Via Karelia – Eastern Delicacies

You're welcomed by the wafts of meat stew, prepared in a wood-heated oven. A clock ticks in the main room, and sunlight paints warm stripes on the woven rag rugs. When you travel on Via Karelia, you will enjoy golden butter on rye bread, crisp on the outside and soft from the inside, fish, pies in many forms, and long stewed root vegetables. The norther you go from the Gulf of Finland, the stronger and simpler will the flavours become. Even though the basic ingredients and methods are quite the same, each entrepreneur will add a pinch of local specialties, care and friendliness, making each meal unique and unforgettable.

We have included as many regional specialties as possible. Near Vironlahti you can enjoy Baltic herring and other salt-water fish, and South Karelia will treat you with hand-made Karelian pies and crunchy loaves of local bread, rieska. In Savonlinna, you can taste delicious Saimaa trout, and for desert, grab a juicy curd pie fresh from the market place. Fresh berries, mushroom and game are prepared into hearty meals. You can enjoy salads made from early vegetables, garnished with wild herbs, such as lady's-mantle and dandelion, or have a welcome drink of birch sap, rhubarb and strawberries. Main dishes include delicious black grouse pot and long stewed turnips – and let's not forget reindeer soup. Why not try cloudberry fool, cake with raspberries from Wärtsilä, or spruce sprout parfait for desert.

We all, along the route of Via Karelia, want to help you – our appreciated tourists – find the lovely flavours and friendliness. We are proud of everything we have to offer, and want to welcome you back and back again. Lovely food garnished with local culture, self-made art, history, humour and our peaceful nature, will surely make your holiday unforgettable in these eastern regions of our country.

Travel all the way or stop and go like a pilgrim – however you travel, remember to pause every once in a while and take time to listen to yourself. You're the one making the choices. We are offering the best of our best. Welcome, have a taste!

Where to eat on Via Karelia on map

List of where to eat on Via Karelia

Lohela

Lohela is specialised in processing Finnish rainbow trout. Every day, we smoke-cure trout, seasoned with own very own, low-salt seasoning mix, in the mellow warmth…

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Monastery Restaurant Trapesa

Restaurant Trapesa serves seasonal dishes and baked goods in the monastery milieu. A delicious feast is served especially on weekends and in Easter.

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Ollilan lomamajat

Restaurant Juomuskota at Ollilan lomamajat resort is specialised in fish dishes. Many original features make the restaurant space a unique experience. Open for booking.

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Restaurant Kielo

Restaurant Kielo offers honest and clean flavours from fresh seasonal ingredients. Finnish food, beautifully served.

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Isäntärenki

Isäntärenki is a working farm, specialised in organic farming and sheep products. The lady of the house makes practical and artisan textiles from wool. Main…

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Restaurant Parppeinpirtti

Restaurant Parppeinpirtti is near the Ilomantsi centre, in the poetry village of Parppeinvaara. It was named after Jaakko Parppei, a farmer and a folklore singer…

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Hotel Punkaharju

Hotel Punkaharju – delicious lunch and high-end À la carte menu in a beautiful 165-year-old building.

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Karjalantalo & Restaurant Kerubi

A historical setting in Ilosaari, Joensuu’s prime location. Kerubi is a unique place for enjoying good food and company. A great setting for relaxing, listening…

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Hotel Kalevala

A modern hotel with a scenic view, Hotel Kalevala treats you with local ingredients. The menu has traditional dishes from home and away, all garnished…

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Wilderness Restaurant Huilinki

Loma-Lopotti’s Wilderness Restaurant Huilinki serves Kuusamo’s local delicacies, such as fresh fish in many forms, traditional sautèed reindeer and baked goods. Nearly everything is made…

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Lieksan Leipomo – Bakery & Café

Fresh baked products and good coffee  

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Pohjolan Pirtti

Pohjolan Pirtti is in Vuotunki, some 34km east of the centre of Kuusamo. Open for booking.

