Vegan Options at Restaurants?

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CaliforniaTim
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 8:11 pm

Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by CaliforniaTim » Thu May 26, 2022 8:42 pm

Hi All,

My (Finnish) wife and I (an American) are looking to move to Finland in the near-future.

While I've been to Helsinki numerous times, it's been hard to gauge how wide-spread the vegan culture is. I also haven't been back since before the pandemic started.

How abundant are the vegan options at restaurants and supermarkets these days? I'm not just talking about the availability of a salad or beans, but more like fake meat choices or traditional dishes that are also offered without meat or cheese.

Thanks in advance!



Vegan Options at Restaurants?

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FinnGuyHelsinki
Posts: 1403
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm

CaliforniaTim wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 8:42 pm
Hi All,

My (Finnish) wife and I (an American) are looking to move to Finland in the near-future.

While I've been to Helsinki numerous times, it's been hard to gauge how wide-spread the vegan culture is. I also haven't been back since before the pandemic started.

How abundant are the vegan options at restaurants and supermarkets these days? I'm not just talking about the availability of a salad or beans, but more like fake meat choices or traditional dishes that are also offered without meat or cheese.

Thanks in advance!
Are you looking to move to Finland or looking to move to inner city in Helsinki? Think of moving to the USA vs. moving to, say, Portland, OR (yes, I did Google most vegan friendly cities in the US). There can be a fair bit of difference.

There is vegan food in supermarkets, the S and K groups (ask your wife, if needed) have cornered ~80% of the grocery market in Finland, so the selection is somewhat uniform throughout the country. There are vegan options (or a single option, on the menu) in restaurants, and also vegan-only restaurants, generally less so the further away from larger city centers one goes.

It's definitely possible to live a vegan lifestyle, the amount of cooking you'd be doing yourself depends on where you live.

As for vegan versions of traditional dishes, if you're referring to traditional Finnish dishes, I can't think of any that aren't already (at least close to) vegan. Think of a meat stew with some spices/condiments and little else, and how having a vegan version of that would be rather pointless.

The amount of vegans is in the single digits percentage-wise of the whole population, I didn't find recent studies but definitely not more than that. If that's anything to go by.

inkku
Posts: 909
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by inkku » Fri May 27, 2022 10:29 pm

FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
CaliforniaTim wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 8:42 pm
Hi All,

My (Finnish) wife and I (an American) are looking to move to Finland in the near-future.

While I've been to Helsinki numerous times, it's been hard to gauge how wide-spread the vegan culture is. I also haven't been back since before the pandemic started.

How abundant are the vegan options at restaurants and supermarkets these days? I'm not just talking about the availability of a salad or beans, but more like fake meat choices or traditional dishes that are also offered without meat or cheese.

Thanks in advance!
Are you looking to move to Finland or looking to move to inner city in Helsinki? Think of moving to the USA vs. moving to, say, Portland, OR (yes, I did Google most vegan friendly cities in the US). There can be a fair bit of difference.

There is vegan food in supermarkets, the S and K groups (ask your wife, if needed) have cornered ~80% of the grocery market in Finland, so the selection is somewhat uniform throughout the country. There are vegan options (or a single option, on the menu) in restaurants, and also vegan-only restaurants, generally less so the further away from larger city centers one goes.

It's definitely possible to live a vegan lifestyle, the amount of cooking you'd be doing yourself depends on where you live.

As for vegan versions of traditional dishes, if you're referring to traditional Finnish dishes, I can't think of any that aren't already (at least close to) vegan. Think of a meat stew with some spices/condiments and little else, and how having a vegan version of that would be rather pointless.

The amount of vegans is in the single digits percentage-wise of the whole population, I didn't find recent studies but definitely not more than that. If that's anything to go by.
Why do you answer to a question that you clearly know nothing about?
To the OP:
Currently there are plenty of vegan options both in major supermarkets and at restaurants in particular in Helsinki. I have no clue about the number of vegans but i know loads of people who are not fully vegan but occasionally like to have vegan meals. The problem is that at supermarkets the vegan stuff is not always clearly marked.
There are some fantastic vegan FB groups such as Vegaaninen Helsinki and Sipsikaljavegaanit where they share tips about restaurants and food in supermarkets. No worries i would say.

FinnGuyHelsinki
Posts: 1403
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Fri May 27, 2022 11:01 pm

inkku wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:29 pm
FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
CaliforniaTim wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 8:42 pm
Hi All,

My (Finnish) wife and I (an American) are looking to move to Finland in the near-future.

While I've been to Helsinki numerous times, it's been hard to gauge how wide-spread the vegan culture is. I also haven't been back since before the pandemic started.

How abundant are the vegan options at restaurants and supermarkets these days? I'm not just talking about the availability of a salad or beans, but more like fake meat choices or traditional dishes that are also offered without meat or cheese.

Thanks in advance!
Are you looking to move to Finland or looking to move to inner city in Helsinki? Think of moving to the USA vs. moving to, say, Portland, OR (yes, I did Google most vegan friendly cities in the US). There can be a fair bit of difference.

