Helsinki: Food Guide - Dining Out

Helsinki Food Guide - Dining Out

If you want to eat out in Helsinki you’ll be pleased to know that for a small city it has quite a few restaurants. There are nearly 1300 restaurants in Helsinki, three with Michelin stars, and although the city’s population isn’t enormously racially diverse, more choice is creeping in to Helsinki’s restaurant scene. Although most restaurants focus on Finnish cuisine, Russian or Swedish food, it’s also possible to find Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Nepalese and Thai food.

Finnish cuisine has an emphasis on natural and seasonal food, and if you’re a fan of fish or are prepared to try reindeer (very tasty) you’ll love it. A great place to try Finnish cuisine with a modern twist is Juuri Keittiö & Baari, on Korkeavuorenkatu. Eating out can be expensive in Helsinki so if you’re looking to really experience all that Helsinki has to offer, lunch is the best time to dine out in Helsinki. Restaurants often offer set menus for about 6-10 euros. In the evening, you’ll be lucky to eat out well for less than 30 euros a head, although there are always fast food outlets and the ten branches of Unicafe, a budget restaurant owned by the University of Helsinki student union and which offers full meals from 5.70 euros.

And if you just want to stop for coffee and a cake (or a traditional Finnish cinnamon bun) Helsinki is a typical European capital - you’ll be spoilt for choice. Particularly recommended is Café Kiasma inside the Museum of Modern Art, or the more traditional Kappeli, set in a 19th century pavilion overlooking the flower stalls of Market Square and the Esplanadi bandstand. Or if you’ve been shopping and feel the need to rest in style, then Strindberg, at Pohjoisesplanadi 33, is a classic European grand cafe on the poshest shopping street in Helsinki. It’s a great place to watch the world go by and if you find that it’s time for dinner by the time you can move, then you don’t need to stagger far as there’s a good restaurant upstairs.