipelago. We cruised with Stromma Kanalbolaget using our Stockholm Key of Honour cards. Thanks again visitstockholm!
The cruise was on a classical ship from the 1900’s. While it started snowing outside we snuggled up and watched the sites of the archipelago from inside the warm ship.
Ok so we didn’t actually fika here because it was already closed when we got there but this one is on the top of our list for next Stockholm visit. Just a reminder: some cafes don’t open for too long outside the busy summer times. The view here was gorgeous across the lake- just another excuse for us to head back to Stockholm!
When life feels like it’s too busy, do like the Swedes do. Take the time to fika and enjoy the simple pleasures of life: coffee, cake and good company.