Find Fika Culture at Svenska Café

Svenska Café interior
Photos via Svenska Café's Facebook page

Food & Drink

Find Fika Culture at Svenska Café

Svenska Café coffee cupAt Svenska Café, fika is taken seriously.

Located in Birmingham, Mich. (about 30 minutes north of Detroit), Svenska Café serves up Swedish specialties – everything from shrimp and egg sandwiches (räkmacka) to cardamom buns, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your Swedish cravings.

Nearly 20 years ago, owner Christina Bakalis lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the time, she never imagined falling in love with an American visiting Sweden for business, but that’s exactly what happened. Two years and a wedding later, she found herself in the States.

Love can take you across the world in a heartbeat, but eventually memories of home start creeping in. For some, it’s a reason to return home or take a long vacation, but Bakalis decided to bring Sweden to Michigan.

“I missed the good coffee and, of course, open-face sandwiches, especially shrimp, and all the baked goods,” admitted Bakalis.

Svenska Café exterior

Sweden’s fika culture is unlike the coffee culture here in America, and Bakalis wanted that to change. For her, if she couldn’t enjoy a true fika like she could back in Gothenburg, she’d bring the fika to Birmingham.

And in September 2016, Bakalis opened Svenska Café.

“In America, you can do anything you put your mind to,” Bakalis said. “It’s not quite the same in Sweden. People will tell you can’t, but you can.”

Inside the quaint, European-style café, customers enjoy best sellers like the salmon open-faced sandwich (rökt lax), caramel cookies or hazelnut cake (nötkaka).

And for those on the hunt for Swedish salty licorice, look no further, because Svenska has you covered.

Svenska Café has been open for less than a year and already is a favorite spot for many. Pay Bakalis a visit at 930 East Maple Road, Birmingham, Mich.

© 2023 Swedish Match. All right reserved.

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