I was delighted when I discovered Sweet Vaasa on my trip to Vaasa, Finland. Just a short distance from the market square, it’s a real gem of a place! Contrary to what the name might suggest, Sweet Vaasa doesn’t only make cakes and bakes. They offer a variety of savoury items too… sandwiches, wraps, massive salads (from the menu or buffet) and their Meal of the Day (such as warm salads, risotto and grilled chicken). They offer a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and lactose free menu too.
Sweet Vaasa bake all of their cakes and treats from scratch and I was impressed at the variety on display. It was so hard to choose, every single creation looked absolutely phenomenal. More than just little works of art, they tasted fresh and delicious. I could tell that Sweet Vaasa hold true to their ethos of using natural ingredients and avoiding additives and preservatives. Even their salad dressings are freshly made and thereby free of any unnecessary E numbers.
Their coffee is excellent (or so Paulo tells me) with every different style you can imagine: cappuccino, espresso, long black, cortado, macchiato, caffe latte, café au lait, affogato, iced latte… the list goes on. The tea lover in me was impressed by the row of jars displaying a nice range of loose leaf teas. Blue Earl Grey was my favourite. I loved that it came with a packet of honey and that I could ask for a free refill of hot water.
The décor, featuring muted tones of cool grey, white and cream, inspired calmness and I felt at ease, even when I was by myself.
However, this highly instagrammable spot isn’t a case of style over substance. The lovely ambience drew me in but the food had me coming back. On my first visit, I had the Meal of the Day: a warm salad featuring smoked salmon and roasted potatoes piled on lettuce, radicchio, cucumbers, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers… all topped with crème fraîche and fresh dill and served with a side of their homemade salad dressing. It came with a slice of freshly baked bread and tea/coffee was included in the price.
This massive, tasty salad didn’t deter me from having my cake and eating it too. How could I resist such sweet temptation?
I chose the Death by Chocolate cake… aptly named because my taste buds died and went to food heaven! (Fortunately, they came back for more). How could something so rich and decadent taste so light? It is obvious there is a team of expert bakers at Sweet Vaasa.
I brought Paulo with me on another visit and he was just as impressed as I was. We both had the Meal of the Day: warm Mediterranean chicken salad with roasted red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, radicchio, olives and feta cheese, served with freshly baked focaccia.
Sweet Vaasa strive to use locally produced and grown ingredients. Blueberries are rampant in Finland (Finnair even offer blueberry juice on their flights) so it’s pretty much blueberry errything, much to my delight as they are my favourite fruit!
Paulo and I shared a deliciously moist blueberry muffin, topped with a dollop of icing and a single, fresh blackberry. Paulo had the recommended (by me) Death by Chocolate cake and I went for more blueberries. The Naked Blueberry Cake featured layer after layer of luxuriously light cake and mousse, topped with sweet blueberries with just a hint of tart. I can honestly say it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever had.
It’s worth mentioning that Sweet Vaasa’s walls play host to various exhibitions. At the time of my visit, there was a very interesting exhibition titled Enough is Enough!, featuring Finnish comics artists illustrating their response to increasing racism and inhumane acts.
Judging by the popularity of Sweet Vaasa (it fills up quickly after 11am when they start serving lunch), it’s obvious it’s well known with the locals. However, Vaasa has many visitors due to its thriving business, industrial, health, educational and tourism sectors. I would hate for anyone visiting Vaasa to miss out on this fantastic place. I, for one, am really glad I found it and would return in a heartbeat on my next trip.
The owners, managers or staff did not invite me to visit this establishment and were unaware that my experience would be the basis of a written review. It is based on my experience at my own cost and I did not receive compensation for my review.
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