Helsinki Has a Restaurant Day When Anyone Can Be a Chef for a Day

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Helsinki residents have several chances every year to become chefs for a day and open an eatery wherever they want. 

Restaurant Day is held four times every year – on the third Saturday of February, May, August, and November. Restaurant Day is basically a day when anyone can open a pop-up restaurant and serve whatever they want. What started in the capital of Finland later spread to many other cities, towns, and villages around the world. 

This unusual holiday was invented by Timo Santala and his friends in the spring of 2011. They wanted to come up with an event that would bring people together, and a month later the city had a row of temporary stands serving all types of food you can imagine. The event was so successful that they decided to host it again in three months, and it soon began a seasonal event that happens four times every year. “Restaurant Day allows us all to test concepts we’re not sure about,” Santala tells Smithsonian Magazine, “though the crazier, the better.”

Does your hometown/city have something like this?