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Salmon at Villa Reuter in Finland

Where to Eat in Turku and the Archipelago – The Best Turku Restaurants

In Finland, Food Travel Guides by Daryl & Mindi HirschLeave a Comment

Wondering where to eat and drink when you visit Southwest Finland? Start with these top Turku restaurants and then go to the Finnish Archipelago for more great food. 

Salmon at Turku Kauppahalli in Turku Finland

Turku Finland is a city that takes its food seriously. 

From super fresh salmon at the city’s historic market to chef-driven dishes at the best Turku restaurants, the food in Turku impressed us with every bite during our recent visit. This shouldn’t be a shock since Turku, Finland’s oldest city and original capital, was named a European Capital of Culture in 2011. As we quickly learned, Turku’s commitment to the arts extends to gastronomy.

Kiss My Turku Cake at MBakery in Turku Finland

Turku is a city that takes its food so seriously that it even has an official cake – MBakery’s Kiss My Turku cake with blueberries and chocolate. We never visited a city with an official cake – not until we visited Turku.

Travelers who visit Turku will quickly find a thriving culinary environment, especially in the warmer months when the city hosts a variety of food festivals and the banks of the Aura River come alive with people enjoying the city’s cafe culture. But winter is a fine time to visit Turku when restaurant reservations. Plus, the outstanding Turku Market Hall is less crowded when the summer tourists are in hibernation mode.

Pro Tip:  Purchase a Food Walk Card and sample food from five top restaurants in Turku over a period of three days. The cost of the card is 44 €.

What to Expect When You Visit Turku

Mindi in Turku Finland

Turku’s cobblestone streets provide photos ops at every twist and turn.

With a documented history dating back to the 13th century, Turku has a rich past influenced by the early Finns along with the  Russians and Swedes. Visitors can explore the medieval city by strolling through the ancient cobblestone streets and wandering along the banks of the Aura River. Though Turku suffered devastating damage during the Great Fire in 1827, the city maintains a sense of history and place.

Bike on Aura River Bank in Turku Finland

Even in the winter, the Aura River provides a scenic setting for an afternoon stroll.

If you’re wondering what to do in Turku, popular attractions include the Market Square, the Turku Castle and the Turku Cathedral. Not surprisingly, considering the city’s European Capital of Culture designation, Turku also has several worthy museums like Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, a unique museum concept that combines the city’s history with modern art in a way that engages visitors of all ages.

Kurjenrahka Park Nature Trail near Turku Finland

The Savojärvi Lake trail in Kurjenrahka Park provides an up-close view of Finland’s stark natural beauty.

After exploring Turku, adventurous travelers will want to venture a bit further to see a bit of Finland’s natural beauty. We recommend a day trip to Kurjenrahka Park, a national park located less than an hour from Turku. The park has several trails including the six-kilometer Savojärvi Lake trail that we traversed in the snow.

Pro Tip:  Pack food for your nature walk. Kurjenrahka Park’s Savojärvi Lake trail has a hut with barbecue facilities for those who come prepared.

Another outdoor option awaits at Saaronniemi, just a twenty-minute drive from Turku on the nearby Ruissalo Island. Saaronniemi offers the ultimate Finnish experience of sweating in a sauna with a stunning view of the sea and then swimming in the sea’s icy water.

Check Turku Hotel Rates

Turku Restaurants and Beyond

Nooa Parsley Root Custard  at Nooa - Turku Restaurants

The Parsley Root Custard starter at Nooa showcases the artistry found at Turku restaurants.

Turku may be Finland’s fifth largest city, but the city is virtually bursting at the seams with a range of culinary offerings at all price points from casual cafes to white tablecloth restaurants. Once you add the nearby Finnish Archipelago to the equation, Turku food choices are impressive with chefs flexing their Nordic culinary muscles with an eye toward refined gastronomy. Artistically plated dishes feature native ingredients like locally foraged mushrooms and herbs as well as fruits like sea buckthorn and cloudberry.

Restaurants

Kaskis - Turku Restaurants

The Turku restaurant scene is booming. Pictured here is Kaskis, the city’s most lauded restaurant.

When most travelers think about things to do in Turku, the city’s restaurant scene is probably not at the top of their lists. However, the restaurants in Turku are an integral part of the city’s ethos, catering to both local diners and visiting gourmands. Some are located on boats that float on the banks of the Aura River while others serve food in intimate refined spaces that display the best elements of Finnish design.

We ate at several restaurants during our visit to Turku and recommend the following:

Kaskis

Borscht at Kaskis in Turku Finland

This bowl of borscht at Kaskis displays Chef Erik Mansikka’s culinary finesse. Local ingredients in this dish include beets and parsley oil.

