Helsinki Food Court showcases Helsinki as an interesting food travel destination

Restaurants are a central part of urban vitality. The restaurants in Helsinki have great and partly untapped potential, which makes it possible to develop the city as an attractive destination providing wonderful experiences for travellers together with partners. Helsinki will highlight the best aspects of the city as a food travel destination at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair on 20–22 January 2023 by setting up Helsinki Food Court at the fair in cooperation with Food Camp Finland and Messukeskus.
Helsinki wants to invest more in food travel. The aim is to make Helsinki a world-class food city of interest.  Photo: Jussi Hellsten
Helsinki wants to invest more in food travel. The aim is to make Helsinki a world-class food city of interest. Photo: Jussi Hellsten

The Matka Nordic Travel Fair in Helsinki is the largest tourism industry event in Northern Europe. In connection with the travel fair, Helsinki will also launch its own food culture strategy work. The aim is to make Helsinki a world-class food city of interest.

“The strengths of Helsinki’s food tourism are versatility, personality and a certain uniqueness, and we also actively highlight these strengths in our international marketing. The level of the top restaurants in Helsinki is illustrated by our one two-star and five one-star Michelin restaurants,” says Nina Vesterinen, Tourism Director of Helsinki.

Helsinki wants to invest more in food travel

The city is implementing the Helsinki Tourism and Events Programme 2022–2026. The programme highlights vibrant urban culture complete with events, tourists and restaurants as a key strategic priority for promoting the city’s vitality and wellbeing. Internationally, food has become an important appeal factor for tourism in recent years.

Helsinki already has a number of innovative restaurants, a high-quality food offering, interesting market halls, the Teurastamo centre of urban and culinary culture, distilleries, microbreweries and other craft companies such as bakeries and chocolate makers. In order to showcase these, Helsinki wants to invest more in food travel. The aim is to promote the competitiveness of the tourism and food sector as part of a vibrant urban culture and to increase the recognition of the Finnish food culture. Food, restaurants and food tourism products could be an even more significant part of Helsinki’s international image.

“When the city promotes food travel, restaurants get more visibility and customers, who will share their experiences when they return home. Unique and shared experiences support the development of Helsinki into an international gastronomic gem. We will also be presenting interesting building blocks of food travel in Helsinki at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair,” says Jukka-Pekka Tolvanen, the City of Helsinki’s business liaison responsible for restaurant cooperation.

Top names and show & dinner atmosphere

At the Matka Nordic Travel Fair, the Helsinki Food Court stand emphasises Helsinki as a diverse and high-quality food travel destination. Every restaurant at Helsinki’s stand represents the best of its own type of restaurant: Pompier Espa, Peloton Cycling Eatery, Yeastie Boi, Fat Ramen, Pastis and Happy Waffle. Their dishes can be tasted at the stand. In addition, top names in the restaurant industry will give interesting presentations and speeches on the stand’s stage throughout the duration of the fair.

On Friday, students of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences will take the stage and present Helsinki as a travel destination. On Friday afternoon, show & dinner atmosphere will take over the food court experience with performances by a magician and other surprise performers. We will also learn what being a fan means in gastronomy and what kind of opportunities there are for business to keep up with the fans.

On Saturday and Sunday, Linnea Vihonen, who is familiar from several cooking shows and her energetic appearances, and Tara Junker, who has written four cookbooks and hosts a popular cooking show on Yle, will perform on the Helsinki stage.

In addition, on each day of the fair, the Helsinki Food Court restaurants will get to share their backgrounds and the way in which they express the unique food culture of Helsinki. The Helsinki Food Court stand makes it really easy to enjoy the food, drinks and programme – and there is plenty of it! Helsinki Food Court can be found at stand 6S2 of the Matka Nordic Travel Fair.