Flat lay photo of bistro table full of dishes.
Flat lay photo of bistro table full of dishes.
Image from
Ravintola Nolita

Helsinki

The Best Bistros in Helsinki

Discover the best local bistros in Helsinki, recommended by locals and experts.

Updated on Jan 26, 2024 | World of Mouth team

Even though not as well known as its Nordic neighbors, Helsinki's food scene is both diverse and exciting, offering something for everyone. In this guide, we're focusing on the best bistros in Helsinki, known for their delicious food, welcoming atmosphere and use of local produce. Explore spots such as the zero-waste restaurant Nolla, the favorite local wine bistro Baskeri & Basso and the legendary artist restaurant Wellamo.

To guarantee high quality, all picks are based on personal recommendations from top local chefs and food writers like Ina Niiniketo, Helena Puolakka and Kenneth Nars. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a casual meal, this list of Helsinki's best bistros has got you covered.

Restaurant Bona Fide

Vironkatu 8

Vironkatu 8, 00170 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Bona Fide offers a fresh take on Finnish cuisine, with a focus on sustainable fish and vegetable dishes. The menu, crafted by chefs Ilpo Vainonen and Eeli Kaasinen, changes frequently, ensuring a diverse dining experience with dishes like courgette escabeche and deep-fried vendace fish with hot sauce. The restaurant also boasts an excellent wine list, curated by sommelier Johan Borgar, featuring natural wines and affordable champagnes from small producers.

Recommended by

Small and cosey Helsinki restaurant with a tight-knit menu, usually a main course centred around fish and the catch of the day. Chefs are Ilpo Vainonen and Eeli Kaasinen. Set course suggested with extras and cheese available. Plus lots of Nordic berries. Excellent wine list, complied by the sommelier Johan Borgar, with good natural wines and a very affordable and competitively priced champagne list.

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Restaurant Bona Fide

Restaurant Bona Fide

Vironkatu 8

Vironkatu 8, 00170 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Baskeri & Basso

Tehtaankatu 27-29 (sisäpiha)

Tehtaankatu 27-29 (sisäpiha), 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Baskeri & Basso is a popular wine bistro known for its honest cooking and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including pasta and several starters, with a focus on French-Italian bistro-osteria classics, complemented by a selection of wines from trusted and organic winemakers. Late-night walk-ins are welcome, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a late-night meal in a cozy setting.

Recommended by

Favorite late-night bistro in HelsinkiThe favorite restaurant of many locals in Helsinki. Uncomplicated and delicious food, always good and relaxed service. The atmosphere in basbas is wonderful. I recommend to always take their pasta and 2-3 starters. Nice wines. It's really hard to get a table reservation at Basbas, but I recommend going there after 11:30 PM, when there's usually room. I've never made a table reservation, but always went there very late and always got a table.

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Restaurant Baskeri & Basso

Restaurant Baskeri & Basso

Tehtaankatu 27-29 (sisäpiha)

Tehtaankatu 27-29 (sisäpiha), 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Kuurna

Meritullinkatu 6

Meritullinkatu 6, 00170 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Kuurna is a modern bistro that offers a changing menu every 2-3 weeks, focusing on simple dishes crafted from high-quality local and seasonal produce. The establishment, which has been operating since 2005, is known for its cozy and welcoming atmosphere, as well as its extensive wine list, featuring both classic and natural wines. With a commitment to sustainable producers, Kuurna is also pet-friendly, promising a pleasant dining experience for all.

Recommended by

Cozy, casual neighbourhood bistro in beautiful Kruununhaka and simple dishes of high quality seasonal produceKuurna has long been one of my favorite casual restaurants in Helsinki. The location is cozy and welcoming, service is friendly, relaxed and professional. I love the short menu, which they change every 2-3 weeks. The dishes are simple but made of high quality seasonal and local produce. The food is always tasty!

