Sneak inside the gateway on Vähätori, and you’ll find in the sheltered courtyard the home of restaurant Panini. In their own words, Panini’s menu is Italian in essence and seasonally Finnish – not a bad combination. Crispy pizza, filling pasta or antipasti to share with friends – all the food is made with passion and high-quality fresh ingredients.
Although the food is Italian in spirit, the décor lacks the creeping vines and chequered tablecloths. Instead, exposed concrete, tiled flooring and an uncomplicated interior design allow the flavours of the food to be the focus.
Since 1682, restaurants have been a fixture in Casagrande House, with the building home to the first legally licensed restaurant in Finland. Today, it is the location for restaurant Tårget, the premises of which include underground wine sellers hundreds of years old.
Visit Tårget for lunch, a glass of wine or tuck into the tasting menu. Food might be the main attraction, but a cocktail at the bar comes a very close second. Ask the barman for "something special", and let the knowledgeable staff surprise you. Amazingly, the floor holds traces of Tsar Alexander I’s carriages, and don’t forget the picturesque terrace on Vähätori, Turku’s official summer-restaurant square.
Wine Bistro & Tapas Bar di Trevi is a modern and laidback social spot in the centre of Turku. di Trevi is an attractive place to head for lunch or after work. It’s a lively mix of bar and restaurant, with international vibes and a Nordic atmosphere.
During summer, di Trevi’s terrace opens out onto the lively Aurakatu Street, with patrons sitting long into the evening. With a Mojito in hand and some choice tapas on the table, you might start to question if you’re really in Turku or drifting away to Spain.
Located in the premises of the Maritime Centre Forum Marinum, the dining room of Restaurant Göran is adorned with the sailboat Daphne, once owned by the travel writer Göran Schildt. Visible through the windows are the museum ships, including the legendary Suomen Joutsen!
Göran serves on weekdays a changing lunch buffet and a fresh catch of the day. At weekends you can enjoy the delights of the archipelago buffet. The restaurant is conveniently located near the port and Turku Castle, and within walking distance of central Turku.
5Grill it! Marina
In the restaurant of Radisson Blu hotel, you’ll find opulent luxury. Grill it! Marina’s charcoal grill gives that smoky flavour to the steaks and vegetable dishes. It’s barbecue food but in the manner of a high-quality restaurant.
Sit out on one of the River Aura’s most elegant terraces on sofas in winter, under the warmth of outdoor heaters and with a hot drink in hand. The beauty of the riverside extends through glass wall of the restaurant from the terrace and in the lobby bar. The house's own beer, named Lupa Nauttia (License to Thrill), comes in small batches from the Sauvo Brewery. The taste varies from season to season, so ask the staff for the current taste. Warning: The product is very popular, so it may not always be available. But after this beer, it's worth asking!