Bembölen Kahvitupa: Don't miss this cafe-restr on a 18th cent building
Bembölen Kahvitupa, which is Finnish, means just "Bemböle Coffee House". Bemböle is the name of the neighbouring area.
The history of the building is very interesting, it has been the main building of a 18th century farm.
Now this wooden house has a traditional red painting on it.
You can enjoy your meal or coffee either one of the two rooms inside; one being like somebody's living room with light yellowish colouring. If you prefer feeling and fireplace, go to the other, bigger room where there are old-fashioned big brown tables and chairs. Tableclothes and curtains are thick and surely real - no artificial cheap material. There is a fireplace with fire which makes the feeling very cosy.
The place offers you with either coffee/tea and sweet and salty bakery products as well as soft drinks if you just wanna see the place or don't have much time. If you have not eaten yet - I strongly recommend their food. I am sure everyone finds his/hers favorite, as their restaurant offers many alternatives from real Finnish hand and home made basic simple and very cheap though delicious portions to a la carte food which is a bit more expensive. The home style food may be e.g. meat balls, pea soup, a special type of fried fish and so on. Their a la carte contains e.g. many steaks.
Unfortunately their web site is so far only in Finnish and Swedish.
Favorite Dish: I cannot tell any favourite dish...all portions are big enough and very delicious. Far from gas stations' fast food steaks in their "restaurants".
Their sweet bakery products take your tongue with you. Especially a roll with whipped cream and strawberry jelly inside it.
I every now and then go there just for the ambience and drink a cup of coffee with some of their bunnies/cones.
The service is excellent; the staff is dressed in 18th century clothes.
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
Tempo: Good lunch from the grill
Restaurant Tempo is a favourite lunch joint for workers in Tapiola. Also women with small babies seem to like the restaurant, maybe due its excellent accessibility. Located on the third floor on Stockmann Tapiola, the restaurant has entrances both inside the department store and outside the building. Note that the restaurant follows the opening times of the department store.
The lunch menu has usually a few different choices, including something grilled, a wok, a salad and a couple of other meals. The food is prepared in front of you, so you can be sure that the portions are fresh!
The restaurant doubles as a café, and the selection of salty and sweet pastries is good. The cakes can be also bought for take-away -- or another choice is to buy them from the Stockmann's food department on the ground floor.
Haukilahden paviljonki: Restaurant by the sea
Good place for lunch or dinner if you're sailing/boating/walking/cycling in Espoo. Serving good lunch, specialized in seafood and home-made style of food.
Favorite Dish: Grilled goat cheese salad is famous and very delicious.
- Sailing and Boating
- Food and Dining
Kahvila Glims: Coffee and pie in historical environment
The "Kahvila Glims"; in English simply "Coffeehouse Glims", is a very unique place. It is a round-the-year functioning cafe, still part of Espoo City Museum. Now talking about museum - don't even think about dusty books and ugly old buildings. This museum is mainly an open air museum, just a couple of small houses belong to it. Also, it is located in the countryside environment, not surrounded by block houses.
The Coffee House is very cosy. You may drink your coffee of refreshment either inside (restricted number of tables) or outside, which is a more idyllic thing; wheather permitting of course.
The Coffee House is open around the year; summertime (May 2 - August 31), from Tuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. Weekends (Saturday-Sunday) from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m.
Wintertime (September 1 - April 30) it is open fromTuesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. and on weekends from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m.
Favorite Dish: My favourite is their salty pies. E.g. in the autumn when the forests are full of fresh mushrooms of different type, they make pie out of it. Also their ham, salmon and other pies are delicious. They are all hand made by the staff and not bought from any big chain.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Food and Dining
Various: Indian food in Helsinki and Espoo region
From My side, here is the ranking of Indian food joints in region.
1) Ravintola Fennia (good food friendly and polite staff)
2) Shalimaar (quantity is limited staff is polite)
3) Namaskaar (limited food nice staff)
4) Bombay Express (Good food, buffet)
5) Curry Palace (Food is ok, quantity is limited, staff is no so polite)
Classic Pizza: Classy Pizza
Cozy and high quality pizzeria at Iso Omena shopping mall. They sell only pizzas, not kebab or burgers like many other places in Finland. Pizzas are big and tasty and you could drink good wine with it. Waitresses wear t-shirts with print: Sorry, no kebab here.
Restaurant is quite small and crowded, reservation is good idea.
Other Classic pizzas located at Vantaa and Hanko.
Favorite Dish: Hangover pizza!
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Road Trip
Café Buffo: A bit better in Sello
Café Buffo is a nice coffeehouse that suffers from its location in middle of Sello shopping. Would the café be somewhere else, the ambience would be much better. A number of seats is arranged a sort of lounge-like, and there is more feeling of privacy than with normal coffeehouse seating. This helps to keep the noise level down a bit, too.
The café sells both sweet and salty pastries, sandwiches and other café stuff. All normal special coffees are available, as well as soft drinks and juices. Compared to other cafés in Sello, Buffo feels a bit better somehow.
Paul's Bistro: Fresh Californian
Paul's Bistro is a refreshing restaurant in shopping mall Sello. Located on the newly opened Hotel Palace Sello, the restaurant provides an oasis for shoppers. However, it is not accessible inside the mall, and thus it is not crowded as the rest of the restaurants. Being twice as expensive as the rest of the gang helps also to keep the hordes away.
The restaurant is not, however, expensive and the food combined with the atmosphere and excellent service makes it really a good deal. Palace restaurants operate several top-notch restaurants around Helsinki, and their love to the customer shows through in everything, even if Paul's is a bit scaled down version.