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Restaurant Kuurna

Restaurant Kuurna

Meritullinkatu 6

Meritullinkatu 6, 00170 Helsinki, Finland

Canvas Canteen

Pursimiehenkatu 21

Pursimiehenkatu 21, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Canvas Canteen is a cozy establishment located in a 150-year-old building, offering daily changing dishes inspired by global cuisines. The restaurant is known for its simple, flavorful dishes made from high-quality, seasonal ingredients, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available. In addition to its regular lunch service, Canvas Canteen also offers catering services and hosts private events, making it a versatile choice for food lovers.

Recommended by

Canvas is located in Punavuori, Helsinki, in the corner of a 150-year-old building. The restaurant offers daily changing dishes and drinks from lunch to late afternoon, all set in a small and homey setting. On the menu you’ll find simple dishes, built on seasonal and high-quality products, “the whole world as a source of inspiration,” as they say. Expect fresh, vibrant salads, lamb neck and lentils, homemade pies and Nordic fruit/berry-based desserts.

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Canvas Canteen

Canvas Canteen

Pursimiehenkatu 21

Pursimiehenkatu 21, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Ravintola Nolla

Fredrikinkatu 22

Fredrikinkatu 22, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Ravintola Nolla is a casual restaurant that has been serving bistro food for nearly five years, with a focus on simplicity and seasonality. The restaurant's zero-waste ideology is a central part of its operations, and it even brews its own beer on-site. The menu, which is predominantly vegetarian, is crafted from local ingredients that change with the seasons, and the restaurant also offers a selection of natural wines and in-house brewed sour beers.

Recommended by

Casual zero waste restaurant, seasonal bistro food and microbrewery.A casual restaurant based on zero waste. It's been around for nearly five years now. The exciting thing is that they are still there. I pay huge respect to the owners of Nolla that they were ahead of their time when they opened the restaurant. They serve bistro food, simple and very seasonal. And the zero-waste thinking is always there. They brew their own beer on-site. The service is exquisite, really friendly. Always a nice place to go.

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Ravintola Nolla

Ravintola Nolla

Fredrikinkatu 22

Fredrikinkatu 22, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Ravintola 305

Toinen linja 3

Toinen linja 3, 00530 Helsinki, Finland

Ravintola 305 is a modern neighborhood restaurant in Helsinki's Hakaniemi district, offering inventive food, delicious wines, and cocktails in a relaxed atmosphere. You can enjoy an extended seating at the Chef's Table or freely pick individual dishes from the menu. The culinary team, led by Janne Keskevaari, creates unforgettable flavors respecting seasonal ingredients, while the ambiance and guests are handled by Jesse Teerenmaa.

Recommended by

A restaurant that's spreading good and trendy food to new neighbourhoods.
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Ravintola 305

Ravintola 305

Toinen linja 3

Toinen linja 3, 00530 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Elm

Puistokatu 4

Puistokatu 4, 00140 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Elm is an all-day neighborhood eatery offering Mediterranean cuisine, nestled in a beautifully renovated wooden villa from the 1860s. The culinary team, hailing from Portugal and Catalonia, infuse their ethnic backgrounds into the food, music, and atmosphere, resulting in a relaxed dining experience with friendly service. A highlight of the restaurant is the quaint veranda-terrace, an ideal spot for outdoor dining during warm days.

Recommended by

Portuguese-Catalonian restaurant in a charming wooden villa in Helsinki’s most charming park.This beautiful wooden villa from the 1860’s was recently renovated. The team behind Nolla restaurant opened Elm here with chefs from Portugal and Catalonia. This ethnic background is seen in the cuisine but also music and atmosphere. Good food and extremely friendly service. During the warm days, the best place is the little veranda-terrace. The house is now operated by the Herlin Foundation and is called ”House of science and hope”. Isn’t that a good base for dinner discussions?

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Restaurant Elm

Restaurant Elm

Puistokatu 4

Puistokatu 4, 00140 Helsinki, Finland

Bistro Gina

Korkeavuorenkatu 34

Korkeavuorenkatu 34, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

Bistro Gina is a lively Italian bistro, known for its contemporary approach to traditional Italian cuisine. The restaurant is managed by Hans Välimäki, a former chef of the 2 Michelin star Chez Dominique. With a wide variety of food, wine, and cocktails on offer, Bistro Gina is recommended for those seeking a less formal dining experience with great Italian food.

