Hi everyone! I’m Nicola and I am from a small village in Scotland. I study Anthropology and International Relations, and I am currently undertaking my exchange here at Stockholm University. With a passionate interest in other people’s cultures and traditions, I spend a lot of time travelling and photographing my memories along the way. At home, I enjoy taking part in sports such as tennis and making the most of the few sunny days we get in Scotland.
One of the key cultural aspects of Sweden that I have definitely adopted is the past time of going for a ‘fika’. For many Swedish people, this concept will seem nothing out of the ordinary, but for foreigners coming to this country, it is definitely something to get used to. To go for a ‘fika’ literally means “to have a break”. For many, this break means having a coffee either by yourself or with friends, it does not matter. The purpose of my blog post is to share with you, from personal experience, my favourite places to go for a ‘fika’ with friends when we want to take a break from studying, or just want to have a catch up.
Let’s start off at my very first ‘fika’ experience, which turned out to be my favourite place – Johan and Nyström (Swedenborgsgatan 7). Whether you fall in love with their lattes, or enjoy talking to the people working behind the counter, this is definitely a place to go and relax with friends. It may just be a personal preference, but the added touch of having your latte presented to you in a glass makes it all more the worthwhile. I would strongly suggest you also add a kanelbulle to your order as their stickiness with the kick of the coffee makes them all the more delicious. To add to the already incredible drinks and food, you will also find yourself extremely at home with the incredibly relaxed atmosphere that surrounds this place. Many a time, my friends and I have gone to sit in the lower part of the café that is full of comfy benches with cushions to sit on. Even in the main area, the benches surrounding the counter are perfect to sit back and relax with friends, or even study.
If you are willing to spend slightly more but still get your money’s worth, you should try going to Vete-Katten (Kungsgatan 55). Known to have the best semla buns in Stockholm, you will find your taste buds tingling after visiting this café. Personally, I went for the hot chocolate this time due to the fact that the added cream you get is freshly whipped and adds an extra thickness to the already incredible drink. The actual place itself reminds me of a Victorian-style train station, with the white décor throughout the café and marble tables perfectly placed across the whole. You and your friends will easily be able to spend hours talking in here.
My final suggestion out of all the places my friends and I have been for ‘fika’ is Kaffeverket (Sankt Eriksgatan 88). Walking into this café feels like you have found your peace of mind if you would like to study in a stylish environment. The freshly made coffee smell hits you as soon as you enter the door and the beautifully colourful food catches your eye. The highlight of my experience there was the uniquely shaped rhubarb and apple muffin – it was the perfect combination of tastes and definitely made me consider going for seconds. Overall, the place has a completely relaxed atmosphere with its classy white tile, black lamp and waxy candles interior design.
Although these are my top three choices of places to ‘fika’, there are endless options around Stockholm, so do not limit yourself. Around every corner and down every street you will definitely find places to ‘fika’. Whichever one you choose to take, I can guarantee the coffee will have you jumping for joy (just like me below whilst on my adventures in Narvik, Norway). Just remember, “coffee is a liquid hug for your brain” - Happy Fika!