Places to eat in Helsinki

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    by gordonilla
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    Places to eat in Helsinki 5/6 - Gourmet food

    by eriste Updated Mar 13, 2014

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    If you are not really hungry and have about 100 Euros extra only
    for the meal try gourmet food. I have never tried the most excpencive places.

    Six restaurants have Michelin stars in international Michelin restaurant Guide 2014

    at Uudenmaankatu 9-11
    has one star 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

    at Eteläesplanadi 8
    has one star at 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and was "rising star" restaurant 2007.

    at Vironkatu 8
    a new restaurant
    has one star at 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

    at Kasarmikatu 44
    has one star at 2011 2012, 2013 and 2014 .

    at Vironkatu 8
    has one star at 2014.

    at Huvilakatu
    has one star at 2014.

    The next one was closed at the end of October 2013:
    Chez Dominicue, at Rikhardinkatu 4 has one star 2003 and two stars 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    Restaurant Emo at Kasarmikatu 44 is a new "Big Gourmand" place 2014.
    Restaurant Bou­le­vard So­cial at Bulevardi 6 is a new "Big Gourmand" place 2014
    Restaurant Farang at Ainonkatu 3 is Michelin's "Big Gourmand" 2011, 2012 and 2013
    Restaurant Gaijin at Bulevardi 6 is a new Michelin's "Big Gourmand" place 2012, 2013 and 2014.
    Restaurant Pure Bistro Pohjoisesplanadi 9 is a new "Big Gourmand" places 2013 and 2014.

    Groteski at Ludviginkatu 8-10 and Solna at Solnantie 26
    were Michelin's "Big Gourmand" places 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    Example of Gourmet from one (ex-Michelin star) restaurant from autumn 2002 : four course meal, each of them the size of a small ash try, a tea spoon for start soup of half a plate, only the main course filled the small plate. It coasted 89 Euros and was excellent quality but very little to eat.

    Starting from over 100 Euros you might get a full 3-4 course meal in a gourmet Restaurant. Only one meal would start from 50 Euros.

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    Places to eat in Helsinki 3/6 - Some possibilities

    by eriste Updated Mar 6, 2014

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    Nepalese - near by 30 of them. Start "bread" crisby & thin. With main food ( usually from metal plate) big Nan bread.
    Worth while to try at least once.
    Examples :
    Mt Everest Lapinlanhdenkatu 17,
    Himalaya, Ratakatu 1 b

    Some Indian Restaurants exist. Some are quite expensive.
    India Tandoor near by Kamppi Metro station has 4-5 week end Dali offers like Chicken Curry, Vegetable Curry etc. for about 12 Euros - reasonable price at weekend.

    Thai Restaurants over 20 of them.
    One example is Kok Thai Runeberginkatu and another one Thai Manorha at Mannerheimintie 21

    Downstairs at Forum in Centrum Mannerheimintie several quick food restaurants , oriental, steak, junk food etc. Nothing special but OK for a fast food.

    Many kinds of restaurants at Kamppi shopping center in city centrum.

    At least 80 Chinese and all are about the same quality.
    You probably want be very much thrilled but also not angry for their foods. If your satisfied with basic euro-chinese food they are all quit OK. But if you are looking for fantastic chinese foof I'm afraid you want find it in Helsinki.
    Dong Bei Hu/China Tiger, Korkeavuorenkatu 47 , is quite popular and is at least little bit trying to give real chinese food .

    Several Italian/Italian type restaurants.
    Quite popular because of its food is Benjam's Bistro Dagmarinkatu - and practically no advertisement.
    Villetta at Ruusulankatu 8 has been there for ages - owners have changed.
    Don Corleone at Kamppi shopping center - maybe the best restaurant in there.

    Special garlic restaurant
    Kynsilaukka Garlic Fredrikinkatu 22. A la carte is not cheap but lunch mon-fri 13 Euros.
    For 21 years so it works.

    Some japanes - Kabuki (no visits lately) at Lapinlahdenkatu 12

    Korea House, Mariankatu 19, the only Korean restaurant in Finland

    African restaurants have been missing. in Helsinki. A new African, Ethiopian, resturant Queen Sheba, Kuningatar Saba, is at Runeberginkatu 8, small place and very popular, reservation is needed.

    Pizzerias, hamburger places, kebab places
    One very tidy small kebab place is Falafel at Caloniuksenkatu. It is over 25 years old and therefor most likely the oldest kebab place n Finland. Eerikin Pippuri at Eerikinkatu is bigger and very popular.

