Following our participation in the PING conference in Helsinki, the organizers of the conference were kind enough to transport all of us people who are obsessed with food to Turku. There, in a few of the most well-known restaurants in Turku, we indulged in traditional fare from Finland thanks to a partnership with Visit Turku.
I have to admit that I was completely unprepared for the cuisine of Finland. It had been suggested to me by a few of my other friends that Finland does not have much in the way of a food culture, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this was not the case!
From what I’ve seen, the ingredients that are used in Finnish cuisine seem to heavily revolve around whatever is currently in season. Due to the fact that my trip took place during the summer, many of our meals consisted of fresh fish and vegetables. Overall, I got the impression that it was healthier than a lot of the other foods and dishes I typically consume.
In this post, I’ll discuss some of my top recommendations for restaurants in Turku based on our trip there.
While in Turku don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):
- Turku: Christmas Magic Walking Tour
- Turku: 2-Hour Romantic Guided Walking Tour
- Turku: City Highlights Walking Tour with Local Guide
- 1 5 Must Try Turku Restaurants
- 2 Which of these Turku restaurants would you most like to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
5 Must Try Turku Restaurants
Graniittilinnankatu 2 // +358 44 2230201
This restaurant, which is located inside of a former prison, provided us with by far the most unique dining experience we had during our time in Turku. I loved how they made such efficient use of the space, which is now occupied by a restaurant that exudes coolness without appearing to make too much of an effort.
The menu is concise but well thought out, and it uses seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers. The meals are served in a family-style format and are intended to be shared by multiple people.
You have the option of ordering off of their a la carte menu, but if you want to sample the finest dishes the restaurant has to offer, I suggest you do as we did and indulge in Kakola’s feast, which is a five-course dinner served in a family-style setting.
We gorged ourselves on poached pike-perch accompanied by cucumbers that had been pickled.
steak skewers that have been grilled to perfection
and herb-covered summer potatoes that had been baked and served with sour cream as an accompaniment. In conclusion, the desserts and the wine that went with them were a perfect match. I can guarantee that you won’t be hungry after partaking in the feast, so don’t hesitate to give it a shot!
Grill It! Marina
Linnankatu 32 (inside the Radisson Blu Hotel), and the telephone number is +358 20 1234710
Grill It is a restaurant that serves (obviously) grilled preparations of fish and meat. The restaurant is located on the bank of the River Aura, which runs through the middle of town. But in addition to that, they offer vegetarian choices including tofu and vegetable skewers as well as falafel burgers.
Although the restaurant offers a lunch menu that changes every day, each of us opted to order à la carte instead, and as a result, we were served some of the greatest grilled fish of our whole trip.
The steaks seemed to be of high quality, so I will definitely get one on my subsequent visit.
Läntinen Rantakatu 3 // +358 2 5369445
The office of E. Ekblom can be found in a magnificent old building that is situated in the ideal central location. The restaurant offers a simple rotating set menu that is prepared using whatever ingredients are at their peak of freshness and availability at any given time. I thought the menu offered a decent value for the money that it cost.
Their bartenders were well-versed in wine pairings, and an award-winning mixologist was responsible for developing their craft cocktail menu.
Läntinen Rantakatu 57 // +358 40 0908877
On the evening that we came here for supper, we were offered the NOOA dinner, which consisted of a four-course meal accompanied by wine pairings. Every single piece of food that was brought to us was absolutely stunning, and the tastes were out of this world. Additionally, the clever wine pairings left all of us in awe and impressed us much.
At this point, it may seem a little redundant to mention how this restaurant likewise concentrates on the freshest local ingredients; nonetheless, this does appear to be a primary feature of Finnish cuisine, at least at the best restaurants in Turku.
NOOA captivated us with its artistic presentation, impeccable wine pairings, and one-of-a-kind and intriguing tastes, some of which were more daring than others. What more can possibly be said about this? It was quite well received by the audience.
Läntinen Rantakatu 3 // +358 2 5369444
SMOR, a second modern riverfront restaurant, is so dedicated to maintaining a cuisine that is up-to-date and reflective of the changing seasons that they change the menu entirely every eight weeks.
This ensures that you will always discover what is new and appropriate for the season, all of which will be presented in a contemporary Nordic style. (This style is also referred to as New Nordic, which I have to say is my very favorite new phrase that I picked up on the trip!)
In addition, the service at SMOR was among the finest we encountered at all of the restaurants in Turku that we checked out.
And now for a bonus: I realize that the latter two aren’t strictly considered to be restaurants; but, they are both so wonderful that it is necessary to include them.
Läntinen Rantakatu 5 // +358 40 1583383
There is no competition in Turku when it comes to CafeArt’s status as the city’s top coffee shop. On our journey, we were joined by other coffee connoisseurs, and they sang the praises of this establishment, as did every local that we questioned about the location of the establishment serving the finest coffee in the area.
The coffee shop has garnered a number of accolades due to the fact that it offers the highest quality beans and has mastered the roasting process. If you have a taste for coffee, you should really simply go. And after you’ve fallen in love with their beans, you’ll be glad to learn that they offer sell them to go, so that you can (attempt to) create the same coffee at home.
Additionally, I thought that they had an outstanding range of baked items.
Kakola Brewing Company
Graniittilinnankatu 2 // +358 44 3380767
This brand-new craft brewing company creates a variety of beers that are both distinctive and flavorful. We were given the opportunity to tour Kakola and were rewarded for our time with a tasting at the end of the tour.
In addition to the beers that bear their signature labels, they intend to also produce seasonal and specialty brews. In the event that you are unable to make it up to visit them (although they are located close to Kakolan Ruusu, so you should plan a combined visit), you will be able to find their beers in a number of restaurants and stores located throughout the city.
We had a great time learning about the process and sampling the many different beers that they produce, and I highly recommend that you try to take a tour of the facilities and talk to the passionate owners.
Which of these Turku restaurants would you most like to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Practical Information: I would like to thank Visit Turku for hosting me during my time with them. All opinions however remain my own, as always.