15 Most Popular Foods From Finland

From hearty classics to creative modern dishes, the foods from Finland capture flavours from the country’s seasonal bounty and pristine natural landscapes.

15 Most Popular Foods From Finland

From hearty classics to creative modern dishes, the foods from Finland capture flavours from the country’s seasonal bounty and pristine natural landscapes.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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popular foods from finland

Finnish cuisine reflects a deep connection to the land and a respect for its resources.

Whether indulging in delectable delights like creamy salmon soup or sampling the zesty delights of lingonberry jam, each bite offers a glimpse into Finland’s culinary heritage.

Finland’s vast forests and abundant lakes are rich sources of ingredients, lending a seasonal beat to its culinary traditions.

What Are The Staple Foods From Finland?

The staple foods in Finland are not only practical choices but also essential components of the Finnish culinary roots, deeply ingrained in the land and culture. 

Five common foods in Finland:

Fish (Kalaa): With abundant lakes and coastline, fish is a dietary staple. Salmon, herring, and perch are typically enjoyed or prepared in various ways, such as smoked, grilled, or pickled.

Rye Bread (Ruisleipä): A cornerstone of Finnish cuisine, rye bread is dense, dark, and nutrient-rich. It is best enjoyed with butter, cheese, or smoked fish.

Potatoes (Perunat): Versatile and beloved, potatoes feature prominently in Finnish dishes, from creamy mashed potatoes to hearty potato casseroles like “Lanttulaatikko” (rutabaga casserole).

Berries (Marjat): Finland’s forests offer an abundance of berries, including lingonberries, bilberries, and cloudberries. These nutrient-rich treats are used in jams, sauces, and desserts.

Dairy Products (Maitotuotteet): Dairy plays a significant role in Finnish cuisine. A wide range of cheeses, milk, and yoghurt are consumed daily. Finnish dairy products are known for their purity and quality.

As you can probably guess from these common foods in Finland, this cuisine is fresh and wholesome. 

15 Most Popular Foods from Finland

1) Lohikeitto (salmon soup)

Lohikeitto salmon soup foods in finland

Lohikeitto is a traditional Finnish salmon soup cherished for its creamy texture and rich, warming flavour. It typically features chunks of fresh salmon, potatoes, leeks, carrots, and occasionally celery, all simmered in a creamy broth flavoured with fresh dill. 

Lohikeitto is often finished with a splash of cream or milk, adding a silky richness to the dish. It is a popular food in Finland, especially during the colder months, offering warmth and comfort with every spoonful.

2) Leipäjuusto or Juustoleipä (Finnish cheese)

Leipäjuusto or Juustoleipä Finnish cheese

Leipäjuusto or Juustoleipä, dubbed Finnish squeaky cheese for the distinctive sound it emits when bitten into, is a hallmark of Finnish cuisine. 

Crafted from cow’s or occasionally reindeer’s milk, this cheese boasts a firm, chewy texture. Its aroma is sweet and fresh, encompassing mild, salty, and sweet notes. 

It undergoes light toasting during preparation, hence its name, “bread cheese” or “cheese bread.”

3) Lihapullat (meatballs)

Lihapullat meatballs food from Finland

Finnish meatballs, renowned for their crispy golden exterior, are a traditional delicacy primarily crafted from beef, occasionally blended with ground pork. Fragrant allspice is added to the meat and then mixed with soaked bread, eggs, and onions. 

Meatballs, often accompanied by a creamy brown sauce, are one of the most popular foods in Finland. They can be enjoyed as a snack or savoured as the centrepiece of a meal.

4) Kanttarellikeitto (chanterelle soup)

Kanttarellikeitto chanterell soup foods in 
finland

Kanttarellikeitto is a classic Finnish dish known as chanterelle soup. This robust soup is made primarily from chanterelle mushrooms, which are abundant in Finland’s forests during the autumn months. 

The mushrooms are sautéed with onions and garlic before being simmered in a creamy broth, often enriched with a splash of cream.

Kanttarellikeitto is seasoned with dill, thyme, or parsley, enhancing its earthy flavour.

5) Ruisleipä (rye bread)

Ruisleipä rye bread in finland

Ruisleipä is a dense and hearty bread made primarily from rye flour, giving it a distinctive flavour and texture. Ruisleipä can vary in appearance, from round loaves to rectangular blocks, and it often features a dark crust and dense crumb. 

Ruisleipä is enjoyed in various ways in Finland. It is a firm staple among the country’s most popular foods, served with butter, cheese, cold cuts, or smoked fish.

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6) Karjalanpiirakka (rice pie)

Karjalanpiirakka rice pie foods from finland
Karjalanpiirakka (rice pies) are popular foods from Finland

Karjalanpiirakka, known as Karelian pasty, is a traditional Finnish pastry from the Karelia region. It consists of a thin, crispy rye crust filled with rice porridge or mashed potatoes. 

The filling is topped with a generous dollop of egg butter, which adds richness and flavour to the pastry.

Karjalanpiirakka is a versatile dish, often enjoyed as a snack and a popular choice for breakfast. Its simple yet satisfying taste and unique texture make it a precious staple in Finnish cuisine.

7) Runebergintorttu (dessert)

Runebergintorttu dessert in Finland
Credit: Wikipedia

Runebergintorttu is a small, cylindrical pastry made from a dense, moist cake batter flavoured with almonds and cinnamon, cardamom, and sometimes ginger. 