    Tex-Mex places are many. Maybe the oldest place and worth while to mention is CantinaWest at Kasarmikatu 23

    Now in Marsh 2014 there is very large number os Sushi restaurants in Helsinki and new ones are opened all the time. 42 places exists at the moment 7.3.2014.

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    Café: Coffee at the Music Centre

    by gordonilla Written Feb 22, 2014

    The facility is operated by Restel restaurants and it is centrally located and with an abundance of events and magnificent architecture, the Helsinki Music Centre is a unique setting for any celebration.

    The Music Centre has been open for some time but this was my first visit; I needed coffee!

    Café Opening Information:

    Open daily and it is a good place to meet; it is open to everyone even if there is no performance or event taking place. There is an internal area and a terrace which is heavily used in the summer months.

    - A wide range of snacks and drinks

    - On concert nights, serves as a foyer
    In summer, if it happens to be raining, houses the terrace bar counter.

    * Mon–Fri 08:00 – 21:00 (on concert nights 0800 to approximately 19:00)
    * Sat–Sun 10:00 – 20:00 (on concert nights 10:00 to approximately 17:00)

    You should note that on concert nights, the Café closes at the start of the concert (on weekdays, normally at 19:00) and reopens at the interval for refreshments.

    Favorite Dish: I had a very nice Pulla and a good cup of coffee!

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    Golden Rax Buffet: Eat as much as you can!

    by gordonilla Updated Feb 16, 2014

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    This is part of a chain, and I have to say it has always been busy whenever I have eaten there. Many tourists eat there in the summer months and at other times in the year students and more students. The student need for cheap and filling meals is always met there.

    I got myself into some trouble on a previous visit - they give you a wafer cone for your ice cream - and this tend not to be able to meet the "eat as much as you want" view of the restaurant. So I used a soup bowl. I am not sure they liked that idea!!! However at least two other customers followed my lead.

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    Ristorante il Siciliano: A down to earth Italian Restaurant

    by gordonilla Written Feb 16, 2014

    This was an unexpected group dinner, with colleagues from EuroFM I we had been holding a members meeting in the nearby Laurea University, Espoo.

    Our meetings had finished and this was an impromptu farewell meal for those of us who were still around. The restaurant was busy, it was St Valentine's day after all; it was booked for us by a student assistant, Olga, we had been able to use during the meetings.

    Favorite Dish: I had a wonderful steak with lemon sauce and salad.

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    Local Food at the Best Deal in Town: Market Square Stalls

    by easterntrekker Written Jan 5, 2014

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    Eating at Market Square
    We were excited to try the food here . it looked so delicious and such good prices. We had reindeer meat balls , served with little new potatoes and lots of nice cooked vegetables. We sat at a picnic crowd and enjoyed our lunch .quite a bargain too at $ 10.00 .
    We just had to come back the next day and try some seafood . Delicious !

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    Casa Largo: Bar Tapas y Restaurante

    by gordonilla Updated Dec 7, 2013

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    My second visit:

    I had previously eaten in Casa Largo and it had not been such a good experience. This time I was lunching with two friends, again on a Saturday. In all fairness the issues of food and no dressing still happened but the experience was much better.

    The menus seemed more appropriate and certainly had an excellent range of things to select from to meet any and most tastes.

    Service good by all staff – I had a seat where I could see into the kitchen. They seem like a pretty happy and motivated team all round.

    Much, much better this time!

    My first visit:

    I decided to visit Casa Largo on a Saturday evening; it had looked busy and the menu seemed fine. However I had a rather poor experience; although there were also some good points.


    The staff were professional and skilled - the bar and restaurant had a great buzz. The steak I ordered was cooked to perfection.


    I had been clear that I wished no dressing on my salad, but it came covered in dressing. Sadly they billed me for this, even though they got it wrong. The waitress acknowledged she had asked for this; then took the blame for it being wrong, not the kitchen staff.

    I had been clear about dressings and sauces, and a tortilla side dish also came covered in some form of dressing. I was told that tortilla always comes with dressing. My experience tells me otherwise. They did not bill me for this item.

    I asked for coffee, and all that arrived was the coffee in a cup with saucer. No spoon, no sugar, no biscuit etc etc.

    All in all it the balance of the visit was negative. I may have been just unlucky.

