08.02.11 – People always joke about the food being so bad in Finland, including me ;), but the truth is, there are still some nice options out there if you look for them. One of the places I really like is Soppakeittiö Tapaste Oy, soppakeittiö means soup kitchen in Finnish. They have two locations but my favorite is in Hakaniemin Kauppahalli, the other is in Wanha Kauppahalli closer to the Old Market Square.
The Soppakeittiö usually has three soup options to choose from. When I visited they had a simple vegetarian curry soup, a bouillabaisse and a Russian style fish soup called Kalaseljanka, which is what I went for. The prices are right, usually around 8,50€, which is pretty much the going rate for any lunch in Helsinki but the quality of the soup is so much better. Seating is tight because the stalls in the Kaupahalli, which was built in the early 1900s, are always small and the soup kitchen is always popular. I didn’t have to wait for a seat because I sat at the counter with the other customers huddled over their bowls of soup.
Besides great soup, they also have two types of fresh bread always available in a baskets within reach for all to share family style, and they serve your soup with a herb infused olive oil. The bread is a perfect combination for the soup but is great on its own too.
It’s the perfect lunch because you won’t leave hungry and you won’t leave stuffed. This place is one of my favorites in Helsinki and I think you should try it if you get the chance. If you’re visiting me in Finland, we’ll definitely make it one of our stops.
- Kaupahalli Colors (tbeidler.wordpress.com)
- Feature Article: What is a Soup Kitchen and What is Usually Served at One? (frugalrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Arabia’s Canvas (tbeidler.wordpress.com)