Local food, organic food, seasonal food, and the concepts of farm-to-table and nose-to-tail are becoming commonplace in every self-respecting restaurant, but many restaurants in Helsinki have taken the natural element one step further. They often source their ingredients from their own trusted farmers and producers, and gatherers of natural products also deliver directly to restaurants. More and more restaurants are also growing at least some of their own vegetables themselves, and Finnish chefs are often passionate about collecting wild herbs, hunting and fishing, so the pure flavours of nature can even end up on the plate completely without intermediaries.
In these skilled hands, even the most familiar ingredients can take on completely new dimensions as a result of fermentation or drying, for example, so there is always something new, surprising and unique at Helsinki’s Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Grön and Ora. You can even find Restaurant Skörd, a restaurant in Helsinki where all the seasonal ingredients – from wild herbs and berries to game and organic lamb – are sourced from as close as possible in Finland, and where even the selection of drinks is completely domestic, including its wines and cocktails.
So when you eat out in Helsinki, you can expect to find dishes on your plate that feature not only elk, deer or reindeer and sustainably fished herring, pike or char, but also Arctic berries, such as lingonberries, blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, and autumn mushrooms, from chanterelles, funnel chanterelles and black chanterelles to porcini mushrooms. Delicious wild herbs further complement the flavours of the northern nature, from spruce sprouts and nettles to meadowsweet and ferns!