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.