How many are actually vegetarians in a vegetarian restaurant?

A typical Kipsari scene, image courtesy:

There is a special student restaurant in Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture: Kipsari is a student bar, cafe, and restaurant owned by the student union, located in the basement floor. There are three restaurants in the school premises where students get discount for meals, and the other two surely always offer vegetarian options. Why then do the students go to Kipsari while it certainly is not the closest to all students? Are they all vegetarians? Is Kipsari more tasty?

I asked around and got answers from thirty people–although nowhere near being scientific–it turns out that only four out of thirty were vegetarians. That is a little more than 10 per cent although it is still higher than the average according to Vinnari as only 0.5 to 3 per cent of the adult population in Finland is vegetarian depending on the method of calculation.

First name Vege- tarian1? Prefer Kipsari2? What he or she said3
Ilmari No Yes I am socially open to any restaurant, but I prefer Kipsari because the food is nutritious here. They use many different beans that are very good source of vegetable protein. It seems not as institutionalized as others.
Saana No Yes I like the atmosphere here. It’s cozy and casual.
Anni No Yes I prefer Kipsari because I can see the staff cooking here from scratch.
Aurelia No Not really I came here today to take away a Cheese Sandwich. It’s always something small to take away when I come here.
Claire No Not really I also come here to pick up something small–tuna sandwich is my favorite.
Tero No Yes The food tastes good, and interesting as they are not everyday Finnish food. I also try to support the student union which I am a member of.
Ilpo No No I happened to come here today, but I do not come here often. My wife is vegetarian and what’s offered in Kipsari is pretty similar to what I eat at home. I go to other restaurants to compensate–meatballs and stuff.
Laura No Not really I am not a student at School of Art, Design and Architecture (TaiK) but School of Technology and Science (TKK). I have not been to the other two restaurants as my group mates prefer Kipsari. I feel that there are more vegetarians in TaiK than in TKK. Why not? It wouldn’t hurt to eat vegetarian food every once in a while.
Anders Yes Yes The food here is very nutritious and tasty.
Inna No Yes The food is okay, but I like the casual atmosphere here.
Heidi Yes Yes I am vegetarian, so is my kid, my husband and the whole family on my side. We eat eggs and dairy, but no animal flesh. Although the other restaurants offer vegetarian options, I like the food here in Kipsari that are prepared by hands of the staff.
Elina No Yes The food is simply better here.
Inka, Emilia, Anssi No Yes It’s a nice restaurant. We prefer here because we like both the food and atmosphere here.
Heidi, Solia No Yes We are not students, but we work at the Cartoon Center (Sarjakuvakeskus) across from here. We like the atmosphere, the food is good and affordable although we do not get the discount. We come here every once in a while.
Kealya No No I do not really prefer Kipsari over other restaurants. I am an exchange student here, and there has always been vegetarian restaurant or vegetarian options around, so this doesn’t really feel too special.
Jesse No Yes I am a student at University of Helsinki. I study computer science at Kumpula campus, but I come here because I like the food and atmosphere here.
Matti No Yes I like the atmosphere.
Olga No Yes I prefer Kipsari because the food is tasty and special–they use interesting spices.
Taija No No I like Kipsari but it’s not that I come here all the time.
Mikaela No Yes I am not a vegetarian, and but I prefer vegetarian meal. I almost always come to Kipsari.
Kiia No Yes I like the food here.
Hilla Yes Yes I am vegetarian, actually almost vegan, and naturally Kipsari is my number one choice.
Tuomas No Yes I do not eat industrially grown meat but I eat game and fish.
Nicholas No Yes I am a student at Metropolia but I come here because the food is good and I still get the student discount.
Joel Yes Yes Though all the student restaurants provide vegetarian option, I feel that the others just warm up the frozen food whereas here the staff cook everything from scratch, so that the food has home-made feeling to it.
Erdem No No Well, it’s more of social thing. I have no problem with Kipsari, and I come here when others want to come.
Da-woon No Yes. Recently I have become to like the salad here. It’s quite addictive!

It is striking that only four out of thirty visitors at Kipsari were vegetarians. One might think–wrongly as it turns out–that the art school is full of hippies and vegetarians. What make Kipsari attractive various and interesting: visitors can see the staff cooking food from scratch; the atmosphere is cozy and casual; interesting spices unusual in Finnish cuisine; nice take-aways such as sandwiches (that are also made from scratch).

Kipsari is open not only for student. Anyone can come and have beer–yes, they sell beer and the price is moderate for non-students as well. In fact Kipsari is rated as in an ordinary restaurant on, which is a well-regarded restaurant review site in Helsinki. So, you may as well give it a try if you happen to come to Helsinki.

1. Varieties of vegetarianism, such as ovo vegetarianism, Lacto, ovo-lacto, veganism et cetera, are not considered.

2. The original question was “Do you prefer Kipsari over other two restaurants in the premises of Aalto School of Art, Design and Architecture?”.

3. It was really quick question and answer, and I have written down quicky what they said, and formulated them back into sentences. Each of them were given a card with my contact information and the URL of this blog, so that they can visit this post and clarify if anything is incorrect.