Turku is famous for its medieval quarters and spectacular location by the Baltic Sea. With its history as Finland’s capital city under the Swedish rule, nowadays foodie destination Turku is a cool mixture of Finnish and Swedish cuisine. From Scandinavian fine dining to market hall fish soups, here are the top 10 cultural restaurants in Turku!
Turku Market Hall is a great way to explore Finnish and Scandinavian cuisine – or just to grab a quick bite in Turku! Opened in 1896, Turku Market Hall is the second oldest market hall in Finland. Markets and market halls are a big part of Finnish culture, and in Turku Market Hall’s restaurant S. Wallin, you can enjoy traditional salmon soups with local rye bread in an authentic atmosphere. Apart from Wallin’s delicious fish plates, there are sushi, Vietnamese food, an award-winning bakery and many other stalls to choose from.
For the best coffee in Turku, head to Café Art. The café is located in an old wooden house by the Aura River bank and has a traditional Central European feel to it. Inside, the café’s cosy and charming atmosphere invites one to enjoy a quiet coffee moment without rush. Café Art is owned by the esteemed Finnish coffee roasters Turun Kahvipaahtimo, and is one of Finland’s best third-wave coffee shops. 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.
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. Smör’s seasonal menu leans on Nordic delights and is changed every two months. There are three types of set menus from 55 to 75 euros with an option for a wine flight, too. Or try any of the seafood from the à la carte menu, where you can find Icelandic langoustine and wild pike-perch to finish off with local cheeses or sinfully delicious chocolaty treats.
The medieval Turku Castle is one of Finland’s oldest buildings still in use, and Juhana Herttuan Kellari is located in the centre of it, at the historic courtyard. Restaurant Juhana Herttuan Kellari (Duke Johan’s Cellar) is the perfect pit stop for any modern-day princes and princesses while touring around the atmospheric Scandinavian castle. Lunchtime buffet is served from 11.00 to 14.00 but the evenings are reserved only for events and pre-booked parties. As the restaurant café is operated by the iconic Finnish chocolate brand Fazer, there are plenty of sweet and savoury treats to choose from.
Moored along the bank of River Aura, the Svarte Rudolf (Black Rudolf) offers meals in a pirate-like atmosphere all year round. Svarte Rudolf steamship dates from 1927 but relocated from the world’s seas to Turku in 1994 when it was transformed into one of the city’s most iconic traditional restaurants. The boat restaurant’s deck is especially popular during summer months. The menu includes classic European cuisine, from snails to fish & chips, pizzas, burgers and steaks.
Koulu (Finnish for ‘school’) is one of Finland’s biggest brewery restaurants. The charming building dates back to 1889 and functioned as a school in succeeding decades. The building is inspired by the Italian Renaissance in a modestly Finnish fashion. The brewery’s beer is brewed according to a specific German method from 1516 and the menu includes hefty meals from burgers and fish to sausage plates, steaks and hotdogs. This is a school where you don’t mind spending your days in!
In Finland, bookshops with cafés are not very common, so the bookshop Pieni Kirjapuoti’s (meaning The Little Bookshop) café nook, Kahvila 7 Pöytää, is a special treat in Turku. The name means Café 7 Tables and is a pretty good indication of the coffee shop’s size. The cosy café is well stocked with coffees roasted in Finland as well as speciality teas. All the treats are also freshly home-baked and if you are in luck, you might even catch a glimpse of a Finnish literary celebrity while treating yourself to a piece of cake!
Opened in the mid-90s, Teerenpeli was one of the first microbreweries in Finland and has since opened restaurants in a couple of Finland’s bigger cities such as Turku. Although the attraction here is the brewery’s own products, the Teerenpeli Deli also offers tasty bar snacks from vegan sandwiches to sausage and cheese plates till the small hours of the night. Or try the organic dark beer Laiskajaakko or the refreshingly sour lingonberry cider Lempi Puolukka to go with the sweet potato and falafel basket.
Located in Turku Art Museum, Café Victor offers tasty lunches and coffees in elegant surroundings. The museum building is a magnificent granite building on top of a city centre mount – a Turku landmark you cannot miss! The café has a vast selection of freshly baked sweet and savoury treats as well as soups for lunch. There is also a seasonal selection of goodies created to match the museum’s exhibition themes.
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.