Kuopio is a somewhat remote town in Eastern Finland, yet this hasn’t stopped it from becoming filled with local delicacies, international cuisine, and quirky restaurants. All of these places serve quality food using local ingredients (including the local fish that Kuopio is known for) in beautiful lakeside surroundings. These are some of the top restaurants to choose from during a stay in Kuopio.
Restaurant, Asian, $$$
This is one of the many Nepalese restaurants becoming increasingly popular in Finland for its unique tastes, attractive setting, and friendly service. Mount Sherpa makes Indian and Nepalese cuisine using traditional techniques, including the use of an open-fire tandoori oven.
Restaurant, Finnish, $$$
Musta Lammas (Finnish for ‘Black Sheep’) is located in an attractive and cosy former wine cellar and serves gourmet food inspired by the local forests and lakes of Eastern Finland. These include quality seafood, meat, and vegetables sourced from local farmers and fishers in the Northern Savonia region. There is also a huge selection of wines from the cellar that can be paired with any dish on the menu.
Restaurant, Finnish, $$$
Jätkänkämppä is a former lumberjack lodge made from local timber and is now a tourist attraction, spa, and restaurant. Like the rest of the lodge, the restaurant is incredibly traditional and almost feels like stepping back in time to Finland’s rustic past. The weekly Lumberjack Evenings include a Finnish buffet with live music and dance, and in the summer you can tuck into fresh roasted meat and fish.
Puijo Tower Revolving Restaurant
Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, Northern European, $$$
For a unique and inspiring dining experience, head to the Puijo Observation Tower on the hill overlooking Kuopio and try out the revolving restaurant. As well as taking in the best views of the city, the forests, and the nearby ski resort, you can enjoy classic Finnish dishes such as pike-perch, chocolate pie, carrot cake, smoked vendace, roe deer fillet, and liquorice parfait.
Restaurant, Bar, Finnish, $$$
A lakeside restaurant and club close to the passenger harbour, which is known locally for its stunning views from the terrace and regular events. It is the perfect place to unwind with a drink and a good meal after a lake cruise around Finnish Lakeland, or just to admire the view while eating.
Bar, Restaurant, Northern European, $$$
A beautiful, Nordic, blue building with a classic nautical theme on the harbour, and another perfect spot for a relaxing summer evening in informal settings. Wanha Satama is known for its good food and drink, particularly the freshly caught fish, and its brunch buffet, which is only 30€ per head. The restaurant is also one of the locations of the annual Kuopio Wine Festival.
Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
Gusto Runin is located in a converted red brick factory building, which still has some of the old advertisements painted on the side. The restaurant now serves the best Italian cuisine in the city, including wine, tapas, and cocktails and also has a wine tasting package for only 15€ per person.
Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Finnish, $$$
One of Kuopio’s best luxury hotels, this is a beautiful, yellow manor building with a red roof and also has a popular gourmet restaurant, which has been used as a meeting spot for the Finnish elite since its opening in 1792. While it is slightly out of the way of Kuopio’s city centre, it is worth the trip for a rare chance of lunch or drinks in a Finnish manor, or booking early for a special event or holiday. The garden and terrace are especially charming in the summer.
Restaurant, Finnish, Seafood, $$$
One of Kuopio’s most popular and award-winning restaurants, which has been open since 1931, Sampo originally opened during Finland’s prohibition era. When the ban on alcohol was lifted, Sampo was one of the first restaurants to gain a liquor licence and has been going strong ever since. Today, the restaurant is especially well-known for its fish, particularly the vendace, and ‘Grandma’s pancakes’ for dessert.
Bar, Restaurant, Finnish, $$$
The restaurant of the Tahko ski resort is the perfect place to relax and refuel after a long day of skiing, whether you want a full meal or just a mug of hot chocolate. All of these are offered in a rustic, Alpine lodge-themed building, which is delightful in both the summer and winter.