4 letters, 2 syllables, 1 word.
Maybe THE most important Swedish word.
Fika ↗️ is much more than just having a cup of coffee and eating pastries. It is quality time with your family, friends, loved ones or colleagues.
It is perfect to meet up with classmates, Swedes or anyone else you’d like to know better. Sometimes, fika is a mystery and that is one thing I love about it! Are you having fika as friends? As a date? You never know and you never have to tell. Fika is casual and uncomplicated. It can happen anywhere, anytime, preferably several times per day. It is the Swede’s holy grail.
Did you know?
The word has its origins ↗️ in an older version (“kaffi”) of kaffe (= Swedish for coffee). Then, using backslang (like verlan in French) ↗️ you arrive at today’s version!
Kanelbullar – cinnamon buns
Just like bonfires belong to Valborg, candles to Sankta Lucia and flower crowns to Midsommar, a kanelbulle belongs to coffee. Cinnamon bun + coffee = fika and it could not be more Swedish!
Cinnamon buns are the most common fika piece, I would say. You can find them everywhere! Any café, the uni cafeteria or at Pressbyrån, ↗️ giant ones called “Hagabulle” ↗️ in Haga district (Gothenburg, top/middle), 5 for SEK 20 ↗️ at IKEA Bistro (top/right and bottom/left), at company visits (bottom/right) and many more. Cinnamon buns never dissapoint!
Kardamom & vanilla buns
The younger brothers and sisters of kanelbullar are kardemummabullar, vaniljbullar and many other forms of tasty buns that you can find in bakeries across Sweden! I have not decided yet whether I prefer kardamom over cinnamon buns or not?!
Coffee + cake
Getting from single pieces to complete fikas. I have collected a selection of really delicious coffee breaks that crossed my way over the past year living in Sweden. From blueberry cheesecake, to typical morotskaka (carrot cake, top/middle) and kladdkaka (chocolate mud cake, center) and several other tasty treats.
I’ve also had loads of Chai lattes, more kladdkaka (top/center) and finally tried dammsugare ↗️ (the green roll, bottom/right). Right when I moved to Sweden, I discovered my love for chokladbollar ↗️ (ball, bottom/right) and probably had alone 50 of them throughout the year. Another blog post called “50 shades of chokladbollar” anyone? 😉
Fika – the ‘light’ way
Sometimes, you do not want a heavy cake or sweet bun. Sometimes, your body does not crave for coffee. Below is a selection of comparably light fikas I had in Sweden. Chai Lattes, hot chocolates, espessi, latte machiatos, apple juices with rhubarb pie or raw berry cake and a heavenly waffle loaded with fruit.
It’s sweet, it’s sticky, it’s Semla!
Does that heading sound familiar to you??? Well, well, well congrats! Seems like you are a really frequent reader! As semlor are among our all time favorite fika treats, we recently devoted a whole blog post to them! Emma, Lauren and myself made the ultimate semla test across Sweden! Swedes savor them during winter and their peak season is Fat Tuesday – or Semla Day!
Since I only managed to put together 44/50 fika photos, you can join Andrés‘ and Usisipho‘s fika to fill in the remaining gap! 🙂 You can also visit our instagram account ↗️ where we frquently post #fikafriday photos ↗️ and save all our fikas in one highlight. ↗️
Other than that: enjoy your coffee break! ☕️🍰