Helsinki City Map
Helsinki has all the ingredients for a good life. Perhaps Finns are most known for their sauna culture, the Moomins, or their insane coffee consumption (more than any other country in the world!), but Finland’s versatile food scene is not to be overlooked. Helsinki is home to some of the top fine dining restaurants in the Nordics, but Finland’s capital also has a plethora of delicious options for everyday eating. Sustainability is a huge focus of the chefs, and most restaurants proudly highlight the organic, local, and seasonal ingredients of the region. In general, the city is extremely environmentally-friendly, and quite compact in size. We loved being able to walk and bike everywhere!
In this foodie map, we have gathered all our Helsinki favorites. You’ll find everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to natural wine bars to specialty coffee shops. Navigate the map easily either by scrolling through the list on the right or by clicking the points on the map. Places are listed in a geographical order.
Opening Hours 🕒
Baskeri & Basso
Baskeri Basso, referred to by locals as BasBas, is the big brother bistro to next-door neighbor BasBas Kulma. If you manage to score a table at this Helsinki hotspot, you’re in for a delicious evening. Whether you’re picking a few dishes, or going for the affordably priced four-course menu, don’t miss the pasta dish – it was our favorite! The garlicky, creamy, perfectly cooked tagliolini was so insanely good, we almost doubled down and ordered seconds. All dishes change seasonally, but if you’re there in the spring we can wholeheartedly recommend the white asparagus with a horseradish beurre blanc. Although there are still some fun bottles, the wine list here leans a bit more classical in style than at the wine bar downstairs.
It was the little sister restaurant to Baskeri Basso, BasBas Kulma, that stole our hearts in Helsinki. This was, hands down, our favorite casual restaurant in town. It’s slightly easier to get a reservation here compared to the OG restaurant, since the venue is a little bigger and the bar seats are kept for walk-ins. Kulma has a cool neighborhood feel, dishes at a great price point, and a stellar natural wine list. Every dish was a home run – we adored the focaccia with stracciatella and pesto rosso, the beef tartare with pickled red onion and ramson mavonnaise was one of the best we’ve had, and the deep fried potatoes with za'atar & sumac mayonnaise made us go weak in the knees. Even the veggies turned us on – slap some choron sauce on grilled cabbage and we’ll eat our greens with a smile.
Kaffa Roastery is our favorite coffee shop in Helsinki. We had the best hand brew of our trip here – a natural Ethiopian with notes of vanilla, bergamot, and strawberry. We also enjoyed the funky and fruity natural Colombian, and the almond croissant was a great sidecar. In the evening, trade your coffee cups in for wine glasses, and enjoy their selection of natural wines.
Helsinki’s best pizzeria is Forza, a newer addition to the city’s food scene, but one that is here to stay. The wood-fired oven is at the heart of the kitchen, so you can expect top quality Neapolitan pizza – light, fluffy, and with unique toppings. Our favorite was the “Cacio, Pepe, e Gamberi,” with fior di latte, pecorino cheese, and shrimp. If you like it hot, try “La Diavola,” with tomato, spicy aged calabrian salsiccia, spicy olive oil, and burrata. They also serve Roman-style pies for those who like a slightly crispier, crunchier texture.
We’ll admit it – this is the first time a laundromat has made it to one of our guides, but Bob’s Laundry is not your typical fluff and fold. This working laundromat has a full bar with taptails on draft, created by the “cocktail bastards” from Son of a Punch. We loved the “Made in China” with lychee, rose, and vodka, and their margarita with passion fruit, orange, tequila, and togarashi. If you’re feeling snacky, there’s also a menu of Asian-inspired bites (dumplings, bao buns, kimchi, and rice balls). Best of all? Your laundry is free with purchase. Chores have never been so fun.
