With Orthodox roots, Karelian cuisine includes pastries such as a karjalanpiirakka (rye pastry filled with rice or potato), which appear on buffets throughout the region. Salmon, whitefish, forest mushrooms, berries and birch sap are prevalent. Dishes tend to be baked or stewed, with little seasoning.
Lappeenranta and Joensuu have the majority of restaurants and supermarkets. In remote areas, options are limited and self-caterers should stock up ahead of time.