Trying to track down tasty vegan food in some places can be difficult. However, in Helsinki that isn’t a problem. Finding affordable plant-based food, however, can be. So, here are a few handy pointers to get you started on your Finnish culinary adventure.
With its green logo and window full of plants, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Soi Soi as one of those heathy vegan joints. However, this is the place to come if you’re graving a dirty burger or kebab with all the trimmings.
Supposedly the best seitan in Helsinki, the Kallio-based eatery offers cheap and tasty fare throughout the day. We ordered the soy burger with cheese, deep fried cauliflower and sweet potato fries. (They were out of vegan mozzarella sticks when we visited, but I’m still processing the loss and am unable to comment further at this time.)
After a 30-minute wait we devoured our order with some vigour. It was succulent, it was greasy, it was everything that meat-eaters think vegan food isn’t. And, all I’ll add is that we needed an obscene number of napkins to mop up after inhaling our deep-fried delights. That, and just to say I regret nothing.
Another insanely tasty place to grab fast food is Fafa’s. This Helsinki-based chain sticks to what it’s good at – fresh and finger-licking falafel based meals like pittas and salads. We went to the one at Mikonkatu, which had a queue out the door for as long as we were there.
And, if you didn’t think the basic falafel pitta could be improved, I regret to tell you, it can. That’s because Fafa’s have added crispy cauliflower balls to theirs, marking a complete game changer in the falafel field. Oh, and the best thing about this revolutionary restaurant? They have locations all over town, meaning you’re never too far away from one of their tasty pittas.
Sometimes, as a vegan, you crave the comforting qualities of your favourite cheesy and carby meals of yesteryears. Yes, sometimes, only a pizza will do. But, for some reason, in so many places, the idea of a vegan pizza is completely alien. However, luckily, Helsinki doesn’t have this problem.
At Bar Loosister in Kallio, not only can vegans find a dairy-free copycat Margarita, there’s also a seiten meat feast. And, both of them, I can tell you, are absolutely gorgeous. We’re greedy and got a pizza each, however normal appetites could probably get by on sharing one.
It would have been great to sample more Finnish vegan fare on our trip to Helsinki, but time was, unfortunately, not on our side. So, if you have any more tips for fellow vegan travellers – share the love in the comments below x