Best served with friends

ThisisFINLAND Magazine 2016

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DIY restaurants and street food festivals spice up the Finnish food culture – and are here to stay.

A new kind of communal vibe has swept through the Finnish restaurant scene. Restaurant Day, held four times a year, allows anyone to set up a restaurant for a day. We have seen some creative ideas: food is served from windows, from cars, or even on a quay at the lake front. Launched in Finland in 2011, Restaurant Day is now one of the world’s biggest food carnivals. One-day restaurants have so far popped up in 72 different countries. In May 2015, people set up 2,497 restaurants in 34 countries.

Restaurant Day at Helsinki. A welcoming salute from the staff of Keittopäivä! (transl. Soup Day!): Paul Kernick (left), Noora Virtaniemi and Mia Lehto. Customers ar enjoying the soup.

Restaurant Day at Helsinki. A welcoming salute from the staff of Keittopäivä! (transl. Soup Day!): Paul Kernick (left), Noora Virtaniemi and Mia Lehto. Customers ar enjoying the soup.Photo: Roy Bäckström

Another recent foodie heaven is Streat Helsinki, an annual street food festival that gives food trucks and traditional Finnish night bite stalls (“snägäri” in Finnish) the place they deserve in Finland’s culinary scene. In 2015, 55,000 street food portions were sold during the event.

By Maarit Niemelä, February 2016

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