Helsinki’s Best Restaurants For Art, Gastronomy And Finnish Heritage

A. J. Samuels

Scandinavia in recent years has experienced a culinary renaissance with Nordic flavors being widely acclaimed around the world. Sitting alongside foodie destinations like Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, Helsinki’s dining scene is peppered with fantastic restaurants that offer artistic cuisines and pay homage to age old traditions.

1. Chef & Sommelier

Restaurant, European

Courtesy of Chef & Sommelier
Chef & Sommelier uses organic and fairtrade ingredients to create inspiring dishes that look as good as they taste. The restaurant recommends their four and five course set menus, but also offers a range of options including three to nine course meals. A blend of Finnish and European cuisine flavors, enjoy dishes such as ‘goose and porcini’, ‘arctic turnip and sage’ and ‘pike-perch and artichoke.’ Vegetarian meals can be made on request and these plates have been equally praised for their quality.

2. Olo

Restaurant, Finnish, Fusion

Olo is a Michelin star restaurant inspired by Finnish nature. The creative kitchen aims to evoke memories through their dishes, mixing age old traditions with cutting edge culinary techniques. The restaurant’s wine list offers vintages from small producers and genuine handcrafted wines with some of the bottles exclusively available at Olo. Guests can choose to dine in one ofmultiple designed rooms, or the stunning courtyard with glass ceiling.

3. Gaijin

Restaurant, Asian

Gaijin fuses flavors from Japan, Korea and the North of China. The dishes served here are a combination of some of the most iconic culinary heritages in the world. Patrons can enjoy plates such as salmon tartar on a shizo leaf, wasabi dressing and Japanese pickles; pork buns with pork belly, kimchi mayonnaise and pickled cucumber; and Kimchi hot pots with long braised pork cheek, kimchi mayonnaise,`kimchi water´ and pickled cucumber.

4. Juuri


Juuri’s preserves the special features of Finnish food, making everything from scratch, not using any ‘semi-finished’ ingredients. The menu has become well-known for its Sapas selection (often described as Finland’s version of tapas). Allowing guests to share and sample an exciting range of flavors, visitors can mix and match dishes and enjoy plates like smoked reindeer heart served with apple and rowanberry and apple.

Juuri, Korkeavuorenkatu 27, 00130 Helsinki 09 635 732

JuuriCourtesy of Juuri

5. Restaurant Ask

Restaurant, Finnish

© Ravintola Ask
An intimate 26 seat restaurant, Restaurant Ask offers a fine dining experience that is shrouded in Nordic mythology. Restaurant Ask finds inspiration in nature and the relationship between the environment and people. Ask serves four and eight course meals that are made through creative explorations of fresh ingredients from local organic and biodynamic farms. The meals can be paired with a carefully selected wine menu.

6. Bellevue

Restaurant, Russian

Bellevue, Helsingfors
Courtesy of Bellevue
Bellevue focuses on Russian and Eastern European dishes. The restaurant is proud of presenting authentic Chicken Kiev but other menu highlights on their menu include grilled reindeer steak with cranberry sauce, pot roast steak of bear and Finnish Carelian caviar. The restaurant’s history offers a fascinating tale that dates back to 1917 and has been run by restaurateur Ragni Rissanen since 1974. The charming interior of Bellevue adds to the historic atmosphere of the restaurant, exuding an elegant setting decorated with works of art and stunning drapes.

7. Postres


Postres’ cuisine is founded on both Nordic and French gastronomy. Diners can enjoy plates such as endive with truffle and smoked pork belly, salmon with gooseberries and horseradish, and cod with barley and funnel chanterelles. These plates alternate on the concise, changing menu that is determined by ‘the rich Nordic seasons’. Proud of its European identity, the wine menu is filled with top quality bottles from the continent as well as a number of exemplary vintages from small wine producers.

Postres, Eteläesplanadi 8, 00100 Helsinki, Finland 09 66 33 00

PostresCourtesy of Postres

G.W. Sundmans

Set in a building designed by architect Carl Ludvig in the early 19th century, G.W. Sundmans is a restaurant that exudes historic significance and sophistication. The restaurant describes its set course menus as a ‘journey of flavors’ and uses fresh, high quality produce that follows the seasons. Providing both lunch and dinner, the menu is full of international flavors and serves plates such as beautifully cooked venison with beetroot, poached salmon with fried scallops and fennel, and smoked pork neck with roasted celery and cream of celery. The restaurant’s wine selection has won multiple awards, and wine tastings can be organised in the atmospheric cellar.

G.W. Sundmans, South Beach 16, 00130 Helsinki, Finland +358 9 6128 5400

8. Restaurant Demo

Restaurant, European, Gluten-free

Demo, Helsinki
Courtesy of Restaurant Demo
Proud of their relaxed atmosphere which is complemented by Michelin star flavors, Restaurant Demo entices visitors with their byline ‘Share a laugh in the middle of culinary excellence’. The restaurant’s philosophy is that great dining should bond people together. The menu is a creative fusion of traditional Finnish culinary values and contemporary French cooking techniques, allowing local and seasonal ingredients to be explored through cutting edge gastronomy.

9. Hoku

Restaurant, Japanese, Fusion

© Hoku
Hoku offers irresistible Japanese dishes with subtle Hawaiian twists. The restaurant has received widespread local acclaim and its high quality, affordable dishes make Hoku a great destination. One of the favorite dishes here is the salmon teriyaki: pan seared salmon in teriyaki sauce with rice, salad and pickles. Other highlight dishes include beef neck braised in sweet soy, ginger, garlic and star anise, served with paksoi and a ginger pesto, and braised crispy pork belly with soy-chili sauce, kimchi, and cilantro.

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