There is vegan food in supermarkets, the S and K groups (ask your wife, if needed) have cornered ~80% of the grocery market in Finland, so the selection is somewhat uniform throughout the country. There are vegan options (or a single option, on the menu) in restaurants, and also vegan-only restaurants, generally less so the further away from larger city centers one goes.

It's definitely possible to live a vegan lifestyle, the amount of cooking you'd be doing yourself depends on where you live.

As for vegan versions of traditional dishes, if you're referring to traditional Finnish dishes, I can't think of any that aren't already (at least close to) vegan. Think of a meat stew with some spices/condiments and little else, and how having a vegan version of that would be rather pointless.

The amount of vegans is in the single digits percentage-wise of the whole population, I didn't find recent studies but definitely not more than that. If that's anything to go by.
Why do you answer to a question that you clearly know nothing about?
Feel free to point out what I said was wrong, maybe we'll both learn something.

inkku
Posts: 909
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by inkku » Sat May 28, 2022 10:06 am

I already pointed out, veganism is not a binary code, many like vegan dishes though they are not vegans. People have just become environmentally and healthwise much more conscious. For instance, Helsinki student union made a decision to serve only vegan food in the canteens.
Regarding Finnish traditional food, not sure what actually is finnish traditional food. Much has been borrowed from Sweden or Russia. But I would say in many places there are vegetarian versions available, which often but not always are vegan. For instance, vegan pea soup (jalostajan hernekeitto)and vegan pasta casserole (kasvismakaronilaatikko) are widely available in helsinki supermarkets.
I would say lots of options are there if you look for them but you don't see them if you don't look for them.

FinlandGirl
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by FinlandGirl » Sun May 29, 2022 9:08 pm

inkku wrote:
Sat May 28, 2022 10:06 am
For instance, Helsinki student union made a decision to serve only vegan food in the canteens.
As is often the case, what you are writing is not true.
They've rejected this.
FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
CaliforniaTim wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 8:42 pm
How abundant are the vegan options at restaurants and supermarkets these days? I'm not just talking about the availability of a salad or beans, but more like fake meat choices or traditional dishes that are also offered without meat or cheese.
Are you looking to move to Finland or looking to move to inner city in Helsinki? Think of moving to the USA vs. moving to, say, Portland, OR (yes, I did Google most vegan friendly cities in the US). There can be a fair bit of difference.
That's true.
FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
There are vegan options (or a single option, on the menu) in restaurants,
Depends on the restaurant.
Even in Helsinki many restaurants do not offer non-salad vegan meals or lunch options.
FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
and also vegan-only restaurants, generally less so the further away from larger city centers one goes.
https://www.happycow.net has a pretty complete overview of all vegetarian and vegan restaurants (for "veg-option" the restaurants care less about being listed there).
Vegan-only restaurants are many in Helsinki, some in other larger cities, but east of Helsinki the next ones are in St. Petersburg.
FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
As for vegan versions of traditional dishes, if you're referring to traditional Finnish dishes, I can't think of any that aren't already (at least close to) vegan.
Leipäjuusto, makkara, reindeer meat

FinnGuyHelsinki
Posts: 1403
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Sun May 29, 2022 9:48 pm

FinlandGirl wrote:
Sun May 29, 2022 9:08 pm
FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:
Fri May 27, 2022 10:12 pm
As for vegan versions of traditional dishes, if you're referring to traditional Finnish dishes, I can't think of any that aren't already (at least close to) vegan.
Leipäjuusto, makkara, reindeer meat
I could've been clearer, what I meant was that I'm not aware of Finnish traditional dishes which would have vegan versions of them, that already aren't vegan (e.g. vispipuuro) or very close (e.g. Karelian pasties).

CaliforniaTim
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 26, 2022 8:11 pm

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by CaliforniaTim » Sat Jun 04, 2022 8:12 pm

Thank you for all the replies.

I use https://www.happycow.net/ a lot in the US, so it is good to hear it's gained some traction in Finland as well.

The FB groups have been quite helpful as well.

The future is bright for us non-meat and cheese eaters!

Yaroslav Fadeev
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Location: Mykolaiv
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Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by Yaroslav Fadeev » Sat Jun 25, 2022 2:54 pm

Thanks for the link :thumbsup: I was thinking about to find some nice vegan restaurants

Marialin
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Location: New york
Contact:

Re: Vegan Options at Restaurants?

Post by Marialin » Wed Nov 23, 2022 6:41 am

CaliforniaTim wrote:
Sat Jun 04, 2022 8:12 pm
Thank you for all the replies.

I use https://www.happycow.net/ stumble games a lot in the US, so it is good to hear it's gained some traction in Finland as well.

The FB groups have been quite helpful as well.

The future is bright for us non-meat and cheese eaters!
As I've already mentioned, being vegan isn't black and white; many people enjoy vegan food despite not being vegan. Simply put, people today are considerably more health-


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