Without a direct translation, but meaning “a coffee and cake break“, Fika and Fika-ing is a key part of Swedish life and culture. It epitomises the country’s balanced, rational approach to work, and the necessity of taking regular breaks and socialising. Fika takes place sitting down in local cafes and bakeries, as opposed to a lifeless Starbucks take-away quaffed desk-side between mountains of paperwork. A holiday is hardly a 9-5 affair, but all in the name of market research and cultural immersion, we Fika’d daily to energise us through our walking and swimming. Below are some of our favourites.
Grilska Huset, Gamla Stan
Tucked in Gamla Stan’s famous Stortoget Square, this cafe and deli does more good than offering customers delicious homemade cakes and a beautiful rooftop garden. Part of Stockholm City Mission social enterprise, they work to decrease homelessness, support migrant integration, support the elderly and improve children’s access to education. See more about their work here.
Vete Katten, Kungsgaten
In the busy shopping streets of Stockholm’s centre, you’ll find Vete Katten– a quiet courtyard attached to an old bakery and dining hall. Established in 1928 by Ester Nordhammer, the bakery/patisserie had an all-female workforce until 1961. Girl power and cardamom buns- what more could you want?!
Rosendal’s Garden, Djurgarden
This one was my favourite and the most picturesque on a sunny summer’s day. Set in the beautiful grounds of Rosendal’s Garden on Djurgarden, the bakery and greenhouse cafe serve beautiful organic cakes and lunches using the biodynamically farmed ingredients they grow.