So many well-loved traditions revolve around food: Thanksgiving dinners, Sunday family lunches, cheese platters on Christmas Eve. In Helsinki, Finland, the Old Market Hall helps keeps culture and tradition alive. A square where merchants sold items like cheese, vegetables, spices, and fish since 1889, it is now home to what has become one of Helsinki’s favorite restaurants.
The brain child of well-known restauranteurs Anders Westerholm, Matti Sarkkinen, Teemu Aura, and Markus Hurskainen; Café-Restaurant Story is located the middle of the Old Market Hall. Designed by interior architect, Joanna Laajisto, the space is breezy and bright with its high ceilings, oak-paneled kitchen, and gorgeous views of the seaside and the Helsinki Sky Wheel.
The meals are simple – slow-roasted pork sandwiches, salmon soup, porridge, omelettes, etc. – but excellently made and comforting. Everything is also handmade and sourced locally. Bread and patisserie products come from a local bakery, coffee from local roasters that make beans especially for the restaurant. There is also a selection of fine wines from the region.
The atmosphere in Café-Restaurant Story is laidback, casual, and a tad nostalgic. It gives you that warm feeling of home and makes you remember that sometimes that best things are right in your backyard, or in this case, your old market square.