In Lapinniemi, a bit more than two kilometers from the city center,lies a charming café called Lapinniemen Ansari for which the short distance is well worth covering.
“Ansari” is an old Finnish word for a greenhouse, and the building, which is from 1913, was originally the greenhouse for the Lapinniemi cotton factory, and the manufacturer’s wife used it to cultivate her plants.
We visited the place on a Saturday this fall, and sitting inside the cosy Ansari you feel like you are in a world of your own. Through the glass roof, you can see the colorful leaves of the surrounding trees and the red-cheeked fruit hanging from the apple trees. The place could really be described as a hidden gem, a treasure that will go unnoticed by those who only travel on the beaten track.
The counters at Ansari are filled with delicious-looking treat. Next to the tempting savory snacks, there is an astonishing number of cakes and pastries. We can actually count about twenty-five different varieties! In addition, there’s one counter full of ice cream to accompany special coffees and teas. You can also get a proper meal: there are salads and hot sandwiches as well as lasagna, chicken skewers and fricadelles on the menu.
We chose some traditional black tea – served in a cute little pot – and a piece of key lime pie and gluten-free apple and caramel cake. The cafés selection features a delightful variety of gluten-free treats that are more than tasty for those, too, who don’t exclude gluten from their diet. What comes to the food and the atmosphere, the experience is wonderful – the cosy and visually pleasing spot offers an enjoyable break. We must give extra credit for the fact that you can come and enjoy your coffee with hairy friend, too – dogs are allowed to join you indoors (which is hardly customary in Finnish cafés and restaurants). The only minus we feel we need to mention is that the place is slightly expensive. If they cut a couple of euros from the prices, our wallets would be grateful.
In addition to being a café, Ansari is also a boutique selling decorative stuff. So, when you’ve filled your belly with all things good, you can have a look around and see if you find something to take home with you. We ended up buying a few beautiful paper ornaments that will surely find their place in our Christmas tree.
The charming café has a lovely and cosy atmosphere all year round, and the scenery outside the glass roof changes according to the season as well as the weather, which makes each visit unique.
Lapinniemen Ansari, Lapinniemenranta 6
Open every day 11 am–8 pm