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Best places to eat & drink in Helsinki!

Updated: Feb 24

As a local Helsinki tour guide, I get constantly asked tips about the most authentic restaurants to try Finnish food, and cool bars to go for a drink. In my opinion, Helsinki is an amazing city when it comes to gastronomy, there's something for every taste and every budget. On this text I'm sharing you my favorite places to eat and drink in Helsinki. Many off them are places you can't find on travel books or classic travel blogs, but actual local people's favorites and just places that me as a tour guide, always recommend.

Read forward to find out which are the best places to eat and drink in Helsinki!


Finnish food in Helsinki


I do admit that Finland is not very well know for it's culinary. I have never heard of a person who would have travelled to Finland for a gastronomic trip. It's not like Italy, Japan or maybe Mexico, but don't get me wrong, Finland also has some awesome food you should definitely try on your trip!


See here my favorite places in Helsinki to eat traditional Finnish food:


Cella
Fleminginkatu 15, Helsinki

For me this is hands down the most authentic Finnish restaurant in Helsinki. This is where I go if I feel like eating reindeer stew or grilled whitefish. During winter season (September to April more or less) they also have herring on the menu.

Reindeer Stew in Cella, Helsinki
Reindeer stew at Cella

Cella is a true gem in Helsinki's restaurant scene. It's located out from downtown Helsinki, in the Kallio neighborhood. Cella is a classic, the prices are down to earth (meals between 14-21€) and they have a nice selection of beers. Cella has been open since 1969, and I think you should definitely pay a visit while you're in Helsinki.




KuuKuu
Museokatu 17, Helsinki

Another great option for traditional Finnish food. KuuKuu is located in Töölö neighborhood, a 15-minute walk from the Central Railway Station. KuuKuu is also a great place for the reindeer, but they serve also a delicious salmon soup. Try one of the 3-course dinner menus, the prices of the menus are between 43-55€ and a'la carte dishes between 17-30€.

KuuKuu also has a good quality lunch. Different home food every day, the price is 10-13€. Lunch is from Monday to Friday from 12-15.



Juttutupa
Säästöpankinranta 6, Helsinki

Juttutupa translates as "chatting house". It's one of the oldest restaurants in Helsinki, open since 1908. It's located on the old Worker's Union building, nearby Hakaniemi and Kallio. Juttutupa has many things on the menu, pizzas and hamburgers, but the place is actually famous for their homemade meatballs. Juttutupa also has lunch for around 12€.



Story
Old Market Hall, Helsinki

Story is a restaurant in the Old Market Hall, next to the Market Square. In my humble opinion, this is where you get to try the best salmon soup of your life! Just go and give it a try, you won't regret!



Other than Finnish


Helsinki is an international city, and the gastronomical scene has been getting more and more creative past years. Read here my tips for the best restaurants in Helsinki, that serve other than Finnish food.


Lie Mi
Several locations

Lie Mi is among my all time favorite restaurants in Helsinki. I love it. The dish that whole Helsinki is hyping about, is the Shanghai Tacos. And yes, they are hyping for a reason. I don't think you should go from Helsinki before eating Shanghai Tacos in Lie Mi.


Lie Mi is also one of my favorite options for lunch. They have daily changing lunch options for around 12€.


HOKU
Urho Kekkosen katu 1, Helsinki

When I go to HOKU, I always ask for the same thing: Salmon Teriyaki with potato salad. It's amazing. HOKU is a fusion restaurant mixing Asian & Hawaiian kitchens. During lunch, be prepared to wait for a little while. The line goes fast though, don't get desperate. Try to have a table by the window, as you have views towards the city.


Salmon teriyaki for lunch at HOKU restaurant on downtown Helsinki
Salmon Teriyaki at HOKU


Pizzeria Via Tribunali
Sofiankatu 4, Helsinki

The best pizza of Helsinki, in my humble opinion. They don't take reservations, so you might have you stay in a line a little bit and wait for a table, but believe me, it's worth it. They make really good Aperol Spritz by the way.


Amazing pizzas and beers in Via Tribunali restaurant in central Helsinki.
Via Tribunali Pizzeria


Lopez y Lopez
Several locations

Helsinki has many Mexican restaurants, but for me this is the best one. Lopez y Lopez is somewhere close to actual Mexican tacos. My favorite are the Baja Fish tacos. Nice and spicy salsas, and good cocktails also.



Hills Dumplings
Kalevankatu 17, Helsinki

Other candidate to my all time favorite Helsinki restaurants. Amazing value for money and really good flavors. Homemade dumplings with different fillings and baos. In Hills Dumpling you want to try a bit of everything, so go with an empty stomach. It's highly advisable to make a reservation, but you can also try to walk-in.

A few different dishes in Hills Dumplings restaurant in Helsinki
Hills Dumplings

Apparently they have also recently attached a Korean style barbecue where you grill your own food on the table. I haven't tried it yet, but seems awesome!


The owners of Hills Dumplings have a few other restaurants in Helsinki, for example a really good burger place Hills Burger Bar and LoiLoi Rooftop & Distillery.














Where to have a drink in Helsinki?


Did you know that we Finnish people are world champions when it comes to coffee drinking? Yes, we drink more coffee than any other nation in the world (per capita). An average Finn drinks over 10kg of coffee per year. This means that it is not difficult to find good quality and cool coffee shops in Helsinki. Check out below my tips to enjoy freshly roasted coffee in Helsinki.


Alcohol in Finland es expensive (only if you're from Norway, you might disagree!). A pint of beer might easily cost 9€, and a glass of wine more or less the same. That is not everywhere though, so keep on reading forward if you want to discover bars in Helsinki with more affordable prices. I have also listed here bars that might have high prices, but are worth the visit.



Helsingin Kahvipaahtimo
Työpajankatu 2A, Helsinki

Translates as "Helsinki Coffee Roastery", the name tells it all. This is a local coffee roastery and a coffee shop in the trendy Teurastamo district. Always freshly roasted coffee and professional baristas who will serve you perfect espressos, aeropress, pour-overs, you name it. Athmospheric little bar and a nice sunny terrace to enjoy during the summer.



Kaffa Roastery
Pursimiehenkatu 29, Helsinki

Another very cool coffee shop & roastery. This one is located in the heart of the Design District, in Southern Helsinki. They roast their coffees at the same location, and you might see the roasting in action. Kaffa has a little shop as well for you to buy their coffees to bring home.



Cafe Pequeño
Vaasankatu 11, Helsinki

This little coffee shop & wine bar is located on one of Kallio's main bar streets, Vaasankatu. Cafe Pequeño has good wines, awesome coffee and delicious Argentinian empanadas. The place itself is cosy, perfect stop while discovering Kallio neighborhood.



Cafe Regatta
Merikannontie 8, Helsinki

This one is more touristic, but I'd still consider Regatta a must-see in Helsinki. Cute little coffee place by the sea, right next to the Sibelius Monument. Outdoor fireplace and a large terrace. During the pandemic, the indoors haven't been open so only terrace! Best cinnamon rolls of Helsinki!



Sivukirjasto
Fleminginkatu 5, Helsinki

A true Kallio classic! Sivukirjasto means "side library", and it gets the name from it's location, next to Kallio Library. Sivukirjasto is one of Kallio's most famous bars, it has a lot of atmosphere, nice selection of beers and during the summer a picturesque terrace.





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