Dining out and trying new restaurants is not only my favourite hobby – it is also delicious. Over the years I am close to saying confidently – that I have tried them (almost) all – and here is my ultimate Helsinki Guide for all things restaurant in Helsinki – of all places that are NOT specifically Finnish food. Helsinki’s restaurant scene has changed vastly over the years, with so many amazing options. Whether you’re looking for a lunch place, a casual dinner spot great pizza or a fancy night out – I got you covered. Did I miss anything? Share in a comment!
12x Lunch & Casual Dinner
I tried to break up these categories according to price point and availability of the day.
Sandwich Club: who doesn’t love a good sandwich? I’m still dreaming of their grilled cheese, until then, the facon and avocado sandwich is just as great as the one and only Pork pastrami.
Minato: some of the best sushi in town, carefully prepared by a lovely team. Great lunch offer as well.
Petiscaria: the best and only spot for Portuguese food in Helsinki – the lovely team brings a piece of Portugal to Helsinki. The Piri-Piri chicken is incredible, and their crispy Seitan is the best in town. Also, the vegan Feijoada is fantastic.
Bar Restaurant 9: a classic since the mid-90s, this place is a sure value and there’s something on the menu for everybody. It’s always good and cozy.
Tandoor: my go-to Indian restaurant, and definitely feel-good food. I love the palak paneer, garlic tikka masala and the madras kofta. Great value, tasty Naan, just an all-over favourite of mine.
Tokyo Street: this Japanese restaurant is famous now for their hand-made noodles, my absolute go-to favourite is the dumpling soup. It’s the most incredible dish.
B-Smokery: for some serious bbq business, there’s only one place in town. Fantastic ribs, pastrami and brisket.
The South Indian: new in town is The South Indian – with lovely views over street life Helsinki you can enjoy southern Indian specialities and lovely friendly service.
Momotoko: Delicious Ramen with home-made noodles and a delicious variety of options, in a couple of locations.
Social Burger Joint: definitely my favourite spot for burgers in Helsinki. The combinations are all so good, and the moving mountains vegan patty is prepared in a way that’s easily better than the meat you’ll find anywhere.
Sofia Bistro: very high quality and delicious seasonal lunches with a different menu every week – in a great location and lovely service.
Lopez y Lopez: in my opinion, these tacos are serious business and some of the best in town. Good lunch offer. Amazing salsas.
Pupu: sometimes you just need a good big salad, and pupu is the place to get them. Hotti with prawns, avocado and sweet potato is my favourite.
13x Casual Fine Dining
Fisken på Disken: without a doubt, hands-down the best salmon soup in the city. A must for every local and visitor. I can’t have salmon soup anywhere else anymore.
Same Same: a modern Asian menu with a couple of other classics as well – the tasting menu is great value for money and everything was absolutely delicious.
Pamela: delicious, fresh food off the charcoal grill, modern food with a Middle Eastern Twist. My go-to place for friend or family groups.
Wino: French-inspired bistro food and cuisine, in a lovely setting that’s great for a date night out
Kolmon3n: lovely casual dining, with a beautifully curated menu. I really enjoy all their fish dishes in particular.
Taqueria El Rey: for some of the best modern Mexican food in town, El Rey is your place. I’m here for the carnitas tacos and the house margaritas, but the local classic are the fish tacos.
Merimakasiini: their Bouillabaisse is a classic and a dish that’s so good, that I’ll always return for it!
Hello Stranger: modern food, with interesting combinations, lovely cocktails and great service.
Yes Yes Yes: all-vegetarian menu, order a bunch of smaller dishes to share – great for a group. Also, Espresso Martini.
Apotek: this fantastic wine bar does not only have an excellent wine selection, but their small menu is also worth a visit any day – so it made it this list!
Shelter: great location, modern casual dining with a menu that’s been created with a lot of attention to detail. Everything I’ve had here was always delicious.
Paisano: this Filipino restaurant is truly a gem. Everything they do is just fantastic and full of flavour – no matter what you order. Also lovely drinks and a great team behind it.
Plein: cozy neighbourhood restaurant with a menu that’s full of attention to detail and great bread.
8x Fine Dining
Chapter: one of the best restaurants in town, lovely menu comprised of Scandinavian influences mainly, with a twist. Great service.
Bronda: still one of my favourite dining experiences in Helsinki, great service and a European cuisine, all in a very modern location in the city centre.
Lily Lee: modern Asian food in a casual fine dining setting – Helsinki was missing a Dim Sum place for the longest time, so finally there is one now.
Garden by Olo: set in a beautiful courtyard, the menu revolves around local ingredients that are always absolutely delicious and a delightful service experience.
Nolla: the first and only zero-waste restaurant will blow you away with not only a great concept, but delicious food, carefully selected wines and now their own beers.
Ora: this exceptional dining experience focused on pure and local ingredients for a 10-course menu, in a beautiful location is worth booking months ahead to grab one of their few seats.
Ultima: Visit Ultima for a very special dining experience in a completely unique setting – everything here has been created for the restaurant to complement the food. (currently an Italian pop-up: Fiasco by Ultima)
Grön: a high focus on sustainability, Grön has won over guests over the years with a beautiful menu incorporating wild food and have incredible plant-based options as well.
6x Pizza & Pasta
Capperi: my top pick for pizza in Helsinki! The Capricciosa is just amazing, and the Buffalina is a local favourite.
Goose Pastabar: fresh, handmade pasta with a lovely small selection of dishes. I can’t praise their Carbonara enough – the best in town.
Guido’s: still a serious hidden gem that’s technically not even in Helsinki but just over there in Espoo, it makes this list. That’s how good their pizza is.
Daddy Green’s: lovely casual spot for pizza, good options for vegans as well. Always delicious, fresh. Also great drink selection.
Locanda Scappi: their cacio e pepe ravioli are to die for. Most of their pasta dishes are just incredible – go for those and you will leave happy!
Via Tribunali: another great spot for pizza – I enjoy the Diavola and the Tonnarella especially. No reservations.
8x Vietnamese, Thai & Chinese
As some of my favourite food, I decided to make these a separate category to make the search easier in case you’re also on the hunt for noodles or pho!
Saigon House: seriously good Vietnamese food. The caramel pork brings back many nostalgic memories but is also extremely tasty.
Pho Viet: great value for money Vietnamese food – some of the best pho in the city.
Be My Guest: the best Banh-mi sandwiches in town, also their Noodle Around dish is a local favourite.
Noodle Story: what a neighbourhood gem – fresh, delicious handmade noodles. Go for the dandan noodles and the Roujiamo bun.
Mekong: another star on the horizon for Vietnamese food in town, specializing in Southwestern Vietnamese cuisine.
Xiao Mei Lin: the best and most authentic dumplings in town – fried, steamed or in chili sauce – they are all delicious.
Biàng: their oil spill noodles are handmade and one of the best and most simple dishes. Highly recommend.
Tamarin: great noodles and papaya salad, and their fried ginger wok dish have been one of my go-to dishes for years – always good value for money.