Top 5 Bites in Helsinki, Finland
By Jutismita Hazarika
There's no gimmick and the preparations are always in equilibrium with nature.

Let’s just be honest here and admit that you haven’t placed Helsinki on your culinary bucketlist yet.

 This is, partly, because you haven’t heard much about their food culture; thanks to their simple way of life or you are a bit apprehensive about their food habits. But what I find most fascinating about their food is, there’s no gimmick and the preparations are always in equilibrium with nature.

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So it’s about time you did a few changes to your list because the city has evolved into the food capital of the Nordic region in its own terms over the years. Ask me why and how I would give you hundreds of examples! However, to keep it simple, let’s just stick to five unique things about the food scenes of this Baltic star that you must come and experience for sure.

Taste reindeer meat:

Reindeer Meat Bite, Finland

It is not just another type of meat. Reindeer harvesting used to be the traditional way of Finnish life and you must taste its meat to get a glimpse of the same. Although a lot of the Finns prefer to stay away from it or stay vegan for other reasons, there’s no dearth of the meat in the city. Just barge into any Finnish restaurant (I am sure most of them serve it but my recommendation would be restaurant Lappi) or simply go to any supermarket to buy some canned reindeer meat to cook back at home. Either way, it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime. And they say, it is as healthy as eating fish as it is loaded with omega-3 and other nutritional elements. But let’s talk about the taste for now. When served with mashed potatoes and cranberry jelly it’s simply delicious!

Where to Find it:

Ravintola Lappi

Annankatu 22, 00100 Helsinki

Enjoy traditional Finnish sweets:

Finnish sweets Bite, Finland

When in Helsinki, you must sink your sweet tooth into some delectable Finnish sweets at one of the city bakeries. From sweet & salty Salmiakki to traditional shrove bun (Laskiaispulla), try all of them. But ask me to recommend one place where you can try them- it has to be the Karl Fazer café near Galleria Esplanad. It is a must visit tourist spot in Helsinki where both the locals and the travellers mingle to enjoy lip smacking food. Be it Finnish candies and chocolates or soups and salads, this is a great culinary pit stop. Although not very traditional, do not forget to try their Budapest roll. You will thank me later.

Where to Find it:

Karl Fazer Cafe

Kluuvikatu 3, 00100 Helsinki

Eat smoked Salmon:

Smoked Salmon Bite, Finland

Your trip to the Baltic region would be incomplete without sampling some delights from the Baltic bed. Stroll through this open air foods & handicrafts market during the summers and enjoy some sumptuous smoked salmon or snack on some crispy fried fishes cooked in traditional methods. The flea market season kick starts from May and the market remains open every day until September. A sumptuous plate of  fried Salmon would cost you about 8 Euros but the experience is priceless.

Where to Find it:

Market Square Flea Market

Eteläsatama, 00170 Helsinki

 Try Finnish potato salad:

Finnish potato salad Bite, Finland

It is usually a side dish served with meat. So not a hard thing to find in the city. From salad buffets at restaurants to supermarket shelves, this divine salad can be found everywhere. Just walk into a salad bar, grab some, and sit at a park to enjoy it while people watching. Trust me, it is the best comfort meal you can eat anytime and anywhere. My recommendation would be Toolonranta restaurant which happens to be one of the best salad bars in the city.

Where to Find it:

Ravintola Toolonranta

Helsinginkatu 56, 00260 Helsinki

Cosy up with some hot chocolate:

Cosy up Bite, Finland

Doesn’t matter which season it is, you can always find a quiet corner at a coffee shop and reward your tired body with some delicious hot chocolate. Even though you shouldn’t miss tasting Finnish coffee (mind it, the country is famous for their coffee obsession), my pick would be some frothy hot cocoa with melt in the mouth marshmallows. Sounds pure sin but who cares! Right? Stroll through the Esplanade Park near the south harbour and you will find the right spot to enjoy a glassful. Just look for a beautiful glasshouse kind of place right inside the park with a sign that says Kappeli.

Where to Find it:

Kappeli

Eteläesplanadi 1, 00130 Helsinki

Jutismita Hazarika
By Jutismita Hazarika
I would like to describe myself as a books & cheesecakes addict. I love books with lots of food imageries because nothing seduces your senses more than some graphic details about food. Apart from travelling (I used to work as a travel writer in the past), I love sharing stories, photographs, and foods that I cook. But when it comes down to one thing, coffee features on top of my priority list. The rest may wait. Currently, I am living in Helsinki and on a sabbatical looking for inspirations to make this existence meaningful.

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