The kitchen is inspired by the Bay area cooking, sort of fusion between Italian, Asian and American kitchens, and the chefs know their trade. The lamb hamburger was one of the best that I've ever eaten, and it brought back memories from fresh grills of San Jose and Emeryville.
- Food and Dining
Pakistani Restaurant Peshawar: Dont miss on Green food available in Espoo
Service is excellent.Decor is okay.Food is great in quality and taste.
Staff is very polite and caring for customer's specifications-helath concerns and allergies.
Food material is chosen with care using all green stuff and free from chemicals.
What makes is special is the chef-Mughal Tariq Hussain's recipes of Indo Pakistani cousine with excellent Naan and Tandoori food,Biryani.
Pehaps the first green-eco food restaurant in Espoo serving Indo Pakistani cousine.
Favorite Dish: Naan leipa -soft ,delicious
Classic Pizza Restaurant: A pizza apart
Classic Pizza Restaurant is not a classic Finnish pizzeria with all clichés included: red and white tablecloth, a bit repulsive feelings, kebabs on the menu and so on... Instead. they serve only pizza and they know their business. None of the menu items are "traditional" choices, but more like contemporary versions of the famous pizzas.
The restaurant is located in Iso Omena mall, which is a shame as you can't get there easily from Helsinki downtown. If you happen to be there for some odd reason, check the restaurant out. There was a queue -- unheard for any other mall eatery -- as the place is quite small. Once inside, the service was swift and courteous, and the pizzas delicious. My pizza goes to the personal top-three, other two being T8 in Shanghai and California Pizza Kitchen in Emeryville, California. Not bad.
- Food and Dining
Chico's: Pseudo-American Eatery
Chico's All American Bistro is, as the name implies, an American styled restaurant chain that serves the basic stuff, such as pastas, tex mex, sandwiches and other meals usually found in the US (or at least in the stereotypical view of a restaurant in US). Sometimes, these portions are really tasty in the US -- unfortunately Chico's has lost most of the freshness and the innovativeness found in the States that is needed to set the meal apart from the rest.
Instead, Chico's is just fine place to get your stomach filled with a reasonable cost and effort. Don't expect anything too fancy and you won't get disappointed.
The restaurant in Tapiola is located in fact in Pohjois-Tapiola, one kilometer north from the main Tapiola shopping area. The stroll to the shopping center is pleasurable during summer time, as you can walk through vast parks that surround Tapiola. The pleasure on winter depends, of course, on your clothing.
Tung Hing: Finer Chinese
Tung Hing is very well hidden Chinese restaurant in Tapiola. If you don't know its exact location, you are deemed to fail finding it. That's too bad, as it is one of the best Chinese restaurants that I've tried in Finland. The secret of finding it is easy: locate K-market Aslak. There are stairs that ascend near the main entrance of the shop, seemingly to nowhere. Climb the stairs, pass the barber shop and turn left (there's no other option), and you'll see the gate to the restaurant.
The special thing in Tung Hing is that the various portions actually taste different -- in some Chinese restaurants, it really doesn't matter what you order, you'll always get the blandish generic chopped meat in a sauce and rice. That's not the case here, the chefs use spices and there are both mild and spicy portions available.
Apart from the food, the decor is very traditional for a Chinese restaurant. The service is swift, as usual. Sometimes you may even spot a smile on a waitress.
Frutti di Mare: Cheap pizza and pasta
Frutti di Mare restaurant, located on the ground floor in shopping mall Heikintori, is part of the Frutti di Mare chain that has several pseudo-Italian restaurants around greater Helsinki. Beside the common menu, the places have also a common atmosphere: they feel like really cheap Italian bistro transferred to Finland. During the process, some typical Italian perks, such as good and unreserved service, have been lost and replaced with dull Finnish alternatives.
In other words, the place is sort of repulsive. For some reason, I still have found myself there from time to time. The pizzas are okay, they are big and quite inexpensive, the service is fast, and as you don't have any expectations, you won't get disappointed, either. They serve also a few varieties of pasta each day and some salads.
- Budget Travel
Escafé: Café with great pastas
Escafé, a hybrid between a cafe and a restaurant is tucked at the very end of Tapiola's Heikintori, one of the oldest shopping centres in Finland. They serve full hot lunch and also breads and bagels, as well as the full variety of coffees and pastries.
One thing sets them apart: they serve really delicious pastas. I was a little apprehensive to eat there at first, but after having the first bite I was sold. I have rarely eaten so good and richly flavoured pasta, including my visits to Rome and Milano, as I got in Escafé. Usually these kind of places cook the pasta once in the morning and keep it warm the whole day, and add really sloppily made sauce -- so it was refreshing to be proven wrong.
Kilim: Turkish delights
Restaurant Kilim is one of the rare Turkish restaurants in the greater Helsinki region. I have not counted various Kebab kiosks as restaurants, as there is a plethora of those and most of them are not worth mentioning. But Kilim certainly is.
The restaurant is located a little bit away from the centre of Tapiola, on the road towards Länsiväylä and Helsinki. It is still in walking distance, but you have to know the route, as the changes are that you won't stumble there by accident. There is a map on their website.
During lunch hours the restaurant has a selection of various Turkish salads combined with a couple different main courses. You usually can't help stuffing yourself so full that climbing stairs is painful. They have also an à la carte selection, but the price / quality ratio of the lunch is unbeatable.
The service is very personal and you can find the owner chatting and joking with the patrons -- something that usually doesn't happen in Finland.