Street Food Mania
Street food mania has hit Helsinki hard and whether it’s a carnival or just a truck parked somewhere on the street, you’re sure to find something to get your teeth into.
Restaurant Day is to blame for this sudden upsurge in mobile eateries. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a day when anyone can open their own pop-up restaurant for a day. It’s held four times a year and whether it’s sold from a bicycle or a table in the park or in a basket dangling from an apartment window, it’s entirely legal and everyone can take part. Boo hoo you’ve just missed it but never fear, the next one’s on 21 November!
But if you can’t make it to Restaurant Day, there’s a lot else going on to tempt you. Teurastamo or the Old Abbattoir arrange Street Food Thursday on the first Thursday of every month in the summer from 4 to 9 pm. In August you could indulge yourself with crispy fish and chips from Fisu&Ranet, get stuck into a Hereford Dude burger from Maulito Food Catering or let the syrup trickle down your arm from a waffle made by Bel Gaufres. Let’s see what’s on the menu in September.
Brimming with food and fun for the whole family is Helsinki Night Market held on 20 and 21 August. Also at Teurastamo, here’s an event that will get you drooling with pulled pork from B-Smokery, homemade ice cream from Jädelino and if you’re brave enough, fried crickets! Bring the kids and blow giant bubbles or gasp at the acrobats with their fiery wands, the action just keeps on coming.
And if you’re here on a Wednesday this summer, get your appetite over to Kasarmitori where the Street Food Carnival is happening. Here you’ll find Liesikiesi serving up sliders with fish and prawn, lamb and slow-cooked pork. Richard McCormick knows what he’s doing when it comes to kitchen and his novel ideas of putting together a taco or filling a bun with crunchy fresh vegetables, beans and plenty of fresh herbs is unique. Watch out for the pink truck!
Finding a food truck can be tricky if you don’t know the city well but there are plenty of them if you know where to look. After all, they are trucks and they are meant to be mobile. The Central Railway Station almost always has something parked outside. Last time I looked it was Scandinavian Food Truck selling local fresh fish in a bun or as a full-scale meal with rice and trimmings. But street food is not only to be found in trucks. There are several permanent joints in trendy Kallio and other parts of the city where you can get everything from kebabs freshly made everyday at Harju Döner (Fleminginkatu 23), huge yummy sandwiches with homemade bread and stuffed with veggies and pork, lamb, beef amongst others from Street Gastro (Vaasankatu 13 or Albertinkatu 36 or Iso Roobertinkatu 20-22), vegan and vegetarian food with a delicious twist from Soi Soi (Vaasankatu 9) and the best falafel in town from Fafa’s (Iso Roobertinkatu 2/Vilhonvuorenkatu 10/Pohjoinenrautatienkatu 21/Ruusulankatu 1). Twisted Street Kitchen at Fredrikinkatu 58 is the place for Thai style coconut curry or melt-in-your-mouth chicken wings.
One thing’s for sure, you’re not going to go hungry while you’re here and you may even gain a kilo or two and the best news is you don’t have to dent your wallet for the privilege.