Finland may be a nation that favors simple homemade dishes, but that doesn’t mean that the capital city of Helsinki doesn’t still have plenty of fine dining restaurants for top quality meals prepared to Finland’s notoriously high standards. These are some of the best fine dining establishments in the city to go for a night out. The owners of this restaurant and bar have used their culinary experiences from around the world to open Boulevard Social, combining dishes from Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco. This makes it the first restaurant in Helsinki to focus exclusively on Mediterranean cuisine, while maintaining the atmosphere and décor of a laidback bistro.
Ravintola Loiste Rooftop
This rooftop restaurant on the 10th floor of the hotel Vaakuna is located in the very centre of Helsinki. You can enter either via the hotel lobby or via a separate entrance. The retro rooftop bar Loiste has an authentic 1950s feel. The terrace offers unforgettable panoramic views of Helsinki Central Station as well as the Parliament House. A must on a summer evening. Please note that the rooftop terrace itself is only open during the summer months.
Shop in Helsinki’s Market Square
Inari, located in the centre of Helsinki, is an intimate seven-table restaurant offering diners a spectacular Michelin-starred experience. The innovative fifteen-course menu, which combines Finnish cuisine with Asian influence, is the brainchild of Head Chef Kim Mikkola. Mikkola and his team focus on guests with the best, locally-sourced ingredients and finest imported spices and strive to deliver complex, seasonally-inspired flavours. Mikkola previously worked at Copenhagen’s Noma, where he earned his first Michelin star at age 31. His current restaurant, Inari, is named after the town in Lapland, but also invokes the goddess of Shintoism, a major religion in Japan.
Hietalahti Market Hall
Helsinki is well-known for its amazing food halls, but Hietalahti Market Hall is by far the best! A visit will show plenty of other diners and shoppers, so this is a great place to mingle with the Helsinki locals.
You can dine on a multitude of cuisines outside the hall, or if you want to shop inside for all of the ingredients for your next meal at your apartment, then this is the place!
If you are fond of markets, you may also want to visit the old market near Kauppatori, or you’ll find most of the locals at the popular open-air market. These are great places to try the local foods and really immerse yourself in the Finnish culture!
Vapiano is one of the most affordable restaurants in Helsinki, offering a myriad of tasty local dishes. Plus, it’s located right in front of the Central Railway Station. Talk about convenience!
As you begin to explore Helsinki, you’ll find that there are so many places to go and so many things to experience! When you are studying abroad, you will feel right at home in no time. If you know of any other hidden gems around Helsinki, feel free to share in the comments section down below.
Established in 1952, Palace has always been a pioneer of Finnish gastronomy. It was the first Finnish restaurant to receive a Michelin star in 1987. With views over the city and its seascape, the restaurant is located on the 10th floor of a historically significant building that was originally constructed to mark the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. Today, the Palace kitchen is headed by Chef Eero Vottonen who, together with his team, aims to create an innovative yet sophisticated Nordic dining experience. The restaurant has been nominated one Michelin-star.
Restaurant Savoy has been at the very top of Helsinki’s restaurant scene since the 1930’s. Field marshal Mannerheim (or “Marski”) was among the most well-known regulars, and his favorite dishes can still be found on the menu, eg. the vorschmack and filled-to-the-rim favorite shot.
The Savoy interior was designed by architects Aino and Alvar Aalto who brought their human-centered and functional touch to every detail in the restaurant. Opening in June 1937, the interior was rich in various species of wood and lush planting, and the use of fabrics was vivid. The atmospheric dining hall was framed by terraces on three sides. The interior showed the Aaltos’ preference for welcoming and comfortable furniture and their sensitivity towards high-quality natural materials. In 2019-2020, the restaurant was re-designed by Ilse Crawford and Studioilse and renovated in co-operation with Artek, Helsinki City Museum and the Alvar Aalto Foundation.
Bistro Bardot, BB between friends, is a relaxed, characteristically bubbly, modern bistro-brasserie in the heart of Helsinki, which embraces the traditional French cuisine.
The bistro offers carefully executed food, emphasizing the quality ingredients, from morning to late night. The heart of the seasonal kitchen is the seafood from the raw bar, not forgetting the vegetables, birds and good quality meats. A seasonal selection of wines and cocktails compliment the menu.
It’s also possible to just pop in for a drink at Bardot’s velvety bar.
Olo is a modern Nordic gourmet cuisine restaurant at the heart of Helsinki. Olo’s kitchen represents the modern Nordic cuisine, where traditional raw materials of the North are well-respected. The cuisine aims to offer clarity of design and generous flavours as known from our grandmothers’ times. The menu follows the yearly cycle of the Nordic nature, bringing to the table only what is at best at a given time. The natural and clean flavours of land and sea reign in Olo’s kitchen.
The restaurant has a Michelin-star since 2011.
Junk y Vegan
Junk y Vegan opened near Helsinki Central Station in 2021. It got its inspiration from the unique Finnish phenomenon of “chips and beer vegans”, which encourages people to enjoy good vegan food without worrying about how healthy it is. In addition to burgers, the bar restaurant also serves smaller portions, flatbreads, bowls and a variety of sweets.
Nolla is a restaurant where great food goes hand in hand with sustainability.
The idea of Nolla was born out of a desire to serve great food without compromising sustainability. The restaurant aims to minimize the amount of waste produced with everyday actions that follow the restaurants sustainable values and waste-free ideology.
All of the ingredients are mindfully sourced from local farmers, fishermen and producers, with a strong focus on sustainability. Nolla places a heavy emphasis on seasonality, which is how it is possible to offer the best of local produce all year round without having to sacrifice the restaurants values.
Nollas approach to sustainability goes beyond the basics like food packaging and plastic. The restaurant has thought of every little detail, from clothing to energy consumption.
Nolla collaborates with passionate small producers to offer wines that are produced according to sustainable agricultural practices. Nolla is also proud to offer its guests a changing selection of fresh and vibrant craft beers from Mamu Brewing, Nolla’s own in-house microbrewery. An interesting selection of other local beers is always available too.