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The Old Abattoir – Hammocks, Grub and Grasshoppers

21.5.2014 Text: Violetta Teetor Photos: Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Marketing

From bloody beginnings, this abattoir has been transformed into foodie heaven but the story doesn’t end there….

Redbrick buildings stand tall around a square that sees plenty of action all year round but especially in the summer months. These period buildings house a bevy of businesses that not only cater to grumbling tummies but also give new innovative start-ups the opportunity to develop their particular lines of trade.

The big wall clock indicates the entrance to the eponymous Kellohalli where the culinary arts of Restaurant A21, that runs the place, come to the fore with bits and pieces to share including sweetbreads, beetroot pudding, hooch marinated salt beef and lamb sausages (€5/portion). B-Smokery is run by a group of movie producers of Betoniyö and Korso fame, who had so much fun at one Restaurant Day that pursuing their ideas in the food industry seemed almost like a given. Here you can taste ribs, pulled pork and of course smoked meat made in the biggest smoking oven in Europe!  Traditional butcher turned restaurateur is Roslund Butchery at the entrance of the area and hence the name, Teurastamon Portti (“Port of Teurastamo”). Pick up your Sunday roast from here or dine in. The high quality meat done to perfection will always make you drool. There’s Pasta Factory for your fresh pasta, Tuoretori for your supermarket or web-based shopping, Jädelino for homemade ice cream and Ho’s Food for Chinese inspired street food.

But this is not only a place where you have to sit and be served, the environment lends itself to picnics, barbecues or just plain lazing around. There are hammocks and sun loungers to soak up fine weather, there’s a grill that can be fired up for your marbled steak and lots of mini, urban gardens in bags carefully tended by their proud owners that live in spaces too small for one at home, to complete the homey atmosphere. This is there for fun, just for you to enjoy, even if there aren’t any events happening.

Speaking of which, there are plenty of those too. Here are some of them (the rest to be decided upon later!):

  • Bicycle Festival – to open the cycling season and where you can bring your bike for repairs, bid on another one or just hang out with outdoorsy types
  • Restaurant Day  – Teurastamo supplies the vendors with a tent and a table and tries to fit as many into this space as possible for this unique day when everyone can create and sell their own culinary masterpieces (17 May & 17 August)
  • Maalaistentori – Farmers’ market focusing on small local operations with organic produce (on a Wednesday once a month from June to September)
  • Street Food Thursday – start your weekend early with food trucks pulling into the square to cook up a storm for hungry partiers who can jump ‘n jive to the music of DJ’s, down a beer or two or just lie on the grass and munch away (once or twice a month during the summer; first one on 12 June, Helsinki Day)
  • Helsinki Night Market – coinciding with Night of the Arts and Art goes Kapakka, this was such a big hit last year that it simply has to be bigger and better this year with en exotic vibe of nosh and other stuff. Fried grasshopper should have been on the menu last year but sadly wasn’t.
  • Themed flea markets – check out the webpages at for dates and info on kids’ clothing sales, food bloggers markets for utensils and an honest to goodness old-fashioned bake sale, and others.

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