Helsinki’s Flow Festival: Great for vegetarians

Flow Festival is known for more than music; it’s also about food – and there’s also plenty for vegetarians to enjoy. But you don’t have to wait for the festival weekend, since almost all the dishes we sample here are on offer all year round in Helsinki.

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The Flow Festival of music and urban culture, held every August in Helsinki, is a great party for foodies, including vegetarians and vegans. You can enjoy these dishes all year round in the restaurants and cafés of Helsinki.

One of the first carbon-neutral festivals in the world, Flow encourages the restaurants serving at the event to make tasty stuff for not only meat-eaters, but also vegetarians and vegans, and to use environmentally sound ingredients from local farms.

Apart from a remarkably large choice of vegetarian food, vegans will also be pleased to discover that they can get their coffee with oat milk that was developed specially for that purpose.

We tried the most intriguing vegetarian dishes at the festival. It has to be said that everyone, not just the vegetarians, liked this food.

Soi Soi

The Jammin’ veggie burger by Soi Soi is possibly the best in the city. It’s made with oat bread, seitan, fresh veg and homemade sauce.Photo: Kai Kuusisto

Soi Soi has some of the best burgers in the city, made with tofu, seitan and soya and hemp steaks. They taste so good that you can live with the service, which is not the fastest – although very sweet. Seitan and Soi Soi’s homemade mayonnaise will have you licking your fingers.

Pizzarium

At Pizzarium, pizzas are made with the freshest ingredients.Photo: Tuukka Ervasti

Served by the slice, this pizza’s made from only the freshest ingredients. It’s not a vegetarian restaurant, but there’s a nice selection on the menu for the non-meat-eaters, including various vegan options: tomatoes, courgettes, onion, chilli, olive oil, button mushrooms, fresh parsley and more. It’s just a bit surprising that the vegan pizzas come without vegetarian cheese.

Cargo

Tofu and savoy cabbage salad from the Cargo café (left, beside rye rieska, an interesting flat bread, with a filling and salad, from the Fat Tomato Café), served with the innovative Finnish hit food known as pulled oats (nyhtökaura).Photo: Peter Marten

Another really good option for the festival: a healthy tofu and savoy cabbage salad with tasty dressing. It comes with a gluten-free flatbread. The Cargo café is actually located in a shipping container at the end of Helsinki’s most famous bike path, Baana, which was laid down over a former train track.

Café Sävy

Keeping caffeine flowing: In our humble opinion, Sävy Café serves Flow’s best coffee, not to mention the cookies and cakes.Photo: Peter Marten

Sävy, a small cafe in the neighbourhood of Kallio (coincidentally near the festival grounds), offers the best coffee at Flow. All their drinks are available in a vegan option. You can also get something sweet to go with it, like chocolate chip cookies or moist carrot cake.

By Anna Ruohonen, July 2017

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