Introducing: Fika, a charming new café in Kensington Market from Victor Barry and Nikki Leigh McKean
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Contact Info: 28 Kensington Ave., http://Fika.ca/, @Fikakensington.
Owners: Nikki Leigh McKean and Victor Barry (Splendido, County General)
Chef: Victor Barry
The Food: Ready-made sandwiches, daily soups, pastries and specials. Most of the baked goods are prepared in Splendido’s kitchen, including the croissants and caraway rye and rosemary potato breads used in the smoked salmon smorrebrod and mortadella panini. Barry is planning to do pop-up specials, like smoked barbecue, on the patio for Pedestrian Sundays this summer.
The Drinks: The name Fika is inspired by the Swedish verb meaning “to go out for coffee.” The café serves espresso drinks using beans from Toronto’s Pilot Coffee Roasters. There’s also a selection of whole leaf teas, Italian sodas and juices ($2.50).
The Place: The bright, open space designed by Sarah Callanan exudes Scandinavian charm. Banquette seating and vintage metal chairs surround Caesarstone tables in the front of house. In the back, a meeting room can be reserved for up to 10 people. There’s also a pair of patios, one facing Kensington Avenue and one in the back yard of the old row house, which have a combined 30 seats.
• 33 antique teacups sets from around the world are on display behind the coffee bar (McKean and Barry used them to serve guests at their wedding)
• 14 years ago McKean first dreamed of opening a café and studio as an exchange student in Sweden
• 2 patios