When summer arrives, Helsinki’s street food scene comes alive. From food trucks and bikes to people opening their doors on Restaurant Day, there are an incredible amount of options if you know when and where to go! Here’s our guide to some of the best street food fare around town.
Summer treats on-the-go
Summer brings street food trucks and food bikes to the streets of Helsinki. One of the most original is the Blueberry Milk Bike (Mustikkamaitopyörä) that sells a delicious Finnish alternative to frozen yoghurt. You can often find the moving stand on a bike at the Esplanade park on a warm summer day.
Continuing to keep things cool is Jädelino, a mobile ice cream bar that sells delicious Italian-style artisanal gelato, usually in the area around the Hakaniemi Market Square. You can also visit their parlour at Teurastamo to get their freshly hand-made and additive free gelato.
If you’ve worked up an appetite from all that sight-seeing, grab some spicy grilled cheese sandwiches to go from Warung Chili & Cheese. This food truck takes delicious Javanese-style street food all around Helsinki so that you don’t have to be hungry while exploring.
Get off the Road
Street food does not have to be on the street. Step inside of the Hietalahti Market Hall, an old market hall that has come alive again with small restaurants and cafes, serving everything from ramen to the best burgers in town.
Alternatively, there’s the 6K Foodmarket at the Kamppi Shopping Centre, which is a popular hub of small street food restaurants including fish and chips shop Fisu & Ranet, Indonesian-style Bali Brunch and the very popular Street Gastro that was once just a food truck owned by two ambitious chefs. Now it is a chain of four restaurants serving delicious gourmet sandwiches.
Fafa’s has several branches around Helsinki. Loved by vegetarians and meat-eaters as well, this fast-food restaurant is known for its delicious falafel – their pita with falafel and halloumi is a huge favourite amongst customers. Their branch at Iso Roobertinkatu is very popular in summer because of its location near to Diana Park, where customers like to hang out and enjoy their food.
Döner Harju was created when its owners wanted Helsinki to have a place that served good kebab similar to that found in Berlin. Its cool, minimalistic interior is often packed with eager fans of kebab.
If you are looking for gourmet hamburgers, try Naughty BRGR that offers a short menu of superb handmade burgers and delicious sides. This stylish place is run by the first Finnish Top Chef winner Akseli Herlevi.
If you head out of the city centre towards the Kalasatama district, you will come across the Old Abbatoir in its new incarnation as Teurastamo. Re-opened in 2012, it has become a centre for culinary and urban culture. Keep an eye out for events like Street Food Fridays and the Black Food Festival, which have been hosted at the Kellohalli venue located at Teurastamo.
Check out their Summer Opening party from Friday 17 – Sunday 19 May 2019, where there’ll be lots of BBQ and activities to welcome the arrival of summer.
Another nice way to enjoy excellent fast-food is to visit Hernesaarenranta, a summer patio, bar and party area that also serves street food ranging from sushi to Thai food, skewers, crepes and trendy bowls.
Anyone can cook
Lastly, it would be remiss not to mention Restaurant Day, when the usual regulations and requirements for the sale of food are waived. This unique event allows everyone the opportunity to open their own pop-up food shop, on the street, at their home or wherever the (fish &) chips fall! This event happens four times per year, always attracting the participation of many home-cooks and self-styled chefs. Look out for the next “Ravintola Päivä” on May 18, 2019.