• Restaurant Day

  • Sauna brunch, Kumpula

    Photo: Saara Salama

  • Bar of Restaurant Kääntöpöytä, Pasila

    Photo: Timo Santala

  • El Restaurante Castro-no-mío, Annankatu

    Photo: Roy Bäckström

  • Ferragosto

    Photo: Heidi Uutela

  • Forager <3 Baker, Kalasatama

    Photo: Timo Santala

  • Kallion Herkut, Kallio

    Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta

  • Tuffan Tyrnibaari, Vallila

    Photo: Heidi Uutela

  • JuustoPiknik

    Photo: Anssi Kumpula

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Restaurant Day

Four times a year, there is a very special day when even the wildest restaurant dreams can come true: the Restaurant Day. The day is, of course, a Finnish invention.

Think of a restaurant. A restaurant out of the ordinary. A restaurant where food is served to you on someone’s living room floor, or where dessert is hauled from a window for you to be eaten on the street corner. A restaurant barbequing 137 kilos of meat, just for the fun of it. Or a restaurant where kids are being the chefs cooking their own meal and eating it like they would – with fingers.

The idea is simple, really. On a Restaurant Day anyone can set up a restaurant, anywhere, for a day. This means ordinary people get to play chefs and sommeliers for a change resulting a whole lot of fun and food plus wonderful meetings and memories, even odd ones.

Restaurant Day sprouted from Helsinki, the capital of Finland, about two years ago from now, growing mainly through social media and into a global movement for “food for all”. Restaurant Day is, indeed, extra-ordinary.  Still, after two years of popping up inside people’s homes and backyards and onto the streets, the Day grows and gains momentum from up north in Iceland to down south of Columbia and everywhere in between. It is a festival for food from Ivalo, Singapore, Jerusalem, Poznan, San Diego, Lisbon and all the way to Yekaterinburg.

What started as a fun-and-food-for-family-and- friends-kind-of-thing, is now a global movement making and shaking a difference for the food culture of tomorrow. Nominated as the Cultural Act of the year 2011 in Helsinki, Finland, and the Food Event of the year of 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Restaurant Day is getting bigger and tastier than ever.

Four Saturdays a year (in February, May, August and November) are devoted for the taste of joy and play, creativity, spontaneity and community. On Saturday, May 18th 2013, a total of 1702 One Day Restaurants opened up at least in 30 countries.  1097 of those restaurants opened in Finland (527 in Helsinki) and yes, it was and will always be for the fun and food of it.

Join the 24- hour food feist wherever you are! Hungry, if we may say.


Next Restaurant Days:

18th August

16th November



Cultural Beat

Contrast is the main ingredient in Finnish cultural life, probably because everything looks and sounds different from our northern perspective. This may explain heavy metal music played on cellos and films almost completely without dialogue.

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