We sort of wanted to hate Búđin.

Confusing accents aside, there's the whole Nordic bandwagon thing, not to mention the general Greenpoint-as-bougie-destination exhaustion. And the café and housewares shop serves a $10 latte made with Danish licorice syrup and licorice powder. A $10 latte.

But damn, that latte was good--frothy and delicious, its licorice notes smoother, and mellower than we expected. While nobody should pony up that kind of cash for a daily fix, we did admire the very pretty silver tray the drink was served on and the Lakrids' chocolate-dusted licorice it came with. Drinking it, you can imagine living in a very civilized city of canals, fixed-gear bicycles and good pastries.

Speaking of pastries: There's not much in the way of food at Búđin, save for a few croissants and neighborhood darling Tørst's hearty rye bread, which is served with two rosy pieces of smoked salmon and a pat of butter ($8). The coffee represents a rotating selection of Scandinavian roasters like Sweden's Koppi.


But then there are there are the non-edibles, which are easier to like than a licorice latte. We coveted the café's edited selection of Nordic housewares: Kibisi wooden serving utensils ($45) and Muuto glass carafes ($55), Iceland's Omnom chocolate bars ($13) and Saltverk's birch-smoked and lava salts ($15), also from Iceland. And gorgeous, chevron-patterned Mandal Veveri throws ($395) for which we would have gladly traded the coats off our backs (in 12 degree weather).

While its interior is as expected--minimalist, light-filled, all the usual descriptors--Búđin is the type of place that you'll like hanging out at so much, you want to take a piece of its cool Scandi style home. So you can feel a little bit cooler, yourself.