FIKA Proves You Can Eat Swedish Food Without Buying Furniture

The only previous experience I’ve had with Swedish food involves the IKEA cafeteria and I’m sure that’s about as close as most people have gotten to that country’s cuisine. As much as I love the dirt-cheap food there, I also know it’s like eating in a hospital cafeteria and no one ever said that food was good. Enter FIKA Swedish Espresso Bar, which started out in midtown but now has its flagship location down on Pearl St. (at Coenties Slip). While technically an espresso bar, they also make their own chocolate and serve both cold sandwiches and hot entrees and soup. I ventured down to see what was good to eat besides the meatballs.

It’s a surprisingly large store and not something you’d expect to find in the Financial District. Everyone who works there seems to actually be transplanted from Sweden and they were helpful when I couldn’t decide what to have for lunch. Most people seem to stop in for coffee but the place filled up with lunch’ers right as I was about to leave.

The sandwiches are all in a case toward the back and there were a few to choose from including Swedish meatballs. I went for the shrimp salad ($9), but I’ve heard the gravlax wrap is a good choice too if you’re not feeling eating meatballs for lunch. There are soup and sandwich combos that I saw a lot of people eating, and the soups they have are not your typical chicken noodle variety.

The sandwich isn’t massive, but it’s also not small. What I’m trying to say is it will fill up most stomachs unless you’re really hungry. It’s a pretty simple shrimp salad with some dill and lettuce tucked in there.

If you’re looking for something a little different for lunch, or for some reason craving Scandinavian food this is a good option. The chocolate and espresso drinks didn’t look too shabby, either.

FIKA Swedish Espresso Bar, 66 Pearl St. (at Coenties Slip), (212) 832-0022



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    I think the curry chicken sandwich is the best pick. The multi-grain bread would fill up a hungry stomach.

  • Smorgas Chef is less than a block away from there and it serves stand up Swedish cuisine; though not exactly cheap, there are a few items that are solidly within the $10 range.

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