Nowadays, Finland’s old medieval capital city of Turku has a thriving foodie scene. Turku’s restaurant hub is centered along the banks of River Aura but there are others further afield too. From the most luscious cakes to traditional Finnish cuisine and modern street food, here are the 10 best restaurants in Turku.
Cafe, Pastry Shop, Northern European, Finnish, $$$
For the best coffee hit in Turku, head to Café Art. This café is owned by the esteemed Finnish third-wave coffee roasters Turun Kahvipaahtimo. They not only offer amazing espressos and cold brews, they also sell savoury and sweet treats. If you are after a light lunch, try Café Art’s traditional dark archipelago bread topped with cream cheese and salmon, or the moist and perfect cinnamon buns.
Cafe, Pastry Shop, European, American, $$$
For the best cakes in Turku, head to Gaggui, a trendy coffee shop selling magnificent cakes to anyone in Turku’s with a sweet tooth. The café is casual with a sleek retro decor and cool design posters and the coffee comes from Turun Kahvipaahtimo. The café’s big attraction is the tall and tasty cakes, whipped up by Gaggui’s owners themselves.
S Wallin at the Market Hall
Bistro, Restaurant, Finnish, Northern European, $$$
The Market Hall is a treasure trove of foodie finds in Turku. One of the most popular and traditional ones dating from 1887 is S Wallin’s fish restaurant. The daily changing menu always includes a tasty fish soup, which comes either with clear or creamy broth (both are equally good!) and other options can vary from grilled whitefish to prawn salads and salmon hamburgers. Try the soup, which is served with luscious dark bread typical for the archipelago of Turku.
Pizzaria, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Located in an old wooden house by the River Aura, Sergio’s is a charming piece of Italy in Turku’s city centre. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxed, yet stylishly rustic. Most of the ingredients are imported straight from Italy. The à la carte menu includes options from salads to Sicilian selfish soup and saltimbocca as well as various kinds of pasta. But if you have time for just one visit to Sergio’s when in Turku, opt for the pizzas – Sergio’s Italian chef won the 2017 “piazza master” title in Finland!
Restaurant, Northern European, European, $$$
Located by the River Aura and one of Turku’s main sights, the Turku Cathedral, restaurant Mami serves delicious lunch buffets and tasty à la carte options. Lunch is served from Tuesdays to Fridays and the options are priced from 8,80 € (soups) to 24,50€ (catch of the day). À la carte is based on modern fine dining with a Scandi-twist and locally sourced ingredients when possible. Try the catch of the day with Mami’s Bouillabaisse and the sinful chocolate cake Nemesis.
Restaurant, European, Northern European, Finnish, $$$
Restaurant Ludu is located on the premises of an old paint shop dating back to 1917. The restaurant was opened in 2013 after a refurbishment – yet a lot was saved, including the gorgeous floor tiling. Ludu’s menu is seasonal and locally sourced when possible. The menu, which is also available as vegan, includes Scandinavian specialities such as dill cured arctic char with carrot and dill-leek creme, and pan-fried local fish with roasted cabbage and spring onion foam.
Restaurant, European, Middle Eastern, Asian, Italian, Finnish, $$$
Kuori is a trendy vegetarian restaurant hosted by two energetic and young entrepreneurs. The tasty lunch buffet varies from soups and salads to falafels and à la carte. It offers flavours from Asia and the Middle East and all the way to Italy and Finland. Kuori also has some interesting drink choices: the wines are organic and come from small producers all over Europe and the beer comes from Finnish micro-distilleries. Kuori features on Finland’s own top 50 restaurants listing and is a perfect foodie spot whether you are vegetarian or otherwise!
Brasserie, Restaurant, Finnish, American, European, $$$
For fans of street food, Storage is the place to go in Turku. Storage’s menu offers Finnish flavours with a street food twist. The tapas-style portions vary from seasonal vegetables to Finnish bread, fish and traditional foods such as the “Lihis”, a Finnish version of a minced meat pie. Storage was also recently chosen as one of Finland’s top 50 restaurants.
Restaurant, Northern European, European, Finnish, $$$
To dine out with style à la Turku, head to Smör, a beautifully refurbished space that oozes Scandinavian modernity mixed with the medieval feel of the surroundings and Turku’s heritage as Finland’s old capital city. Smör’s seasonal menu leans on Nordic delights and changes every two months. There are three types of set menus from 55 to 75 euros, with an option for a wine flight, too. Perhaps try any of the seafood on the à la carte menu, where you can find Icelandic langoustine and wild pike-perch to finish off with local cheeses or sinfully delicious chocolatey treats.
Restaurant, Northern European, European, Finnish, $$$
Opened in 2014 by “three young lads”, Kaskis quickly became one of Turku’s most beloved restaurants, Kaskis also features on Finland’s top 50 restaurants listing. Kaski’s decor is classic Finnish 1940s and 1950s style. Located in the charming Luostarinmäki (Cloister Hill) area just by the city centre, you can have a nice stroll to Kaskis or take bus 18 from the central market square. Kaskis offers two tasting menus from four to six items (55 and 66 euros, respectively) with carefully selected drinks to match. Booking is recommended as Kaskis regularly fills up with happy customers who all tend to leave the place with a wide smile.