Discover what you should be eating when you’re in Helsinki – Karis shares her own delicious experiences from when she visited.
Helsinki isn’t the most ‘touristy’ town; certainly a far cry from what I’ve experienced in some of the other cities I’ve travelled too. But, I wasn’t too fussed about that because I managed to get in a good amount of Finnish food in the short time I was there (as is my goal in life).
First course: A traditional platter of sorts…
My food experiences started with a trip to the supermarket, Prisma. I love going to supermarkets for the first time in a new country. There’s always something different to try (and sometimes you find yourself shaking your head because you have no idea why anyone would want to eat whatever that strange looking thing is). In this case, it was mostly awe that I felt while walking around. So many products I’d never seen before, so many drinks I wanted to try. Not to mention we were pretty hungry. The old adage is definitely true – you shouldn’t shop while hungry!
Jess, my friend who was living in Helsinki at the time and served as our tour guide, decided we should start our first day in Finland with some traditional fare. We had quite the spread: pickles (which you buy from vats in the vegetable section, none of this jar business) with a sour cream and honey ‘dip’; bread cheese, a bit like
They aren’t combinations I’d have thought of back home, I love trying something new! My favourite was the Karelian pie, it was a little like eating an egg sandwich. The pies are also Jess’ favourite and many people obviously enjoy eating them for lunch because they were available with the ‘egg butter’ at most cafes.
Second course: Reindeer games…
Third course: It wouldn’t be a holiday without traditional pastries…
Jess knows I’m a sucker for bread-based snacks and was excited to show me a traditional Finnish ‘pastry’ called
Something to drink: Pour some sugar on me…
Jess had mentioned she wanted to take me to a ‘heavy metal bar’ with great cocktails and I was keen. You can’t say no to cocktails and a venue that didn’t play dance music (give me a good guitar riff any day). She took me to Sling In bar + cafe where they have a cocktail list so big, it’s stored on a computer and you can search based on name, ingredient or style.
We each took ten minutes to decide on the cocktails we would try. I went with Jess’ recommendation – a blueberry cheese cake cocktail (with actual creamy cheese in it). It was divine and you wouldn’t know you were drinking anything alcoholic….is that good or bad? I don’t know. I guess if you’re in town, you should test it out for yourself.
Something for the road: A little foraging…
One of my favourite outings was to the aptly nicknamed, Squirrel Island (Seurasaari). Not only did we get up close and personal with squirrels and tiny birds,
I’d definitely recommend picking up some sunflower seeds and heading over to the island for a couple of hours. Here’s one of the squirrels I fed:
What you should be eating in Helsinki, Finland – pin for later!
If you’re off to Helsinki and you’re looking for more inspiration, take a look at visiting Tallinn in Estonia. Just don’t do what Keri did!