Helsinki is still not known for being a good destination for vegans and vegetarians, and I really don’t understand why. There are so many vegan and vegetarian restaurant options in Helsinki. Rarely have I seen a place with such a varied offer in veggie food and options in most restaurants. The selection of dairy-free products and sources of meat-free alternatives in the supermarkets is huge and developing strongly. There are new amazing creations every week (it seems) and it’s really rewarding and fun to go out to eat.
Disclaimer: I am neither vegetarian nor vegan myself, but eager to try and taste all the things, super interested and excited about plant-based food. My partner is vegetarian which has been really educative for me over the years and has encouraged me to consider my own consumption and choices more carefully. So: this post is vouched for and approved by him and other dear friends who are veg* 🙂
7 years ago, finding good vegetarian meals in Helsinki was still a bit of a challenge. Most restaurants would probably offer something, but it was along the lines of the lame mushroom risotto and goat cheese salad, so not particularly enticing or especially good; or you’d have to specifically ask for it. It is not hard to find vegan or vegetarian restaurants in Helsinki, or those that have excellent options.
Nowadays, the majority of restaurants does cater to plant-based diets easily, with options in the regular menu on their own or available as a veggie/vegan version, and they will be happy to advise you as well. So you will most likely not have an issue finding some good food in Helsinki. Many even have signs out on the street or the doors, or of course the well-known Happy Cow sticker is a safe indicator. If you fancy a nice dinner date night out, also fine-dining restaurants happily cater to vegetarians – for vegans, it’s best to add a note to your reservation to be sure. But it’s really never a problem. Don’t hesitate to ask if you’re not sure – it’s very common.
Warm recommendations by myself and friends, that are either all veggie or particularly well-known for their offer:
Yes Yes Yes – for an all-veggie and vegan menu, that will sweep you off your feet – book a table and enjoy! My favourites are the flat breads and the halloumi fries are to die for
The South Indian – one of the largest vegan selections of Indian food in the city, many of them are traditionally vegan! Lovely, authentic food.
Sandro’s – for a middle eastern menu, great lunch buffet and lovely service. Several locations around town
Noodle Master – amazing hand-pulled authentic Chinese noodles, with a small but nice selection of vegan options. Try the Dandan noodles!
Töölön Sävel – for a great brunch offer and tasty options all around the menu
India Tandoor – Indian restaurant that has a lovely selection of vegan dishes on the menu, including vegan naan
Rioni – Georgian restaurant with plenty of vegan options on the menu
Daddy Green’s pizza bar – has a bunch of super tasty vegetarian and vegan pizzas, absolutely recommended by everyone who ever went there
Nolla – not only has a stunning vegan tasting menu but is also the first and only restaurant that operates fully zero-waste
Green Hippo Café – lovely café with great brunch and breakfast options for everyone
Petiscaria – a Portuguese restaurant that arguably has the best seitan dishes in town (according to all vege friends I took there ever), and their menu has a whole vegan section (the vegan Feijoada is delicious, too). So much love here!
Bun2Bun – an amazing burger place that famously changed their entire menu to all-vegan. Also the first place that brought Beyond Meat to Finland
Just Vege – has, as the name tells, just veggie things – well-known for their falafel and salads
Magu – a lovely casual fine-dining experience with an all vegetarian and vegan menu
Thai vegan kitchen – pretty much what it says on the tin!
Round – vegan donuts and they are amazing, highly recommend for a sweet fix
Banu café – the cutest little Persian fusion café, with a nice lunch during the week and weekend brunch
Kakkupalvelu Pala – all-vegan bakery with great coffee and delicious cakes and treats
Be Mine Healthy Friends – all vegan café with bowls and all kinds of great things
JunkyVegan – not at all so junky, but delicious all-vegan menus of burger and tacos and more
Silvoplee – a classic choice for vegetarians and vegans, you pick what you want from the menu and pay by weight
Sen Chay – for an all veg* offer of Vietnamese food
Soi Soi – for plant-based burgers and goodness