Monday, December 09, 2013

Helsinki: Hietalahti Market Square and Breakfast at Hietalahti Market Hall

The city of Helsinki is home to three food market halls that hosts an outdoor market as well on each of its market square. For a small city such as Helsinki, having THREE gourmet market halls is truly a big feat. The Finns in the capital city are spoiled rotten!

These are the market halls in Helsinki and their outdoor markets:

1) Old Market Hall and Kauppatori Market - the Old Market Hall is under renovation and will open next year (centre of the city).
2) Hietalahti Market Hall and Market - this entry (west of the city)
3) Hakaniemi Market Hall and Market - will post soon (north of the city)

Hietalahti market

Hietalahti Market Square
Address: Lönnrotinkatu 34 (western part of Helsinki near the harbour)

The outdoor market is on the market square of the Hietalahti market hall. They sell almost anything here, farmers fresh produce direct from the farmers themselves (they arrive in their produce truck and some of the vegetables still have soil on them), antique and curiosa, vintage clothing and accessories, lots of fur coats (because this is Finland my love) and many more.

Hietalahti market

This is a typical farmer selling his own produce.

Hietalahti market
Hietalahti market

A little outdoor restaurant.

Hietalahti Kauppahalli Saluhall (Hietalahti Market Hall)
Website: Hietalahti Kauppahalli Saluhall 

For starters, this market hall is 110 years old. There are many stalls here selling traditional and gourmet food, a selection of fresh fish and meat, as well as charcuterie, lots of organic produce and a few food stalls where you can sit down, relax and have a bite. I really enjoyed my time here.

Opening hours
Mon-Fri 8-18, Sat 8-16, Sun closed (on summer Sundays during 5.5-25.8. at 10-16)

Hietalahti Kauppahalli Saluhall
Robert's Coffee

I had a quick breakfast bite here at Robert’s Coffee.

Hietalahti Kauppahalli Saluhall
Reindeer meat Hietalahti

The Nordic people are big meat and fish eaters, especially salmon fish and reindeer meat.

Hietalahti market

There are tables on the second floor as well.

Open sandwiches

These are the popular Nordic open sandwiches. In Denmark these are gourmet specialty open sandwiches called smorrebrod or smushi and are served in cafes and restaurants for lunch. Read here it here: Traditional Danish lunch experience: Smorrebrod at Aamanns 

Hietalahti market

Lots of berry products in the Nordics. In Finland they are famous for their lingonberries.

Breakfast at Robert’s Coffee: Cappuccino + Muna Riisi Piirakka
Website: Roberts Coffee

Robert’s Coffee is a local coffee chain in Finland and they are everywhere in Helsinki. They serve very good coffee though and to experience true Finnish coffee, baked products and hospitality, I suggest to patronise the local coffee shops when you are here.

Trivia: Did you know that the Finns drink more coffee than any of us drink in the world?

Here is the top six coffee consumers in the world: 1) Finland 2) Norway 3) Iceland) 4) Denmark 5) Netherlands 6) Sweden. Source

Except for the Netherlands, they are all from the Nordics, must have been the cold? I can confirm though that coffee to the Dutch is like medication, they need it. The Dutchman here at home for example cannot live without his coffee.

Robert's Coffee

I am not a big breakfast person so this small pasty is already a lot for me for a morning meal.

This ‘Muna Riisi Piirakka’ is a small puff pastry filled with cooked rice and chopped hard-boiled egg and spices. Only in Finland.

I find it very interesting that the Finnish use rice as a filling in their pastries. There is in fact another famous Finnish pie called ‘Karelian’ and it is also filled with cooked rice. I mean, isn’t that just redundant, so overdone? Carbohydrates on carbohydrates. Not a good thing especially with our ever expanding waistlines. But they taste really good! So I highly recommend this.

Robert's Coffee Helsinki
Muna Riisi Piirakka

One of my best breakfast experience in a market hall is at Torvehallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark: Smushi for breakfast at Torvehallerne KBH in Copenhagen!

Visit Period: May 2013
Destination: Helsinki, Finland

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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