Fika (6th Avenue) — 71.6 decibels CLOSED

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

There was unnecessary music playing when we visited Fika on 6th Avenue in Chelsea, but we can still recommend it.  We generally see a lot of the laptop brigade in this location during the week, but we visited on a weekend when there were fewer laptoppers and more tourists.  Even with a chattier crowd, the space was fine.

As with other Fika locations–it’s a Swedish chain with 13 Manhattan locations–the decor features lots of hard surfaces.  But even though there were not many textiles–only the chairs are upholstered–the noise level was more than manageable.  High ceilings and a relaxed crowd are mostly responsible for the soundscape.  If they only lowered the background music a notch or two–or turned if off–the space would be close to perfect.

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Fika serves very good coffee and lovely sweet treats (try the cardamom bun), but it’s a bit more expensive than other coffee shops.  Also, we noted that they were advertising a live music performance later in the early evening.  We would suggest avoiding live performances in that space given how unforgiving it could be.  We’re not sure if the performance was a one of or a regular gig, so proceed with caution on weekend nights.

HOURS

Monday through Fri

Saturday and Sunday:

LOCATION

Avenue (betw. 15th and 16th Streets), New York, NY 10011

WEBSITE

Fika NYC

Fika Duane Street — 72.2 decibels

Fika Duane Street

Photo credit: Quiet City Maps

Fika is a New York City chain of Swedish coffee shops featuring very good coffee, Swedish pastries, and chocolates (some locations also offer breakfast and lunch options).  Most of the Fika locations we have visited have lots of hard surfaces–tile, marble, glass, and metal–and the Duane Street location was no exception.  But the noise level at Fika Duane Street  was very manageable, partly due  to its high ceilings but mostly because all of the other customers were staring into laptop or cell phone screens.   That is, this location appears to have been adopted by the laptop brigade and, as a consequence, it’s almost library quiet.  Almost.  There was, of course, unnecessary and distracting background music, but the music was only noticeable because the other customers were so quiet.  Without the music we reckon the decibel reading would have come in at under 70 decibels.   Worth checking out, and try the delicious cardamom buns.

HOURS

Monday through Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Closed Saturday and Sunday

LOCATION

WEBSITE

Fika