Recognized by both the Michelin Guide and the Nordic White Guide, Chef Erik Mansikka is preparing exciting dishes in his cozy Turku restaurant. Diners flock to Kaskis’ sleek yet intimate dining room for the chance to indulge in Mansikka’s multi-course meals. The colorful fish circle, the restaurant’s most famous dish, artfully combines white fish ceviche with cloudberries, carrots and roe, while other dishes feature ingredients foraged from local forests. The multi-course dinners at Kaskis range from 55 € to 66 €. Curated wine pairings are available for an additional fee.

Pro Tip:  Plan ahead for your meal at Kaskis. Weekend reservations book up months in advance.

Kaskis is located at Kaskenkatu 6a, 20700 Turku, Finland.

Smör

Rainbow Trout Tartine at Smor in Turku Finland

The rainbow trout tartar at Smör is served with a horseradish cream and local garnishes.

Mixing old and new elements, Smör serves modern Scandinavian dishes in a restored stone library building with cave-like rooms that ooze with character. Our three-course lunch, priced at 30 €, included a starter of rainbow trout tartar and a choice of fish or glazed ox cheek as a main course. We barely had room for the almond cake dessert served with blueberry ice cream, but we somehow powered ahead with gleeful gluttony.

Pro Tip:  Smör has private dining rooms if you are planning a group meal or want a more intimate setting.

Smör is located at Läntinen Rantakatu 3, 20100 Turku, Finland. This restaurant is a Food Walk Card participant.

Nooa

Black Onion Sirloin at Nooa in Turku Finland

Nooa serves Angus beef sirloin with braised brisket, roasted celeriac and oxtail jus.

At first glance, Nooa looks like yet another touristic restaurant due to  its Turku Guest Harbour location. In this case, however, looks can be deceiving. Much to our pleasant surprise, the food at Nooa is as outstanding as its waterfront view.

Chocolate Ganache at Nooa in Turku Finland

A Nooa server expertly drizzled chocolate over our dessert of chocolate ganache and sea buckthorn ice cream.

During our four course meal priced at 53 €, we ate dishes like parsley root custard, rainbow trout mousse and Angus beef sirloin. Each dish highlighted local ingredients, though none more so than the chocolate ganache dessert with tangy sea buckthorn ice cream. Since Finland is not a wine-producing country, Nooa procures its wine selection from countries around the world.

Pro Tip:  Reserve a seat at the restaurant’s kitchen table for a front row view of the culinary action.

Nooa is located at Läntinen Rantakatu 57, 20100 Turku, Finland.

di Trevi

Salmon Pastrami at di Trevi in Turku Finland

The Salmon Pastrami at di Trevi is served with pickled cucumber, spring onions, wasabi mayonnaise and sesame seeds.

Situated in the city center, di Trevi serves locally inspired tapas and global wine in a social setting. With a relaxed atmosphere, the restaurant provides a welcome respite from a day of hectic touring. Starters like the flavorful salmon pastrami and herb-encrusted lamb chops are the stars of the show at di Trevi.

Pro Tip:  Skip the main courses and order a range of starters for a fun night of food sharing. Prices for starters are under 10 € per plate.

di Trevi is located at Aurakatu 1, 20100 Turku, Finland. This restaurant is a Food Walk Card participant.

M Kitchen & Cafe

M Bakery Cafe in Turku Finland

M Kitchen & Café is a great spot for lunch in the center of Turku. The restaurant serves local dishes and desserts in a buffet style.

Located inside the Aboa Vetus & Arts Nova museum, M Kitchen & Café is a great spot to try a range of Finnish food followed by desserts baked by award-winning MBakery. The cafe serves lunch buffet style with cold salads, hot dishes and colorful desserts. Drinks are available for an additional charge.

Pro Tip:  M Kitchen & Café offers special weekend brunches priced at just 19 €. Pick your pleasure – the Saturday brunch offers jazz music while the Sunday brunch features bakery products like sandwich cake, savory pies and sweet treats.

M Kitchen & Cafe is located at Itäinen Rantakatu 4-6, 20700 Turku, Finland.

Drinks

The Cow Bartender in Turku Finland

Daryl isn’t a trained bartender, but he pretended to be one during our visit to Turku.

Though we drank wine with many of our meals, Turku has a variety of drinking establishments for people looking for additional libations. We recommend these spots for drinks beyond wine in Turku:

Café Art

Cappuccino at Cafe Art in Turku Finland

This cappuccino at Café Art was decorated with a simple heart. More importantly, it tasted good.

Our first priority in a new city is to find the best third wave coffee shop. In Turku, we found Café Art.

Open since 2009 and catering to some of the world’s most prolific coffee drinkers, Café Art serves the best coffee in town in a space tastefully speckled with art. The cafe roasts its own beans, and its award-winning baristas serve coffee with meticulous detail. Café Art also serves a range of desserts and savory snacks.

