With its rich seafaring history and position as a gate to the Baltic Sea, the charming town of Hanko is a popular destination for boaters and adventurers alike. It is also home to many restaurants and eateries, with two hotspots being Stranden Bar & Kitchen and its sister restaurant Bryggan.

Both situated in the idyllic Eastern Harbour, Stranden is an all-year-round restaurant for lunch and á la carte customers, while Bryggan is a cosy bistro focusing more on summer guests and people visiting Hanko by sea.

Stranden Bar & Kitchen: Two culinary gems in Finland’s boating paradise

Hanko is a summer gem offering sea, great food and scenery. Photo: Bryggan

Hanko itself is a real summer gem for holidaymakers who enjoy the mix of sea, great food and beautiful scenery. And thanks to its position as a peninsula in the south of Finland, Hanko is known for its large guest port which attracts boaters from all over. “The town’s population triples in summer, mainly thanks to the port which makes Hanko a natural pitstop for seafarers,” explains restaurant owner Mats Rehnström. “But we also have many guests coming via train from Helsinki to enjoy the fresh air, and of course, the great food.”

Stranden Bar & Kitchen: Two culinary gems in Finland’s boating paradise

Left and middle photo: Brygan. Right: Both eateries have a genuine feel about them, with great service. Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen

A hit all year around

Stranden Bar & Kitchen has been open for three years, successfully feeding hungry guests in summer as well as winter. A versatile restaurant with lots to offer, Stranden serves coffee and breakfast in the morning – an offering popular with locals who use the café as a meeting place to connect. Come lunchtime, Stranden provides a daily lunch menu and offers á la carte evenings and weekends.

“Our menu is always driven by seasonality, and we work closely with local producers to ensure the best quality and taste for our guests. For instance, we often source fish such as zander from Åland, vegetables from Turku and prawns from Gothenburg,” says Rehnström. “Naturally, fish and seafood are particularly popular and something that guests crave when they come to eat.”

Stranden Bar & Kitchen: Two culinary gems in Finland’s boating paradise

Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen

The summer go-to

Bryggan on the other hand, is a summer restaurant with one of Hanko’s sunniest terraces. This bistro is well established, now in its 13th year of business, and is open from May to August. As with Stranden, the same mentality goes into the bistro’s menu, with seasonality and great produce outlining its overall offering. Here, fresh seafood is the top pick along with fish & chips.

A couple of things that connect the two restaurants are the warm customer service and the authenticity. Indeed, both eateries have a genuine feel about them, always showcasing the best that Hanko has to offer and celebrating the town’s culture, too.

And speaking of culture, Hanko in summer is an excellent destination for those hoping to catch a sailing event. “We have a close partnership with the local sailing association, which arranges a great sailing race during the first week of July each year,” says Rehnström. “And with plenty more boating events and races to watch in Hanko throughout summer, we encourage and welcome everyone to enjoy the mix of thrilling competitions and delicious food.”

Stranden Bar & Kitchen: Two culinary gems in Finland’s boating paradise

Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen

Surf and cycle

Sailing and summer aside, Hanko is also a fantastic destination to enjoy activities like hiking, golf, horseback riding and cycling all year around, with a local bicycle factory established in the town itself. Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, you can even windsurf in the middle of winter – an exciting activity which is becoming increasingly popular.

In fact, many say that Hanko shows its absolute best side during autumn and winter. However, no matter the season, visitors can always enjoy superb hotels and a welcoming atmosphere, wherever they go. “More and more, you notice that people come here because of the peaceful nature and the beautiful sea. The scenery around Hanko is truly stunning, so it is a great place to visit whenever you need to recharge your batteries, or just enjoy time away from home,” explains Rehnström.

And thanks to its somewhat humble size, Hanko is the sort of town that is easy to get around by foot, especially in summer. So you can enjoy all the sights and activities the area has to offer at ease, perhaps starting off with a hearty breakfast at Stranden to fuel you for the day ahead, then finishing off with a cool drink and freshly caught fish down at Bryggan’s sun-drenched terrace in the afternoon or evening. Sounds like your cup of tea? Well, then there is only one thing to do.

Stranden Bar & Kitchen: Two culinary gems in Finland’s boating paradise

Photo: Stranden Bar & Kitchen

Web: www.strandenhanko.fi
Facebook: Stranden Bar & Kitchen
Bryggan Hanko

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