Streat Helsinki NIGHT BITES sparked after-hours cravings
On 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.