The Best Places for Fika in London

You can have fika anywhere, including London
You can have fika anywhere, including London | © Matthew Taylor / Alamy Stock Photo
Amelia Florence Simmons

Fika is the Swedish custom of taking a break for coffee, usually accompanied by a cinnamon or cardamom bun. More than that, the concept is a social institution, giving colleagues, friends and family a chance to sit down and connect. Here, Culture Trip explores the best places for fika in London.

1. ScandiKitchen

Cafe, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, European, Swedish, Vegan, Gluten-free

Scandinavian Kitchen, London
Courtesy of ScandiKitchen
Both a café and a grocery store (popular with homesick London-based Scandinavians), ScandiKitchen is a buzzing hub on Great Titchfield Street. With friendly staff and a homely feel, the venue has garnered crowds of loyal customers. The cake menu changes regularly, but two must-eats are the kärleksmums (chocolate cake with mocha and coconut icing) and Swedish princess cake (a sponge cake covered in pale green marzipan and filled with cream and jam). For a more classic treat, opt for its fresh, tasty cinnamon buns.

2. Nordic Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, Northern European

Nordic Bakery,London: cinnamon buns
© ilpo musto / Alamy Stock Photo
A worthy contender for the fika crown, the Nordic Bakery is located right in the middle of London, on Soho’s Golden Square. Step into the cool, dark interior to find croissant-like cinnamon buns and tiger cake, a marbled double-cream and chocolate confection. For an alternative to traditional fika, swap coffee for a lingonberry cordial, and pair it with a skoleboller (a Norwegian custard bun).

3. Bageriet

Bakery, Cafe, Swedish, Dessert

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Courtesy of Bageriet

Hidden away on a small side street in the tourist haven of Covent Garden, Bageriet is worth braving the crowds for. The shop-café is tiny, but the baked goods are wonderful. You’ll find a lot of Swedish classic cakes and biscuits here, such as the Sarah Bernhardt, a smooth dark chocolate truffle on an almond biscuit, or the dammsugare (literally vacuum cleaner), an almond and chocolate sponge filling soaked with punsch (a Swedish liqueur), rolled in marzipan and dipped in chocolate. Bageriet also sells freshly-baked bread, as well as cinnamon and blueberry buns. The cosy café is probably the best place in London for an authentic fika experience.

4. Söderberg

Cafe, Restaurant, Swedish

Launched in Edinburgh by Swede Peter Ljungquist, Söderberg has seven locations in the Scottish city. Since 2019, Londoners can also enjoy the café chain, which opened its first London location on the centrally-located Berwick Street in Soho. With its vintage Swedish furniture, the interior is straight out of a 1960s Swedish living room, and the menu is full of classics, too. Try the almond-filled mazarin tarts, cardamom buns and kladdkaka (mud cake) when it’s fika-time. The lunch menu includes traditional Swedish open sandwiches, as well as meatballs with lingonberry compote and even waffles. In the evenings, the downstairs lounge turns into a restaurant and bar.

5. Fabrique

Bakery, Cafe, Swedish

56-3950463-14421506565984474176544147a58633e021d4d2db
Courtesy of Fabrique

While cinnamon rolls abound in London, it can be harder to find their more exotic cousin, the cardamom bun. There’s no such problem at Fabrique, where kardemummabullar are exquisitely baked with subtle spice and a sugar glaze. Tear your eyes away from the buns to take a good look at the bread selection – baked in a stone oven – and take home a loaf or two of levain bread, a rye baguette, sesame toast or fig and walnut bread. Fabrique is so popular that it now has six London locations, so there’s a fika option wherever you are in the city.

6. Ole and Steen

Bakery, Cafe, Danish

cakes and pasteries on display in the window of the danish bakery Ole & Steen, haymarket , london
© RichSTOCK / Alamy Stock Photo

Denmark’s Ole and Steen has really doubled down on its London expansion and now has 10 locations in the British capital. It may not be a Swedish chain, but it’s still an excellent choice for fika. There’s a massive selection of cakes and biscuits, made fresh in the stores – try the cinnamon swirl, Sarah Bernhardt puff or coconut puff for a taste of Scandinavia. It’s a good place to go for lunch, with a wide selection of sandwiches, toasties and salads, and it also sells fresh bread. The cafés are simple and stylishly decorated, befitting Denmark’s design heritage.

Additional reporting by Cajsa Carlson.

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