To have a Fika is Swedish and means to have a coffee break, accompanied by something sweet, which mostly consists of a cinnamon bun, an oat cookie or during lent a Semla. You can have a Fika by yourself, but despite all the clichés about the Scandinavians, Swedish people enjoy sharing this moment of the day with a friend, a colleague or their partner. Also, it’s good to know that there is no specific time for a Fika; it can happen at 12pm, at 2pm or at 5pm, as long as you take some minutes to stop working, skiing, watching your kids to relax and simply enjoy a cup of freshly brewed (filter) coffee.
Joana isn’t Swedish, but she experienced various Fikas herself and wanted to bring this tradition to the Belgian capital. Located just off Place St Boniface in Ixelles, this is a spot you shouldn’t miss when passing by. Fika’s big wooden framed windows facing the street, look very inviting during mornings when you can take a peek inside and watch Joana and her small team prepare fresh cakes and pastries for the day. Towards the end of the late afternoon the windows are often fogged, by all the steam that comes from preparing all the cappuccinos, flat whites and lattes.
Once inside, it’s hard to resist all the home baked cakes and pastries, which are made every morning from fresh and local ingredients. Sometimes when you enter the place you can still smell the cinnamon and yeast from the fresh cinnamon buns, or Kanelbullar as they call it in Sweden. The 100% Arabica coffee comes either from Café Capitale, a local Brussels coffee roastery, or from ‘April’, a Swedish roastery. Both make a great basis to your morning cappuccino along with the hot steamed milk that is organic – and from Belgium, too!
The place itself is minimalistic and peaceful, decorated with beautiful tiles on the floor, light wooden details – the whole coffee bar is made from it – simple lightbulbs hanging from the ceilings and a few pillows and plants make up part of the interior. Fika is definitely an addition to the Brussels coffee scene that one couldn’t think away and which, if you haven’t yet, you should explore someday, too.
And in case you want to drink your coffee outside – there’s a garden.
Price: Coffee is around 3-4€ and pastries around 2-4€
Address: Rue de la Paix 17, 1050 Ixelles