The Best Bakeries in Helsinki, Finland

What better way to explore Helsinki than with a fresh pastry in hand?
What better way to explore Helsinki than with a fresh pastry in hand? | © Valeriya Popova / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
23 April 2020
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Often specialising in sourdough and pastries, Helsinki bakeries offer far more than just bread. With lunch menus, Finnish delicacies and some of the best coffee in the city, these are the best places to stop for a sweet treat, and more.

“Baking has always been important here,” says Lauri Pipinen, co-owner of Helsinki’s acclaimed Way Bakery. “People bake at home and like to have fresh bread and cakes, and they also like to go out and have coffee and a cake. Bakeries are places to go all day long, not just in the morning.” Rarely just a place to pick up a loaf, bakeries in Helsinki are often also small restaurants, wine bars and coffee shops. Nearly all sell Finland’s much-loved sweet korvapuusti (cinnamon bun) while the newest artisan bakeries focus on reviving traditional Finnish methods of making authentic sourdough.

The Kauppahalli Saluhall food market is a popular spot to pick up a loaf of bread in Helsinki | © Jorge Tutor / Alamy Stock Photo

Way Bakery

Bakery, Wine Bar, Finnish
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Located in a former dentist’s surgery in the bohemian Kallio District, Way Bakery was opened in 2018 by four friends: two ran a Michelin-star restaurant, one a natural wine import business and the fourth had his own coffee roastery. “We don’t compromise on quality,” says co-owner Pipinen. “We only make one bread which is our sourdough and we proof it for 48 hours, which takes a lot of space, but is better for the flavour.” The bakery also serves an all-day breakfast menu, one lunch dish each day and some seasonal pastries (including delicious blueberry pies in the summer). After 5pm, it transforms into a small restaurant and natural wine bar but Pipinen says the breakfast plate is their stand-out dish. “It has our sourdough, churned butter, comté cheese and ham, which sounds simple but is really good.”

Konditoria Hopia

Bakery, Finnish
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Based in the same location in Töölö since 1949, Konditoria Hopia is a quaint Helsinki institution decorated with traditional Finnish artwork, wooden tables and a counter made from stacked logs. Customers flock from all over the city to sample their berry and caramel cakes, festive pastries and adored Karelian pies (rye pastries with rice filling), which have been made with the same recipe for 70 years. Its second new outlet in the Kumpula District also serves soup twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes. “They sell the traditional Finnish korvapuusti too, which are basically cinnamon buns which are very good,” says Pipinen.

Helsinki Homemade Bakery

Bakery, Finnish
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It’s worth queueing at Helsinki’s smallest artisan bakery in the Töölö District to pick up its special daily bread and a cup of freshly ground filter coffee. Co-owner Klaus Ittonen started the business selling cinnamon buns and Karelian pastries (a traditional rye pie filled with rice) off the back of his bike, before establishing the bakery with Kátia Corrêa. Open Thursday to Sunday only, it now bakes fresh baguettes, cinnamon rolls and pastries twice a day. They also bake traditional rye bread on Thursdays, “sweet-sour” baked goods on Fridays, multigrain and scones on Saturdays and rye malt archipelago bread and banana bread on Sundays. ​“Good coffee paired with a homemade korvapuusti makes the world a better place,” Ittonen says.

Levain

Bistro, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Pastry Shop, European, French, Portuguese, Spanish, $$$
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Helsinki's coffee shops are full of Instagram opportunities.
© Paula Hotti / Culture Trip

“They were the first bakery in Helsinki that started making proper sourdough bread,” Pipinen says. With two locations in Punavuori and Töölö, the contemporary Levain specialises in baking sourdough bread without industrial baking yeast in a stone sole oven. They bake all day, so it’s possible to buy fresh bread – no matter when you visit – alongside takeaway sandwiches, delicious coffee and pastries including croissants, a daily vegan pastry and their famous pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tart). “They serve breakfast and lunch too,” says Pipinen. “But I would definitely get the bread there. They make several types as well as sourdough.”

Eromanga

Bakery, Coffee Shop, Pastry Shop, Finnish, $$$
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Run by the same family since the 1970s, the traditional Eromanga bake shop serves coffee, home-made pastries, cinnamon buns and freshly baked bread from their bakery and small adjacent café. Its products are also sold at shops and department stores throughout Helsinki, but it’s worth visiting the bakery by the Kasarmitori Square to get your hands on the legendary lihapiirakka (meat pie). The savoury treat has been made by following the same secret recipe since 1846. “They’re very well known for their meat pies, which are good to buy and takeaway,” says Pipinen. “They have pastry on the outside, with minced meat, rice and onions inside, and it’s deep fried. People like to eat them after they go out and drink too much!”

Rönttösrouva

Bakery, Finnish, $$$
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For a real taste of tradition, Rönttösrouva is a no-fuss bakery established over a decade ago in the Tapanila District in the north of Helsinki. Now run by the original owner’s son, the bakery specialises in Finnish delicacies from Kainuu, a region in Central Finland on the border with Russia. Specialties include smoked salmon-and-reindeer pies, rye Rönttönen pies filled with lingonberries and stadin kokko, a rye and potato pastry filled with smoked vendace fish, vegetables and bacon.

Patisserie Teemu Aura

Bakery, Pastry Shop, Finnish
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If you’re craving something a little sweeter, Patisserie Teemu Aura is the trendiest place in town to satisfy your sweet tooth. Established by Michelin-star chefs Teemu Aura and Markus Hurskainen (and previously known as Patisserie Teemu & Markus), the bakery in the Hakaniemi District is now run by Aura alone. It serves an extensive breakfast menu, plus soups and salads for lunch, as well as bread, croissants, cookies and even spectacular wedding cakes. Its immaculate macarons are also hard to resist, coming in unusual flavour combinations, including peach and chilli, and liquorice and lemon. “I would get their cardamom bun with quark sour cream in the middle,” says Pipinen. “It’s very tasty.”

Ekberg

Bakery, Cafe, Finnish, Tea , European, $$$
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Ekberg, Helsinki
© Café Ekberg

Finland’s oldest bakery, Ekberg has been serving bread, traditional pastries and delicate cakes in their elegant, airy city centre bakery since 1852. Open every day, it now also offers a full à la carte breakfast and lunch menu in the café. It also has takeaway sandwiches available and a daily three-course lunch buffet, which can be eaten on the terrace overlooking the bustling Boulevard in the summer. Speciality cakes include the Alexander, a pastry made with apple jam and named after Tsar Alexander, and the Thousand Leaves, a flaky pastry with a caramel filling. “It’s quite traditional and everybody knows it,” says Pipinen. “Older people like to go there for a coffee and cake with friends.”

Olipa Kerran Konditoria Oy

Bakery, Cafe, Finnish, $$$
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Translated as “Once Upon A Time”, Olipa Kerran is a tiny bakery and café that specialises in vegan baking in Lauttasaari near the Gyldenintie metro. With pastel candy-striped wallpaper, vintage dining chairs and eccentric antique artwork, the café feels like a scene from a fairytale. The quaint bakery offers a range of vegan macarons, buns, quiches and cupcakes, and lavishly decorated cakes made to order. For something off-beat, try the savoury sandwich cakes packed with salmon and tzatziki, or beetroot hummus with guacamole. Save room for a hot chocolate, too, which is made with oatmeal and locally produced honey, and flavoured with peppermint, chilli or cardamom.

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