Summer for foodies
Summer in Finland usually lasts from June to August and is characterized by an abundance of daylight, with the Midnight Sun phenomenon occurring in the northernmost parts of the country. The Finnish food culture in the summer revolves around fresh and seasonal ingredients, such as fish and other seafood, fresh vegetables, berries, and new potatoes.
With warmer temperatures, Finns eagerly embrace outdoor activities and revel in the beauty of their surroundings. All the beautiful lakes and forests offer both activities and delicacies on the plate. In addition, the Finnish summer is intrinsically linked to the concept of cottage or “mökki” culture. As soon as the weather permits, Finns move to their summer cottages to relax, swim, sauna, and barbeque.
By the water
Nosturi is situated in Teivaa harbor, offering Neapolitan style Johnny’s Heist pizzas. Come and enjoy delicious pizza while admiring the picturesque lake view. You can conveniently pick up your food even by boat! Additionally, Nosturi features a Skybar, providing the perfect spot to watch the sunset while enjoying refreshing drinks. Nosturi also houses a sauna and a private beach from where you can dive into Lake Vesijärvi.
As called the summer living room of Lahti, Lahti Harbour is full of restaurants, boat restaurants and cafes with sunny terraces and is a ‘must see’ for a visitor. How about some local Teerenpeli beer at Teerenranta, or a gigantic cinnamon roll at Cafe Kariranta? Or try frozen yoghurt onboard an ice cream boat!
This is a must place to visit during summer. The restaurant and café are located on a beautiful island couple of kilometers away from Lahti harbour. Try their savory and sweet waffles and famous salmon soup! In Myllysaari, you can also book a sauna, play yard games, or rent a sup-board.
In Sysmä, Ilola Inn’s stylish café-restaurant and large terrace right by Lake Päijänne serve guests, boaters and other visitors during the summer season. In addition to delicacies, Ilola Inn offers the traditional beach sauna, outdoor jacuzzi and a year-round Infinity pool. Leisure travelers can rent also equipments from fatbikes to SUP rafts.
Vääksy Canal milieu for foodies
The beautiful Vääksy Canal milieu has fascinated with its beauty throughout the century. Head for a walk in the canal park or admire the natural beauty of Vääksynjoki river.
In Old Vääksy village there’s ice cream, French delicacies, waffles, grain and oat products and local craft beer! Try the delicious artisanal ice cream at Kanavan Helmi. Grab some French delicacies from Ranskalainen kyläkauppa (“the French Village Shop”). Try a tapas platter with a Finnish twist at Wine&Cafe Jokiranta and finish your delicacy tour with Kanavan Panimo’s craft beers.
The charming Vuolenkoski village along the rapids of the Kymijoki river offers cute cafés and small boutiques. Visit Rantamesta restaurant and have a coffee, ice-cream, pizza or just enjoy the evening in a beutiful scenery. Traditional Vuolenkoski farmers market next to Rantamesta is organized every summer Saturday. You can buy some locally produced ingredients also from the Kilkkilä farm and select the best souvenirs from the Peurankello café and artisanal shop.
Vuolenkoski village is located about half an hour’s drive from Lahti and mere ten minutes from Vierumäki.
During the summer, marketplaces in Finland are lively and vibrant, offering a delightful experience for locals and visitors. The market square in Lahti showcases a variety of fresh products, including vegetables, berries, peas, and local sweet and savory treats, such as fried vendace and meat pie. Finns eat the most ice cream in Europe, and in the summer ice cream stands in the Lahti market square are extremely popular. Other sweet treats found there are Finnish crepes and bubble waffles.
The marketplace in Lahti city center is a popular place to start your morning or have an afternoon tea in the summer. Have a seat and enjoy a cup of coffee accompanied by a sweet or savory oven-fresh pastry.
Terrace culture and small breweries
Summer is here
As the temperatures increase even a bit, Finns gather to enjoy outdoor dining, drinks, and socializing on terraces. In the Lahti area, there are many places to do this, such as the popular tourist attraction, Ace Café, which operates in connection with the Motorcycle Museum in Niemi harbour and are known for their delicious burgers.
The most popular terraces in Lahti during summertime are Teerenranta, Arla, Bricco, and Kaunis Veera in the harbor. In the city center, restaurants like Trattoria Seurahuone, Wine Café Olavi, Amarillo, and Santa Fe have their terraces open.
We have several local breweries that offer opportunities for beer enthusiasts to explore and taste a variety of unique and locally crafted beers. Often, the breweries have also seasonal brews for the summertime. For example, Teerenpeli Brewery & Distillery offers their products in several restaurants and bars in Lahti.
Summer cafés in Lahti region
Café Kariranta is one of the most popular cafes in Lahti especially in the summertime. On a sunny day, you might have to queue for a while. However, their homemade sweet and savory pastries are definitely worth the wait. Have a seat on their lively terrace and try their giant cinnamon buns and cheese croissants.
Summer café Enonsaari
Enonsaari is a beautiful island situated in the Vesijärvi lake. It is known for its scenic nature and café Siesta that offers savory and sweet pastries and a daily soup lunch. The café is located in a villa from 1920s. To reach Enonsaari, you can take a boat or a ferry from Lahti harbour.
Located only a 30-minute drive from the city center in Vääksy, village shop Ranskalainen kyläkauppa provides a small piece of France in the Lahti region. They have a fascinating café and a lovely shop full of fashion, cooking supplies, and decoration. Try their savory pies, homemade lemonade and sweet pastries.
Wine&Café Jokiranta is an idyllic wine café and boutique located in adorable old villa, next to the Vääksy canal in Old Vääksy Village. The café has a lovely terrace which offers perfect setting to enjoy a summer day! Try for example Wine&Cafe Jokiranta’s tapas with Finnish twist! The selection of the wine café includes also salty and sweet pastries and confectionery products, waffles, salads as well as local and organic food products.
Café Heinolan Siltasaari
The atmospheric café building, completed in the 1920s, is surrounded by lush green spaces between the flowing Jyrängönkoski streams. Heinolan Siltasaari follows the traditions of Central European Café Culture. Café and avec serving are trusted in handicraft and continental flavor. Salty and sweet pastries are always fresh and made from the best raw materials.
Finnish Midsummer or as the Finns call it, “Juhannus”, is one of the most significant and widely celebrated holidays in Finland. It takes place on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, typically falling between June 20th and 26th. Midsummer is a time when Finns come together to celebrate the joyous arrival of the summer. Typically, Finns celebrate Midsummer at their summer cottages or some Midsummer festivals. Culinary-wise, Midsummer is a time for feasting with traditional Finnish summer delicacies. Grilled meats, sausages, and vegetables, fresh fish, variety of salads, new potatoes, and fresh berry desserts are the center of a typical Finnish Midsummer table – not to forget about drinks. The crown of the table is of course, all year around, the Finnish long drink “lonkero”.
Street food vendors and food trucks can be found in different locations throughout the city, providing locals and visitors with a delicious and convenient dining experience. For example, Cilantro has a food truck at the market square, where other local traditional savory dishes can be found. Don’t forget the best street food place in the city, Kuja Street Food.