Finland: Palsta wine bar and bistro

Planet Berlin: Finnish flair

Dreams come true

In 2015, Viivi Haussila-Seppo and her husband moved to the German capital from Helsinki. She brought with her both experience and a passion for gastronomy, and finally found the courage to start her own business. In 2018, she realized her dream when she opened the Palsta wine bar and bistro in the Schillerkiez.

Planet Berlin: Finnish flair

Rough charm

Old plank floors, solid wood tabletops on heavy metal legs, industrial ceiling lights, an exposed brick wall on one side and an unrendered wall on the other: The Palsta wine bar combines the best Nordic food and wine with rustic chic.

Planet Berlin: Finnish flair

Focus on freshness

Ultimately, the focus is less on the decor and high-design Scandinavian plates and glassware and more on the food’s freshness and taste.There’s a revolving selection of fish and fresh vegetarian and vegan dishes on the menu. The chef, meanwhile, sources vegetables and herbs from his city garden in Wedding — indeed, Palsta is Finnish for plot of land.

Planet Berlin: Finnish flair

A good drop

The Palsta package is rounded off with an innovative selection of organic pan-European wines chosen to be enjoyed on their own, or as a complement to the bistro menu. At Palsta, a large selection of unfiltered natural wines are lined invitingly on wooden shelves, and form an integral part of this very contemporary Nordic wine bar and bistro.

In the Finnish wine bar, Palsta, in Neukölln’s Schiller Kiez, natural unfiltered wines and Scandinavian cuisine make a perfect match. Owner Viivi Haussila-Seppo procures vegetables and herbs from a Berlin city garden.

"It almost feels like we're on the coast," says Viivi Haussila-Seppo. Her wine bar, Palsta, is located right next to Tempelhofer Feld, and offers a view that is second to none in Berlin. In 2018, Finnish-born Viivi Haussila-Seppo finally realized her dream project; opening a cozy restaurant with a great selection of organic wines and modern Scandinavian specialties. The menu includes fish as well as fresh vegetarian and vegan dishes. One of the most popular dishes is her shrimp tartare.

Vegetables and herbs come directly from the urban garden of chef Filip Sondergaard, and last summer his freshly-grown tomatoes also made an appearance. Viivi Haussila-Seppo came to Berlin from Helsinki in 2015, when her husband's startup relocated to the German capital. "It was a totally new start," she says. But Berlin offered her the opportunity to fulfill her life's dream, which was to open her own restaurant. "I was already fantasizing about running my own café in Helsinki, but I didn't have the guts at the time," says Viivi Haussila-Seppo.

Finland: Palsta - Move your cursor or finger for the 360° view

Finnish identity

So she buckled down and took the strategic route, gathering experience waitressing and working in cafés and restaurants for over a decade. In Berlin she finally felt it – she was ready. Her family and friends helped her develop a business plan. And the colorful crowd of Neukölln's Schillerkiez district was just the right fit. Here were the perfect conditions to unite her two homes, both old and new.

The atmosphere draws families with small children, young Neukölln residents, and couples alike, the latter no doubt for the dazzling wine selection. The feeling her restaurant evokes is a reflection of the name; in Finnish, ‘palsta' means ‘plot' or ‘parcel.'

The walls are lined with photographs and paintings from friends, one of which features two men in bathing suits standing under an outdoor shower in a garden allotment in Helsinki. "Nature is an important part of our identity in Finland," says Viivi Haussila-Seppo. And her Palsta is the perfect testament to that.

Author: Anima Müller

Oderstr. 52
12049 Berlin-Neukölln