The prospect of travel brings a certain level of excitement to most. For vegetarians, on the other hand, it can inspire a bit of concern and anxiety. If you’re a person who’s trying out a plant-based lifestyle or someone who’s already practicing it, you might be wondering what dining options there are at Helsinki Airport in case you get hungry before or after check-in.
The Eggplant Parmigiana (pictured above) at Ulappa Café and Bar (Terminal 2, Check-in hall) is a can’t-go-wrong choice. The classic dish – a blend of basil, eggplant, tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano – is a layered casserole much like lasagne but with aubergine slices taking the place of pasta. It’s one of those great Southern Italian comfort foods that’s light but filling, a combination that can help contribute to a bloat-free flight.
The fresh flavors of Ulappa’s Gnocchi, tossed in a red pesto made from sundried tomatoes, become apparent at first bite. Considering how fundamentally simple they are, gnocchi can sometimes be tricky to make. Do it wrong, and they become gummy little bricks. Get it right – the less water in the potatoes, the less flour you need to make the dough; the less flour in the dough, the lighter the gnocchi – and they're soft,delicate and silky-smooth, as in this case.
In much the same way, the Pasta Pomodoro at Bistrot (Terminal 2, Arrivals hall 2A) hits the spot. With hardly any adornment – no beef, no olives, no spinach or ricotta – a simple tomato sauce is forced to stand on its own. Fortunately, when judged on its own merits, this particular Pomodoro holds up rather well.
There are other things to try at Bistrot for vegetarians on the go. The Foccacia with leipäjuusto, or bread cheese, and cloudberry jam is a traditional grilled cheese sandwich done in a distinctly Finnish way. The marriage of salty and sweet is one that shouldn't work, but it magically does. The layering doesn’t satiate you with only one specific flavor.
It’s also possible to assemble your own Fresh Salad. If those health experts are right and the key to balanced nutrition is feasting on as many colors as possible, it’s most likely that Bistrot has got you covered.
Read also about gluten free dishes at Helsinki Airport