One of the things that made a big impression on me is the huge pride the Finns take in their country. Finnish design is present in literally all cafés and restaurants in the form of Iittala or Marimekko plates and glasses. Another thing that they are really proud of is their food. Finland is one of the cleanest countries in the world, and that makes for excellent organic produce, berries and vegetables with strong and pure tastes. I got to try some great food made in the simple Finnish tradition, and here are some of the restaurants and cafés that I liked:
SIS Deli is a café/deli chain started by two sisters looking for quick and healthy food, and in lack of thereof they made their own. The idea is simple and healthy organic food made with locally produced ingredients, packed in biodegradable and stylish packages. I tried the SIS Deli at WeeGee Design Centre in Espoo, where they had a small shop in the café as well, with both their own carefully made candy and snacks as well as other nice brands of organic food.
Another stylish restaurant in Espoo is Tiger Sushi, a small sushi chain that you can find in three additional locations. The restaurant is designed by Joanna Laajisto, and while sushi might not seem very Finnish, you should know that Finland has some great tasting fish swimming around in their clean seas!
On my last day in Helsinki I had the pleasure to have lunch at Shanghai Cowboy, where, as the name suggests, they serve a mix of modern asian and mexican cuisine. At lunch you get to choose between two dishes, and with that you get to take your pick from a nice buffe of vegetables and hearty side dishes like noodle salads and couscous. The interiors are quite raw, with seating made of particle board and visible pipes on the walls and ceiling.
One restaurant/bar I unfortunately didn't get to go to was Siltanen, but I heard so many good things about it that it had to be included. Apparently their weekend brunches are to die for!
(photo borrowed from here)
(top pic borrowed from here)
Aero, for the best 20th century design classics in the city.
(photo from here)
Lux was unfortunately closed when I was there, but it looked like a store I would have loved! Last week there was a pop-up-store within the store by Jeti, a clothing brand that also made some plywood prints I really would have wanted to take a closer look at.
I also went to the Design Museum, where they not only have excellent exhibitions but also a small museum shop and a café that looked quite nice.
If you are looking for new Finnish design talents, just go to Design Forum Finland, a shop/exhibition space/showroom/office/café promoting just that.
And finally one last store that you shouldn't miss: Armas!
Phew, I think that was all for now! I hope you enjoyed reading it!