At the Nordic Travel Fair I got asked if I knew the places for eating and drinking in Helsinki. Oh the trap of looking like a local*. Unfortunately, right there and then I didn’t have excellent, up to date tips to share with them. Situation is different now though.
I wish the they would be asking that same question now, because later on that weekend I updated my knowledge of the places to eat and drink in Helsinki, thanks to local friends, good timing and some luck. And since I didn’t have the information I now have, to share with them there and then, it’s time to correct the situation here. Better late than never, they say.
So here you have, freshly tested and tasted and now recommended, eating and drinking (maybe even some dancing and singing) locations in Helsinki.
Lunching at Skiffer, Erottaja 11
Like the name suggests, Skiffer has its roots in sailing and a close connection to the sea it lives by. They serve “liuska” which are like pizza but not all like pizza (good though) and which got their name from a oval shaped “Liuskaluoto”, in where Skiffer also holds another location serving the hungry through Finnish sailing season. The Skiffer Erottaja is open year round.
The liuskas are excellent and they offer quite a good selection of wines (and beer too). Extra points for having Urban A (I do love my new scarf a lot) and other great shopping close by.
Coffee at La Torrefazione, Aleksanterinkatu 50 B
Classic, I would say. Great location near shopping and railway station, excellent coffee and sandwiches. Simply good.
WiNING at Roasberg, Mikonkatu 13
Relaxed, cozy and well waited place at the city. They serve coffee, lunch and wine (and great cakes – never forget the cakes if and when worth mentioning). Extra points for the convenient location near railway station and Ateneum.
Burgers at Naughty Brgr, Lönnrotinkatu 13
The place to be if and when you want to taste the most talked burgers in town. No reservations. But please, take note: the best burgers in Finland you’ll get from Rovaniemi (Kauppayhtiö, to be precise). The guy behind the burgers is the same on both places and one could argue that Lapland is not Finland, so maybe, maybe we can say that the best burgers in Finland you get from Naughty Brgr. (But still, the best burgers in the Nordics you get from Kauppayhtiö.)
eating at Famu, Mannerheimintie 46 / Scandic Park
I rarely eat at the hotel restaurants (other than breakfast), but since Scandic has this great deal for its Friends and I happened to be very hungry on Friday, after a very long day at the Nordic Travel Fair and sauna, I decided to give Famu a try.
The interior is modern, very nice (works well with the breakfast too) and the food is good enough. Didn’t take the lead from the previous occasion I had a dinner at the hotel restaurant though. But if and when you’re competing with Långa Raden (Hotel Skeppsholmen, Stockholm), you can (should) be happy with the label good.
Cocktails at Bronda, Eteläesplanadi 20
Bronda if something is in at Helsinki. I still haven’t tried the food there (for that reservations are more than recommended) but on Saturday we managed to find free seats just popping by at Bronda Bar, to try the cocktails, and well… I’m speechless. Or almost speechless. Because I want to say that the drinks were excellent. Delicious, exotic and innovative (if innovative is a word one can use for drinks then I want to use it right here); the first sip of a the “chaos” drink brought me directly to the paradise I’ve never been to but which I can easily imagine – a beach, a palm tree, pitch black but warm night and the sound of waves washing the shoreline…
Extra points for interior, quirky but professional service and beautiful / handsome people.
singing at Restroom, Tehtaankatu 23 A
I rarely do karaoke, but if and when that happens, Restroom is the place to be. Not going to tell you more – you have to experience it yourself.
Last but not least – friends with benefits
I have the pleasure (well, one could say it’s not a pleasure since I’m not living there) to have many friends living in Helsinki, and sometimes I take the couchsurfing option since it has its perks like this: a candlelight dinner for two. With wine and talk.
I can’t give you the address though, but I’ve heard the trend of people organizing open dinners in their private kitchens (so called underground dining) are coming to Helsinki too (if not even already there – so keep your ears open).
Other great not-so ordinary eating and drinking option are these private parties, as the occasion was last Thursday when I had the privilege to attend*** the NBE PARTY with Finnish Travel Bloggers hosted by Radisson Blu Plaza (who surprised me with their looks and atmosphere, both the hotel, staff and fellow bloggers).
Kiitos ja anteeksi, as we say in Finland.
Helsinki is, like Finland in general, an expensive place to eat and drink, but if and when you get this quality and great service for your money (or you just simply have the money) I can say Helsinki is a nice foodie location. Especially when it comes to these simple, minimalistic, nordic cool places.
If and when you have any questions, other great tips to share or you just want to say something, feel free to use the comment box below or contact me in some other way. And remember to eat and drink, whatever you prefer.
* Hi there, if you happen to read this. It was nice to meet you!
**Huge thanks to everyone who’ve treated me so well there over the years.
*** I still have a problem calling myself a blogger. But working on it, during the weekend almost professionally even 😉