Helsinki Launches Massive Open-Air Food Court In Senate Square

helsinki - senate square restaurants

Photograph: Torikorttelit / Camilla Bloom Senate Square in Helsinki

A large-scale open-air market and dining area located on Helsinki’s iconic Senate Square opened to the public last week, as a way to encourage the hospitality industry as well as tourism.

The local authorities invited 16 popular bars and restaurants to open secondary outlets in wood cabins on the huge central square, which is overlooked by the city’s towering cathedral. Diners can enjoy artisan pizza, Finnish pickled herring, tapas, hotdogs, salads, and an array of hearty breakfasts from 8am to 11pm, while bars serve cocktails and craft beer until 10pm.

The design, by Linda Bergroth, was inspired by allotment gardens, with cabins from the Finnish capital’s Christmas market reused as lookalike sheds. The tables and chairs – some 480 of them – are surrounded by around 200 planter boxes (many of which are being used to grow herbs).

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Senate Square - Helsinki

The raised garden beds are intended to create clear paths across the square, allowing for the safe flow of visitors and providing ample space between tables to ensure social distancing. On its unveiling, Jan Vapaavuori, the mayor of Helsinki, said the project would be a ‘safe, exciting and communal summer oasis in the heart of the city’.

Located in the center of Helsinki, Senate Square is a unique symbol of political, religious, scientific and commercial powers of the capital city. Famous landmarks in the surroundings of the square include the Helsinki Cathedral, the Government Palace, and the main building of the University of Helsinki.

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Restaurants at Senate Square

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