41 W. 58th St.
New York City
We wrote several years ago about the iconic Swedish coffee and snack break – the fika – including a mention for the Fika coffee shop in NYC. The post got us really hoping to visit Sweden to enjoy an authentic fika. A few weeks ago, we were excited to visit Fika and experience a tiny bit of Swedish coffee culture right here in the US. NYC’s Fika cafe is just how we would imagine a Swedish coffeehouse to be: tiny and immaculate with only room for about 10 people at tall tables inside (if you are lucky enough to get a seat). Compared to US coffeehouse, Fika had a rather small menu of coffees. The coffee served here is actually roasted in NYC, but in the Swedish style. L ordered a cappuccino and the caffeine-averse M ordered hot chocolate. The coffee was light and flavorful and the hot chocolate was pleasingly rich.
Even better, there is a very nice selection of pastries and chocolate, including a wide variety of truffles and chocolates. In fact, Fika has its own chocolatier and several pastry chefs, giving the shop a constant supply of tempting sweets. We got a Cardamom bun, one of the most popular items, which was a rose-shaped croissant with a heavy helping of one of Sweden’s favored spices (there were also cinnamon and vanilla versions for non-cardamom fans). Of the chocolates, we tried truffles with goat milk, which was surprisingly delicate.
However, the showstopper was the Prinsesstårta, aka Princess cake. On their website, Fika even advertises that they are the “home of the Princess Cake,” which is no small feat. We have written about the painfully complex Prinsesstårta before (to date it is the the only cake we have seen that requires a diagram to explain) but we have never actually tried it until now. The version at Fika had all the requisite layers: sponge cake, whipped cream, jam and green marzipan. It was really enjoyable, and a lot more filling than we expected.
We are so happy to have found Fika, a little taste of Sweden in the US. Incidentally, when we went on a weekday morning, the cafe was full of Swedes! If you are feeling especially nostalgic, you can also bring home boxes of the stores coffee, tea, and Swedish berry preserves for your own little fika at home.