SLIDE SHOW: Where to Eat in Finland

By Sally Schneider
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At Helsinki's outdoor Kauppatori market, perch on an Aalto stool for coffee and a snack.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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For example, coffee and fried pastries filled with berry jam, Finland's version of a jelly doughnut.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Or, Karelian rice pies.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider


A short walk away is the Eat & Joy Maatilatori (market), where over 200 farmers and food artisans sell everything from bread ...
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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to the caviars of Finland's many river fish ...
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider


... to handmade caramel lollipops.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider

At Savoy, one of Helsinki's fine restaurants, every detail was designed by Alvar Aalto. From the enclosed terrace, you have sweeping views of Helsinki while you drink ice schnapps and eat herring with chanterelles.


Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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At another restaurant, Atelje Finn, the pike perch is perfectly pan-fried, with crispy skin, summer vegetables, and roasted fish bone broth.


Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider


Astonishingly good food is to be found at Restaurant Cafe Wolkoff in the town of Leppeenranta in Eastern Finland,—15 kilometers from the Russian border. The restaurant is in a former bakery (on the right) attached to the Wolkoff Museum.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider


Wolkoff's blueberry "rooster" (tart), with raspberry sorbet and vanilla bean custard.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider


At Tertin Kartano in Mikkeli, sweet sauces made with lingonberries, rowanberries, and other wild berries; wild mushrooms; or herbal flavors like mountain ask and juniper often accompany savory meats like lamb's tongue, rolled lamb, and venison paté.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Sally Schneider


In the Savonlinna (and other) eastern and central Finnish markets, Kalakukko —a traditional rye loaf filled with vendace or perch and fatty pork—is eaten with butter. It can be an acquired taste.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
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Pressed shoulder of reindeer braised for 16 hours, single malt whisky sauce, wild mushrooms, and smoked Lapland potato puree from Restaurant Cafe Wolkoff.
Sally Schneider explores Helsinki and the coast to find markets and restaurants in
Where to Eat in Finland .
Café-Restaurant Wolkoff , 15 kilometers from the Russian border. This charming, comfortable restaurant is in the former bakery annex of the Wolkoff House Museum, a merchant house that is one of the town's oldest remaining wooden buildings. The dishes have been clearly influenced by both European and Russian cuisine and are the work of an artist creating nuanced dishes with marvelous layers of flavor.

For an overnight stay, Tertin Kartano is a manor house and working farm featuring old-style Finnish country cooking with many products they grow or source themselves, including a spectacular beer made with their own hops, rose petal and berry liqueurs, game patés, and bread made with a 150-year-old starter.

Savonlinna, a town spread over a series of interlinked islands, is a good place from which to explore Finland's lake country. It has a fine open-air market and is home to a month-long summer opera festival that takes place in the medieval castle of Olavinlinna. At Hospitz, a "family hotel," you can stay in simple "summer house"-style rooms overlooking the water and dine on a smorgasbord of local lake fish and cured meats arranged in a huge rowboat on wheels (occasionally with sparklers). Host Veijo Kuitunen has fish and roes smoked especially for the restaurant (and is a trove of knowledge about them and the region).

Drive west from Helsinki, and in less than hour you are in Inkoo at Westerby Gard , an inn showing strong Swedish influences both in the décor and in its Scandinavian menu. For large groups, it is sometimes possible to arrange dinner, fishing, and a wood-fired sauna at their lovely "camp" on the island of Torrharun in the country's southern archipelago.

Another possibility for a farm stay or lunch is the charming Bovik Farm in Tammisaari near Snappertuna and Box, also in the gorgeous southern archipelago. Farmer Sebastian Nurmi raises landrace sheep and Kyyttö cattle; he occasionally accommodates groups for a visit to his farm and to have a home-cooked lunch.

But really, what I'd love to do is be able to cook in Finland, to check out all its dazzling in-the-moment ingredients.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2010/04/slide-show-where-to-eat-in-finland/39045/