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    nearly all the city centre restaurants: Eating out on a Sunday?

    by gordonilla Updated Dec 7, 2013

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    This is a general tip about eating out in Helsinki on a Sunday night.

    You should be aware that many restauarants and bars either shut early or do not open at all. So my tip to you is, if you are dining out on a Sunday evening - go early or eat in your hotel.

    This continues to be the situation in Helsinki as of December 2013.

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    Sunn: Above the Senate Square

    by gordonilla Updated Dec 7, 2013

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    It had been a long Saturday, it was cold but sadly no snow. I had been meeting friends and then some shopping was done. I realised that although I had lunch it was about 6 or so hours earlier in the day and I had not even had a coffee stop anywhere after lunch.

    I had made my way to the Senate Square and saw the menu board for Sunn. I had never eaten there previously. So after many years still new experiences to undertake on the culinary front. I decided to try out this fairly traditional restaurant.

    It was bust but I was able to get a table. The service was excellent and the menu was good. The menu in fact was not extensive but it did offer an excellent choice of things for all tastes.

    The décor was traditional and there was a sense and feel that this was a traditional eating facility with good wholesome food available and service that was of a high Finnish standard.

    The one thing to be said is that it is small, so sitting alone you are easily able to listening to the conversation at other tables. If you do not speak Finnish, that is unfortunate. However, I was lucky that there was table of Finns who were hosting a French guest – so they spoke in English. I think it is fair to say that the guest had clearly been causing some discomfort to one Finnish lady. (“oh in France this…oh in France that……but you are not in France!”).

    Favorite Dish: It was an enjoyable experience. I had a soup to start, fillet steak for a main course and then a traditional dessert and coffee to finish my dinner off. The service was excellent – a young and very busy team of waiters.

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    Places to eat in Helsinki 4/6 - How about Finnish

    by eriste Updated Nov 17, 2013

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    Wieninleike (originally Austrian Wienerschnitzel) or Lihapullat (Meatballs) or Hernekeitto (pea soup originally Swedish I suppose) could be considered as normal Finnish food.
    Traditional foods are Läskisoosi, Kalakukko from Savo , black sausage musta makkara from Tampere, dark brown dessert Mämmi (which looks more like output then input) etc.

    It's easier to find non Finnish food. Some restaurants ruled by Asians etc. may also offer something like Finnish food.

    What you get from hot-dog stands at evenings open 8:00-9:00 p.m. until 4:00-5:00 a.m. or so can be something like Finnish evening or night snack.
    If there is a big queue or aggressive looking drunkards late at night avoid that one for a while.
    Otherwise try one and get something not just Hot Dog and with a lot of spices.

    There are some lunch bars but not quite in the Centrum where the food is maybe home cooking style. They close usually at the latest 19:00 p.m. and maybe don't serve alcohol except maybe level III bear which is still about normal European alcohol strength, IV A beer is a little bit stronger. At the name or in the window there can be Baari, Kahvila , Lounaskahvila, Kotiruokaa . Food is a little bit cheaper than in Restaurants, menu is only in Finnish language and could be that the staff speaks only Finnish.
    Here is one example not far from Centrum (nowadays a rare example) near by Temppeliaukio Church :
    - Sininen Baari, at Arkadiankatu 21 (it is ometimes occaisonally open also on Saturdays)

    One tradtional finnish restaurant since the year 1934 is Sea Horse at Kapteeninkatu 11. Their "paistetut silakat" fried baltic Sprat was in the old days a "world famous" cheap giant portion. It is still rather big and price is reasonable in finnish price level - 16,50 Euros at November 2013. It is maybe the best "paistetut silakat" in the city. Sea Horse has been yearly voted as one of the top 50 restaurants in Finland. 2011 it was number 35 and 2012 number 29 . The price level is still for people who eat with their own money. Inside it looks about the same as it did 40 years ago with white table cloths. Good lunch from monday to friday 9,50 Euros. Door man is keeping the garderobe (maybe except warm midsommer time) so there is 2 Euros extra per person for that.

    Restaurant Aito at Museokatu 29. It has been voted as one of the top 50 restaurants in Finland. 2012 it was number 32

    Restaurant Weeruska, Porvoonkatu 19

    Some people like Silvio Berlusconi, Jacques Chirac and the serbian lead lady singer of the winning song of Eurovision song contents 2007 have been very dissapointed about finnish food. But did they really eated it or know what it is? Or do they even knew what they were saying? To get really finnish food in Finland it is not easy. McDonalds or other junk food and any ethnic food is easier to get. I have been and eaten in over 85 countries and could say that finnish food is mainly not worth to mention in any way - not as good and not as bad.

