October 20, 2017

Five for Friday: Finnish dining goes global

Food for thought and food for action.
Food for thought and food for action.

Finland is exporting global delight with its culinary endeavours.

From street food to fine dining, a blossoming culinary scene in Finland has encouraged an assortment of new dining concepts and a vibrant gastronomic culture across the country. Many restaurants and accomplished chefs have braved culinary variety beyond the traditional Finnish palate, invigorated by Nordic devotion to freshness and imagination.

The success of Finnish dining concepts has been warmly welcomed across the globe. Here are five Finnish places to wine and dine when you are abroad.

Friends & Brgrs

In freshly baked buns, meat ground on site and triple cooked fries lies the secrets to great burgers. The concept of this restaurant has caught on quickly, and the burger chain has already opened its doors in Denmark. A second international shop has just opened in Hamburg, Germany.

“We look forward to coming to Germany, and think that there’s a demand for a a concept like ours,” said Kaj Fagerholm, responsible for the restaurants’ new locations, in June.


The Michelin guide has highlighted this restaurant with the Bib Gourmand marking, which awards its exceptionally good food at a moderate price. The modern Asian restaurant aims to combine a fresh palate with a modern ambiance.

In 2015, owner and operator of Farang in Helsinki Matti Wikberg described the restaurant as “a concept that is strong enough to be taken anywhere.”

“Obviously there are plenty of interesting cities: London, New York, Sydney. Right now they are ideas, but everything else has started just from ideas.”


Considering itself as a participant in a changing nutritional culture, this reggstaurant describes itself as delicious, smart and responsible. The reggstaurant selects its eggs from chickens that roam free all year round, and it has developed a vegan version of scrambled eggs. Its first international location will be launched in co-operation with Forenom Aparthotel in Stockholm.

“Putting two things together is a win-win for [Forenom and EGG],” co-founder Samuli Karjula said in July. “Why does an opera house need to have a terrible restaurant, when there could be an excellent one – and that would introduce opera fans to food and food lovers to opera?”

Restaurant Day

Four times a year, tax and other regulatory authorities make an exception regarding regulations concerning the restaurant industry. During such days, anyone can open their dream pop-up restaurant in a park, street corner, at the office or at home.

According to the Restaurant Day website, “During the first five years of quarterly global food carnivals all together over 27 000 pop-up restaurants by over 100 000 restaurateurs have catered for over three million customers in 75 countries.”


You will recognise this Finnish fast-food chain anywhere in the world by its staple white cucumber mayonnaise and fresh ingredients. The inventor of the mayonnaise in question sold five double-deckers on the opening night in 1972, and from that day Hesburger’s concept has grown and spread across Finland and to global markets.

For example, Bulgaria, Russia and Belarus all have their share of the burger.

“Belarusians travel a lot in the Baltic countries, and whilst travelling they’ve got to know Hesburger’s products,” said Ieva Salmela, Hesburger’s international development and marketing director earlier this year. “The next logical step for was to move on to the Belarusian market.”