If you’re traveling to Helsinki in search of the best food, you’ve got to make a reservation at Grön. This was our favorite meal of our Finland trip, and one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time. Every single bite delivered a flavor explosion in a way that very few meals achieve. From the tomato tartelette to the lobster beignet to the honey fudge-glazed monkfish, we truly wanted seconds of every dish. Grön currently has one Michelin star, but this place strongly deserves a second. Chef Toni Kostian and his team are serving some of the tastiest and most interesting bites in the Nordics.
One Day Coffee
Coffee nerds will be in heaven at One Day, a sleek new coffee shop founded by a Finnish barista champion, located on the ground floor of Hotel Mestari. One Day serves championship-level coffee, with an extensive reserve menu showcasing award-winning beans from around the world. On our visit, they were serving a rare natural Colombian for €40 – that’s the most expensive cup of coffee we’ve ever seen on a menu! They also have a few reserve coffees available for €10 or less.
Linda and Filip Langhoff (the former owners of Jord and Michelin-starred Ask) have opened a new restaurant, Sekel. The name means “century,” and the menu is a tribute to the food of the last century, inspired by restaurant menus from the 20s and 30s. Sit back, relax, and travel back in time for an evening of classic dishes and decadent sauces (some even served tableside with trolleys!), while learning some culinary history. Both an à la carte and set menu are available, and it's also possible to drop in to the bar for a cocktail.
Nolla is a sustainable restaurant run by three chefs from Serbia, Portugal, and Spain. The word “nolla” means zero in Finnish, and this name embodies the restaurant’s philosophy to produce zero waste. Nolla aims to show that sustainability and high-quality food can go hand in hand, whether it’s using every part of an animal, or making bread from spent grains from their own beer production. Their mission starts with the seasonal ingredients they serve (from local farmers and fishermen), continues with their in-house composter, and even extends to their dishes and uniforms.
Another of our favorite Helsinki coffee shops is Andante, which has been open since 1990. The café has a charming interior design, with lots of cute accents from the Finnish designer Marimekko. But most importantly, they serve great coffee, featuring specialty roasters like Drop and Standout Coffee from Stockholm, La Cabra from Denmark, and Samples from Helsinki. They have a large menu of hand brews; we tried a gesha from Colombia with notes of rose petals, peach, mango, and a natural Guatemalan with notes of rosehip florals, raspberry, clementine, and lychee. Year-round they offer baked goods to go alongside your java, and in the summer they serve kakigori (Japanese shaved ice).
If you’re craving something sweet, we recommend popping in Bakerika for an afternoon treat. They bake delicious mini cakes, which are cupcake-sized but with layers of cake and cream. We loved the lemon poppyseed cake filled with house-made lemon curd and buttercream frosting, and the strawberry and buttercream cake with strawberry jam.
Boneless is a fast food chain with eight locations around Helsinki. As the name implies, they serve boneless fried chicken, but they also serve wings and cheeseburgers. After hearing that Boneless’ burger is the best in town, we had to pay them a visit. We quite enjoyed their double cheese smash burger, which comes with two crispy smashed beef patties, American cheese, pickles, red onions, kewpie mayo, and is served on a Martin’s potato roll. Classic, All-American smash burger vibes!
Elm is a new restaurant from the team behind Nolla, located in a restored house from the 1800s. The historic venue is worth a visit alone, whether you’re just looking for a coffee and a bite of something sweet, an aperitivo, or a full Mediterranean meal. Our favorite dishes were the burrata with blood oranges and breadcrumbs, and the cheese croquettes with lemon tahini.
Levain is a high-quality bakery chain and eatery, with a handful of cafés in Helsinki. They have a case full of delectable pastries, donuts, and pasteis de nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts). Our favorite was the Danish pastry with fresh rhubarb and cream. In addition to sweet treats, they have a full menu of brunch dishes, sandwiches, and salads for those looking for something a bit more substantial.
