More about Restaurant Day

Global Carnival, Local Pop-Ups

Restaurant Day is the world’s largest food carnival. People around the world open little pop-up restaurants, cafes, and shops for their communities. On Restaurant Day, you can find pop-ups in the streets, city parks, out of storefronts, restaurants, and even in people’s homes! (Matter of fact, one pop-up was held on a yacht in the Caribbean!)

Launched in May 2011, Restaurant Day actually occurs 4 times a year, corresponding with each season. The carnivals are always held on the third Saturday of February, May, August, and November. In a spirit of good food and community, people around the world set-up shop and sell cakes, cookies and biscuits, hearty soups and stews, delicious craft beer, cider, and coffees, the list goes on. These pop-ups can pop-up in the strangest or most creative of places, and they can also open on your street, in your neighbour’s home. At the office, on a street corner, in your garden or inner courtyard, at a park, or on the beach – only your imagination is the limit.

If you have something you love to make and eat, and think others would also love to eat or drink it, then open your pop-up! Just sign up and on Restaurant Day, set up a shop for a few hours, and sell it. You’ll be glad you did, the experience is one of a kind!


Restaurant Day is the world’s largest food carnival. During the first five years alone, Restaurant Day saw 27 000 pop-up restaurants, hosted by over 100 000 restaurateurs. It is estimated that during that time, over 3 million customers were served in 75 countries.

Pop-up restaurants have so far popped up on Restaurant Day in Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belize, Belgium, Bonaire, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Ecuador, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, USA and Uzbekistan.

Notable Awards

Consumer Act of the Year, 2014, award given by the Finnish Consumers Union

Finland Prize, 2011, award given by Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland

Food Event of the Year in Denmark, 2013, chosen by Mat+Medier

Food Phenomenon of the Year, 2011, chosen by Gloria Food & Wine magazine

Best Event, 2012, Best of Helsinki vote by Helsinki City Tourism and Convention Bureau

Best Mobile Service in Finland, 2012, award given by Teleforum

Social Media Event of the Year, 2013, award given by Some Awards Finland

Production of the Year in Finland, 2013, award given by Arts and Culture Union Taku ry

Finnish Travel Award, 2014, given by Finnish Fair Foundation

Ruohonjuuri Award, 2014, given by Ruohonjuuri

Cultural Event of the Year, 2011, award given by Helsinki City Library and Cultural Committee

Positive Shout-outs to Restaurant Day

Restaurant Day is exactly the sort of project that will define our future. Restaurant Day has inspired the city’s population to question how things are run and to experiment and put forward new ideas of how daily life might be improved in the future. — Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki (Monocle’s city survey on Helsinki in the May 2012 issue)

Restaurant Day is a prime example of how food can give birth to a new type of community. — Johanna Mäkelä, professor of Food Culture, University of Helsinki (Helsingin Sanomat newspaper Jan 3 2012)

Restaurant Day has probably affected Finnish restaurant culture more than anything else since the new alcohol legislation of 1969 when beer was allowed to be sold in supermarkets. — Paavo Arhinmäki, Minister of Education and Culture (The speech for Finland Prize)

Restaurant Day changes Helsinki’s profile by placing the people in the center. Restaurant Day is new and surprising. It is culture by the people for the people. — Anni Sinnemäki, Head of the Library and Cultural Committee, City of Helsinki & Ex-minister of Labour (The speech for Cultural Event of the Year award)

Global Team

The real heroes of Restaurant Day really truly are the thousands of fun loving people setting up and enjoying amazing pop-up restaurants. That being said, a group of volunteers works in the background to keep things running smoothly. We are always looking for ambassadors to join our team to help spread Restaurant Day into their city. If that interests you, then visit us on our ambassadors page, and for any other comments or questions, you may reach us at

Press photos

Restaurant Day photos can be used free of charge ONLY as part of journalistic communication about Restaurant Day and with a single right of publication. Permission must be given. All other uses must be negotiated separately with the photographer. The photographers name and Restaurant Day MUST be credited alongside the published photo in all cases. The names of the people, the photo captions and the photographer information can be found on the metadata. Photos must not be cropped or edited in any way that might change the main composition of the photo. In the case of print publication two copies of each magazine or newspaper MUST be sent to Restaurant Day. In the case of web publication a link to the photos MUST be sent to

If these rules of conduct are not fulfilled and these photos are published against this license, a fee of usage of 200€ (+VAT 24%) per photo will be billed. These rules of conduct are legally binding and by publishing any of these photos you agree to this license.

For licensing any other than journalistic use, please contact the photographer directly.


Restaurant Day logo (pdf)