Recommended by

A very cool and lively contemporary Italian restaurant run by Hans Välimäki, the former chef of the 2 Michelin star Chez Dominique who left the upscale fine dining for a less formal offering. Gina is highly recommended especially as Helsinki lacks great Italian restaurants.
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Bistro Gina

Bistro Gina

Korkeavuorenkatu 34

Korkeavuorenkatu 34, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

Mat Distrikt

Tehtaankatu 12

Tehtaankatu 12, 00140 Helsinki, Finland

Mat Distrikt is a neighborhood bistro known for its handcrafted, seasonal dishes. The restaurant is the brainchild of a creative team that has been involved in other popular ventures, offering a simple yet flavorful menu featuring meat tartar, risotto, and dishes made from locally sourced meats and fish. With a wine list favoring natural and small producers, Mat Distrikt is a place where everything is homemade, from the sustainable meat dishes to the vegetarian options.

Recommended by

Promising new Italian French casual bistro in Helsinki’s southern tipA very charming Italian French style casual bistro in Ullanlinna district that has lacked nice restaurants. Mat distrikt was created by a creative and experienced team that has previously been behind e.g. Albina and Ox in Helsinki and Meat District in Porvoo. A wonderfully easy and tasty menu from meat tartar to risotto (with truffle from their long-time own contact from Croatia) as well as meats and fish from local producers and ingredients. Lots of value for money. Smart and loud crowd. Nice list of wines with a bias towards natural and small producers.

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Mat Distrikt

Mat Distrikt

Tehtaankatu 12

Tehtaankatu 12, 00140 Helsinki, Finland

Ravintola Nolita

Kankurinkatu 6

Kankurinkatu 6, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Nolita is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and bakery that focuses on serving mouth-watering dishes using local ingredients. The restaurant is highly recommended for its divine bread, weekend brunch, and early evening wine. At Nolita, the aim is not only to provide delicious food but also to create unforgettable moments for everyone who walks in.

Recommended by

Wonderful cosy little italy great for weekend brunch, early evening glass of wine and The bread is divine
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Ravintola Nolita

Ravintola Nolita

Kankurinkatu 6

Kankurinkatu 6, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Alexanderplats

Eteläesplanadi 22

Eteläesplanadi 22, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Alexanderplats is a bustling Nordic brasserie, popular for both lunch and dinner services. The menu offers a delightful blend of Finnish classics with a French twist, and is particularly renowned for its thrice-cooked French fries. With a great wine list featuring reasonably priced bottles from France and beyond, and a reputation for being one of the few establishments open on Sundays, it's a solid and reliable choice for any time of the week.

Recommended by

Solid and reliable - well executed and delicious, refined Finnish classics with a French twist. The BEST French fries in Helsinki. They’re truly excellent, thrice cooked and perfectly crunchy. Great wine list with reasonably priced bottles from France and elsewhere. One of the few spots open on Sundays. Great for a walk in.
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Restaurant Alexanderplats

Restaurant Alexanderplats

Eteläesplanadi 22

Eteläesplanadi 22, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant BasBas Kulma

Telakkakadun kulma

Telakkakadun kulma, Tehtaankatu 27-29, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant BasBas Kulma is a lively wine bar that serves small dishes and primarily natural wines, welcoming both reservations and walk-ins. The menu features a range of dishes, from charcuterie and cheese to salmon crudo, beef tartare, fried whitefish, and grilled pork belly. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, with professional service and an excellent, well-priced wine list.

Recommended by

The larger Bas Bas Kulma works like a clock, banging out food and excellent wines from late lunch to midnight.Bas Bas Kulma is the sibling wine bar-bistro to the upstairs Baskeri & Basso Bistro. As the upstairs has been hopelessly fully booked since day one, the larger Bas Bas Kulma works like a clock, banging out food and excellent wines from late lunch to midnight. Also bar counter eating for walk-ins. Start with some charcuterie and cheese, then salmon crudo and beef tartare, fried whitefish and grilled pork belly. Excellent and well priced wine list, mostly natural wines: have a chat with wine guys Niki, Noora or Daniele.

