By now, you’ve probably already tried some of the delicious food that Helsinki and Finland has to offer! One of the really fun things about moving to a new country is to try all the new food, and Finland has lots of weird and quirky traditional foods that every foreigner should try. You might not like all of it, but at least give it a go! 😉
I think you should try all of the following:
Traditional Finnish foods:
Karelian pie (karjalanpiirakat in Karelia, riisipiirakka everywhere else) – this wonderful creation is a salty snack made with rice and rye flour. It tastes like rice porridge on bread, but much better than that sounds! Finns like to eat them hot with butter on, and some also put cheese and meats on it.. like you would a regular piece of bread!
Salmon soup (Lohikeitto) – fish is very popular in Finland, and their salmon is very, very good. Soup is good for the cold winters, and salmon soup is made with cream, potatoes and carrots, so it is perfectly creamy and will keep you full (and warm) for a long time!
Cinnamon/cardamom buns (korvapuusti)– I am not actually sure if this is more Swedish than Finnish, but nevertheless! Finland has so many good buns, the most famous ones being the ones with cinnamon and cardamom. Cinnamon and cardamom are very beloved spices in the Nordics. Korvapuusti are delicious, and you can buy them in every supermarket, every bakery.. everywhere! This is the bun that is on the picture above, on the plate.
Meat pie (lihapiirakka) – this “pie” is made from what resemlbes donut dough, yet it is not actually sweet..just greasy! It is filled with ground beef mildly spiced and is a popular fast food/food on the go item in Finland. This is the food item I am about to indulge on the photo 😉
Helsinki is also a wonderful city for vegetarian and vegan food. The options are plentiful and food is tasty!
My personal recommendations are:
Roots, Eurantie 8 – breakfast, bowls, smoothies, coffeee, bread and cakes, Roots is a hotspot vegan café that I recommend everyone to try!
OHMYGOODNESS.fi, Vaasankatu 14 – this place also has everything your vegan heart could desire, and the food is tasty and GORGEOUS!
Ravintola Soi Soi, Vaasankatu 9 – the place to go to for greasy vegan fast food!
Sen Chay Vegetarian Restaurant, Siltasaarenkatu 3-5 – very affordable and yummy vegetarian Vietnamese food. A must in Helsinki!
The Finns also quite like their buffets! Most Finns are not aware that this seems to be a very Finnish thing, as they are very used to it. But it is something that most foreigners note when they arrive here. Most buffets are quite reasonably priced, and there are so many different ones to choose from that even if you are very picky, you will still find one that fits your taste! Many buffets are lunch buffets, which means that for 10-13 euros (typical price) you can come in for lunch and eat all you want!
A popular buffet restaurant is Caverna, which is right next to the city centre campus (Yliopistonkatu 5). Paulig Kulma (Aleksanterinkatu 9), which is also in the area, offers a delicious vegan salad buffet Mon-Fri for around 12 euros. But fear not, there’s plenty of buffets all around Helsinki – you might have to visit a few to find your favorite!
A fun thing to do is to invite all your new international friends to go try some of the delicious food in Helsinki – or you can ask your Finnish friends to cook some traditional delicacies for you. Food is always a good reason to spend lots of quality with your new friends. 😊