The northern Finnish city of Rovaniemi can be cold, dark and dreary in the winter, with the sun not rising until late in the morning. This can make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning and find enough energy for the rest of the day. There are, however, plenty of restaurants and cafes throughout the city serving breakfast and brunch that can help you start the day off strong, even when it is still pitch-black outside. These are some of the best places for a morning meal in Rovaniemi.
Arctic City Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Business Hotel
Lux room | © Arctic City Hotel
This central hotel is known for its fabulous restaurants, but since these aren’t open first thing in the morning, there is also a breakfast buffet, which includes filling Nordic favourites such as smoked salmon and bacon rolls. The buffet is open from 7am – 8am on Sundays – and is included in the room rate for hotel guests, and is €20 per head for non-residents. The hotel’s Monte Rosa steak restaurant also has a lunch buffet open from 11am for a slightly later brunch.
Rakas Restaurant & Bar
Restaurant, Finnish, $$$
Head chef Jonathan Guppy at Rakas Restaurant & Bar | © Rakas Restaurant & Bar
The classy restaurant for the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel serves quality food at all times of day, including Finnish dishes such as Karelian pastries or cloudberry
jam. There is the breakfast buffet for hotel residents, the hearty brunch buffet served on Sundays and on weekdays, the lunch menu serves a variety of soups and salads. All of this can be found in a restaurant interior that combines modern style with warm and natural Scandinavian elements.
Roi Thai Ravintola
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Chicken with cashew nuts at Roi Thai | © Roi Thai
For something a little different than a Scandinavian breakfast, try the lunch buffet at this Thai restaurant, which is open on weekdays from 10:30am for only €9,90. The Saturday buffet is also served from 11am for a slightly higher price. The lunch buffet changes daily and includes some of the best Thai food in the north.
Rang Mahal Indian Restaurant
Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Exterior of Rang Mahal | © Rang Mahal
Rovaniemi’s top Indian restaurant serves a lunch buffet daily from 11am, or from noon on Saturday, which is filled with much more spice than a standard Finnish dish. Yet this traditional Mumbai cuisine also includes the Lappish local delicacy of reindeer. The lunch buffet changes daily and includes some of the best dishes from the menu, including at least one vegetarian dish, and also comes with rice, salad, freshly baked naan bread and coffee.
Arctic Light Hotel
If you want a classy breakfast to start the day, you can’t get much better than the Arctic Light Hotel, one of the city’s most popular hotels. The menu was designed especially for the hotel by TV chef Sara La Fountain for those who otherwise don’t have time to make a good and nutritious breakfast to get them going in the morning. This includes healthy dishes such as fresh fruit, smoothies, bagels and local jams. The breakfast is again free for hotel residents and €24 for outside visitors, which is not a bad price to taste a celebrity chef’s menu.
Mumin Kaffe Rovaniemi
Cafe, Finnish, $$$
No trip to Finland is complete without a stop in one of the Moomin
Cafes, and thankfully there is one in Rovaniemi which is open daily from 10am. These cafes are themed around the beloved Finnish cartoon franchise with tasty coffee, juice and light meals served on Moomin cups and plates like those you would find in a Finnish grandmother’s house. This menu also makes an excellent brunch and is a perfect place to visit with children to enjoy the Moomin books and toys. The pancakes are a particular favourite, rivaling Moominmamma’s pancakes for taste.