Swedes are among the world’s biggest coffee drinkers and they love a ‘fika’, so it’s no surprise they’ve not only turned the coffee break into an art form, they’ve also got this very special word for it.
Fika is all about taking a break with a cup of coffee and a pastry or a slice of cake.
Fika also acts as both a verb and a noun: you can fika with someone or you can take a fika.
While you figure out the best way to work this new word into your vocabulary we’re going give you ViewStockholm’s favourite spots to fika.
Located across from Vasaparken, Ritorno has been around since the 1930s, and it almost seems like the original furniture is still there. Worn, comfy chairs and sofas are overlooked and abutted by badly hung paintings, jukeboxes, odd curiosities, and even a cuckoo clock – it’s like sitting in your eccentric aunt’s living room. There is a great selection of pastries, cakes, and sandwiches, and a great tea menu. And the coffee? It’s among the best in the city. The owner is a bit of a local legend: each and every day he wears a different hat, which can mean anything from a top hat to a Mexican sombrero.
Where: Odengatan 80-82
When: Mon-Thurs 7 am-10 pm; Fri 7 am-9 pm, Sat 8 am-6 pm; Sun 10 am-6 pm
Sturekatten is truly a Stockholm institution and one of the city’s oldest cafés. Located in the heart of Stockholm’s tony Östermalm district in a 1700 century building, this café/bakery isn’t easy to find but once you do you’ll delight in enjoying your fika in one of the many cosy rooms that are spread across two floors. Sturekatten serves up classic Swedish pastries and sandwiches, along with excellent warm and cold drinks. That there is outdoor seating in the courtyard during the summer months adds to the charm. Be warned, though, this place is popular, so set aside enough time to truly enjoy your experience.
Where: Riddargatan 4
When: Mon-Fri 8 am-7 pm; Sat 10 am-6 pm; Sun 11 am-6 pm
Owned and operated by Stockholm’s Citykyrkan (City Church), Citykonditoriet is one of most beautiful rooms in a city crawling with beautiful rooms. Located on the third floor of the church, all the pastries and bread are baked on the premises, and the lunches are classic Swedish, including the traditional Thursday pea soup with pancakes, which we insist you try. It’s a bit like visiting your grandparents and being treated to home cooking in their charming, elegant drawing room. The café is unsigned so take the elevator up three floors and prepare to settle in.
Where: Adolf Fredriks Kyrkogata 10
When: Mon-Sat 9 am-6 pm
A cosy maze of rooms awaits you on your visit to this very traditional Stockholm café, which has the kind of dusty elegance one doesn’t see much any more. Everything is made from scratch at Vetekatten, from the dizzying array of pastries and cakes to the excellent daily set lunch, and the staff is passionately invested in their wonderful café, something that is reflected in the warm, welcoming atmosphere and truly spectacular service.
Where: Kungsgatan 55
When: Mon-Fri 7.30 am-8 pm; Sat-Sun 9.30 am-7 pm
It might bill itself as a French café but Saturnus has established itself as one of Stockholm’s favourite places to not just fika but to grab a delicious bite at any time of the day. It’s also rumoured to have the biggest pastries and cake slices in the city, such as the massive cinnamon buns (kanelbulle), which are slightly smaller than your average hubcap. Tucked away on a side street but still centrally located, this place is always busy and they don’t take reservations, so plan your trip here well.
Where: Erikbergsgatan 6
When: Mon-Fri 7 am-8 pm; Sat 8 am-7 pm
You can’t fika too much, so make sure to take a lot of coffee breaks in Stockholm!