From the clean, minimalist lines to the light, airy spaces of the building; from grimace-wringing salty liquorice to an impeccably glacéed Blueberry Danish, the Poro Café in Finlandia Village is your one-stop destination for a slice of Scandinavia in the Redlands.

With the widest selection* of Finnish and Swedish delicacies in Queensland, the Poro Café is a must for those seeking to savour something outside the box of regular ethnic fare. *(second only to a certain flat-pack furniture store)

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What’s in a name? “Poro” is the Finnish word for reindeer, but for Finns that humble, velvet-horned beast evokes images of survival in the frozen northlands, of stamina and sustenance, of stoical perseverance in the face of harsh, sub-arctic wilderness. More prosaically, the reindeer is of course Santa’s helper and preferred mode of transport. For those who would add a twist to the name, “Poro” also refers to coffee grounds, and Finns are quick to make a distinction between “real coffee”(which they call “poro coffee”) and instant coffee.

For lunch you should try the delightfully mild-but-complex flavours of the rye sourdough open sandwiches, with your choice of topping: pickled herring with fresh dill and egg, or cold-smoked salmon with gherkins and capers, or an Anglo-Finnish fusion of chicken and mayonnaise. Or you may acquire a taste for the perennial (Finnish) favourite, Karelian Pie, with an open, sourdough rye base filled with a savoury rice pudding and finished with a generous spread of egg-and-butter crumble. For the less adventurous (or more seriously hungry), Poro Café also serves familiar hot dishes such as lasagne, quiche, and a divine chicken pot pie.

The café is stocked with a variety of chocolate, mint, liquorice, and sour sweets from award-winning Scandinavian confectionary manufacturers, fruits of the forest in lingonberry, cloudberry, gooseberry and elderflower conserves and syrups, and slightly harder-core Scandinavian provender such as pickled herring, sourdough rye and cumin crispbread, cod roe paste, Finnish mustard and Swedish salmon spread.

The Poro Café’s gleaming kitchen sports a sophisticated commercial oven, and traditional Finnish pastries, pies, slices and cinnamon scroll buns are baked fresh daily, on site.

Coffee in Finland

Coffee is known in some circles as “Scandinavian gasoline,” and Finland regularly ranks first in global coffee consumption per capita, with an estimated 12kgs consumed annually per head of population. Given this cultural affinity for the brew, it’s only natural that Poro Café should have its own custom blend coffee, available for purchase in the café shop.

The café is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. See you soon!