It may be a surprise how exotic and varied the food in Helsinki can actually be. If you do end up taking a trip here, you will be umming and scratching your head on what cuisine to single out for yourself. But finding a great place to dine should not be a gamble, but an informed decision. Here are a few tips and suggestions to start with.
There’s every chance that after dining at one of the following spots, you’d prefer to indulge in some downtime via other pursuits. More information on some new gaming options in Helsinki (and Finland in general) can be found by clicking here.
First question to ask yourself as a traveller: how much should I budget to eat in Helsinki?
This is a question you should definitely ask yourself before you splurge out on places to eat. First and foremost, Helsinki is not the cheapest area to eat within Europe, that we will admit. Capitals are always pricier, because they certainly attract more people, and have more of a hefty rent price tag to pay for, when it comes to their restaurant buildings. Urban locations are always like that.
You should always budget yourself around €50-€80 per person at restaurants. This should account for a three-course meal, and hey, if you are thinking breakfast too (which you should consider in getting a hotel with that included (by the way), then add an extra €20 per day onto that. Of course, if you are an alcohol drinker, that should make your bill build up quite easily, and this budget only really accounts for 1-2 glasses of wine. The local beer will always be cheaper, so that is something you could consider to be more budget-friendly.
Remember if you are interested in any of the spots we have mentioned to eat at, make sure to book a reservation slot online, from their local websites. That’s how you are guaranteed to get a nice spot within the restaurants.
Few great spots to take note of
Savotta Rivantola brings you the most breathtakingly beautiful views of all of Helsinki. You will be able to hear the cathedral chime within the heart of the Senate Square. This is the perfect spot if you want a romantic meal in the evening, as the city comes alive during sunset and it happens to be really beautiful and iconic for the region's location. Of course, as you sit back, relax and eat, you will be listening to Finnish folk music, and all the waiters and waitresses donning the traditional attire of Finland. This is why you need to make this spot on your list, especially if you are looking to immerse yourself in local culture.
All the menu is typically Finnish, with dishes like reindeer sausage, bear salami, and traditional pastries named as Karelian, which happens to be a delightful cheese and berry-filled savoury dish. The balance between the sweetness of the cheese, and the zest of berries is spot on. Great for light airy food in summer. If, however, you are looking for some heavy and hearty food, the reindeer and mash potatoes, with the kick of cranberry sauce, is the one. You will certainly thank us later.
We thought it would be good to get in a traditional Finnish cafe in here too. Cafe Regatta is like a magical world transported from Lapland on Santa’s sleigh, and hey if you happen to be in the area during the festive season, it should definitely add to the theme if we may say so. The setup is rather Scandinavian, and has some serious social media picture goals. So, perhaps you can use this spot to get your inner social media influencer out?
The filter coffee here is popular to tourists and locals, paired with the cinnamon and nutmeg buns that come straight out from the oven when you indulge. Everything here is pretty much snack or breakfast worthy, so maybe if you are killing time before dinner, it would not hurt to check out the poker hot roasted sausages that are roasted on a fire powered kiln. This spot is simple, but boasts hearty, quaint and familiar vibes all over.
Löyly presents itself as the ultimate sauna spot for locals and tourists. Did you know that Finland is known for their sauna experiences, and it was the colonisation from the Swedes and Russia that got this tradition out there really? There are over 2 million saunas all over Finland, making it a must for you to check out, if you are looking for a cultured trip.
Sure, not many ever imagine the combination of sauna and a warm meal, but hey, it exists here in Helsinki. There are many elements to the services here, after an earthy sauna, you can bathe by fire and other elements, then enjoy a meal within their restaurants. You may have heard of Elk meatballs if you pick up travel-worthy magazines like the National Geographic for example. This dish is combined with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, which as you may have noticed, Finnish tradition has a lot of fruity and savoury pairings, which works out very nicely, if you pick a fruity wine to drink alongside. The house special meal should go down quite nicely with their French Toast and onsite prepared preserve. You will walk away settled and satisfied.