Category Archives: Cafés & Restaurants

Restaurant Day: Pop Up Food Festival

Restaurant Day is one of my favourite food festivals in Helsinki and is held a few times per year. Although it’s world wide, it is especially big in Finland. Everybody can open their own pop up restaurant which can be in the city, in the backyard or even at home. For one day you don’t need a license to serve food. Just a table, a barbeque or even a blanket on the grass and then you can sell self-made goods. You reserve a location online so your customers can find you or you can find nice places to wander around and have a taste yourself.

It’s a perfect opportunity to try something new and foreign. I think the mixture of cultures in Helsinki make this food festival so great. Lots of different flavours, food from all the corners of the world, no matter if you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan.

I had actually planned to put a little café up myself this time but for some reason I didn’t really have time to prepare anything. Maybe next time.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki
The statue dedicated to Zachris Topelius was having a drink

Instead, Tiia and I had a look around Esplanadi first. We were there in the early afternoon and it was packed with people!

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

A nice little Turkish place sold Köfte which I just couldn’t pass without trying them myself. They came directly from the grill and were delicious!

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

I have to say the food places were a bit more commercial than last time. A lot of actual restaurants had opened up a booth and also a few market stands that sold their food for the normal price. Instead of fighting our way through the crowd, we decided to go to the Old Church Park.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

Tiia spotted a vegan place and bought a seitan kebab at Soul Mama’s Kitchen. It’s also a restaurant in Helsinki but for some reason we haven’t made it there yet. The kebab was really great. The seitan itself spicy and tender. Maybe we’ll find the time soon to pay the restaurant a visit.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

There are always too many places to choose from and too little space in the stomach!

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki
The old grave stones in the middle of the park

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

Unfortunately there are never enough trash bins around but at least people tried to arrange their waste around them so it can be picked up easier later.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

After our savoury food tour it was time for some dessert! We stopped at a little stand where some girls sold oriental cakes.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

For the way home Tiia bought a little cake pop. Maybe next time I’ll write a post from our own pop up restaurant.

Stef

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

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Teatteri: Best Salad In Town

It is warm in Finland, some might even say too hot. Finnish people at least, although I am quite sure some of them are enjoying living at the sea side and being able to swim without freezing one or two toes off! When it’s a bit too warm I never know what to eat and I am certainly not in the mood of standing in the kitchen for hours while cooking. Perfect reason to leave the house and get some food elsewhere!

Teatteri is located in the building of the Swedish Theater at Esplanadi. During lunch time there is often a queue for their salads. That made me curious and I decided it would be time to try it out.

2women2cats: Teatteri, Helsinki

A big plate with lettuce, tomatoes and watermelon plus two toppings of your choice is 10€. They usually have lots of ingredients to choose from and also lots of vegetarian options. The price also Includes a piece of bread and a salad dressing. For a few cents more you can also get a Caesar salad with either chicken or shrimps.

2women2cats: Teatteri, Helsinki
With salmon and pesto marinated mozzarella
2women2cats: Teatteri, Helsinki
Chicken Caesar salad

They have a big terrace if you want to enjoy the sun but also a lot of seats inside with comfy chairs and couches. Definitely worth trying and we will come back too!

Stef

 

Streat Helsinki Eats

Sometimes I just love this city. Spring has arrived and Helsinki is finally alive again. The people on the streets actually look happy!

Helsinki cathedral

There’s always something happening in here, and on the Saturday 22nd of March there was a brand new street food festival called Streat Helsinki.  Over 30 little street restaurants offered everything from oysters to tacos.

Streat Helsinki TacoBot

Taco socks

It was a fine spring day with a cloudless sky, so naturally the streets were packed with people. Over 10 000 attended the festival! For once we were smart enough to avoid the biggest rush hours and went there at 11 am. Apparently in the afternoon the queues to the food stands were ridiculous.

Streat Helsinki

The food there was well worth the queuing. There were tons of vegetarian options, which was really nice for me personally. At least two stands were selling seitan kebab, but instead I decided to get Tokyo Seitan Burger from Richard McCormicks Burger Joint. It was just delicious. It was with marinaded seitan strips, sprouts, mint and coriander leaves and wasabi mayo. I have a feeling we will be trying to recreate this in the kitchen some time soon…

Tokyo Seitan Burger
Easily the best burger I’ve ever had

We also shared a vegan hot dog from Social Food Street. It was also really good, but not as jaw dropping as the burger. Although it didn’t say on the menu, I’m pretty sure the sausage was made out of black beans. It was served with grilled zucchini and paprika, rucola and mustard seeds.