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    Lunch at Kauppatori: Lunch at Kauppatori

    by mindcrime Updated Aug 20, 2013

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    Coming back from Suomenlinna island we noticed the smell of fried fish all over Kauppatori! People to/from the ferries, tourists and locals walking around at Kauppatori could choose along a row of vendors feeding the people passing by, seagulls were quite happy there too but take care as they like to snatch your food without asking for permission :) Check pic 2, they’re on top of the kiosk pretending they look to the ocean right?, no no, they wait to see if you will add garlic sauce or not :)

    Most of the vendors have the same things more or less, usually fried fresh sprat or similar small fish, salmon of course, vegetable dishes etc

    Although you can take the food away they provide space to sit there, it was a sunny day so we stood there. We ordered a fish plate (14e) that had lots of sprat, vegetables, potatoes and a huge portion of salmon + garlic sauce, it was yummy, we also too a vegetable dish (again with garlic sauce) (7e) and a bottle of beer (3,50e). Great tasty and reasonably priced lunch after all.

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    Koket café: Koket café

    by mindcrime Written Aug 20, 2013

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    This is a small café/bistro on central location close to many attractions (opposite the cathedral), it’s ideal spot for a coffee break and breakfast.

    We had already took our breakfast that morning so we stopped here for a coffee (3e) and a nice cold
    granite (5,50e).

    They had on display several desserts, cakes and pies while a classic breakfast (stuffed bread/croissant, coffee/tea, juce) costs 8e
    The interior is nice and the staff friendly, prices are on the expensive side but we were used of this all over Helsinki.

    It’s open daily 7.00am-18.00, sat 8-17.00, sun 10-16.00

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    Seurasaari Café: Seurasaari Café

    by mindcrime Written Aug 20, 2013

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    Walking along Seurasaari island we needed a coffee break before we continue checking the houses of the Open Air Museum.

    This small café was great, we stopped to have an ice tea (2,5e) and coffee(3e) but we noticed they had some offers like Finnish Peas Soup and coffee (11,50e), Peas soup and pancakes of aland (11,50e) and chicken salad and coffee (11e) so we took the chicken salad which was tasty.

    They also serve soft drinks (4e), strawberry lemonade (3,5e), organic juice (3e), finnish rye bread (5e), meat pie (7e), karelianpie(3,5e)

    The waitress were always smiling, good atmosphere in general, we stayed for a while before we keep up walking around the island.

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    Kiasma Café: Kiasma Café

    by mindcrime Written Aug 20, 2013

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    Café Kiasma is a lovely spot to relax even you don’t plan to visit Kiasma museum.
    Apart from the restaurant inside (pic 1) there’s a beautiful outside terrace located next to a large pool where you can watch the people passing by at the busy main street. It was a lovely day so we stopped here after visiting the museum.

    We had just coffee (2.50e) because we had read some negative reviews about their food although the salad buffet seemed fresh. The serve sandwiches (3-9,50e), snacks with wine (8,50e), beers (5-6,50e), wines(6,50-7e for 12cl), yoghurt and fruits (4,50e) etc

    Service was a bit slow but very friendly.

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    Chilli: Chilli

    by mindcrime Written Aug 20, 2013

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    Ok this was a cheap fast food option that we probably won’t visit again but we stopped to eat something while we were waiting for a friend. There are tables outside (pic 1) but also many of them inside where it was surprisingly empty and quiet that day.

    We had a large portion (pic 3) of Kebap with pita bread and lots of chips, salad including. It came with a glass of coke and the cost was at 9.20euros, a bargain for Finnish standards but what you pay is what you get, mediocre food although I guess good enough after some beers because this place stays open till late when you desperate and need something to stop feeling hungry… I ended up looking at the painting of Jesus on the wall showing Last Supper (pic 4), definitely this was the last meal we had there :)

    It’s open daily 10.30am to 2.00am (fri-sat till 5.00am!)

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Like in most European cities, you can find all kinds of food in Helsinki, too. Finnish, Italian, Spanish, many kinds of Asian food, American, Tex Mex and so on. You will find lots of good tips in...

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