The Best Local Restaurants in Helsinki
These are the institutions in Helsinki that locals love.
Helsinki, a city connected to the sea and forest on all sides, boasts many great restaurants that offer dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. In this article, we'll highlight some of the best local restaurants in Helsinki – places that are loved by the community and prefer to use local produce. From the historic Savoy, offering classic dishes with a view, to the timeless charm of Kosmos, known for its traditional dishes, and the mouthwatering meat pies of Eromanga, each place has a strong connection with the city.
As always, all picks are based on recommendations from World of Mouth experts like Toni Toivanen and Helena Puolakka. Whether you're searching for a traditional Finnish dinner or looking for places offering local produce, dive in and discover the best local food in Helsinki.
Restaurant Savoy is an iconic establishment in Helsinki, known for its stylish fine dining experience. With its classic Finnish design overlooking the beautiful Esplanad Park, it offers a magnificent view of Helsinki's rooftops. The menu, crafted by Chef Patron Helena Puolakka, features traditional Finnish dishes with a hint of French and Russian influences, all made from the finest seasonal ingredients.
Sophisticated, high-end dining option executing both French and Finnish cuisine in an iconic locale featuring city views overlooking the Esplanade Park. One of Helsinki’s legendary dining destinations. The wine matches are first class. Chef-patron Helena Puolakka, whose contemporary take on Finnish cuisine was refined during a high-profile career in in London, has lifted the menu offering here to something greater. Expect vorschmack with oven-baked potato, beetroot, pickles and sour cream, while Arctic char, venison, pike and elk are never far away. The highlight is a visit during crayfish season.
Ravintola Vinkkeli is a well-established restaurant offering modern interpretations of French classics with a Nordic touch. Patrons consistently highlight the delicious food, classic wines, and warm service, with the owners often present, adding a personal touch to the dining experience. The restaurant is noted for its use of local, seasonal ingredients and friendly staff, making it a popular choice, so early booking is recommended.
Beatiful Classical fine diningOne of my must visit places when visiting Finland. Delicious food, classic wines and warm service. The owners are always there which makes it feel like going back home every time.
Konditoria Hopia is a traditional bakery known for its Carelian pasties, meat-rice pasty, and pulla sweet buns. It's a spot where tradition meets trend, offering an authentic experience for Carelian pie enthusiasts. With options like barley, rice, or mashed potato fillings, and the addition of chopped egg butter and coffee, it stands as a top choice for afternoon coffee and pasties.
Being a carelian pie -freak (karjalanpiirakka in Finnish) it can be a struggle to find a great one in Helsinki. Konditoria Hopia is probably your best choice in the capital. A place so traditional, that it feels almost trendy and hipsterish. Great spot for afternoon coffee - as long as you don´t expect lattes.
Kosmos is a classic restaurant serving traditional dishes influenced by Finnish, French, Swedish, and Russian cuisines. With nearly a century of history, the restaurant continues to offer favorites like blinis with roe and sour cream, salted reindeer with cloudberry balsamic, fried herring, and Wiener schnitzel. Maintaining its original interior, Kosmos provides a genuine feel of the old restaurant world, complemented by its selection of cold beer and schnapps.
Kosmos has been shining bright on Helsinki’s restaurant scene for almost a hundred years, serving Finnish classics with French, Swedish and Russian influences. From the à la carte menu you’ll find classics such as blinis with roe and sour cream, salted reindeer with cloudberry balsamic, fried herring and Wiener schnitzel. A truly beautiful dining room and one of the highlight restaurants of the city.
Eromanga Oy is a traditional lunch café-bakery known for its 'lihapiirakka', a local meat pasty. The café is a popular spot for locals and workers alike, serving a variety of pastries, including the doughnut-like deep-fried pasty filled with rice, minced meat, and onion. Established in 1946, Eromanga Oy continues to be a significant part of the food and social culture, offering an authentic experience with its savory and sweet offerings.
Classic Finnish meat pieEromangan meat pie is an institution for this fatty, hot and just delicious meat pie. Highly recommended to get here early and meet the workers having their morning pie and coffee. This is a part of real Helsinki!
Ekberg 1852 is a historic café and pastry shop located in Helsinki, renowned for its traditional pastries and sandwiches that have remained unchanged for years. This family-run establishment, dating back to 1852, is a favorite meeting spot for locals, often frequented by generations of the same families. With its grand café ambiance reminiscent of Central Europe, Ekberg 1852 offers a range of seasonal specialties, including the Runeberg cake and May Day funnel cake, alongside a delightful old-school breakfast buffet.
Ekberg is special in the sense that it's a place for local people. There’s really a sense of belonging.Ekberg is wonderful. For me, it’s the place to go for afternoon tea. Or just for fika, with a cup of Café au lait, a cinnamon bun or other nice pastry. It's a really lovely spot. Ekberg is special in the sense that it's a place for local people. You know you have generations of the same families going there. It has all the elements of being in Central Europe when you sit there. The table service is great, and the menu has been the same forever when it comes to pastries and sandwiches, and there’s really a sense of belonging somewhere when you are there.
Restaurant Sea Horse, established in 1934, is a classic Finnish eatery known for its traditional, hearty meals. The menu features local favorites such as salmon soup, herring platters, beef Lindström, and the legendary potato and sausage hash known as "pyttipannu". Open seven days a week, Sea Horse offers large portions in a casual, old-school setting, making it a popular choice for both walk-ins and larger parties.
Hearty traditional food. Salmon soup, herring, meat and potato hash.A classic. Sea horse is a casual restaurant that's been around since 1934. A very traditional local neighborhood restaurant in the Ullanlinna district. Big platters of hearty traditional food with salmon soup, herring platters, beef Lindström and their legendary ”pyttipannu” meal, potato and sausage hash. You can walk in or make a booking for bigger parties. The portions are huge and people tend to drink schnapps and beer with their food. Very old school, open seven days a week which is a rare thing in Helsinki. Go for Sunday lunch, have a herring platter, fish soup and pancakes with some strawberry jam and cream as dessert. And it's just fantastic.
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.
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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