Vege Koira

For dessert we shared a Dutch sirup waffle from Flying Dutchman. Unfortunately they only had one waffle maker and although the queue seemed small, we had to wait quite a bit.

Flying Dutchman

Dutch Sirup Waffle

What a great gastronomic Saturday we had. I really hope Streat Helsinki happens next year as well!

Tiia

Streat Helsinki

Streat Helsinki

Streat Helsinki
A little girl was playing in one of the last snow piles

Streat Helsinki

Breakfasts, Persimmons And Starbucks

I did manage to make amazing macarons last weekend! Writing the recipe down tends to take an age with me, so unfortunately making a post about them will still take a day or two. I assure you they were quite amazing though; I made ones with lavender honey buttercream and ones with rose sirup and either white or dark chocolate ganache. They were a nice treat to bring to my family, since we went to visit there on Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day. Even my 3-year-old nephew liked them! A foodie in the making…

Father's Day Macarons

I have also gotten myself addicted to persimmons. I want to eat them all the time, even when I’m sleeping. I’m so glad they’re finally in season and aren’t costing an arm and a leg. So here is a nice picture of my favourite type of breakfast at the moment – a cappuccino, yoghurt with bananas, blueberries, flax seeds and honey, and of course a persimmon. Delicious! It’s so nice when the good things in life are also simple.

Healthy breakfast

After half a year of renovations in the Akateeminen book store, the day arrived at last: a Starbucks opened in the centre of Helsinki! So naturally – the café enthusiasts as we are – Stef and I thought we’d have nice Caramel Macchiatos on the opening day. Not that we think Starbucks is some kind of a haven of good coffee – we just like to check new cafés out. Since we live in Finland, I should’ve really known: there was a huge queue in there! 30-50 people, at two in the afternoon. Excuse me? Waiting there for half an hour would’ve certainly not been worth it, so we decided to go to Roastery Café on Aleksanterinkatu instead. We will get our 5€ (!) tall Caramel Macchiatos soon enough I guess.

Kookos wouldn't queue for a Starbucks coffee either
Kookos wouldn’t queue for a Starbucks coffee either

Tiia

Kippo – Raw Cakes & More

Helsinki, or Finland in general has a big coffee culture. It’s a bit different from the normal European capital where you find 30 Starbucks’ every corner. You can certainly find neat little cafés close to the center. You’ll just have to search at bit.

Finns also just like their filter coffee. Every café will serve it. Most cafés are self-service and for a few euros you can take as much filter coffee as you like. I have to admit that this is not my cup of tea so I’m always looking out for places with freshly made cappuccino and hand-made foam.

New trends might come here late but they will come. While bubble tea was all over Europe a small store opened its doors a few years later in the railway station. Everything just takes a little bit longer in here. Maybe it’s because people hide away in their cosy homes in the stupidly cold and dark winter, who knows.
Kippo - Coffee & raw foods
After the renovation of one of the shopping malls in the centre, Tiia and me found a nice little place that had just opened in there. Actually Kippo had a little store in Iso Roobertinkatu before, which will reopen in Feb’14.

Of course it’s a bit busy in the shopping mall and lacks both privacy and cosiness but the food and the coffee make up for it.

It offers exactly the type of special coffees I like. Nothing that will just come out of a full automatic machine that has a cappuccino button. You can also get all kinds of juices and smoothies. Latter starts at the price of 5.40€ and comes with ingredients like chia seeds, cashews and raw cocoa. They offer also a green smoothie with avocado and spinach.

Another offer is their frozen yoghurt. You can choose between one made from cow milk and one from soy milk. Did I already say that everything is organic and that the coffee is fair trade? Fresh blueberries on top or white chocolate? No problem! The yoghurt plus 2 toppings come for the price of 3,90€.

Frozen Joghurt

My favourite was actually their raw cake. We decided to take a chili chocolate cake and it was pure bliss! I definitely have to try to make some raw cakes at home. It was so delicious that I forgot the price but I think it was around 5.40€ per piece.

Latte and raw chili chocolate cake

So, if you are around the centre and looking for some good coffee and cake this is the place to go!

Stef

Kippo - Coffee & raw foods