Streat Helsinki 2015 continues street food success story

A fleet of six food trucks touring the suburbs, a nighttime feast featuring five food kiosks, eleven workshops with 40 moderators, and a street food festival starring 66 street food entrepreneurs. Streat Helsinki 2015 grew into an eleven-day long carnival in its second year, tending to way over 30 000 street food lovers and selling close to 55 000 portions. Streat Helsinki took place 16–22 March, preceded by a suburban food truck tour between 21 February – 14 March.

“Street food and its makers are a part of the city food chain, a part of livelihood and a part of a lively, interesting city. Streat Helsinki has proven its worth to the city and has in two years grown into a concept bringing joy to citizens, and also an important professional meeting point for entrepreneurs. Internationally minded from the start, the event is also interesting for tourists. Streat Helsinki is a part of the Helsinki Food Culture Strategy, a fine example of what food means to the city, and what food entrepreneurs can bring to the table,” says Jussi Pajunen, mayor of Helsinki.

Streat Helsinki has risen to the top of the international street food scene. Many international stars were spotted at the workshops, both in the audience and taking the stage. The amount of kitchens at Streat Helsinki is nearing the number at the San Francisco Street Food Festival. In addition to Finnish flavours, street kitchens from Stockholm, Berlin, Moscow, Malmö and Tallinn were on the menu. The steps taken during the workshop week in Helsinki served as inspiration for international tastemakers, and one particular encouragement to take back home was the focus on nighttime food kiosks.

The future of Streat Helsinki is open but certain

Streat Helsinki attained a new level this year; what started off as a two day food festival in its first year grew into an eleven day street food extravaganza in its second. Street food as a phenomenon was explored from various perspectives, with over 100 street food entrepreneurs sharing ideas and practices, both on a Finnish and international level. Officials and customers also played a key role in the process.

The future of Streat Helsinki is certain, the form for 2016 is yet undecided

“Streat Helsinki, along with other street food events, has become valuable in contributing to the lives of citizens and the draw of Helsinki as a city. The city should continue to foster this movement in the future. In 2014 Streat Helsinki took place over the space of two days, this year the event spanned a total of eleven days. It’s a concept that’s best maintained flexible in terms of form, whilst keeping a keen ear on the field and the suggestions of  citizens when planning for next year”, says Timo Santala, head of the City of Helsinki’s Food Culture Strategy.


Streat Helsinki EATS served a whopping 50 000 plus portions

Streat Helsinki 2015The demand and interest around street food became tangible in the Tori Quarters at the festival held 21–22 March. In spite of the chilly weather, the two-day event attracted 30 000 visitors and the 66 participating vendors sold a total of more than 50 000 portions.

“The feeling at Streat Helsinki EATS was, once again, magnificent. Citizens of all ages and from families to singles greeted the dedicated and happy entrepreneurs with a smile. Expanding to two festival days, a larger venue, and almost a doubled amount of vendors were all keys to success: there were queues, but lining up wasn’t seen as nerve-wracking”, Streat Helsinki EATS producer Anna Pakarinen sums up. 

“To us street food entrepreneurs, Streat Helsinki has become the main event of the year. It offers an amazing opportunity to come together, and pinpoints exactly what is so essential about street food culture: very different entrepreneurs facing each other with support, sharing experiences, and a healthy competitive drive. This all adds up to fine-tuning your own business. It reflects back to everyone, both in food quality and a good ambiance at events, and it gets people on the move, even in less pleasant weather. Streat Helsinki is a good jump start for the upcoming season”, says entrepreneur Jyrki Karumo of Tortilla House.


Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS gathered 800 participants

kuva3a_eetuahanenHeld at the Abattoir during 16–20 March, Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS examined street food through discussions and hands-on co-creation. The eleven free-of-charge workshops dug into the field from many angles, including street food bikes, insects as food, future prospects of international street food giants, and collaborative visions of Finnish entrepreneurs. Some 800 participants took part in the workshops.

Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS created a collaborative base for Finnish street food entrepreneurs. As a result of the meet-up, entrepreneurs decided to form an association for discussing common topics, running events and communicating vending possibilities. Another association was formed for street food bike entrepreneurs and those aspiring to entry in the field. 

“Our international guests were impressed by Helsinki’s street food scene as well as the spirit and scope of the event. Inspiring examples were traded between corresponding cities and events. Our Finnish entrepreneurs were very interested in, for example, year-round street food courts, a winter hibernation spot for food trucks, a start up centre for street food businesses, as well as shared kitchens. One of the most eye-opening workshops was the evening on insects as the future of street food”, Streat Helsinki producer Nina Ruotsalainen explains. 


Streat Helsinki NIGHT BITES sparked after-hours cravings

kuva4_eetuahanenOn 19 March, Streat Helsinki NIGHT BITES showcased five new dishes in the hopes of seeing them as future classics on Helsinki’s nighttime menu. The Thursday evening was organised as a collaboration between night time kiosk vendors and the chefs Teemu Aura, Sami Garam and Meri-Tuuli Lindström. The five hand-picked grill kiosks around the downtown area witnessed hundreds of customers taking up on the offer of new dishes after dark. The long queues and sold-out dishes proved that classics and traditions have their place, but that there is space for a new type of demand.

