Monday, February 03, 2014

Helsinki: Hakaniemi Market Square and Lunch at Hakaniemi Market Hall

The third market square and market hall in Helsinki that I have visited in this trip is Hakaniemi, located in the former working class area in the northern part. Nowadays, this suburb is part of downtown Helsinki area. Depending on where you are in the city centre, it is a 10-15 minutes walk.

My idea is to have my lunch here, Finnish style, hopefully. It all depends on what I will see and what my tastebuds fancies. I am excited, I cannot wait =)

Outdoor Market at Hakaniemi Market Square
Address: Hämeentie 1a (served by Hakaniemi Metro Station)  |  Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8-18, Sat 8-16

Upon arriving at Hakaniemi, I was welcomed by a lively market scene in the square. I read that during summer, and I guess starting late spring, they hold a daily market. In fact, the farmer’s market here goes back to 1897. That long.

This was not the first time I have seen farmers selling directly their produce in the markets in Helsinki.

Cafe stall in the market square.

Smoked fish and smoked salmon with black pepper and spices.

I did not stay long in the market square. I cannot wait to go inside and see what’s in store for me.

Hakaniemi Market Hall
Website: Hakaniemi Market Hall

Kauppahalli is Finnish for Market Hall and Saluhall is the Swedish translation. Finland is like Belgium, almost everything is translated into two languages.

The market hall is a two-storied old red brick building built in 1914. There are approximately 70 shops here. The lower level sells food and fresh produce, and the upper level, Finnish handicrafts and other specialty wares and services.

My goal: Search for my lunch!

Leipajuusto Finnish Cheese usually paired with coffee, can be eaten as snack, a side dish during a meal and a dessert with cranberries on top.

Traditional food: Piirakka (Karelian pasty) is made of rye (crust) and rice (filling). The Finns like to mix rice with their breads and pastries.

I have no idea what this burned thing is but it looks interesting and I have a feeling that this tastes good as well.

Very few tourists actually come here as they tend to go to the Market Square in the centre of town. 

This looks like some dried knuckles.

Lunch: Octopus, Fish, Seaweed and Karelian Pasty

Finally, after fifteen minutes of surveying the place, I found a place to eat. I am having a little bit of everything that I craved, paired with a little bottle of local white wine. My favourite? The delicious octopus. I could really use another serving. Discipline is never an easy thing when it comes to food but thankfully I managed to restrain my glutton self. Big acomplishment.

I have always been an octopus fan. I could not get enough of this.

The Karelian Pasty made of rye crust and cooked rice filling, a very interesting Finnish invention. Honestly, I do not think this is going to be my favourite though.

I love this lunch, which is a fusion of Mediterranean, Asian and Finnish =)

The other market squares and market halls in Helsinki are:

Have fun visiting the markets in Helsinki. They were one of my best finds in the city. Truly an enjoyable way to discover and experience the city especially if you are into gourmet food and anything tasteful really.

Helsinki, kiitos paljon! =)

Travel Period: May 2013
Destination: Helsinki, Finland

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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