With Helsinki’s melting pot of culture, it’s not difficult for one to source out the type of food they are craving for. From traditional Finnish cuisines, exquisite European food, cute homely cafe’s where you feel at home, to the occasional unique fusion food, here are the best places to eat with interesting and varied cuisines in attractive locations.
1. Market Square
Known as Kauppatori in Finnish, the Market Square offers traditional food and treats. There are outdoor cafés and heated tents to keep you warm while you enjoy a cup of coffee. Some vendors also sell handicrafts and souvenirs. The best period to go is from spring to autumn. The annual Helsinki herring market begins in October.
Website: Market Square
2. Finlandia Caviar
An exquisite seafood restaurant serving selected caviar with wine. The servers are happy to recommend you their caviar, especially if you’ve never tried it before. Feel like an oligarch eating caviar in this clean restaurant which seems like an attraction in itself.
Address: Eteläranta 20, Helsinki
Website: Finlandia Caviar
3. Restaurant Loyly
Located on the island of Hernesaari in a spa complex, Restaurant Loyly has a great view from inside or on the terrace. Recommended dishes are Jasper’s Fish Soup with a glass of champagne, and there are brunch options like Waffles with Chanterelle and Nettle Hash.
Address: Hernesaarenranta 4, Helsinki
Website: Restaurant Loyly
Ragu’s artistic food with Italian ambience is a highly rated restaurant to eat in Helsinki. Located in a historical building from the 1890s near Esplanadi Park, Ragu has a welcoming service and lively atmosphere. Choose the weekly ‘House’ menu for the latest produce.
Address: Ludviginkatu 3-5, Helsinki
5. Konstan Molja
Konstan Molja comes with a maritime atmosphere and sea memorabilia decor. A homely but affordable eatery with traditional Finnish delights, indulge in the Finns meal like Carelian roast, smoked reindeer soup, or salmon and potatoes prepared in many ways. A small but unique and homely restaurant.
Address: Hietalahdenkatu 14, Helsinki
Website: Konstan Molja
Combining Nordic cooking and molecular gastronomy in Helsinki, this Michelin star restaurant blends Finnish cuisine with traditional and modern cooking techniques. There is also an exquisite selection of crafted wines, where some are only available in the restaurant. The recommended sitting area is within the lovely restaurant’s courtyard.
Address: Pohjoisesplanadi 5, Helsinki
7. Chef & Sommelier
Located close to the sea along a pretty street, Chef & Sommelier uses organic ingredients and has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, along with a fair trade practice. With a Michelin star rating, this tiny bistro has a Parisian atmosphere but serves local food with a story behind each dish, that the friendly staff are ready to share.
Chef & Sommelier
Address: Huvilakatu 28, Helsinki
Website: Chef & Sommelier
8. Restaurant NJK
A villa type restaurant located on the island of Valkosaari, you can get there by ferry. Well known for its crayfish, the veranda has a view of Market Square and Katajanokka and is a great spot in the summertime.
Address: Valkosaari 1, Helsinki
Website: Ravintola NJK
An old school restaurant with old fashion food including dishes like Vorschmack, which is seldom found elsewhere. A recommended dish is the frozen cranberries with hot caramel sauce. This combination turns out to be an unexpectedly delicious experience as the mixture of sweet and hot sauce melts into the bitter and cold berries.
Address: Kapteeninkatu 11, Helsinki
10. Cafe Regatta
A cute cafe in a small wooden cabin located on the Baltic Sea near the Sibelius monument. The interior is adorned with a cornucopia of statuettes, memorabilia, photographs, oars and other decors. Enjoy the fires outside where you can roast your own food!
Address: Merikannontie 10, Helsinki
Facebook Page: Cafe Regatta
11. BLINIt Russian Restaurant
A friendly affordable Russian restaurant serving their famous Blini with beer! There are also steamed meat dumplings and soup. Don’t miss out the eye candy favorite, Blini with ice cream!
Address: Sturenkatu 9, Helsinki
Hawaiian native Ryan Shibuya offers something unique in Helsinki, combining Japanese cooking with Hawaiian, which makes it stands out from the other Japanese restaurants. Mains include Kuha fish stuffed with snow crab, prawn and lup cheong (sweet Chinese sausage), crispy chicken breast deep fried and served with rice, pickles and katsu sauce, and classic pan-seared salmon served with teriyaki sauce.
Address: Urho Kekkosen Katu 1, Kamppi shopping center, 5th floor, Helsinki
Facebook Page: Hoku
Juuri is a small bistro close to the Design Museum with friendly service and a rustic style. Serving artisan food with traditional ingredients and hand dishes, samples of dishes include ‘Sapas’, a small, tapas-style plate of organic produce.
Address: Korkeavuorenkatu 27, Helsinki
Located at the Esplanadi Park, in a greenhouse, this café serves traditional Finnish dishes with 140 years of experience. The dining room has an old architecture and ambience with the large glass veranda. Traditionally it’s a meeting place after work offering sweets and salty snacks, with a good selection of beers and wines.
Address: Etelaeesplanadi 1, Helsinki
Website: Kappeli - English menu
15. Friends & Brgrs
In & Out American style burgers with a Finnish twist, Friends & Brgrs offers good, honest burgers and fries. There are free refills (not common in Finland) and the plate of fries is massive enough for two friends. Arguably the best burger joint in Helsinki.
Friends & Brgrs
Address: Mikonkatu 8, Helsinki
Website: Friends & Brgrs
Which is what one would say in Finnish to “enjoy your meal”! With a story behind each dish and a culture rich with experience within these eating spots, the dishes themselves turn into works of art which is the way most European foods are usually enjoyed. Experience the Finnish way of artisan eating anytime in Helsinki.
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