“It is rare to see dozens of people lining up early on a Thursday evening. We wanted to wake up both citizens and entrepreneurs to consider the future possibilities of kiosk food. Centrally located food snack kiosks could develop into all-day, versatile food stalls. I will consider the experiences and feedback from Night Bites as one factor in the upcoming decisions regarding these kiosk vending spots”, promises Timo Santala, head of the City of Helsinki’s Food Culture Strategy. 

“I really loved NIGHT BITES because Streat Helsinki took existing street food and found ways to integrate it into the festival, and had Helsinki folks and small food businesses appreciate that they can also innovate with what they have. It was so cool to see how one event could get different people out to the kiosks at different times of the day than usual, and exciting to see those as opportunities that could be available everyday, beyond the event”, says Geetika Agrawal from San Francisco’s La Cocina, who spoke at Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS.

The dishes developed for Streat Helsinki NIGHT BITES will remain on the menus at the Karhupuiston Grilli, Rautatientorin Grilli and Jaskan Grilli kiosks. Manskun Grilli and Pikku Jaska would also keep the dishes, but are currently lacking the adequate spaces needed to prepare them. 


Streat Helsinki SUBURBS proved that street food is loved in the suburbs

kuva5_eetuahanenA head start to the food festival took place from 21 February to 14 March. The Streat Helsinki SUBURBS tour headed out of the city centre and into the suburbs to spread the joy of street food on four consecutive Saturdays. The food trucks attracted more than 3 000 visitors to Malmi, Kontula, Vuosaari and Lauttasaari, and over 2 500 portions were sold. Streat Helsinki SUBURBS moved around with three or four food trucks, and the families and elder people were well represented among customers.


Streat Helsinki EATS: a mouth-watering selection of 64 street kitchens

Streat Helsinki EATS brings the eats to the streets for an entire weekend. This year we’ve got more space, longer opening hours and a whopping amount of vendors. This is how to kick off the street food season. Do come hungry!


WORKSHOPS programme out, registration open!

Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS uutinen

Streat Helsinki delivers a whole host of workshops taking place at the Abattoir in Helsinki during 16-20 March. The WORKSHOPS programme sheds light on street food of today and tomorrow in Finland, Berlin, San Francisco, Sydney and Turkey. The programme is free-of-charge and is geared towards professionals and non-professionals alike, from entrepreneurs to food-lovers and from officials to authorities. In addition to all of our superstars, a number of surprise guests will also take the stage and get their hands dirty for Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS.

Taking place in Kellohalli and Flavour Studio, the capacity of workshops runs from 20 to 250 people. Check out the programme here!


Come volunteer at Streat Helsinki!

iloisia ihmisiä

Food carnivals that take over entire cities don’t just happen. There’s a whole host of many different organisations, businesses, associations, city departments and other parties involved. One of the most important groups that helps make something like this happen are volunteers. If it weren’t for volunteers, the street food scene in this country would not be jumping headfirst into the future, as it’s about to do in a couple weeks time, in March.

Alas, there’s no time to lose! We’ve now opened up the registration form for all you volunteers! If you feel like you’re missing some meaningful volunteer work in your life, and would like to spend a day or two in good company, now is your chance. Volunteers can do any number of things, and can sign up for a day, or two if you feel like it. The average working day is between 6-10 hours, usually not more than 8 hours per day. As thanks for your valuable effort, we’ll feed you, send you home with a work certificate and a limited edition Streat Helsinki t-shirt.

We hope you’re as into this as we are, and we’re happy you want to be part of this particular revolution with us!


Streat Helsinki expands and evolves: A week-long street food extravaganza takes over the city

food truckStreat Helsinki kicked off a street food revolution last year and this March the street food festival takes over the city for the second time. The festivities blow up to a full week of street food, including street food development and support initiatives, nighttime bites and a tour in the suburbs. Streat Helsinki takes place 16–22 March 2015, with the SUBURBS tour making a head start already on 21 February 2015. 

Streat Helsinki’s aim is to develop diversity in food culture. It sees street food and its makers as a part of food culture, as a part of livelihood, and as a part of a lively city that strikes a chord with citizens and visitors alike. Last year, the two-day celebration placed Helsinki at the head of the biggest food trend in the world. In 2015, the street food revolution brings its evolution even further. 

Streat Helsinki EATS grows into a two-day event 21–22 March

 The 2014 Streat Helsinki EATS festival gathered an audience of 20 000 and the total amount of portions sold in one day was 25 000. This year the festival will run two days, and the event site in the Tori Quarters expands towards the Senate Square. Streat Helsinki EATS keeps the kitchens running from Saturday to Sunday 21–22 March from 11am until 7pm.