Pro Tip:  You can buy freshly roasted beans at Café Art. The friendly staff will even grind the beans if that’s your preference.

Café Art is located at Läntinen Rantakatu 5, 20100 Turku, Finland. This cafe is a Food Walk Card participant.

Panimoravintola Koulu

Mika Pitkanen at Panimoravintola Koulu in Turku Finland

Mika Pitkanen expertly taps a beer at Panimoravintola Koulu. The Turku brewery brews all of its beer with imported German hops.

Set in a school dating back to the 19th century, Panimoravintola Koulu is a large yet intimate brewery restaurant serving its own German-style beer and cider. The brewers take their beer seriously procuring the finest malted barley, hops and yeast for their brews. For those who don’t drink beer, Panimoravintola Koulu’s ciders are worthy options since they incorporate local fruits like blueberries, cranberries and black currants depending on the season and recipe.

Beer at Panimoravintola Koulu in Turku Finland

The beer at Panimoravintola Koulu is as good as any we drank in Germany, if not better.

We tasted a sampling of beers during our beer lesson in the former school decorated with chalkboards on the walls and lecterns in the corners. We tasted a Czech style Pilsner, a special anniversary beer, a dark wheat beer and a pale ale. Now, this is our kind of education!

Pro Tip:  Panimoravintola Koulu brews a rotating roster of seasonal beers throughout the year.

Panimoravintola Koulu is located at Eerikinkatu 18, 20100 Turku, Finland. This bar is a Food Walk Card participant.

The Cow

Zero Waste Negroni at the Cow in Turku Finland

Since The Cow’s zero waste Negroni doesn’t harm the environment, you really should order one for each hand.

The Cow is a great spot in Turku to enjoy a cocktail or two while embracing a zero waste philosophy that is beneficial for both business and the environment. Even better, The Cow’s bartenders create creative cocktails using foraged ingredients like blueberries, mushrooms and flowers.

Finska Sour at the Cow in Turku Finland

This Finska Sour cocktail made with Laplandia Vodka and topped with flowers is almost too pretty to drink.

Adding a twist to the usual cocktail lounge, The Cow offers cocktail classes for its customers. During our class, Tanja Raunio and Janette Bertényi-Hynynen expertly taught us to craft our own cocktails – a zero waste Negroni and a Finska Sour with Laplandia Vodka. Who knew that helping the environment could taste so good?

Pro Tip:  Make an advance reservation if you want cocktail training for your group or party.

The Cow is located at Aurakatu 3, 20100 Turku, Finland.

Turku Market Hall

Turku Kauppahalli in Turku Finland

Turku Kauppahalli is an iconic building in Turku with a thriving daily market.

The Turku Market Hall (Kauppahalli) is a great spot for a self-guided food tour. Built in 1896, following the city’s devastating fire, the market has a wide array of vendors selling excellent local products like cheese, meat, seafood, pastries and candy. Despite its age, the recently renovated market added bistros for visitors who want to stay for lunch after shopping for food.

Jan Immonen - Turku Kauppahalli Cheese Vendor

Jan Immonen proudly displays one of the artisan cheeses for sale at Juustopuoti in the Turku Market Hall.

Visitors can connect with market vendors, many of whom are second or third generation participants in their businesses. These artisan producers are proud to share their products with inquisitive shoppers.

Johan Hellsten at Turku Kauppahalli

Johan Hellsten served us housemade archipelago bread topped with salted white fish, sour cream, cream cheese and dill. Flavored with licorice and malt, the bread is a hearty counterbalance to the salty topping.

A mandatory market stop is Juustopuoti for locally produced cheeses like red mold brie, home cheese, goat cheese and a unique cheese spiced with brandy and nuts. Another necessary stop is Herkkunuotta, a fish stand that serves homemade soup and bread in addition to fresh seafood.

Pro Tip:  Try the Kiss My Turku cake at MBakery’s Piece of Cake. The city’s signature cake is chock full of chocolate and blueberry goodness.

Turku Kappahalli is located at Eerikinkatu 16, Turku, Finland.

Further Afield – The Finnish Archipelago

Villa Reuter View of the Baltic Sea in the Finnish Archipelago

The sun sets over the Baltic Sea at Villa Reuter in the Finnish archipelago.

After visiting the sweeping Swedish archipelago, we were surprised to learn that the Finnish archipelago is the world’s largest. Knowing that Travel + Leisure recently named the area as one of the top places to visit, we weren’t surprised to find an enticing island landscape dotted with charming guest houses, local markets and stunning views of the Baltic Sea. Though days are short and cold during the winter season, the limited light and snow added a mystical aura to the area’s natural beauty during our visit.

Blini at Villa Reuter in the Finnish Archipelago

Food and nature collide in the Finnish Archipelago.