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Wanha Makasiini Bistro

A cozy restaurant near the Lappeenranta port, located in and old storeroom “makasiini”, is a combination of modern and olden times. On the fresh menu…

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Kestikievari Herranniemi

Herranniemi has served as a guesthouse already in the start of the 19th century. In those times, people were travelling by horses of on foot.…

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Juhanantupa

Juhanantupa is a grand Karelian log house in the idyllic village of Hummovaara. The emblem of the house is a big old pine tree, under…

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Hurtan Holvi

Lunch café Hurtan Holvi serves lovely Finnish home-made food. Lunch is offered daily, catering services can be booked. Hurtan Holvi is located in an old…

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Ruoke Holiday Village

The Ruoke Holiday Village is located in a beautiful natural setting. The resorts has holiday cabins and a camping area. Opportunity for ice-fishing and trips…

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Studio Restaurant Tundra

Studio Restaurant Tundra – a cozy space available for booking: a restaurant, cooking courses and a ceramics studio. Open for booking.

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Café Majurska

Café Majurska, in the historical Lappeenranta Fortress, is one of the most famous cafés in town. The Café is known for its historical style and peaceful atmosphere.

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Arola Farm and Wilderness Holidays

Arola Farm and Wilderness Holidays, traditional country dishes by order. Ingredients are from the farm and the nearby lakes. All bread is made in the…

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Ahvenisen kesäkahvila

On road 518, between Eno and Lieksa, there’s a parking area, which has an idyllic summer café and patio. Fresh coffee and baked goods, and…

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Restaurant Wolkoff

Wolkoff offers traditional, local gourmet food in an atmospheric setting of a 160-year-old historical building.

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Oivangin Lomakartano

Oivangin lomakartano is a family restaurant, hand-built from sturdy logs, honouring the food traditions of the past with a modern twist. Open for booking.

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Hossan poropuisto

A reindeer farm with a restaurant/bar set in a Lapp hut. Delicious reindeer dishes by order. Reindeer meat and products for sale.

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Café Houkutus

Café Houkutus – fresh baked goods and confectionery

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Utran Uittotupa

Utran Uittotupa serves North Karelian local food prepared by professional chefs. A unique setting by the Pielisjoki river.

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Kaks ruusua

Originally a lunch canteen for Walter Ahlström Oy, this atmospheric restaurant serves lunch and Á la Carte dishes in a historical setting, right next to…

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Café Rantakivi

Café Rantakivi is a fresh and relaxed cafe and restaurant located by the lovely lake Puruvesi. We prepare food from local ingredients: the Puruvesi vendace…

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Kylätalo Kukko, village activity centre

Kylätalo Kukko serves home-made food and Karelian pies in a traditional building.

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Puukarin Pysäkki, Karelian Restaurant & Guesthouse

Genuine local food, traditional Karelian dishes and friendly service in a cozy setting.

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Restaurant Buttenhoff

Restaurant Buttenhoff serves traditional dishes. You can find the restaurant near the Imatra rapids and Hotel Valtionhotelli, on the second floor at the end of…

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Rukan Salonki Chalets

Rukan Salonki Chalets have a private restaurant, Kultala, with many Lapland’s specialties on the menu,such as reindeer, salmon and willow grouse. Open for booking.

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Winetower in Ilomantsi

The Winetower, owned by innovative local wine producers, serves coffee and wine in the old water tower of Ilomantsi. You can enjoy breathtaking views to…

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Café & Restaurant Kultainen Kukko

Café & Restaurant Kultainen Kukko offers local dishes and lunch in a cozy atmosphere. For larger festivities, the main building, Vanha Kurimo is available for…

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Maalaisleipomo Ilomäki

Maalaisleipomo Ilomäki is a country bakery that makes traditional Karelian pies. The milk used in the filling is from their own cows.

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Isokenkäisten Klubi

Isokenkäisten Klubi is a family business serving tourists by Lake Heikinjärvi, only two kilometres from the Russian frontier zone. Open for booking.

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Café Kauppaneuvos

Café Kauppaneuvos is decorated in romantic country style. Here you can try home-made baked goods and Karelian delicacies. A feast for eyes and taste buds…

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Isäntä Matin museo

The Tasala house is an original 50’s house that can be booked to serve traditional dishes of Lapland, with ingredients from nearby forests and lakes.…

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Herkkusuu Lunch Café & Confectionery

Herkkusuu has fresh baked goods, pies and rieska bread, all available for take-out as well as eating in. Herkkusuu serves home-made lunch in a beautiful…

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Kotileipomo Viipukka

Kotileipomo Viipukka – a home-like bakery serves original rye bread and fresh baked goods

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