Swede Sensation

FIKA spreads the Scandinavian lifestyle

Swedes lead a charmed life, from their unified design aesthetic down to their daily fika–an extended, leisurely coffee break.

If we're really adopting our Scandinavian friends' Socialist ways, as some say, we can test the waters in a more delicious fashion at our very own FIKA.

This Swedish café and espresso bar is already a Midtown institution (as seen by the daily queues), and has carried its ethos to a second location on Park Avenue, with plans to open a third by summer.

Streamlined and modern, FIKA authenticates the experience by flying in Arabica beans from the city of Karlstad and maintaining an all-day menu that tweaks the Swedish classics.

Stop in before work for a perfectly sweetened cinnamon bun ($3) and latte ($3.75), which is both punchy and smooth. At lunchtime, try the Överkalix sandwich ($10) with juniper-marinated salmon, arugula, cucumber and honey mustard rolled in soft flatbread.

You can stick with traditional standards like a bowl of Swedish meatballs ($12) or mix it up with the Göteborg sandwich ($9), a meatball hero with creamy beet salad. Save room for chocolatier Håkan Mårtensson's FIKA Choklad, a line of hand-rolled truffles ($1.50 to $2 each) made in limited-edition flavors (think blood orange and quail-egg sabayon), which are introduced on the first of each month.

FIKA Central Park South, 41 W. 58th St. (between Fifth and Sixth aves.); 212-832-0222 or fikanyc.com

FIKA Park Avenue, 407 Park Avenue South (between 28th & 29th streets); 646-649-5133 or fikanyc.com