Luovuus Kukkii Kaaoksesta
Probably the craziest restaurant in Helsinki is Luovuus Kukkii Kaaoksesta, affectionately dubbed “LKK” by locals. The name means “creativity blossoms from chaos,” and that’s exactly what you can expect to find in this wild restaurant space. Creative dishes are served to the beat of a funky playlist in a dining room with bright wall murals, neon signs, and knicknacks, all of which have their own story. The menu consists of small dishes such as milk bread topped with mussels and a bell pepper sauce, a layered potato with horseradish and pil pil sauce, and beef sirloin with oyster mushrooms and a choron sauce. The kitchen closes at midnight, so this is a great option for a late night bite.
There are no phones, cameras, or electronics allowed at Chihuahua Julep, but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting this world-class cocktail bar. At first the rules felt restrictive, but we grew to appreciate the opportunity to be fully present and not glued to a screen. Chihuahua Julep has a stylish interior design akin to a fancy French living room, with velvet couches and bartenders in formal attire. It was here we sipped the best cocktails of the trip – our favorite was the “Dixie Land,” with rose quince liqueur, rum, and mandarin juice. We also loved the “Oolong Daiquiri,” with rum, sake, oolong tea, and lime. All of the drinks were perfectly balanced, and incredibly creative. A nightcap here is highly encouraged! (Note: they don’t accept contactless payments, so bring a physical credit card or cash.)
If you’re a seafood lover, look no further than Boulevard, a fish-focused French bistro. The kitchen is run by Sylvester Soisalo, who was previously the chef de cuisine at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant Palace. Here the dishes are just as tasty as ones you’d find in a fine dining restaurant, but served in a more casual, laidback setting. So kick back and relax in one of the gorgeous navy blue velvet booths with a glass of Champagne, or maybe a Ginza highball. Don’t miss the uber fresh lobster cocktail – with citrus fruits, avocado, and vanilla, this is the best version of this dish we’ve ever had. Equally noteworthy is the turbot en croute, a masterpiece wrapped in puff pastry, with mushrooms, cabbage, and a champagne butter sauce.
Hotel St. George
Helsinki’s grandest hotel is the St. George, which, in addition to many other luxurious amenities, boasts a full spa with Finnish saunas and pools of varying temperatures. The hotel has a stunning interior design, with beautiful views from the top floors of the city’s skyline. St. George’s breakfast is one of the best we’ve had, with a buffet as well as dishes cooked-to-order, and the St. George Bakery offers coffee and pastries for those on the go. Be sure to stop by the stunning Wintergarden bar for a craft cocktail.
Savoy has been a staple in Helsinki since it opened in 1937. The historic dining room, originally designed by Finnish architects Aino and Alvar Aalto, has been host to many an important gathering for both artists and politicians alike. In 2019, the restaurant was renovated and chef Helena Puolakka took over the kitchen, where she crafts “Finnish-French food, with a slight Russian touch.” There are both à la carte and set menus available. The eighth floor dining room extends onto a covered terrace, which offers unparalleled views of the esplanade and the Helsinki skyline.
The latest opening from the Savoy team is the casual restaurant Café Savoy, located on the ground floor of the same building, directly off the esplanade. The bistro is inspired by the south of France, with dishes like a classic Niçoise salad, “pissaladiere” (caramelized onion tart), and lemon risotto on the prix fixe menu. The modern yet timeless dining room is flooded with natural light, and the sunny yellow booths recall bright summer days even in the heart of winter.
Just steps off the esplanade is Hotel F6, a charming and trendy boutique hotel with lots of personality. Inside the beautiful courtyard, you’ll find bikes which are free for guests to borrow. Breakfast is included for all guests, and includes Finnish delicacies like Karelian pies and slow-cooked porridge. We loved the cute design, the comfortable beds, the bath amenities from Rituals, and the spacious fitness center, which is open 24/7. Hotel F6 is also home to craft cocktail bar Runar.
Located inside Hotel F6 is cocktail bar Runar – but this is not your average hotel bar. Runar is worth a visit even if you’re not a hotel guest. The cocktails here are very creative – we tried a carbonated one with blueberry, lemongrass, gin, and vermouth, and their variation on a mojito, with blood orange, rum, mint, and sparkling wine. Of course, they can make classics as well, and they have a nice selection of Finnish gin if you’re looking to sip something local.