“The definition of street food is broad, but this year we wish to rather deepen than expand it. We are challenging street food entrepreneurs to offer new kinds of bites and to give our visitors many reasons to dig into street food during the weekend”, tells Streat Helsinki EATS producer Anna Pakarinen from Tori Quarters.

The dozens of street kitchens and menus will be revealed closer to the event. This year’s festival crew is even broader, better and more international. The application form for food vendors is still open until Sunday 22 February on www.streathelsinki.com.

 Streat Helsinki SUBURBS 21 February – 14 March

A head start to the food festival takes place already in February. The Streat Helsinki SUBURBS tour heads out of the city centre and into the suburbs to spread the joy of street food on four consecutive Saturdays in Helsinki’s suburbs. The food trucks arrive in Malmi 21.2., in Kontula 28.2., in Vuosaari 7.3. and in Lauttasaari 14.3.2015.

“Streets, urban culture and food culture are found everywhere. When we have food trucks that are meant to be on the move, why wouldn’t we go out and celebrate street food also in the suburbs? Food has an amazing power to gather people together and to spread cheer. Of course we want to do this as broadly as possible”, Streat Helsinki project manager Nina Ruotsalainen says.

Streat Helsinki SUBURBS moves around with three or four food trucks, packed with food as well as with surprises and additions. A detailed schedule and updates can be found on www.streathelsinki.com, as well as on Facebook. 

Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS 16–20 March

The 2014 Streat Helsinki TALKS event hosted conversations between Finnish and international friends of street food. This year it is time to move from words to actions as Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS takes over the Abattoir premises for five days 16–20 March. The event programme is aimed at both professionals and interested foodies.

Workshops participants are encouraged to partake in conversations, sample taste bites, as well as throw on an apron. The evolution of the street food revolution is examined together with officials, street food professionals and event producers. Those dreaming of their own food truck will get practical guidance. Other tasty topics include, for example, insects as street food of the future, and food bikes.

Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS also welcomes international street food names. The founder of Berlin’s Street Food Thursday, Breakfast Market, The Bar Market and other events, Kavita Meelu, is arriving in Helsinki to share Berlin stories, as well as to get acquainted with the local flavour. Geetika Agrawal of La Cocina, a San Francisco food business and creator of the San Francisco Street Food Festival will offer a future mapping of street food, and Arda Türkmen, the face of the super famous Turkish cooking show, will prove that Turkish street food is more than kebab. Arriving with his own film crew, Arda will spread the joy of Helsinki street food back to his homeland.

The full programme of Streat Helsinki WORKSHOPS will be published on the Streat Helsinki website by the end of week 9, when the pre-registration for this free-of-charge event also opens.

Streat Helsinki NIGHT BITES and Streat Helsinki PARTIES

A crucial form of street food is the nighttime one, traditionally offered in Helsinki by no-frills kiosks. This year, Streat Helsinki will think about the significance of these nighttime kiosks in the city food chain, and also take the talks into action. The Streat Helsinki NIGHT BITES evening on 19 March takes a bite of kiosk food.

“The City of Helsinki’s Food Culture Strategy shows that the City can boost food culture with agility and innovation. The City’s leases on food kiosks will come to an end at the end of September and we are facing the time of making decisions on these vendor spots. Streat Helsinki wants to help the City make good decisions, and to encourage entrepreneurs to maintain diversity also in these street kitchens,” says Timo Santala, head of Helsinki’s Food Culture Strategy.

Nighttime food goes hand in hand with partying. Streat Helsinki PARTIES will liven up the mood also this year. The PARTIES and NIGHT BITES programme will be published on the event website and on Facebook.

The main organisers of Streat Helsinki are the City of Helsinki’s Food Culture Strategy, Tori Quarters and the Abattoir. The main partner is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and other partners include Visit Finland and City of Helsinki Public Works Department


Streat Helsinki SUBURBS takes food trucks to the suburbs between 21 February - 14 March

SUBURBS logo

The Streat Helsinki SUBURBS tour heads out of the city centre and into the suburbs to show just how enjoyable street food can be. On four Saturdays, suburban squares and streets get a taste of the action too often limited to central spots in Helsinki. As food trucks are mobile creatures they will make a head start on the weekends leading up to the Streat Helsinki main event.

Each event whistles in a handful of food trucks and look out for side events to be added on the programme! The tour dates and vendors are set as follows:

21 Feb 11am-6pm Malmi: Ala-Malmi square (area between Malmitalo and the shopping centre)
Kimchi Wagon
The Alexanders
Richard McCormick’s

28 Feb 11am-6pm Kontula: Kontulantie 20 (in front of the metro station taxi stand)
Kimchi Wagon
Street Gastro
Richard McCormick’s Food Truck

7 Mar 11am-6pm Vuosaari: Mosaiikkitori square
Maulito
The Alexanders
Richard McCormick’s Food Truck

14 Mar 11am-6pm Lauttasaari: Heikkiläntori square
Kimchi Wagon
Maulito
The Alexanders
Soi Soi

Menus and additional programming are added on the Facebook event during the week of each event.