To keep up, restaurants have had to step up to the plate as it were, and provide options if not full menus devoted to this diet group.Text : Helsinki This Week | Photos : iStock
Date + Kale – A collaboration between food guru Richard McCormick and Anni Kravi, everything’s bursting with nutrition, colour, health and oh yes, flavour. They also do brunch, by the way.
Kortteli, on the 5th floor of Kamppi Shopping Centre.
Kippo - ‘Plants are good’ is their slogan and no additives are used in their ethically sourced ingredients. Go for a smoothie, a coffee and some of the most delectable sandwiches around. Open 7 days a week.
Kolo – Totally vegan serving regularly from Wednesdays to Sunday brunch, they have an array of surprising combinations such as horseradish beetroot paste and black bean brownies. Go stuff yourself.
Oma Maa – All their ingredients are locally sourced from Lassila organic farm in Tuusula. In fact, you can pick up a bag of fresh of the freshest produce from them once a week for a fixed price. The café is open every weekday from 11 till 3 and serve some favourites like Hasselback potatoes, crispy on top, soft on the inside with broad bean sauce, just an example. It could change.
Roots Helsinki - Yoga, breakfast, cake and whatever else you need to make your day complete, this café on Vaasankatu is open every day of the week. Go for the pea tempeh burger if it’s lunchtime or the beetroot hummus and home made bread for breakfast. It’s all a complete vegan extravaganza.
Just Vege and Soi Soi – Just down the road on this bar-lined street of Kallio, are these vegetarian restaurants with special vegan menus including falafel and a variety of burgers.
Vaasankatu 15 and Vaasankatu 9.
Silvoplee – Selection, choice, variety, abundance, all of these apply to this incredible table groaning under the weight of the food. Not everything is vegan but all is vegetarian and their raw cakes are sensational. Be careful though, this is not a buffet, you pay by weight and hence your piled up plate can cost you more than you bargained for.
Toinen Linja 7.
Zucchini – Been there forever and for a good reason too since the quality is so consistent. This is essentially a vegetarian joint but if vegan options are not on the menu for the day, just ask.
Cargo – Celebrity chef, forager and author Sami Tallberg is behind this one and the food shouts it loud and clear. Every dish is a triumph and the coffee’s fab too. Find them in a container along the Tram 9 route going towards the West Harbour or get a take out from Mikonkatu 6.
Farang – Spoil yourself and dip into the flavours of South East Asia at this elegant restaurant housed in the same period building as the Kunsthalle. The vegan tasting menu is somewhat pricey at €59 for 7 courses but you deserve it!
Gaijin – While Farang is all about South East Asia, Gaijin takes us to North Asia. The food is fusion and since there is no specific vegan tasting menu you can ask for it. Or just go for selected items on the a la carte menu. Bulevardi 6.
Grön – Hands down one of my favourites, these guys are clever, passionate and have great taste in music as well as food, by the way. Although they do meat, they love their greens and if you tell them you’re vegan, they’ll take care of it. The wines are fun too, organic and quirky.
Chef et Sommelier – The cosiest little spot on the prettiest little street in Ullanlinna, this acclaimed restaurant is run by passionate people who really care about every detail of what goes into your mouth. A vegan tasting menu has to be booked in advance.
This is just a selection but you can find vegan options at many pizza spots, sushi bars, Asian restaurants and many other dining spots in Helsinki. Just make your preferences known and it’ll probably be taken care of.