What is Fika?

Join the coffee craze from Sweden. Go on, take a coffee break, grab a cinnamon bun and enjoy a fika. 

Fika, the Swedish Coffee Break

I studied abroad in Sweden for five months and one of the things I’ve missed the most since living back in the States is the daily fika. Fika, pronounced, [fee-ka] is literally translated as the word, “coffee,” however the act of having a fika is much more than just coffee. It’s a culture and lifestyle in Sweden.

First, let’s start with when fika happens. In Sweden most work places and schools take fika breaks throughout the day to drink coffee and socialize. Most offices take a fika at 9 A.M then a later one after lunch at 3 P.M.

Going out to fika is also a common way to get to know someone, and from what I’ve heard, most Swede’s first dates are fikas.

So how do you ask someone for a fika? It’s simple really! Here’s the most commonly used phrase:

Vill du fika?  (Will you have a fika?)

Most fika breaks revolve around a cup of coffee and a sweet treat, such as a cinnamon bun or piece of cake. It’s a pause in the day to sit back and relax, and there’s no doubt I wish we had more of that here in the States!

Because I’m so fika obsessed, I’ve spent some time making some delicious fika treats. In the days ahead I’ll be sharing some of my favorites with you.


Lyndsay Burginger

It’s always entertaining when Lyndsay’s in the kitchen. She’s even been known to belt out Broadway show tunes while making dinner (a handy whisk as her microphone, of course). She currently writes for her international food and travel site, Lyndsay's Travel Kitchen . Lyndsay is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.