Summer days in the archipelago are as endless as the sunlight, making it easy for visitors to enjoy all kinds of water activities. But don’t count out the winter when its possible to enjoy long, snowy walks and hot soaks in the sauna, with the more adventurous trying their hands at ice fishing. Like nearby Turku, food options in the Finnish archipelago embrace local ingredients and creative cooking. Here are a few food spots to try during your visit:

Villa Reuter

Blini Bar at Villa Reuter in the Finnish Archipelago

As a nod to Finland’s former ruler, Villa Reuter served blinis during our epic lunch.

Patrick and Eva Reuter have created a strikingly beautiful home on the shores of the Baltic Sea and are kind enough to open their doors to visitors who want to experience the beauty for themselves. At Villa Reuter, guests can enjoy typical archipelago activities like fishing, sailing and a traditional Finnish sauna. Special food-related activities at the villa include classes for cheese making, beer and chocolate.

Ice Cream at Villa Reuter in the Finnish Archipelago

Even the vanilla ice cream is enticing at Villa Reuter.

Our lunch at Villa Reuter was a grand affair in a sunlit room with a blini bar featuring homemade pancakes along with salmon, and two types of fish roe as well as homemade soup, bread and ice cream. Visitors should plan to linger over lunch and a glass or two of Reuter’s freshly brewed beer. The reward for lingering is a breathtaking view of the sun setting over the sea.

Pro Tip:  You can make arrangements to stay overnight at Villa Reuter via Airbnb.

Villa Reuter is located at Fallbölenpolku 17, 21600 Parainen, Finland.

Back Pocket at Hotel Nestor

Starter at Hotel Nestor Back Pocket in the Finnish Archipelago

This plate with honey roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, cod back and mushroom sauce at Hotel Nestor’s Back Pocket melds a cornucopia of local ingredients.

Chef William Hellgren showcases the available bounty of local ingredients at Back Pocket in his family’s inn, Hotel Nestor. Whenever possible, he uses products that are local to the archipelago, Finland and Scandinavia. Hellgren serves his food in a rustic dining room with a piano, the ideal environment for dinner and merriment in the archipelago.

Pro Tip:  Plan to stay the night at Hotel Nestor so that you can enjoy your dinner with wine or beer.

Back Pocket is located at Österretaisintie 45, 21710 Korppoo, Finland.

Bornemanns Musteri

Bornemanns Musteri in the Finnish Archipelago

Tove and Gunnar Bornemann produce apple cider and juice at their archipelago cider house.

Tove and Gunnar Bornemann escaped the Helsinki’s corporate world for a simpler, albeit busy, life in the Finnish archipelago where they produce cider and apple juice using 10 of Finland’s 400 apple varieties. Their business, Bornemanns Musteri, doesn’t stick to the basics, as the creative duo pushes the envelope by storing cider in white wine barrels and operating Finland’s only mobile cider machine.

Pro Tip:  Visitors can pick apples at Bornemanns Musteri and leave with freshly pressed apple juice.

Bornemanns Musteri is located at Kårlaxvägen 234, 21610 Pargas, Finland.


Hungry for more? Check out our Helsinki Food Guide with great spots to eat and drink in Finland’s capital city.


Where to Stay in Turku

Breakfast Buffet at Radisson Blu Marina Turku in Turku Finland

The breakfast buffet at the Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel is a feast for the eyes and stomach.

We recommend Radisson Blu Marina Palace Hotel in Turku for its comfortable rooms, abundant breakfast buffet, prime location and pretty views. Plus, the hotel has an onsite sauna. Need we say more? Click here to research rates for Turku’s Radisson Blu.

Where to Stay in the Finnish Archipelago

Hotel Nestor in the Finnish Archipelago

Hotel Nestor is a great base for exploring the Finnish Archipelago.

Hotel Nestor is a pleasant hotel in the Finnish Archipelago that serves as a convenient base for exploring the area. The rooms are comfortable and the breakfast is invigorating. Click here to research rates for Hotel Nestor.

Book a Cooking Class

Karelian Pasty Class in Turku Finland

We assisted in the baking of these Karelian pastries.

Karelian pastries are a local favorite in Southern Finland with recipes handed down from generation to generation. Though visitors can buy this local specialty at the Turku Market Hall, it’s more fun to learn to make Karelian pastries from scratch. Click here to arrange a fun cooking class with two generations of Turku locals.

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Finnish Archipelago

Finland in winter is magical. The snow makes everything look extra pretty.

We thank Visit Turku and Visit Archipelago for sponsoring our visit to facilitate this article in conjunction with our participation in NBE Finland.

Check out our favorite places to eat in Turku and the Finnish Archipelago! | Turku | Finland | Turku Finland | Turku Restaurants | Restaurants in Turku | Where to Eat in Turku | Finnish Food | Finnish Archipelago | #Turku #Finland #TurkuRestaurants #FinnishArchipelago

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