Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland isn’t particularly well-known for vegetarian cuisine since it still has a traditional hunting culture and most of the local restaurants serve reindeer as a specialty dish. But with so many tourists visiting the city from all over the world, the restaurant menus are diversifying and including more vegetarian dishes. These are some of the top restaurants in the city for finding meat-free dishes.
This Thai restaurant has plenty of vegetarian dishes available on the lunch buffet, which changes daily, and plenty more on the a-la-carte menu. For starters, there are vegetable spring rolls with sweet chili sauce and for main courses you can choose from several different delicious Thai curries or pad Thai with either tofu or vegetables.
Coming from a part of the world that is highly regarded for its vegetarian cuisine, Rang Mahal serves plenty of tasty vegetarian Indian dishes. These include paneer, kofta and samosas. Each main course also comes with naan bread fresh from the oven, rice and salad. The lunch buffet also has meat-free options such as tomato soup, roti and vegetable korma and comes with mango lassi.
A casual dining restaurant claiming to serve the best burgers and pizzas in town, which also includes vegetarian options. These include tofu and avocado burgers, cheese and vegetable pizzas and sweet potato fries. During lunch hours (weekdays from 11am to 3pm) there is also a salad buffet or daily burgers, which can be ordered with vegetarian patties on request.
A light, airy and modern museum café with a number of affordable vegetarian lunch options with both Finnish and international dishes. These include the lunch buffet for €14 per head and has a salad and soup bar, vegetarian alternatives and daily main courses that change according to which vegetables are currently in season. These can include such dishes as champignon soup, pesto-nut pasta and blue cheese soup.
One of Rovaniemi’s most famous and award-winning restaurants is especially well-known for its reindeer dishes, but there are also vegetarian dishes on the menu as well. These options are rather limited but do at least rely upon Lappish recipes and local ingredients. Currently, the starter menu includes pumpkin soup with dill-truffle oil and arctic vegetables on the main course list, plus vegetarian alternatives on the tasting menu upon request.
For a simple lunch of fresh Finnish vegetables for a low price, the Soppa Ja Sumppi restaurant is ideal. Lunchtime options include the soup or salad lunch or a lunch buffet, all of which are around €10 or less. Buffet items also change daily and include such dishes as cauliflower cream soup and roasted potatoes. The cakes and pastries in the café are also all gluten-free, and most of them can be made vegan.
This American-style bar and restaurant is focused much more on meat dishes, particularly burgers, but there are a few vegetarian items on the menu as well. These are the somewhat mockingly named – ‘#Somedayiwillbeaburger’ – and made with a vegetable patty or the ‘#Tofu-T-Burger’ with tofu and teriyaki sauce, as well as salad and fries as side dishes. Both burgers are also served with vegan mayonnaise.
Like Arctic Boulevard, Rakas Restaurant also specialises in Lappish meat staples such as reindeer, but also has a small selection of vegetarian dishes on the menu. Starters are either celery fondant or ‘The Secret Garden’ salad made with seasonal local vegetables. Meanwhile for the main course, there is the ‘Vegetarian Love’ dish consisting of suede dumpling, kale and mushrooms with sea buckthorn sauce. The breakfast buffet and lunch menu also include vegetarian options, which usually consist of seasonal vegetables.