Where to Eat in Helsinki
El Fant is a cozy coffee shop and wine bar that sells one of the best whole-grain rye breads you can find in Helsinki. Made with buttermilk, malt and syrup, this traditional Finnish bread is perfect for the avocado toasts El Fant serves for breakfast.
Inspired by traditional American recipes, Chef Akseli Herlevi—winner of Top Chef Finland—opened his own Helsinki burger Bar back in November 2015. The burgers are made exclusively with Finnish meat, excepting the vegetarian option, which is made with mushrooms.
Dinner with Joona Lehto
Joona Lehto is a young and talented chef and food stylist based in Helsinki. He hosts private dinners and works together with HelEats to promote Finnish food. His philosophy is to balance different textures and flavors, like this whitefish served with both raw and fried cauliflower.
Old Market Hall
The Old Market Hall opened its doors in 1889 and is a cultural heritage site protected by the National Board of Antiquities. It’s the perfect place to shop for local products like cheese, fish, vegetables, fruit and cakes. Or you can just stop by to eat the fantastic soups and light snacks. Pro-tip: Try the fried muikku, a local freshwater white fish; Finland's classic Easter chocolate eggs; or a karelian pie, a traditional pastry from Finland’s Karelian region that’s made with rice- or potato-filled rye crust and brushed with egg butter (butter mixed with boiled egg).
Karjalanpiirakka, or Karelian pie, is a traditional pasty from the Karelian region.
Easter Chocolate Eggs
Another Helsinki specialty to pick up at the Old Market Hall, Easter Chocolate Eggs are traditional to Finnish Easter celebrations. Real eggshells are completely filled with almond and hazelnut chocolate and packed in an egg carton.
Story is located at the entrance of the Old Market Hall. Bread and pastries, like this vanilla pulla, come from a local bakery.
Andante Coffee Shop
Andante is a small coffee shop and florist in the heart of the Helsinki Design District. They sell flowers as well as a good selection of teas and coffee. It’s also known for its vegan and raw cakes, and for typical Finnish sweets like Pulla, a Finnish sweetbread commonly served for breakfast or as a snack.
Andante's Cardamom Pulla
Andante's version is made with crushed cardamom seeds.
Savotta (which means logging site in Finnish) is a typical Finnish restaurant located in front of the white Helsinki Cathedral. Everything inside, from the decor to the menu, is inspired by Finnish nature. A few highlights from the menu include herring with dill- and salmon-marinated beetroots, and cream of celeriac soup with smoked reindeer and lovage.
Savotta's Celeriac Soup
This cream of celeriac soup is made with smoked reindeer and served with homemade bread and butter.
Also on the menu at Savotta: Roasted rump of reindeer fawn with cranberry sauce, served with buttery mashed potatoes from Lapland, and parsnip.
Savotta's Finnish Delicacies
Another highlihgt of the Savotta menu: Herring with dill and salmon, and marinated beetroots.
Meripaviljonki, which means sea pavilion in Finnish, is a floating restaurant in Hakaniemi, accessible both by land and sea when the Gulf is not frozen. The restaurant offers great examples of traditional Finnish cuisine using largely seasonal products.
Ravintola Meripaviljonki's Tomato Goat Cheese Soup
Ravintola Meripaviljonki's tomato and goat cheese soup with black pudding bean salad mixes one of Finland’s best exports—goat cheese—with traditional Finnish foods like soup and pudding.
Ravintola Meripaviljonki's Fried Trout
Another must-try at Ravintola Meripaviljonki: The fried trout with rémoulade sauce, capers, and potatoes over a dill foam and a slow cooked egg.
Sandro used to be a famous Moroccan kiosk in the Kallio district, but in 2013 owner Hicham Mountnassir and chefs Hicham Daoussi and Pasi Virta reopened it as a proper restaurant. A few months later Richard McCormick, a young chef and restaurateur, joined the project, bringing his contemporary style along with him. On Saturdays Sandro serves a vegan and vegetarian brunch, and on Sundays there’s a “Marrakech Madness Brunch,” where everything is inspired by Moroccan flavors.
Sandro Restaurant Brunch
On Saturdays, Sandro serves a vegan and vegetarian brunch. On Sundays, everything is inspired by Moroccan flavors.
Sandro Restaurant's Vegan Cheesecake
The brunch is not complete without a buffet of cakes, cookies and baklavas. Gluten free and tasty vegan desserts, like this cheesecake, are also available.
The Finnish food culture is a collection of different regional cuisines, traditions and innovations. Juuri tries to preserve all of these features in its dishes—like the deer pastrami Sapas (which comes from a Finnish phrase referring to “small Finnish starters”), a leek and potato soup with roe from the Finnish lake of Puula, and pike served Wallenberg-style, with potato butter and dill hollandaise.
Juuri is known for its sapas, a word that comes from the Finnish suomalaiset alkupalaset, which means “small Finnish starters." This selection includes deer pastrami, lamb sausage, salmon and crispy fish.
Juuri's Leek and Potato Soup
Also on the menu at Juuri: Leek and potato soup with crispy pork and vendace roe from Puula.
Don't miss Juuri's Pike Wallenberg style, which is served with potato butter and dill hollandaise.
Juuri's Chocolate Pudding
Another gem from the Juuri menu: Chocolate bread pudding with cream cheese sorbet and sea buckthorn berry.
The Cock Restaurant
The Cock is run by Chef Richard McCormick. The spot opens at breakfast and keeps its doors open for the late-night crowd. Specialty dishes include the beautiful breakfast smoothie bowl.
The Cock's Smoothie Bowl
This beautiful, delicious smoothie bowl is one of the fantastic breakfasts on offer at The Cock.