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Restaurant BasBas Kulma

Restaurant BasBas Kulma

Telakkakadun kulma

Telakkakadun kulma, Tehtaankatu 27-29, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Le Coucou Vert

Bulevardi 32

Bulevardi 32, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Le Coucou Vert is a French bistro that offers a delightful menu of modern and innovative French dishes. The restaurant, run by the same trio behind Matdistrikt and Albina, provides a warm ambiance, making it feel like a long-established classic despite its recent opening. With a pleasant terrace and a commitment to French cooking, Le Coucou Vert invites guests to linger over their meals, filling the table with laughter, warmth, and enjoyment.

Recommended by

A charming French bistro in a cozy corner of the Bulevardi street.The new restaurant by a trio that run Matdistrikt and Albina. Enjoyable menu of French innovative and modern dishes. Warm atmosphere. Feels like an old classic even though it has just opened its doors. Very nice terrace.

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Restaurant Le Coucou Vert

Restaurant Le Coucou Vert

Bulevardi 32

Bulevardi 32, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Muru

Fredrikinkatu 41

Fredrikinkatu 41, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Muru is a cozy Italian-French bistro that focuses on using the best available local Nordic ingredients for their dishes. The restaurant's philosophy is simple: prepare straightforward dishes with respect for the wine. Muru offers a popular four-course daily menu highlighting seasonality and has been recognized as a distinguished wine restaurant, receiving the Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence for three consecutive years.

Recommended by

A cozy Italian-French bistro that never disappoints. Casual and warm ambience, local Nordic ingredients. Very good (France/Italy) wine list and possibility to ask for top wines by glass /cl due to Coravin.

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Restaurant Muru

Restaurant Muru

Fredrikinkatu 41

Fredrikinkatu 41, 00120 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Wellamo

Laivastokatu 18

Laivastokatu 18, 00160 Helsinki, Finland

Restaurant Wellamo, located in the serene Katajanokka area, is a legendary establishment dating back to 1975, now managed by Chef Dani Hänninen and his team. The restaurant offers a blend of traditional and modern dishes, focusing on seasonal Nordic ingredients from local producers, with a menu that strikes an interesting balance between comfort and innovation. The ambiance of Wellamo is cozy and romantic, complemented by a well-curated wine list that caters to both traditional and natural wine enthusiasts.

Recommended by

Fresh take on Nordic cooking in an exceptionally cozy setting.Wellamo is a legendary artist restaurant in a quiet corner of Katajanokka area in Helsinki, founded already in 1975. A few years ago, it was taken over by chef Dani Hänninen and the team behind the small cult restaurant Bull & The Firm. The result is a superb combination of the traditional and the fresh. The space is as hygge as it gets, one of the most romantic in the city. The cuisine follows the seasons and is based solely on Nordic ingredients, sourced from small producers. The dishes have a nice balance between comfort and innovation (grilled carrots with frozen sour cream, tartar with fermented rhubarb, canard with asparagus, grilled strawberries, black pepper, and milk). The wine list is well curated for both traditionalists and natural wine lovers. It is difficult to see someone not liking this gem.

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Restaurant Wellamo

Restaurant Wellamo

Laivastokatu 18

Laivastokatu 18, 00160 Helsinki, Finland

The Grand Bar & Grill

Korkeavuorenkatu 21

Korkeavuorenkatu 21, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

The Grand Bar & Grill is a pop-up restaurant led by Chef Sylvester Soisalo and the Boulevard team, offering a menu where classic dishes meet modern grilling techniques. The focus here is on essentials, with no room for nonsense on the plate. From snacks and charcuterie to grilled Finnish beef and a variety of steak cuts cooked over fire, the restaurant provides a straightforward and satisfying dining experience.

Recommended by

The restaurant that Helsinki dining scene needs.
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The Grand Bar & Grill

The Grand Bar & Grill

Korkeavuorenkatu 21

Korkeavuorenkatu 21, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

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