The batter is baked in special cylindrical moulds. Once baked, the top of the pastry is covered with a thin layer of raspberry jam or icing and a sprinkle of sugar.

8) Poronkäristys (sauteed reindeer)

Poronkäristys sauteed reindeer dish in Finland
Poronkäristys – One of the most popular foods in Finland

Poronkäristys is a classic Finnish dish made from thinly sliced reindeer meat, lightly browned and stewed until tender. The meat is seasoned with salt and pepper, juniper berries and sometimes allspice.

The dish is cooked slowly in a pot or pan, along with butter or oil, until the meat is fully cooked and tender. Poronkäristys is often served with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, and pickles.

If there is just one dish you need to try from this list of foods from Finland, it’s this one. Don’t miss it.

9) Graavilohi (cured salmon)

Graavilohi cured salmon foods in Finland

Graavilohi is a traditional Finnish dish consisting of thinly sliced salmon cured with salt, sugar, and various seasonings. 

The curing process fills the salmon’s texture with a delicate blend of flavours, including dill, citrus zest, and peppercorns. 

After the curing process, the salmon is thinly sliced and often accompanied by rye bread, a mustard-dill sauce, and garnishes such as lemon slices, cucumber, or fresh herbs.

Cured salmon is also one of the most popular foods in Norway.

10) Munavoi (egg spread)

Munavoi egg butter in Finland

Munavoi is a classic spread made from boiled eggs and butter. Foods in Finland aren’t much easier to prepare than this; the preparation is simple: hard-boiled eggs are mashed or finely chopped and mixed with softened butter until smooth and creamy.

Some variations may include additional ingredients such as salt, pepper, fresh chives, or dill.

It is often spread generously over slices of rye bread and served as part of breakfast or as a snack.

Don’t miss our EUROPE CITY GUIDES

11) Näkkileipä (crispbread)

Näkkileipä is crispbread foods in finland

It is a crispbread made from rye flour, water, and salt, sometimes with other grains like barley or oats. The dough is rolled thinly and then baked at a high temperature, resulting in a crispy texture.

Näkkileipä is known for its simplicity, long shelf life, and versatility.

It is one of the most common foods in Finland, served with various toppings such as butter, cheese, cold cuts, fish, or spreads like munavoi (egg butter). 

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12) Kalakeitto (fish soup)

Kalakeitto fish soup in Finland

Kalakeitto is a fish soup prepared from various freshwater fish, such as salmon, whitefish, or perch, along with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and sometimes leeks or celery.

The soup base is usually fish broth or water simmered with the vegetables until tender.

Some variations of this dish may include additional ingredients like cream, dill, or other herbs and spices to achieve a deeper flavour.

Fish soup is one of my favourite foods in Finland, so be sure to order a bowl of it yourself if you visit.

13) Salmiakki (salty licorice)

Salmiakki liquorice in finland

Salmiakki is a unique Finnish candy known for its salty licorice flavour. The key ingredient is ammonium chloride, which gives it its uncommon salty taste. 

Salmiakki comes in various forms, including hard candies, soft candies, powders, and even ice cream.

14) Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry pie)

Mustikkapiirakka - popular blueberry pie foods from Finland

Mustikkapiirakka is a blueberry pie cherished for its sweet and zesty flavour. This dessert typically consists of a buttery shortcrust pastry base filled with a generous layer of seasonal blueberries.

Blueberries are usually mixed with sugar and sometimes lemon juice or zest to enhance their natural sweetness and tartness. 

Mustikkapiirakka is one of the more traditional foods in Finland, and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

15) Silakat (herring)

Silakat herring - Common foods in Finland
Silakat (herring) – Common foods in Finland

In Finnish cuisine, “silakat” refers to herring, a type of fish highly culturally and culinaryly important in Finland. 

Herring is commonly consumed in various forms, including pickled herring, fried herring, or herring served in a creamy sauce.

Pickled herring, known as “silli,” is one of the most common foods in Finland and is often enjoyed with boiled potatoes, rye bread, and various toppings such as sour cream, onions, or dill. 

Fried herring, or “silakka,” is typically breaded and pan-fried until crispy and golden brown, then served with lingonberry jam or mashed potatoes.

Either way, silakat is one of the most popular foods in Finland, and you should try it at least once. 

If you’re interested in travelling to Finland, don’t miss these Top 10 Things To Do In Helsinki. If you want to discover the country, I recommend you check out these tours in Finland.

View these excellent tours for those who are especially keen to explore the Northern Lights or experience a Finnish winter adventure.

Travel Tips for Europe

We have many travel guides and tips for Europe— an incredible continent!

Are you travelling on a budget? These ten cheapest European countries will help you plan an itinerary that lets you see as much as possible while there.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel long-term (or at least until the money runs out), these 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

Delicious cuisine can be enjoyed across Europe, and our food map of Europe will inspire your culinary journey.

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies, a couple of them are located in Europe.

Here are 8 things to know about travelling to Eastern Europe and it’s good to know these 7 misconceptions about Eastern Europe too.

These top 6 travel hacks to save money are great to read when planning your travels.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Europe. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual European countries, or consider a regional eSIM for Europe (which covers 39 countries).

If your travels in Europe are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Europe.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

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