Located in the south-west of the Nordic nation of Finland, Turku was once the Finnish capital and is the oldest town in the country, having been established in the 13th century. It is also one of the most mature seaports in Scandinavia, bringing in fresh Baltic Sea fish and food imports from all over the world. This makes the city one of the most popular holiday destinations in Finland with some of the country’s best restaurants. Here are 10 such restaurants that you must check out while you are in Turku.
The restaurant of the Scandic Plaza hotel allows you to people-watch over Turku’s main shopping street from the outdoor terrace or the modern dining room. The breakfast menu is available for non-hotel residents with Finnish favourites such as porridge and Karelian pastries with egg butter. During the day, the restaurant is open for anyone to enjoy simple but pleasing Finnish dishes such as salmon, fresh local vegetables, and cakes topped with berries. The daily changing soup and salad lunch is only around €10 and at Christmas time you can warm up with some glögi (Finnish mulled wine).
This restaurant has spectacular views of Turku Cathedral and excellent Mediterranean food served with a Nordic twist. This means perfect pizzas, tapas, and pasta made with local seasonal ingredients and accompanied with a selection of wine and fresh bread. The food at Gustavo is often considered as some of the best Italian cuisine north of Italy.
Run by a top-rated chef from central China, Kiinanmuuri’s (which is the Finnish name for The Great Wall of China) two locations in Turku serve some of the city’s best Asian cuisine and are always packed at lunchtime. The spices have been toned down slightly to fit the Finnish palate, but you can always ask for more if you prefer your food sufficiently spicy. Try the chili beef, ox with mushrooms, or the daily China special to sample three dishes at once.
Contemporary European fare and a one-of-a-kind, historic setting are the founding pillars of Turku’s Pinella. The restaurant is situated in a building partly constructed in 1836, making this one of the oldest restaurants in the entire country, predating Finland’s independence by almost a full century. In 2011, the premises were extensively renovated to create a truly stunning blend of antique and modern. Such a charming backdrop sets the stage for Pinella’s simple but refined and perfectly made dishes. Come here to try a deer carpaccio, fish du jour, or meadowsweet posset. Pinella also flaunts a lovely patio spectacularly positioned on the Aura’s banks.
Located next to the Market Square, Rico is a bustling restaurant at lunch time but during the evening it is much more quiet and relaxed. The menu updates three times a year to include seasonal ingredients, which depending on the time of year can include grilled salmon, steak, or a Finnish Christmas buffet.
You can easily spot this river boat restaurant moored on the bank of the Aura river. The boat deck in the sunshine is a beautiful and inspiring place to have dinner during the summer. If it’s chilly outside then you can enjoy your meal in the boat’s classic wooden interior while looking out at the ships passing by. Choose from either the evening buffet or the a-la carte menu, including blue cheese steak, crème brûlée, and mushroom soup.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.