Opened in 1952, Palace has a long-standing reputation as Helsinki’s top restaurant. It was the first Finnish restaurant to receive a Michelin star in 1987, and holds two stars today. The menu is Nordic, using local ingredients as much as possible, with some inspiration from Japan and France. The seafood dishes were the standouts of our meal, especially the Norwegian langoustine with yellow kosho, and the scallops with chili butter and XO sauce. If you’re looking for the full package fine dining experience for a special occasion, this place is sure to wow. We can see why this restaurant has become an institution in the Helsinki fine dining scene!
Kuurna is an industry favorite – and not only because they’re one of the few restaurants open on Mondays. This cozy eatery serves a two- or three-course menu, but no matter which one you pick, the pepper steak is the must-order dish here. We also enjoyed a daily special of pierogi-style pork dumplings, served in chicken broth, with cabbage, fried mushrooms, and spring onions.
Trying a Karelian pie is a must when in Finland, and we got ours at Kahvila Rakastan, a charming plant-based café in a courtyard next to the National Museum. The family-run, female-operated shop specializes in these traditional pies, selling variations of their Grandma’s classic recipe, though they’ve adapted it to modern times and made it vegan. The pies come with different toppings – we tried the potato and barley pie, where a rye crust is filled with mashed potato and topped with (eggless) egg butter. It was buttery and warm, fresh from the oven, and tasted like an egg salad sando and potato salad hybrid.
With only one small communal table, Rolling Cheese is more of a cheese shop than a restaurant, but they put their expansive cheese selection to good use in their rotating grilled cheese menu. Past sandwich selections have included the “Kimchi” (with Cantal Jeune hard cheese, Reblochon Fermier soft cheese, and spicy Korean-style kimchi), “Le Normandie” (with Pont L'eveque soft cheese, Salami Lovison, sun-dried tomatoes, and fig chutney), and “Le Chartreux Part Deux (with French alpine cheese, Taleggio, spicy pepper tapenade, and sun-dried tomatoes). Of course, they also serve cheese and charcuterie boards, and wine by the glass.
This old-school restaurant has been open since 1932, and still serves traditional Finnish dishes today. Elite is an artist hotspot, and has attracted actors, musicians, writers, and dancers for almost a century. The food is more of a trip down memory lane, but if it’s classics you’re after, you’re in the right place. We enjoyed the salmon soup with toasted rye bread, the vorschmack (minced meat and fish), the pan-fried Baltic herrings, and the sirloin steak with creamed onions and potatoes. Wash it all down with a "long drink" – a Finnish classic made with gin and grapefruit.
A perfect day for us in Helsinki would start at Way Bakery, sitting outside in the sun with a table full of treats and coffee from Good Life Coffee Roasters. Way serves our favorite baked goods in town – we feasted on lemon sugar donuts (sprinkled with salt and pepper for a savory kick!), croissants, canelés, and pound cake. Rumor has it that they also serve delicious pasta and natural wine in the afternoon and evening – that’s as good a reason as any for us to return.
KotKot (Finnish for “cluck cluck”) is a fast food chain from fine dining chef Kim Mikkola, serving fried chicken sandwiches, wings, thighs, and fries. KotKot is a pandemic success story – they currently have five locations in Helsinki, and have also expanded to Tallinn, Estonia. We tried three different sandwiches and our favorite was the Lemon Pepper, which has a citrusy, spicy glaze and super juicy fried leg meat.
Some of the best cocktails we had in Helsinki came from The Firm, the cocktail bar and little sister of The Bull and the Firm restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the motorbikes parked outside or the Finnish rap music blaring inside – this is a top level craft cocktail bar. One of our favorite drinks combined coconut, pandan, rum, and umeshu (salted plum), while another mixed passion fruit, shiso, and gin. All of the drinks were tart and fresh (just how we like them!) and utilized unique ingredients to craft winning flavor combinations. In addition to cocktails, they also serve natural wines and some snacks.