If you’re heading to Flow Festival in Helsinki this week then congratulations; you’ll be spending a weekend (11th-13th August) immersed in what has been named one of the very best and most inventive music and arts festivals in Europe. Though it’s not just music and arts for responsible for Flow Festival’s universal acclaim; the annual event also maintains strong relationships with some of the country’s top chefs, restaurants and bars, netting them an enviable food and drink program that will provide necessary fuel in between performances by likes of Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey, the xx, Angel Olsen, and stacks of other international and local artists.
With the likes of baltic herring marinated with Napue gin, Nordic yakisoba salad, and even forest-flavoured parfait with pine flavoured meringue on the menu for this year those who spend time eating and drinking their way through the weekend should be prepared for quite the palate-opening journey. There’ll be around 40 different high profile restaurants, cafes and bars on hand, all handpicked by a festival which has a very high standard to maintain.
To get you all in nice and prepared for the weekend we’ve done the very job of picking out what we think look like some of the most unmissable food and drink experiences of the weekend.
Everyone loves a good burger and this breezy, fresh-faced Telakkaranta “craft brew and burger deck” looks to make a substantial impact on the diets of festival-goers Friday through Sunday. They’ll have four burgers on the menu, ranging from the Naturel with dry-aged beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo, to the signature Beerger with dry-aged beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, spicy sausage jam, Northern Pale Ale glace and mayo. They’ll even have a Vegan option with a chickpea patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and vegan mayo, as well as sides like hand-cut fries (vegan or plain) and drinks like coconut water.
This beloved restaurant located in Albertinkatu is known for their commitment to innovative, plant-based food made in accordance with seasonal, organic, wild and Scandinavian produce. With the evolving global trend of festival food balancing out all the greasy, indulgent offerings with fresher, cleaner flavours this one should be a hit, especially with a menu that features the likes of roasted and raw beetroots served with grains, spinach and preserved birch leaves; pumpkin roasted in hay before being filled with smoked barley, miso, romaine salad and black kale; dry-aged organic beef with deep fried kale, mustard, lovage and smoked bonemarrow; a dessert of blueberry and meadowsweet; and the aforementioned forest flavoured parfait with white chocolate and pine flavoured meringue.
Social Food Burger Joint
Often referred to as Helsinki’s top burger joint, Social Food are set to dominate the scene with a menu that boasts four very different burgers from the “Tribute to Spotted Pig” which has a 200g beef patty and blue cheese on housemade brioche; the “Premium Flow Cheeseburger” with 200g beef patty, Special Flow mayo, pickled red onion, special glaze, housemade ketchup and cheese on a brioche bun; a “Premium Flow Vegan Burger” with soybean patty, avocado hummus, pickled red onion, fixed herb salad and pumpkin ketchup on a vegan bun; and the “Pulled Oat Burger”, a sloppy joe with pulled oat, rocket, mint, coriander, chili, onion and lime on a housemade bricohe bun.
A favourite in Helsinki’s Kallio district, Onda should be attracting plenty of business all weekend with what they have planned, with handmade worldly flavours including the Chicharron sandwich with “criollo” style lime and mint red onion, smoked chili sauce, cispy pork on a brioche roll with sweet potato fries on the side; a vegan “peafel” with roasted local cauliflower, pickled local mushrooms, and lemon tahini dressing; and a dessert of vegan venilla and lime panna cotta with Finnish strawberries.
What would a music festival be without a pizza stall? Finland’s apparently in the middle of a pizza revolution, so look for this Finnish chain to provide some much-needed, affordable Roman style slices (2 for 10€) for that much needed energy between acts. In addition to vegan pizza, there will be simple toppings like the Marinara with tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano and basil, the Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil, and the Diavola with spicy salami, tomato sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.
Restaurant Story will be joining others in waving the flag high for Flow Festivals self-contained burger scene, adding to the picture with the famous venue’s much-hyped burgers, which originate from the Old Market Hall in Helsinki, with proteins cooked on smoking hot charcoal grills. During the weekend they’ll be flipping the likes of the signature Story Burger, with grilled 180g black angus, cheddar, French mayo, pickled cucumber and red onion; the Veggie Burger with a grilled portobello mushroom, roasted paprika, cheddar, mushroom-basil mayo, pickled cucumber and red onion; and the Vegan Burger, which is almost identical to the Veggie Burger but with vegan mushroom-cashew mayo instead of mushroom-basil mayo.
This casual Helsinki favourite will be bringing quite the culinary trip to Flow Festival’s guests, offering a menu that includes a Lobster Slider with scampi, Ceasar dressing, little gem lettuce and marinated red onion on a brioche bun; Little Gem Lettuce served with jalapeno mayo, avocado, marinated tomato and potato flatbread; a Spicy Eggplant Stew with potato flatbread, harissa yoghurt, coriander, pomegranate, crispy onion and romaine; and braised Lamb Lepuska with potato flatbread, harissa yoghurt, coriander, pomegranate, crispy onion and romaine.
Scandinavian style lasagna? Yes please! Lämpö will be bringing their famous event menu for Flow Festival, featuring substantials like Mediterranean Veggie Lasagna, Vegan Eggplant Lasagna, and other treats like the Soy Chili Hot Dog with smoked chili, vegan garlic mayo, bell pepper cocktail, red onion jam and fried onion; a slow-cooked Vension Chili Hot Dog with wild mint aioli and cabbage, carrot and cucumber pickles; a Season Tofu Stick with a bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini skewer topped with organic garlic hummus and fried garlic; and vegan/gluten free Chocolate Cake.
Original Long Drink Bar
There will be no shortage of neat and unique pop-up bars around Flow Festival. The Original Long Drink Bar will undoubtedly be one of the best, with a beautifully designed area that features a cozy camping layout with a campfire, genuine kleinbus, chill-out gazebo, and games of Corn Hole set-up.
<3>Plan B Wine Bar
Plan B will be Flow Festival’s dedicate wine bar, an atmospheric stop-off where guests will be able to relax to glasses of classic drops like fresh Alsace Riesling, New Zealand Pinot Noir, and other quality wines including some from Germany and Australia. A nice selection of organic wines will be available as well as the fact that it’s right near most of the festival’s best food stalls; so practicing your food-and-wine pairing choices is a must.
Polar Monkeys Bar
A returning favourite, the Polar Monkeys Bar will once again be bringing a sharp focus on craft beers and ciders to Flow Festival. Now located at the Bright Balloon 360° area, the bar will be three times larger than that of previous years, allowing for an expansive selection including local Finnish craft beers as well as a few from around the world, and fresh ciders from the likes of Teerenpeli and Bulmers.
Not sure which performances to see at this year’s three-day Flow Festival, check out our top picks of the music program HERE. For more information on Flow Festival head to their official website HERE.
he AU review will be on-ground at this year’s Flow Festival so be sure to follow us on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) at @theaureview for all the action across the weekend.
Feature Image: Samuli Pentti