12 Cheap Foods Only Finnish People Love

Finland is known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and unique culinary traditions. For both locals and visitors, experiencing the traditional foods of Finland is a must. While some might think Finnish cuisine is all about fancy fish dishes or expensive reindeer meals, there’s a whole world of delicious and affordable foods that are beloved by the Finnish people. In this blog, we’ll explore 12 cheap foods that only Finnish people love, giving you a taste of the local flavor without breaking the bank.

Why should you care about cheap Finnish foods? If you’re living in Finland, visiting for vacation, or just curious about what the locals eat, knowing about these budget-friendly dishes can enrich your experience. For students and expats, finding affordable food options is crucial. For travelers, tasting local cuisine is one of the best ways to understand and enjoy a new culture. And for everyone, trying these dishes can be a delightful culinary adventure.

cheap food in finland

FinlandFoodMenu makes it easy to discover these traditional, low-budget foods. Our website provides comprehensive menus in English from nearby and popular restaurants in Finland, giving you the insight you need to make delicious choices. Whether you’re searching for a quick bite, a hearty meal, or a new favorite dish, you’ll find plenty of options that won’t strain your wallet.

So, let’s dive into the world of cheap Finnish foods and discover the flavors that Finnish people love and cherish.

1. Karelian Pies (Karjalanpiirakat)

Karelian traditional pies

Karelian pies are a beloved Finnish treat made from a thin rye crust filled with rice porridge or mashed potatoes. Originating from the Karelia region, these pies are often enjoyed with a spread of egg butter (munavoi). They are a staple in Finnish households and can be found in bakeries and markets across the country. Their simplicity and affordability make them a popular choice for a quick snack or a light meal.

2. Pea Soup (Hernekeitto)

Cheap Finnish food-Pea Soup

Pea soup is a traditional Finnish dish typically served on Thursdays. Made from dried peas and often seasoned with pork, this hearty soup has a long history dating back to the Swedish rule. It’s a comforting and nutritious meal that is incredibly affordable, especially when made in large batches. Many restaurants offer pea soup as a lunch special, often accompanied by pancakes for dessert.

3. Rye Bread (Ruisleipä)

Rye Bread

Rye bread is a cornerstone of Finnish cuisine. This dense, dark bread is made from whole grain rye flour and has a distinctive, slightly sour taste. It’s a nutritious and filling option that pairs well with a variety of toppings, from butter and cheese to smoked fish. Rye bread is widely available and very affordable, making it a daily staple for many Finns.

4. Blood Pancakes (Veriohukaiset)

Blood pancakes

Blood pancakes might sound unusual to some, but they are a traditional Finnish dish made from pig’s blood, flour, and spices. These savory pancakes are rich in iron and flavor, often served with lingonberry jam. They are an economical and nutritious option, reflecting the Finnish tradition of using all parts of the animal. Blood pancakes can be found at certain markets and traditional Finnish restaurants.

5. Sautéed Reindeer (Poronkäristys)

Sautéed Reindeer

Sautéed reindeer is a classic dish from the Lapland region. Thin slices of reindeer meat are sautéed with onions and spices, typically served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce. While reindeer meat might seem like a luxury, it is quite affordable and widely available in Finland, especially in the north. This dish provides a taste of Finnish Lapland and is a must-try for anyone visiting the country.

6. Cabbage Rolls (Kaalikääryleet)

Cabbage rolls

Cabbage rolls are a comforting and budget-friendly dish made by wrapping seasoned minced meat and rice in cabbage leaves, then baking them in a savory sauce. This dish has been a part of Finnish cuisine for generations, offering a filling and nutritious meal that doesn’t cost much to prepare. They can be found in many home-style restaurants and are a popular homemade dish.

7. Salmon Soup (Lohikeitto)

Salmon soup

Salmon soup is a beloved Finnish dish made with chunks of salmon, potatoes, leeks, and carrots in a creamy broth. Despite using salmon, this soup remains an affordable option due to the availability of fish in Finland. It’s a warm and hearty meal perfect for the cold Finnish weather, often served with a side of rye bread.

8. Mashed Potatoes and Sausage (Perunamuusi ja Makkara)

mashed potatoes sausages

Mashed potatoes and sausage is a simple yet satisfying Finnish meal. The dish consists of creamy mashed potatoes paired with grilled or fried sausages. It’s a common comfort food that’s easy on the wallet and widely available in restaurants and at home. This dish is perfect for a quick and hearty meal.

9. Finnish Pancakes (Pannukakku)

finnish pancake

Finnish pancakes are a delicious and affordable treat, typically served as a dessert or a sweet breakfast option. Unlike American pancakes, they are baked in the oven and have a custard-like texture. Served with fresh berries, jam, or a sprinkle of sugar, these pancakes are a favorite among Finns of all ages.

10. Finnish Macaroni Casserole (Makaronilaatikko)

finnish macroni casserole

Macaroni casserole is a beloved Finnish comfort food made with macaroni, ground meat, and a creamy egg-milk mixture, baked until golden. It’s a go-to dish for families due to its simplicity, affordability, and ability to feed many people. This casserole is often served with a side salad or pickles.

11. Finnish Buns (Pulla)

finnish buns

Pulla are soft, sweet buns flavored with cardamom and often topped with pearl sugar or almonds. These buns are enjoyed with coffee or as a snack throughout the day. They are inexpensive to make and widely available in bakeries across Finland. The aroma and taste of pulla are quintessentially Finnish and beloved by all.

12. Fish Pastries (Kalakukko)

finnish fish pasteries

Kalakukko is a traditional Finnish fish pastry from the Savonia region. It consists of fish (usually perch or salmon) and pork baked inside a rye crust. This hearty and portable meal is both affordable and filling, making it a popular choice for workers and travelers. Kalakukko can be found in specialty shops and markets.

FAQs Related to Cheapest Food in Finland


In this blog, we explored 12 cheap foods that are cherished by Finnish people. From Karelian pies and rye bread to blood pancakes and sautéed reindeer, these dishes offer a delicious glimpse into Finnish culinary traditions. By knowing where to find these affordable foods, whether in local markets, supermarkets, or restaurants, you can enjoy the rich flavors of Finland without spending a fortune. Whether you’re a local, an expat, or a visitor, trying these budget-friendly foods is a fantastic way to experience Finland’s unique food culture.