Nordic Travel Fair 2023 in Helsinki

(*pr with Helsinki Fair Center)

This year’s Nordic Travel Fair, which was held in Helsinki, had a new feature, the Helsinki Food Court, where some Helsinki restaurants were presented and the following restaurants were on display there: Peloton Cycling Eatery, Fat Ramen, Happy Waffle, Pastis, Yeastie Boi, and Pompier Espa.

Of these restaurants, Peloton Cycling Eatery is located in Suvilahti, Kaasutehtaankatu 1, building 8, serving both cycling and good food and wine enthusiasts with passion.

Fat Ramen, on the other hand, is Helsinki’s first ramen restaurant, established in 2015. Their restaurants are located in the Hietalahti Market Hall and on Helsinginkatu street.

Happy Waffle is located on Vuorikatu, near the metro station of Helsinki University, and it offers a fusion of Hong Kong bubble waffles gluten-free.

Pastis in Pikku Roba takes you on a culinary journey to France.

Yeastie Boi is located in Kamppi, on Annankatu 29 courtyard, and it focuses on bagels and artisanal drinks.

Pompier Espa is a gourmet lunch restaurant located in South Esplanadi, and it serves delicious à la carte cuisine in the evenings.

Here’s my short video giving you a quick look at the Nordic Travel Fair in 2023 and these Food Court restaurants.

Nordic Travel Fair 2023

Pompier Espa surprised me positively

I was at the Food Court press event and had the chance to taste a dish from the restaurant Pompier. My dish consisted of roasted artichoke, truffle pecorino from Sardinia, truffle cream, heart salad, and apple.

Due to practical reasons, the dish was served on a disposable plate with disposable utensils, but I could easily imagine myself at a fine dining restaurant’s window table with a white tablecloth because the food was so deliciously refined and mouth-watering. I dare not even imagine how amazing a glass of wine would have made the flavor experience, as I drank water, but even as it was, that dish provided me with the best experience of the travel fair.

The CEO of Pompier Espa, Laura Apukka, informed me that Pompier Espa was a 9-year-old restaurant and it had opened in South Esplanadi in 2014. She referred to her restaurant as a casual bistro, although many consider it a fine dining restaurant.

The customers’ favorite dessert there is tarte tatin, and there is always a vegan option on the menu for food dishes.

During lunchtime, Pompier serves about 250-300 customers and it does not take reservations for lunch. You can’t also order food from the restaurant through Wolt.

The fact that I only found this great restaurant at the Travel Fair, even though I have lived in Helsinki for decades and have often walked on Esplanadi, shows how important Food Court is in promoting Helsinki’s restaurants.

By the way, I ate at the same restaurant again during the Travel Fair a couple of days later. At that time, the same artichoke dish, which I had praised also on Instagram, no longer carried me away to other dimensions – perhaps there was already a sign of fair exhaustion in the air… Or is it like with many travel destinations – they may not necessarily inspire you that much the second time around?

Whatever the case, read more about traveling in Helsinki and Finland from my visual travel guide Trip to Finland. You can read it also in Finnish here.

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